Costly words: Language programs may be silenced by budget cuts

State budget cuts have impacted the college’s music, art and language departments.

The affect of the state’s budget troubles have meant cutbacks to these departments at both the Puyallup and Fort Steilacoom campuses.

Pierce College along with other state-assisted colleges have felt the damage to their own language programs and with the mounting pressures of the budget, this year will continue to hold true.

While there is quality within the programs that are already instituted, Pierce recently has had to eliminate one section each of third quarter Spanish and Japanese classes while French is still only taught online.

The larger problem of budget cutbacks combined with climbing attendance rates and declining class availability suggests there will be no remedy in the near future.

“Pierce Puyallup continues to provide students the option to take American Sign Language, French, Japanese and Spanish; the only languages we have ever offered on this campus,” Ann Salak, chairman of the Arts and Humanities division, said.

Pierce College already has an established music and arts program. The Fort Steilacoom campus often is noted as being a more diverse campus, but it still shares the same concern for the language program that the Puyallup campus does.

A difference is that the Puyallup campus offers Japanese and Fort Steilacoom offers Korean. Both campuses offer a total of five languages combined.

“The Puyallup Arts and Humanities division had elected to preserve the breadth of its offerings whenever possible so students still can choose from a variety of disciplines to meet their communications and humanities distribution requirements,” Salak said.

While it can be a difficult balancing act deciding what can and can’t be cut, the language program at Pierce has been reduced even though students still need to take languages for their careers, curiosities or required credit. Of these, the language department seems best suited for providing the credit. In an ever-globalizing world, students need a variety of language skills that will allow them to communicate between cultures.


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Costly words: Language programs may be silenced by budget cuts

by Jacob Bush time to read: 1 min