BCAE General FAQ

Why is the BCAE ending its program offerings?

Having experienced declining enrollments and increasing cancellations, we know this is the right time to re-envision our organization. We did not reach this decision lightly and know that may be a difficult change for many who have helped to make the BCAE a venerable Boston institution. We look forward to this planning process and will be keeping you apprised as we create new and exciting ways to build on BCAE’s 86 year legacy.

Will the BCAE continue with its events and non-class offerings?

After much careful thought, the BCAE Board of Directors has decided to cease educational and special event programming at the end of December 2019.

Will the BCAE still be providing its room rental service? 

Room rentals will be run through January 17, 2020.

Is the BCAE closing its doors for good? 

We are undergoing a strategic planning process to assess our options on how to best position the organization for the future. In the course of this planning process, we will be drawing on the insights of many of you who have been involved in BCAE’s programs through the years. We look forward to keeping you apprised of these ongoing and exciting developments related to the transformation of the BCAE. If you are interested in sharing your ideas with TDC, please use the following link.

What is the timeline for the strategic planning process?

The Board of Directors began this process during the summer with a thorough search for the right partner to facilitate a thoughtful process. The Board has engaged TDC, a highly regarded consulting firm, to lead the strategic planning over the next several months. TDC has been committed to supporting nonprofit organizations for nearly fifty years. The strategic plan will be the result of a concentrated and careful collaboration between various BCAE stakeholders like you who know our organization best and have been invested in adult education for years. We will keep stakeholders informed of our progress and any developments.

Is this decision because of the fraud?

No, while the fraud had a significant impact on the resources of BCAE, this decision is based on major changes in the overall adult education environment and the fact that over the years, we have seen an increase in operating deficits due to declining enrollments and increased cancellations. The Board takes seriously its fiduciary responsibility to be prudent stewards of BCAE assets and it became clear that we had reached the point that our current programming was not sustainable.

We believe that BCAE has an important mission and that with careful thought and attention through a strategic planning process, we will create a new way of using our resources to strengthen adult education for diverse populations across the City of Boston.

Is the BCAE headed for bankruptcy? 

The evolving adult education environment has created unforeseen challenges to our traditional programs. Over recent years, we have seen an increase in operating deficits due to declining enrollments and increased cancellations. The Board takes seriously its fiduciary responsibility to be prudent stewards of BCAE assets and it has become clear that we have reached a point that is not sustainable. Given these developments and after much careful thought, we are transforming our approach and the use of our institutional resources so that we can most effectively enhance the lives of adult learners and expand their capacity to be successful in their communities.

What will happen to the BCAE staff who manage its programs and building?

Our staff have been the heart and soul of BCAE programming and operations. They have provided inspiration and skilled coordination for endless details year in and out. The BCAE Board of Directors is grateful for their dedication as well as their guidance as we prepare for this transition. As BCAE winds down its current operations, our program and building work force will necessarily be affected. Staff will be leaving BCAE at different intervals based on the tasks that need to be accomplished in the process of transition. The details of this downsizing will be informed by the nature of BCAE’s plans going forward with most staff having left by the end of January. The Board of Directors is committed to doing its very best to demonstrate its appreciation and to support these staff through their transitions as they move to new opportunities.

Where will the instructors go?

BCAE’s instructors brought inspired teaching to our students. Our teachers are both knowledgeable and passionate about their areas of expertise and we all benefited from their willingness to share these. BCAE will be helping instructors who are interested to network to other community adult education programs.

What is the best place to find ongoing updates?

Additional updates will be posted to the BCAE website. We look forward to keeping you apprised on these ongoing and exciting developments for the transformation of the BCAE.

Will the BCAE be open during regular business hours until December 21, 2019?

The BCAE expects to be open normal business hours through December 21, 2019. Please check the site at a later time for hours in January 2020. 

I’m already scheduled for a class in October, November, or December, will I be affected? 

All classes planned through December 2019 will be offered per our normal operating procedures.

Is the BCAE offering refunds? 

Yes, the BCAE will be processing refunds as outlined in our updated refund policy through the end of our programming in December 2019.

How does this affect my BCAE membership? 

As of October 3, 2019, the BCAE will stop selling memberships. We encourage you to use your membership benefits through December 2019.  In early January, if your membership began in July 2019 or after, we will send you an email asking if you would like a refund for the pro-rated remainder of your membership. You may also opt to contribute this amount to support BCAE’s future adult education initiatives. Membership refunds will be processed in January 2020.  (Please note: Any membership that has been active for 6 or more months as of 12/31/2019 will not be refunded.)

I have a credit for BCAE classes, what should I do? 

As of October 3, 2019, the BCAE will stop issuing credits. If your class cancels, you will be refunded (see our updated refund policy). If you have an existing credit, we encourage you use it to register for classes through December 2019. We will be notifying students of outstanding credit by October 18, 2019.

In January 2020, the BCAE will again notify all students who have outstanding credits on their account via email. At that time, you will have the option to fill out a form requesting a refund of the credit by check or electing to contribute your credit to the BCAE’s future adult education initiatives. Checks will be processed by February 28, 2020.

I have a BCAE gift card, what should I do?

As of October 3, 2019, the BCAE will stop issuing gift cards. If you have a remaining value on a gift card, we encourage you to use it to register for classes through December 2019. To check balances on gift cards, add a class to your cart and enter your gift card code number into the coupon box and hit “Apply coupon.”

If you have remaining value on your gift card that you would like refunded, please submit a request form. This may take up to 8 weeks to process. You may also choose to contribute the remaining balance toward the BCAE’s future initiatives for adult education. 

If no communication is received by January 31, 2020, the gift card balance will be contributed to the BCAE’s future adult education initiatives. 

Are there alternative providers of adult education in Boston?

Are there alternative providers of adult education in Boston?
Yes! Please consider taking a look at Brookline Adult and Community Education, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, and Newton Community Education.

Who do I contact with further questions?
Please submit inquiries here.