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BHC votes to eliminate 8 teaching positions; art student’s futures uncertain

MOLINE, Illinois - The board of trustees voted to eliminate eight teaching positions.

Board members say it's necessary because of the lack of money from Illinois and lower enrollment.

Students, staff, parents and community members showed up to Thursday night's meeting to show their support and have their voices heard.

Students and staff say the entire art department is on the line with two of its professors being cut. That leaves just one full-time and one part-time teacher covering the entire art department.

"Certainly there`s no way they're going continue to offer the same classes that they do now, it won`t be possible with our faculty," said Kyle Petersen, one of the art professors cut.

About two dozen people spoke to the board of trustees asking them to not cut the teaching positions.

However, despite all the concerns the board voted to eliminate all eight teaching positions.

Petersen is worried about his students, "They came here for a reason, we`re very unique within the Quad Cities. We`re the only community college within about 100 miles that offers these kinds of classes and many of them can`t afford to go to the better institutions right away."

Some students now wonder if they'll be able to graduate.

"I felt like I was being crushed you know, if you`re guaranteed a degree and then all of a sudden that options not there for you, that's my future you`re pulling away from me," said Amber Straw.

For Joanna Specht, she hopes the long hours and tuition payments weren't for nothing, "I've learned so much, but without that physical degree it's basically pointless."

While the board voted to eliminate eight teaching positions a total of 17 full-time positions are being cut over all. Those other positions are administrative staff and positions that won't be filled.

These cuts will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.