USF Students create petition to help fight against College of Education budget cuts

Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Conner Diefendorf says he specifically transferred to the University of South Florida for its College of Education.

“You’re in great hands at the USF College of Education. It’s one of the best if not the best I think in Florida,” says Diefendorf

On Thursday, reports of the University of South Florida removing its undergraduate program from the College of Education. USF Provost Ralph Wilcox announced each campus including the Sarasota Bradenton campus has to reduce their budgets by 8.5%.

Spencer Bazen says he learned about the announcement while he was in one of his education classes.

“It just came as a complete shock because we were actually in one of our zoom class yesterday. When we found out... It came to a point when we started sharing the only way I found out about it was from my friend’s Snapchat stories. And then I posted it to our group chat. I was like wait this can’t be true,” says Bazen.

The College of Education has to cut nearly $7 million dollars from its budget. Forcing the undergraduate program to merge into the graduate program.

Diefendorf and Bazen are both juniors in the USF College of Education.

They decided to create a petition to see if there’s a way to help save the undergraduate program.

“If we can get a petition resolution drafted and we get a certain amount of signatures it gets put in front of student body government if it gets even more it gets put in front of the president,” explains Bazen

Diefendorf says he had other options but chose to transfer to USF because of their education program.

“Before I moved to college I was going to go to Florida Gulf Coast University that was my big thing. I was an Eagle all the way. Then I went into more in-depth comparison of the education programs. With USF and FGCU. USF is the best option,” he explains.

According to USF, students who are currently enrolled in the undergraduate program will be able to take certain classes to meet the degree requirements.

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