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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Feb. 5, 2020

Note: Unless otherwise specified, all statements apply to WVC’s entire service district, which includes both Wenatchee and Omak campuses.


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Why is WVC projecting a $1 million deficit?

Wenatchee Valley College has a seen a 10-year decline in enrollments. Significant factors for the decline include continued low unemployment and smaller incoming high school classes.

 Since 2010, enrollment in career and technical programs has declined 30%. Smaller high school class sizes directly impacted Running Start enrollment. This is the first year since 1993, when the program was first offered at WVC, that fewer students enrolled.

If the enrollment decline was a long-term trend, why was WVC caught off-guard?

When registration opened for fall quarter in May, enrollments were strong. The enrollment rate continued at a five-year high through the month of August. Due to the strong outlook, the board of trustees approved the yearly operating budget based on a conservative 2% increase in enrollment.

 Unfortunately, the rate of enrollment abruptly declined in September and did not recover when the quarter began, unlike previous years (see 60 day registration chart below). The end result is a nearly $1 million projected deficit in the college operating budget.

60 day registration history for fall 2019

How much has enrollment decreased?

Fall quarter enrollment dropped by 2.1%. The total unduplicated headcount* is expected to be 6,289 by the end of the year versus 6,934 students last year. Ten years ago, 7,605 students were enrolled.

*Unduplicated headcount counts each student once. It is based on the individual numbers of students taking classes and not on how many classes they take or how many quarters they’re enrolled.


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How will WVC close the deficit?

At this time, 86% of the operating budget is spent on personnel costs. As a result, WVC is focusing on this area first. In addition, the president is working with the board of trustees, his cabinet and college employees to identify other areas where spending can be reduced or costs can be saved.

What is being done to boost enrollment? 

One thing being done to boost enrollment is the creation of new academic programs. WVC has two new programs starting soon. Pharmacy Technician starts this winter. It’s a flexible evening and weekend program and students can complete a one-year certificate or two-year degree.

 We were also approved by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to offer a new bachelor’s of applied science in teaching. Pending further approval, the BAS-Teaching degree will meet an immediate need for early education teachers and special education teachers (preschool through third grade) in WVC’s service district.

The college also continues to reach out to and provide services for non-traditional college students, including:

  • Running Start students
  • Worker retraining and workforce grant students
  • Adult basic education students
  • People seeking a GED ® or high school diploma
  • Certificate-seeking students
  • Continuing Education students
  • and many others

How will employees be affected?

As of November 2019, WVC employs 499 people throughout the district. Of that, 249 employees are full-time. The college has three major types of full-time employees: 75 exempt (non-union), 85 classified (union) and 90 faculty (union).

 The following steps are being taken to reduce costs:

  • Leave without pay: Currently, exempt (non-union) staff are taking 10 days of leave without pay. Exempt staff making $50,000 or less are taking eight days of leave without pay. Leave without pay details are being finalized for the classified union and outcomes will be communicated soon.
    While it is uncertain if faculty will take furlough days, they continue to work together with administrators and are considering other ways to help the college budget.

  • Layoffs: WVC is laying off 21 staff (9 exempt and 12 classified), effective the end of January. No faculty positions are affected at this time. Areas with the most affected employees are instructional support, IT, facilities, student services and administrative services. It still being determined how roles will change in these areas.

  •  Hiring: As of October 2019, all vacated positions are subject to review before being filled. This means the college will see a decrease in hiring and positions will be left vacant for the foreseeable future.