On Friday April 16th it was announced that due to budget cutbacks at SIAST, several programs would be downsized or cut completely from the SIAST curriculum. One such program that was cut was the Applied Photography program at the Wascana Campus in Regina. The decision was made internally by SIAST, and has nothing to do with government cutbacks. In fact, SIAST recieved more money this year than it did last year, for education.
As I'm sure none of you know, I am a first year student in the Applied Photography program, and have been working with Carey the past little while as part of my student work experience for the program. It has been stated that anyone in the first year of a two year program will be allowed to complete their second year, though this recent news obviously bothers me for several reasons.
The "official" word as to why the programs that were targeted have been downsized/closed down, was that they were either low interest programs, or were available at other SIAST campuses. Neither of these reasons are true for the Applied Photography program. The only place in Saskatchewan to get any type of photography diploma is at SIAST Wascana, and the Applied Photography program has been a high demand program for a very long time!
The news of course has caught the photographic community of Saskatchewan by surprise, as nobody saw this coming. The program has been running for well over 20 years, and everyone was sure that it would continue to run.
Many of the first year students and myself are working together with the instructors, several past graudates from the program, and several professional photographers in Saskatchewan to bring attention to the issue, and hopefully show SIAST the error of their decisions and how much of an impact closing the program will have on the photography industry in Saskatchewan.
We have created a facebook group, "Save SIAST Applied Photography" and could use your support!
I believe if you put your mind to something, you can effect change, and we all intend to see this through until the end. Keep your fingers crossed for us!