Johnson C. Smith defends decision to close education department - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Johnson C. Smith defends decision to close education department

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Johnson C. Smith University leaders are defending their decision to end the Department of Education at the university. The department has been in existence for years, but officials say not enough students were enrolled to keep the program afloat.

It takes about $300,000 dollars a year to fund the education program and only about a dozen students were currently majoring in education.

JCSU says this year eight students graduated from the program and six students are remaining. They will all graduate by the time the department shuts down by the 2015-16 school year.

JCSU Chief Operating Officer Elfred Anthony Pinkard says the decision was painful but was the responsible thing to do.  He says the reason for the shutdown is students aren't as interested in education because of low teacher pay.  He also says he is concerned this could mean a decrease in African Americans going into teaching.

"Members of the minority groups," Pinkard said. "Like every other citizen want to be able to pursue livelihood that gives them the kind of compensation they can make a way for themselves and their family."

Currently there are three professors in JCSU's education program.  They will not lose their jobs. They will be reassigned.

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