ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A well-known college is planning on closing its Albuquerque campus after opening to capitalize on the state’s shortage of nurses and teachers.
Since 2011, Grand Canyon University’s Albuquerque campus has been teaching nursing students, but just this week students and staff received an email from main campus in Phoenix telling them they only have one more year.
“I think this was a blow to our community in general,” said Stephanie Ramirez, nursing student at GCU.
Students and staff said they were caught by surprise when they found an email in their inbox Monday.
The email states, “It is with a heavy heart that GCU announces its intent to teach-out the Albuquerque, New Mexico campus.” The email continues on to say GCU will not accept any more students for the Albuquerque branch, but as for the students already enrolled in its education and nursing programs, they will be able to continue their learning until graduation before the campus closes in 2018.
However, some students are on edge, saying their future with GCU is a little hazy.
“Main campus has made such a rash decision so not only does it affect the community, it affects us in general as students, but it does affect the instructors,” Ramirez said.
Students are scared their instructors might want to start looking for other jobs before 2018.
“We are scared. Are we going to have instructors next level? Are we going to be promised that they are going to come down here from Phoenix make sure we graduate,” Ramirez said.
So in the midst of uncertainty, students have started a petition asking the dean at main campus to reconsider the decision to close GCU’s Albuquerque campus.
“It affects our community as a whole because there are nursing shortages everywhere. There are only a few bachelor programs in the state that can graduate nurses,” Samantha Hodge said.
Students came together to write a petition asking the community to help them pressure the Phoenix-based Christian school to keep the Albuquerque branch open.
The petition reads, “With the new trend of nursing school closures and the increasing nursing shortages, the New Mexico community is in serious trouble.”
It’s a statement students are backing to the fullest.
“It’s going to affect local hospitals and that kind of stuff,” Hodge said.
The e-mail said it has become too difficult for the university to run the Albuquerque branch from Phoenix.
KRQE News 13 called the main campus in Phoenix for more information but have not heard back. We do know there about 40 students left in the nursing program.