The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees met recently to hear reports about enrollment, recruitment and the agriculture program.
Although online classes and late-start enrollment are not complete, Dr. Randy Smith, dean of student services, told the board fall 2006 enrollment is down slightly. However, first-time, full-time freshmen is up slightly.
Smith said the slight decrease can be contributed to high gas prices for commuters and low unemployment in the area.
“The new philosophy in the admissions department is to more fully develop relationships in our service area,” said Smith, including southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. One new concept is the development of recruiting teams which will involve every full-time employee on campus.
Following a presentation by Marcia Hatcher, Business Division chair, the board approved the program review for the Agriculture program with the next formal review scheduled in five years and an update of accomplishments annually.
Among the strengths of the agriculture program are the activities that are sponsored each year, the number of students who continue their education after they leave SCCC and the advisory board.
The goals for the program include increasing enrollment and retention, establishing relationships and developing internships with emerging area agribusiness, and developing online courses in agriculture.
In addition, the agriculture program needs to expand its arena, needs additional scholarship support to be competitive with other colleges and needs more agriculture programs at the high school level to expose students early to agricultural education.
The board heard reports concerning a number of grant programs, including a renewal of the National Institute of Health Bridges Grant that allows SCCC science students to transfer to Kansas State University with a number of benefits. In addition, the Colvin Adult Learning Center learned of a $70,000 English Language Civics Education Grant that will enhance the programs at the center. The college is also a recipient of a grant that will created a campus-wide intranet system. Although the exact amount is unknown at this time, the minimum amount given for the grant will be $250,000. This grant will support all programs on campus giving instructors quick access to lecture notes and class resources and allow for such technology as streaming video and chat rooms.
Although official notification has not been received, the board learned that students in both the Licensed Practical Nursing and the Associate Degree Nursing programs received a 100 percent pass rate on the National Clinical Licensing Exam that is required of all nursing graduates.
In other action, the board
1. approved the early retirement of Denyce Gammell, SCCC librarian, at the end of the fall 2006 semester;
2. approved a revision of board policy governing Family and Medical/Sickness Leaves of Absence; and
3. approved the continuation of a two-year license agreement with SkillsTutor, in the amount of $5,285 to replace the SkillsBank software with a newer web-based version that will be used in the Academic Achievement Center and Colvin Adult Learning Center.
The board also waived the requirement to seek bids and approved the price quote for fixed gym seat replacement in the amount of $126,415 from Kansas Contract Design of Wichita to replace 1,062 seats in the college gymnasium. The seats will be installed following the basketball season and prior to May commencement. The college will offer the existing seats for sale by rows as they are removed and replaced in the gym.
Upcoming campus events include fall break, Oct. 9-10; NACE Rectifier School, Oct. 23-26; joint board meeting with Garden City and Dodge City community colleges at SCCC, Nov. 27.
The next board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 6 in the board room of the Hobble Academic Building. Spring enrollment begins Nov. 6 as well.