On Feb. 18, Piedmont College announced that they would be removing the cardiovascular technology major from their catalog. After 2022, the major will be completely phased out of the college.
Once the CVTE major is phased out after 2022, the school is not actively seeking to bring back the program. Julia Behr, Dean of the R.H. Daniel School of Nursing & Health Sciences, is one of the advisors to students who are currently majoring in CVTE.
“All colleges have a responsibility to evaluate programs and majors with ongoing assessment and evaluation to determine sustained viability,” said Behr. “In regard to the CVTE program, many factors were considered in our decision to phase out the program after 2022.”
The students who are actively pursuing this major have a few options as to what they are able to do. If they wish to stay at Piedmont, students are going to have to change their major. Or they are going to have to transfer. But that may prove to be difficult. Cardiovascular technology is already a major that many schools do not offer, and the fact that Piedmont College is going to stop offering it is making the choices to transfer even slimmer. Regionally, the only colleges that offer this major include the University of South Carolina, Gwinnett Technical College, Georgia Southern Savannah and Clemson.
“There is a secondary application process for acceptance into the CVTE program and our teach plan includes all of those students,” said Behr. “Students at the ‘Pre-CVTE’ level have been notified about these changes and we are actively working and assisting them with either changes in their major or transferring to another school that may offer this program.”
After being told this information, students were not surprisingly disappointed. Sophomore Anna Purvis said she enrolled in Piedmont specifically to pursue this major.
“I came to this school because of cardiovascular technology and no other reason,” said Purvis. “They told us that they could not support the program anymore simply because all of the technologists at the Gainesville Hospital, where we would have done our clinicals our fourth year, transferred to another hospital.”
Other students who also have uncommon majors, like sophomore theater education major Sierra Maxwell, are expressing their anger over the situation, wondering if their major might be next.
“I feel terrible for the people that had their degrees taken away from them,” said Maxwell. “We work hard to complete classes for our specific degrees, so that might just be a waste after having their programs cut.”
According to CNBC writer Jessica Dickler, most colleges cut programs from their universities because of budget issues. For example, Gary Miller, President of University of Akron, mentioned that his institution is having to cut a few programs due to COVID-19 related issues.
“The pandemic has weakened us to an extent requiring immediate and decisive action,” stated Miller in a video message.
While it is always frustrating for an institution to get rid of a major, that frustration is only heightened when it is not because of COVID-19. While the CVTE program at Piedmont had very few people in it, the school makes more than enough money every year to have kept it going.
Although it is disappointing for Purvis to hear that her major is being removed, she is hoping to find the silver lining. Purvis has decided that instead of settling, she will move somewhere that will be able to guarantee her major will be available when she graduates. She is considering Georgia Southern (Savannah Campus).
“I decided that I would have to transfer to another school and receive my degree elsewhere,” said Purvis. “I was very devastated that Piedmont removed my major, however, it ended up being the best decision as it opened up another door for me and allowed me to find other options.”