Lawmakers Addressing Future of Community Colleges in Highlands, NC Area in Western North Carolina

Recently, a joint state legislative committee recommended merging the leadership of community colleges in the state that have fewer than 3,000 fulltime students.

But local and state officials in Western North Carolina have recently taken a stand against this measure, saying that it would hurt the education system in the area.

Continue reading to learn more about this developing story in the Highlands, NC area – and how it might affect Highlands NC area residents.

Education in the Highlands, NC; Cashiers, NC;  Sapphire, NC Area

According to the recent article, Haywood Community College and Southwestern Community College in Western North Carolina would be two of the 15 community colleges consolidated under the joint committee’s recommendation.

Southwestern Community College is based in Sylva, although it serves Macon, Swain, Cashiers and the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

The committee has said that the consolidation of the leadership at these colleges would save taxpayers about $5 million a year.

But many Western North Carolina area leaders are saying that the consolidation of college leadership would make these community colleges more out-of-touch with the residents they’re supposed to serve.

Here’s a snapshot of the current state of community colleges in North Carolina:

  • 20 community colleges in the state – including SCC – already serve more than one county
  • The larger the college, the cheaper it is for students to attend.  When comparing colleges across the state, they found that  the cost per student ranges from $447 to $1,679.  The smaller community colleges in the report appear to be more expensive than most – with the average cost per student being $983.
  • The average cost per student at larger colleges in the state is $647.
  • The state’s community colleges serve some 243,854 full time students
  • Enrollment at the state’s community colleges has increased by 28 percent in recent years.

Purchasing a Home for Sale in the Highlands Area of Western North Carolina

According to the joint committee’s suggestions, the merger would combine administrations from different colleges.

The committee recommended that the college system merge the departments of senior administration, financial services, human resources, and public information – among others.

What do you think about this proposal? Should Norht Carolina community colleges maintain their autonomy or combine their administrative offices?

Let me know what you think!

Thinking about making the Highlands, NC area your permanent home? Then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, today!

As your Highlands NC area real estate expert, I’ll be able to tell you everything you need to know about recreation, education, real estate and more in the Highlands, NC area.

In the meantime, please feel free to check out all of my helpful Highlands NC home buying tools, including:

Until next time,


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