Learning Center at WWCC to close Monday

The local branch closure will end education training and result in a job cut.

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WALLA WALLA -- A local branch of the Washington State University Learning Centers is closing as of Monday.

The branch, based at Walla Walla Community College for eight years, is among all the learning centers throughout the state that are being closed by WSU in an effort to close budget gaps for the new school year.

Local program coordinator Cynthia Selde, who is losing her job as part of the cuts after six years, said WSU's 10 learning centers will close as a result of the budget cuts, with some centers closed as early as June.

As part of her job, which she described as that of a "permanent advisor," Selde assisted students with applications and seeking degrees for any WSU campus, in any program including online degree programs.

In an e-mail, Selde noted that the local learning center also provided technical and administrative support for the WSU nursing program in Walla Walla. The nursing degree program through WSU will remain in Walla Walla.

While nursing opportunities were spared, education training was not. A WSU bachelor's degree program in elementary education that was based in Walla Walla is no longer available, Selde said. That program was dissolved in May.

In her time serving community members, Selde also helped coordinate five Intensive Spanish Institutes that drew more than 200 local residents.

Selde said WSU plans to send recruiters to the college to meet with students and help them with continuing their educations. She also offered the following information for area residents still interested in WSU's local opportunities:

The WSU Extension office for Walla Walla County will continue to operate from 328 W. Poplar St. More information is available by calling 524-2685 or visiting wallawalla.wsu.edu.

Area residents can still seek bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing through Walla Walla Community College. For more information about the local WSU nursing program, contact Anne Mason at 524-5152 or at ademars@wsu.edu.

More information on WSU's online degree program is available by reaching program coordinator Richard Dennis Miller at 509-335-5792 or rdmiller@wsu.edu.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317.

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