The Board of Trustees for Seward County Community College/Area Technical School met Tuesday, September 2, to review programs and approve changes for the 2008-09 school year. Prior to the regular business meeting the Trustees viewed several campus improvements including new seating and carpet in the Showcase Theater, carpet in the conference rooms, and the automatic doors installed in the activities center.
Leo Riley, who was appointed to the board in 1996 and elected to his first term in 1997, resigned Tuesday night effective immediately, after serving 12 years as a Trustee of the college. The board regretfully accepted his resignation and noted the accomplishments of the college during Riley’s service as a Trustee.
“We’ve appreciated the time and extra time you’ve given to us and the community,” said Jo Ann Sharp, board chair.
At the regular Trustee meeting in October, the board will publish the vacancy and will finalize the process for filling the remainder of the term which concludes in June 2009.
The board approved program reviews for both the Respiratory Therapy and the Adult Basic Education programs.
Last year the Respiratory Therapy program added an interactive video component to the curriculum in cooperation with Garden City and Dodge City community colleges. This component reduces travel and living expenses for many students. However, by adding the distance education alternative and increasing enrollment, additional classrooms, laboratories and clinical sites have been identified as future needs of the program.
Other strengths of the program include state-of-the-art equipment, a job placement rate of 95 percent, high employer satisfaction, and a wide range of clinical facilities available to students.
The Colvin Adult Learning Center is known throughout the community and southwest Kansas for its instruction in English as Second Language and preparation for the Kansas State High School Diploma and U.S. citizenship.
The center holds classes on the SCCC/ATS campus and at some of the USD 480 facilities. The center also has outreach programs in Hugoton and Ulysses. Challenges include lack of space, dependence on federal and state funding and the inability to attract qualified staff.
One goal of the Colvin Center is to increase the number of participants from 517 in 2007 to 700 in 2012. A second goal is to transition a minimum of 10 percent of all participants into post-secondary education and training.
Tracking students once they leave the center can be more challenging, said Susan Lukwago, ABE director. For example, the Colvin Center has records on how many students have taken the citizenship classes to prepare them to take the nationwide test. However, it is hard to track how many of the students actually obtain their citizenship because the testing is no longer available in Liberal. The College continues to seek congressional support to establish a testing center in Liberal in order to enhance the opportunity for residents to obtain citizenship.
The board approved establishing an outreach site for the Kansas Small Business Development Center with an office located at the technical school facility. SCCC/ATS will provide a match for the operation of the office. The college also will provide office space, administrative support, telephone service, postage and computer support. In addition, the city of Liberal has indicated support as a participating partner in the center, which could include financial assistance in 2009. Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC president, will meet with both the city and the county in the future asking for their support.
Tommy Williams, dean of administrative services, gave the board an overview of the bank accounts that have been transferred from USD 480 to the college. One final checking account will be transferred once all checks have cleared.
Williams also said the college has received $256.62 in oil and gas royalties from the land on the technical school site. The funds, which had previously been part of the USD480 financial reports, have been transferred to SCCC/ATS as part of the consolidation process.
In other action, the board
1. Approved changes to Board Policy 202 regarding Legal Basis and Powers of the Board;
2. Approved changes to Board Policy 619 regarding fringe benefits;
3. Hired Rhonda Kinser as the new director of the Student Support Services grant; and
4. Designated Trustee Sharon Hobble as the voting delegate for the SCCC/ATS at the upcoming Association of Community College Trustees Community College Leadership Congress.
The Measurement and Pipeline Institute that is co-sponsored by the Petroleum Institute Education Committee and SCCC/ATS is scheduled for Sept. 9-10 at the Seward County Event Center.
The SCCC Development Foundation Auction is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Seward County Event Center. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Money raised from the auction is used for scholarships.
The October board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 6 in the board room.