College to discontinue auto body program

ALPENA — Alpena Community College has decided to suspend its auto body program in order to restructure. The change was discussed at the board of trustees meeting on Wednesday.

The board discussed the new change after Chris Lubiato, head of the auto body department, sent his letter of resignation.

Board Chairman John Briggs asked if the college will try and find a replacement. College President Don MacMaster said the college will not hire anybody anytime soon.

“Enrollment was very low to non-existent and there was some question as to whether or not to run the program. So we will look to suspend it again,” MacMaster said. “The advisory committee to that program met last night they’re fully apprised and supportive of what we’ve done and what we’re doing.”

Vice Chair Thomas Townsend asked if officials were going to do what they did last time, which was to restructure during the next 12 months.

“It has been restructured and we are content with that. It hasn’t been rolled out yet,” MacMaster said. “We have the work done but it hasn’t been employed yet, but it’s going to be employed in 12 months. We may pick away at having an adjunct doing some of those classes. There’s been some discussion on that, but we don’t know how firm that is. It is a possibility.”

MacMaster said the advisory committee was firm on wanting to teach students more about current industry standards and less focused on hobbyist lessons. He said the college will start to look for a replacement instructor after the first of next year because beginning a search now wouldn’t make much sense since the program wouldn’t start again until next August.

“From the college’s standpoint occupational programs are fundamental to our success. So eliminating permanently I would be hesitant to do,” MacMaster said.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.


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