Lunch With BCCC President Stephanie Shanblatt

Nicole Aquino, Centurion Staff

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On Thursday Nov. 2 students were invited to have lunch with the President of BCCC Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt.
The event took place in the Gallagher Room from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with free pizza, cookies, and beverages.
The lunch with the President was an opportunity for students to sit with Shanblatt and voice their concerns with the school.
It was President Shanblatt’s decision to make the event public to give students the chance to come up and talk with her and discuss their issues.
Shanblatt said, “I’ve came to the Gallagher Room a couple times and went up to students to say hello and introduce myself. I sat down and invited students to come up and talk, but noticed they were reserved and uncomfortable to come up.”
At every Bucks campus, fliers along with an email sent with the information about the event, encouraged students to come and voice their opinions.
Shanblatt was very open and heard each student’s concerns and answered them to the best of her ability. Ray Varla, a film major, asked about the tuition rate and questioned if it will increase or decrease.
Back in April the Bucks Board of Trustees unanimously voted that tuition would be increased by $5 at the start of the 2018 fall semester. This increase was made to maintain both the quality at the college and the fiscal balance.
Shanblatt answered honestly and spoke about how the state determines how much money the school needs for its budget.
A major topic brought up was about ALEKS, a math program that is taken along with math courses such as Algebra.
“It’s like taking two courses instead of one and it is a much bigger workload,” a student said.
Shanblatt took down the information and stated, “I will definitely bring it up to the faculty and see what they have to say about it, but I appreciate you bringing up the problem. I understand that it is a heavy workload and must be hard to handle with your other classes.”
20-year-old Deanna Hackmeister, a business major from Yardley, voiced her concern with transferring. Hackmeister wanted to know if it was okay to defer a semester when you have a transfer agreement.
Shanblatt, responded saying, “It is perfectly fine if students want to defer a semester or two until they want to attend the college.”
Shanblatt said, “Bucks has a lot of colleges that are with our transfer agreement and they are flexible when it comes to a student wanting to take a semester off or more. The college will still hold the students place.”
Overall, the students that attended had a positive reaction. Some added it was nice to meet the president and have a chance to sit down with her and speak about the issues they had.
Shanblatt hopes this event will encourage students to share their concerns at any time and know they will be heard and taken into consideration.

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