Adult students to protest at Cal Poly Tuesday

November 9, 2010

Dr. Brian Tietje

Cal Poly students enrolled in a special, and apparently cost-beneficial, Cal Poly adult education degree program are set to protest Tuesday afternoon.

Dozens of students from the school’s Adult Degree Program (ADP) are gathering outside the Administration Building between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. to try and save the program from being cut.

Cal Poly currently offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies through ADP. Adult students, many married with young families, take evening and weekend classes as they work towards a university degree. The average age of an ADP student is 41.

However, Dr. Brian Tietje, appointed last July to serve as Dean of Continuing Education, recently told ADP students that he would be phasing the program out.

“He admitted that the ADP program was self-supported and didn’t cost the taxpayers any money, but he doesn’t think the program can sustain itself in the future,” said Cece Teniente, one of the protest organizers.

Tietje said in an interview with the Mustang Daily that the ADP program could be moved to another college that could support it rather than discontinuation.  He is “asking the deans of the academic colleges to evaluate whether there is an appropriate programmatic and budgetary rationale for bringing (ADP) into one of their colleges.”

The Dean justified his decision by saying he did not feel Continuing Education could support ADP effectively. “Cal Poly Continuing Education is not an academic college, so it is not equipped with the faculty and staff necessary to provide these supporting elements,” Tietje said.

Teniente, who works at Allan Hancock during the day, is concerned that many of the ADP students are now losing their only shot at getting a Cal Poly degree. “We work full-time during the day. ADP offers us a chance to come to school in the evening. It’s a great program.”

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Wouldn’t it be nice if the media attended the Dean’s little chat with the ADP students this afternoon from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Building 3 (business building), Rm. 114.

Oh Boy! This is really going to bum out Sheriff Parkinson. He just needs a few more units …. Honest.