AC classes at Nacodgoches Career, Technical Center could be in jeopardy

AC classes at Nacodgoches Career, Technical Center could be in jeopardy
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The future of Nacogdoches Career and Technical Center operated by Angelina College is in jeopardy.

The future of students currently registered for summer classes could be as well.

East Texas News has learned it could go further than that due to failed lease negotiations between AC and Nacogdoches ISD.

It was just the early part of last week Angelina College was registering students to participate in Distant Education at the Nacogdoches Career and Technical Center.

"We had quite a few students," said Judith Wright. AC's director of distance education.

Sixty-three graduates registered for Summer I classes. Many of the students were set to attend classes at the state-of-the-art Nacogdoches facility. Wright didn't know to tell them otherwise.

"I'm thinking that there were probably some students who had that impression," Wright said.

That impression was shot down several days later when AC sent letters out to students and staff that they'll be reassigned off the Nacogdoches campus.

A shock to young graduates and Nacogdoches ISD superintendent Sandra Dowdy.

"I'm not clear about why that the program was cut for this summer," said Sandra Dowdy, Nacogdoches ISD's superintendent.

Things got somewhat more clear as late as Monday when a certified letter from AC president Dr. Michael Simon arrived.

"AC will not enter into the modified MOU, as currently proposed," Simon said.

The sticking point, he indicated, is NISD's position regarding furnishings and equipment in the center.

Dowdy explains the furnishings can't be given to AC.

"We need those items for our own students in the district," Dowdy said.

Dowdy says the district was willing to leave the furnishings through the summer to accommodate summer classes. AC didn't want to take any chances.

"The way that the negotiations were working at that point might have caused some of our students to be disrupted if we had to move out of the building at the end of the month before the semester was finished," Wright said.

There's a vital concern the AC/NISD partnership could end, threatening the future of community education.

Simon and Dowdy have yet another meeting planned for next week giving students and educators a glimmer of hope.

Angelina College has provided options for Summer 1 Nacogdoches Distant Learning students. They are: travel to AC's main campus in Lufkin, take virtual classes with live feeds from instructors, or take online courses.

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