The Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Tuesday, September 8, to discuss enrollment, the foundation auction and online learning.
The college is up 35 percent in the number of students who are attending SCCC/ATS this fall, said Celeste Donovan, dean of student services. She also indicated that credit hours are up 30 percent and there are outreach and late start classes yet to be recorded. Friday was the last day to drop without penalty. Forty-two percent of the growth is in technical school enrollment with approximately 60 more adult students in the area technical school than last year and nearly 40 more high school students enrolled in the technical school. In addition, the college has more part-time students than previous years, which is an on-going trend for enrollments. Many of the students say they are attending SCCC/ATS because it is close to home and the tuition is lower compared to four-year colleges and universities.
With increased enrollment comes a greater need for scholarships.
Tammy Doll, director of development, told the board about the upcoming SCCC Development Foundation Auction, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19. The cost to attend the auction is $20 per ticket, and includes food, drink, silent and live auction and entertainment. Participants must have a ticket to get in the door. Doll distributed a list of contributed items for the auction which range from a travel package at Table Rock Lake in Arkansas to clothing, jewelry, gift baskets, furniture, and homemade desserts.
Proceeds from the auction fund student scholarships, which cannot be funded through the college’s operational budget. Doll said it is important to get people to attend the auction and support student scholarships. Tickets are available from Foundation board members or by contacting the Development Office at 620-417-1132.
In the near future, the foundation will change its name to Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Foundation, said board member Sharon Hobble, who is the Board of Trustee representative to the foundation board. It will go by SCCC/ATS Foundation.
The number of students taking online classes through EduKan has also doubled.
Dr. Mark Sarver, the new director of EduKan, told the board how “absolutely visionary” they were when they agreed to move forward with EduKan. Many of the SCCC/ATS board members were on the board when the six western Kansas community colleges decided to form EduKan, an online community that offers general education courses and degrees online. “Ten years ago we were cutting edge,” he said. “Now there are many institutions doing what we are doing. We need to figure out now how to be cutting edge again.”
EduKan has moved off the Barton County Community College campus, Sarver said. The consortium is in the process of designing a new logo and website. “It really is a very unique situation working with a consortium,” he said.
One of the largest increases on campus this fall is through EduKan classes, said Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction. “That’s a sign of the times and it’s important that we continue to be strong in those areas.”
The college presented the board with a new calendar, outlining program reviews for both academic and non-academic areas.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, told the board we need to look at all areas of campus to see how the college can be improved.
Future program reviews for academic programs will include enrollment trends, transfer requirements and expectations of career and technical education programs.
The board accepted the program review for the Business Administrative Technology Program with the next formal review schedule in five years. The college has already combined the courses and competencies from the technical school with the curriculum offered in office occupations at the college and changed the name. The faculty will develop a plan for tracking program graduates and collecting data, improve marketing of the program, and develop relationships with area school counselors, business teachers, and administrators using venues like X-treme Challenge.
Gina Palmgren, Business Administrative Technology program instructor who was previously employed by Southwest Kansas Technical School, told the board that it has been great for the students in her program to be a part of the community college. Students have far more advantages, especially if they want to transfer to a four-year college or university.
The college continues to use the State Post-secondary education improvement bond fund (PEI) for deferred maintenance projects on campus. The board directed the administration to solicit bids to make improvements to the parking lots at the area technical school. The concrete parking lots will include drainage and fire lanes.
Board chair Jo Ann Sharp commented on the 40th anniversary kick-off activities and expressed appreciation to those who attended.
Trustee Marvin Chance, Jr. provided a report on the upcoming KACCT meeting. The agenda will include developing legislative proposals for the 2010 legislative session and addressing the budgetary reductions in state aid.
In other action, the board
1. Accepted the resignation of Mike Paden, natural gas technology instructor, effective Sept. 16;
2. Recognized the team of Evan Winchester, Shelia Scheib, Suzanne Campbell and Denice Paden as the members of the Professional Welfare Committee of the SCCC/ATS Professional Employees Association;
3. Approved the modification to Policy 101 Mission, Philosophy, Purpose and to Policy 106 Public Records;
4. Accepted for first reading an identity theft policy, and
5. Selected Sharon Hobble as the voting delegate at the upcoming Association of Community College Trustees Annual Community College Leadership Congress and Dustin Ormiston, as alternate.
The college will hold a come and go brunch on Sunday, September 13 in the student union/cafeteria with student performances and a buffet menu. The next board meeting is Monday, Oct. 5 in the board room.