The Western University of Michigan announced that it is located to close the Punta Gorda site.
According to the university in a statement:
"On a grateful consideration and consideration, the University of West Michigan has decided to close its Punta Gorda site in Charlotte County, effective on August 31, 2019.
The site is its second year of operation and two music therapy students and 38 aviation students are currently registered. From the outset, the Aviation College, which is operated locally by 13 employees and four hour flight instructors, is the cornerstone of the place.
After more than one year and a half of research and market analysis, the WMU programs began operating in Punta Gorda by 2017. From the very beginning, the plans for the site were built so that new WMU aviation programs, in conjunction local work of economic development partners and the Southwestern State College-FSW- Florida, new private student housing that would become a magnet for housing and retail development that is attractive to students. These plans did not relate to them.
WMU is concerned about the transfer of higher education demographics and registration trends in the region. In addition, the WMU aviation program enrollment is much less than it was considered in the first two years of operation.
WMU was the changing market forces and submitting new information to the planning assumptions and market projections. The University found that more than 200 students need to register immediately and thereafter going to a net positive balance sheet. WMU officials have concluded that this can not be achieved in the current market.
WMU-Punta Gorda was created and led by Expanded University Programs, WMU's hand in expanding its mission of access and diversifying revenue. The basics of the AEP entrepreneurship are, and is hoping for net positive income. Funds started for WMU-Punta Gorda from the EUP and from the academic colleges, such as aviation, which provided programs in that community. No Michigan state dollar is used in these activities.
Plans have already been developed to temporarily transfer the music therapy students back to the main area in Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the end of this semester of spring. WMU has teaching obligations with students within a phased year and will develop individual teaching plans in accordance with their accredited body, the Higher Education Commission. The University will also coordinate the Florida Commission for Independent Education.
With the remaining students, the University has more flexibility to create options that meet their needs and help them to continue their education at WMU or at another university. WMU is committed to informing all students and developing transfer plans that keep students on the road and helping them to achieve their steps and facilitate the impact of closure.
It is not expected that any employees will remain after the closure program is later than this fall. WMU will be guided by its personnel policies to manage the transfers of 13 employees.
Ultimately, this decision is close to WMU-Punta Gorda, the best-term long-term benefit of the University and its students, and represents the effective use of resources to promote the WMU mission. "
Statements from administrators:
"This decision does not come lightly. Projections and features that were crucial to the success of the site were considered as we considered. We have our responsibility to deliver our central mission to serve Michigan, and look forward to supervision financially. Because of the changing landscape and our screening enrollment projections, I am sure that we can meet our best students by focusing entirely on the College of Aviation at its Battle Creek site. "
-Dr. Jennifer P. Bott, Ms. WMU and vice president of academic courses
"At present, our focus is on our student, faculty and staff in Punta Gorda. Details of transfer are ready, and now my main priority is to manage that data to mitigate this change as long as can. "
-Dave Powell, dean of the College of Aviation
"Southwestern State College, Punta Gorda Airport, the Economic Development Partnership and Charlotte County have been strong partners with WMU and we have come together. Southwest Florida should be proud that these dedicated professionals are praising their region."
-Dr. Ed Martini, an interim combined profile of Expanded University Programs
"While WMU has closed this news with us, and we understand their reasons for closing the location of Punta Gorda, South Carolina College of State is committed to employing Charlotte County students."
-Dr. Jeffery S. Allbritten, president of South South Carolina College
For more information, contact Tony Proudfoot, WMU's strategic marketing and communications vice president, at (765) 716-4661 or [email protected]
On March 16, 2017 The West Michigan University Trustee Board announced an economic development investment agreement with Charlotte County.
The agreement decided the way for improvements at Punta Gorda Airport designed to improve the capacity of WMU to deliver aviation flight training at the facility.
According to the initial release, there would be up to $ 500,000 in county improvements to an airport hangar complex WMU leases to the program. Trustees approved WMU $ 1 lease a year.
Request the original agreement on WMU:
- Establish and start the flight training program at Punta Gorda Airport no later than January 2018.
- Investing not less than $ 2 million in construction improvements and / or equipment and training before July 1, 2018, to support the delivery of bachelor's degree in aviation flight training.
- The program at Punta Gorda Airport to continue to reimburse for at least five years or $ 100,000 to Charlotte County each year less than the five-year period in which the program operates.
- It is appropriate that the program staff and within five years maintain the registration of average students of 150 students per academic year with a provision for significant market interference.