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Health

Cox College Holding Steady in Recession

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/coxcollege_4257.mp3

A local medical college has decided to give students a break this fall. Michele Skalicky has more on what Cox College is doing to help its students and itself weather the recession.

Students who attend Cox College in the fall won’t have to pay higher tuition. The Cox College Board of Trustees voted earlier this year to leave tuition and fees unchanged for the 2009-2010 academic year. The college’s president Dr. Anne Brett says they made the decision because of the current economy and because some students have had difficulty getting loans…

"And so we thought we would try to eliminate as many barriers as we could by maintaining our tuition and fees at the same level they were at this year, which is also the same level they were at before, so we've actually held them tight for two years, and, in doing that, we've decided that our goal is we're going to grow through this economy rather than cut our budget through the economy."

Cox College is trying to increase admissions to offset the decision to leave tuition unchanged. They’re promoting more heavily the health science programs: medical assisting, transcription and coding, which Brett says “are pretty unsubscribed to right now.” According to Brett, in any given year, there are about 60 openings in the Springfield area for medical assisting, so there’s a good market for it. The job doesn’t pay as well, though, as nursing, for instance. Medical Assistants typically earn 10 to 14 dollars per hour.Demand for the nursing program at Cox College has been higher than usual. Brett says for their January admission deadline for fall, they had 3 applicants for every seat they had in nursing. Last year there were 2. One of the biggest increases is in the college’s accelerated program…

"which are people that have bachelor's degrees in other fields, which, now, in this economy, are looking to change careers and move into other careers, and the accelerated program is a 16-month program, so they can do it relatively quickly."

Dr. Brett says Cox College doesn’t plan to make any cuts despite the recession. In fact, they hope to grow despite the economy. But they’re closely scrutinizing any purchases, any travel and anything that could be perceived as discretionary. Brett says they’re planning to hold as steady as they can through the recession.