The Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Jo Ann Sharp at its November board meeting, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.
Sharp, who has been a board member since 1987, said it has been a privilege to be a part of SCCC/ATS history since the beginning. She was on the USD 480 school board in 1967 and was one of the individuals who helped make both the college and the area technical school a reality.
“SCCC/ATS is truly a Kansas treasure,” she said. “Students come from all over the world in pursuit of a better life. Both the college and the technical school have changed through the years by recognizing their strengths and developing them. Whether you are a paid employee or a volunteer, the challenge is to take what you have and make it better. I have been fortunate to be a part of that continued growth.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank my supportive family, the community, my fellow board members, Dr. Dunn and his staff, all the employees at the college. SCCC/ATS is truly a part of the lifeblood of this community and I know all of you will seize those challenges and opportunities for growth to keep it on an upward spiral for years to come. I will miss you all.”
The board presented a plaque to Jo Ann Sharp in honor of her nearly 20 years of service as chair of the Board. The college will publicize the vacancy and appoint a new board member at the December board meeting.
Members of the Student Government Association attended the meeting as one aspect of their responsibility as SGA members. The students represent the various student organizations and meet regularly to address college initiatives and student issues. Victor Rodriguez, sophomore from Liberal, serves as SGA president.
Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction, presented the board with an update on the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) projects through the North Central Association – Higher Learning Commission, which governs the college’s continued accreditation. The Action Projects that were submitted for review include 1. Improving the Concurrent Enrollment Experience for Students, Parents, and School Staff; 2. Developing a Student Retention Plan; and 3. Improving Communication through Effective Meetings.
The reviewers praised the college in a number of areas and noted the progress that has been made, Rapp said. They also made suggestions for continued improvements in each of these areas.
Following attendance at an AQIP strategy forum recently, the college will address how to use data more effectively. “We are always collecting data,” Rapp said, “but we are not always using that data to improve or make changes on our campus.” In addition, the college needs to address what continuous improvement actually is and what it means so the institution can more forward.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, gave an update of the five-year, Title V Grant the college has received in the amount of $3,249,913. The grant will add three programs, including Corrosion Technology, Process Technology and Radiology Technology. Steve Weins will be the project manager. This grant will allow for the addition of an online component for these and other technical programs.
Another new program, the National Gas Compression Technology program, will begin offering classes this spring to eight students, Dale Reed, associate dean of educational services told the board.
Reed also told the board that the college recently held another successful NACE Rectifier School (National Association of Corrosion Engineers). Because of this type of training that is already available two times a year at the college, the Corrosion Technology program will complement the rectifier school.
Beginning with the spring 2011 semester, the college will offer a variety of general education courses from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, said Rapp. This is one way the college is beginning to address the institution goal relating to identifying student issues that may prevent enrollment. The college is trying to adapt schedules and services to meet some of those needs.
The college will also send out a survey to students who applied and were accepted to the college, but did not attend classes this fall. The college will use the results of this survey to determine how the college can better meet the needs of a diverse population and improve enrollment.
Another of the college’s goals addresses an exchange program, either as a concentrated or one-time trip, a “sister college” concept or a specific academic exchange for a semester or academic year. Because of heightened national security, uneasiness about traveling to foreign countries, the college might consider an exchange program in the United States.
Due to budget restraints, Board Member Ron Oliver suggested the college table this concept of travel abroad until a later date. Sharp suggested an exchange with another college that might have tuition and fees more comparable to SCCC/ATS.
Reed recently participated in the Kansas Economic Policy Conference, where participants talked in part about the continued role of the community college in workforce development. Reed said that what community colleges do well is respond to local and regional employment needs. They are also training individuals to move directly into the workforce. “We at least made enough noise to get their attention. Community colleges continue to be a driving force for workforce development in the state.”
Rapp reported that one of the strategic goals of the Kansas Board or Regents includes developing a task force to review the alignment of courses and transferability from one institution to another in Kansas. The goal is to ensure that all courses transfer easily across the state. SCCC/ATS was asked to have a representative on that task force. Dale Doll, English Composition instructor and humanities division chair will serve on that task force along with representatives from the universities, two other community colleges and a technical college.
In other action, the board
1. Approved changes to Board Policy 620 regarding the Family Medical Leave Act, which needed to be changed to meet new federal regulations;
2. Hired Kelly Campbell as Safety and Security Supervisor;
3. Accepted the resignation of Reenie Jackson, Business and Industry director; and
4. Approved the purchase of 80 thin clients from BookPC.com in the amount of $69,600; 28 min-towers (lower level) from Dell Computer Corporation in the amount of $36,260; 38 notebooks from Dell Computer in the amount of $36,100 and 34 mini-towers (mid level) from Dell in the amount of $45,900; the technology will be funded through the KBOR Technology Grant, Carl Perkins, Post Secondary Capital Outlay and Technology Fund.
The board has set aside Tuesday, Nov. 16 for a special meeting to discuss issuance of certificates of participation. The meeting will be 7:30 p.m., in the board room. The Board members and administrators will attend a joint Trustee meeting with Dodge City and Garden City community college representatives. That meeting will be held at Dodge City Community College on Tuesday, November 30.
Other upcoming events announced during the meeting include the Pepsi Basketball Classic on Nov 5-6; International Student Recognition on Tuesday, Nov. 16, and Thanksgiving break Nov. 24-26.
The next regular board meeting is Monday, Dec. 7 in the board room.