The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday in its regular meeting to hear an update on the spring 2008 semester that begins Monday as well as a variety of other reports.
The board learned that SCCC is a recipient of a Technical Education Technology and Equipment Grant through the Kansas Board of Regents. SCCC’s portion of the grant is $78,990 and the board approved a $47,665 match that will fund equipment for the Medical Laboratory Technician, Surgical Technology, Respiratory Therapy and Nursing programs. This newly created fund helps provide institutions with an opportunity to obtain the latest technology and equipment available to expand program capacity and ultimately increase the number of students they can serve.
Also on the state level, community college presidents and business officers are working on a number of new funding distribution formulas that will be presented to the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees in February. The SCCC board will review these proposals at the February board meeting and request KACCT representative Marvin Chance, Jr. to provide input to the full KACCT organization.
A positive aspect about each of these proposals is that neither one is necessarily detrimental to SCCC. Chances are SCCC will not be significantly hurt or helped by any of the funding formulas since state aid accounts for less than 50% of the overall college operational budget, Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC president, told the board.
The board reviewed the most recent action projects that were submitted to the Academic Quality Improvement Program with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The college is presently working on four action projects: 1. Comparing and Realigning Writing Skills and Transfer Composition Curricula, 2. Mapping Conceptual and Skills Mastery in Developmental Mathematics, 3. Developing and Implementing an Institutional Promotional Calendar, and 4. Developing a Student Retention Plan for SCCC. Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction, told the board that progress on these plans will be submitted to North Central Association in June.
Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, reported on the results of the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey. The college has given this survey to students for the past seven years. Donovan is making an effort to not only analyze the results on a year to year basis, but to see what changes have occurred in the results since 2000. Overall, student satisfaction has increased over the years and the college remains higher than the national average.
Among the strengths identified in the survey are knowledgeable and accessible faculty; good variety of courses provided, well-maintained, safe and secure campus, and fair treatment of students. Items the college needs to continue to look at in the future are adequate financial aid, class times that are convenient for all students, advising of transfer requirements, and early intervention of academic performance.
The Board discussed the status of a proposed merger of SWKTS and designated members Chance and Hobble to meet with USD480 Board members and Superintendent to discuss the status of the merger on Friday, January 11. Dr. Dunn provided the Board with information he presented to the USD480 Board members at their meeting held earlier in the day. The Board indicated their continued interest in seeing a merger of SWKTS with SCCC accomplished.
In other action, the board
1, approved renewal of the college insurance package as presented by Al Shank Jr. of Al Shank Insurance of Liberal with a decrease in premiums from 2007 in the amount of $10,492;
2. accepted the early retirement of Ann Judd, English instructor, and Dr. John Loucks, Humanities Division chair, effective in May. The Board recognized both individuals for the many years of service to the SCCC students and the college community;
3. approved summer operation hours from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, effective May 30-Aug. 1. The summer hours of operation will realize an estimated utility savings exceeding $16,000 based on similar schedule of hours in 2007;
4. retained the current housing contract fees for the 2008-09 school year. Student housing fees for single occupancy will be $2300 per semester and $2050 for double occupancy. The rate includes a 19-meal per week plan included in the housing fees;
5. approved the purchase of an IR Spectrometer for college chemistry courses in the amount of $21,373 from Perkin Elmer of Shleton, Conn.;
6. approved the purchase of a 2008 Chevy pickup from the low local bidder Stu Emmert Chevrolet in the amount of $30,100;
7. approved the purchase of five minitower computers from Cybertron International, Inc., in the amount of $21,540 for the gaming simulation program; and
8. approved the purchase of a 2008 van, if one is available from Stu Emmert Automotive in the amount of $19,500 to replaced a van that was recently totaled in a collision.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 4.