The review of every degree program at every state college and university has identified the programs that could potentially be cut.

The Department of Higher Education identified more than 400 degree programs as “low-demand” based on the amount of students graduating with the degree each year. That’s just at 4-year institutions, and doesn’t even include the figures at community colleges.

“I don’t really know what proportion of the ones that have been identified will be tagged, or whatever, for elimination. That’s really the institution’s decision,” said Paul Wagner, the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education.

Wagner says many of the schools have filed formal responses to the list.

“We’re kind of in the mode right now of reviewing their responses, kind of organizing them and evaluating what we’re hearing back from the institutions,” Wagner said.

He says ultimately it’s the governing boards of the institutions that can determine which programs will be cut.

“Some programs are vital to an institution’s mission even though it might have low completion numbers. So there’s a variety of responses that we would expect.” Wagner said.  “A lot of the schools are looking at ways to cooperate and collaborate to continue to offer programs in a simpler or more cooperative fashion.”

But he says if programs are phased out, it will affect a very small portion of the school’s students.

“It’s still a big deal if you’re one of those students that might be impacted in some way, but certainly these aren’t the big programs. They’re the small ones,” Wagner said.

Wagner says the Coordinating Board for Higher Education will go over a preliminary report at its meeting in December, and then deliver the official findings to the Governor in February.

A number of media outlets have reported the specific “cut lists” at individual schools:

The Kansas City Star: “Missouri identifies five degree programs it might cut”

The St. Joseph News-Press:  “Northwest may drop several programs”

The UCM Muleskinner: “Academic program demise”

AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports [1 min MP3]