After 40 years, SVC closing its South Whidbey Center

Skagit Valley College will likely shutter classrooms on South Whidbey after teaching students in the community for 40 years.

Thomas Keegan, president of the community college, said years of funding cuts from the state combined with low enrollment at the South Whidbey Center led officials to make the tough decision, which hasn’t been finalized.

The chances are, he said, that the center will close at the end of fall classes.

“We want to ensure that the students are served, especially those on a degree path,” he said, explaining that staff will be working with those students on a one-on-one basis. “We’re committed to serving students in the South Whidbey area.”

Keegan said the Whidbey campus in Oak Harbor will be able to provide students from South Whidbey with more services — such as tutoring, academic counseling and veterans outreach — as well as a larger diversity of classes.

Just 23 students were enrolled at South Whidbey Center in the spring and nearly half of those were Running Start students; the program allows high school juniors and seniors to take college courses and earn college credit.

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