Following a presentation by representatives with Bartlett & West and Architect One, who are developing a Land Use and Facilities Master Plan, the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Wednesday, March 2, in its regular board meeting.
The board approved a $2 per credit hour increase in tuition for all students, with the exception of students who are Seward County residents. The credit hour fees will remain the same at $5 for all courses. In-state tuition for non-Seward County residents will be $42; border county tuition, $55; out-of-state and international tuition, $70; Seward Online in-state including Seward County residents, $68; and Seward Online out-of-state and international, $72.
In-state tuition and fees will be $67 per credit hour at SCCC/ATS, compared to Dodge City Community College, $75; Pratt Community College, $81; Colby Community College, $87; Oklahoma Panhandle State University, $147.67; and Garden City Community College, $71.
The board also reviewed the list of applied course fees for the 2011-12 school year.
Linda Billings of Byron Bird & Associates presented the fiscal audit of the college’s operation for FY2010 and indicated the college received an unqualified audit opinion with no budgetary or statutory violations. The college qualified as a low-risk auditee and indicated the cash flow reports present a solid financial standing of the college.
Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction, gave an overview of programs that have experienced low enrollment over the past three years, including Agriculture, Art, Automotive Business Management, Business Administrative Technology, Computer Information Systems, Construction Trades Technology, Criminal Justice, Drafting & Design Technology, Journalism, Machine Tool Technology and Truck Driving.
Some of the programs lost Perkins eligibility due in part to the majority of the students in their programs are seeking Associate in Science degrees instead of Associate of Applied Science Degrees, or due to low enrollment.
The administration will provide recommendations regarding program status for the 2011-12 academic year at the April 2011 Board of Trustees meeting as part of the discussion on budget planning.
The instructors are addressing their low enrollment needs by offering classes to high school students, developing marketing plans, increasing recruiting efforts, combining classes, aligning curriculum, offering online or hybrid courses, developing articulation agreements with high schools and four-year colleges and universities and developing new courses to meet industry needs.
The Construction Trades Technology program was temporarily suspended last year due to low enrollment while the college reassesses the program. The college is looking at revamping the program for the fall 2012 school year with an emphasis on “green” or sustainable technology.
“It does appear that the instructors are working on new angles to increase enrollment in each of the areas,” said Trustee Marvin Chance Jr.
The college is providing a number of resources to faculty who have low-enrollment programs, said Celeste Donovan, dean of student services. The college offers on-campus training in a variety of areas, including developing a marketing plan and learning Contribute, which is the software program that allows an individual to make changes to the college website.
The college has also developed an Advertising Plan that outlines the best time to advertising each program throughout the year. Faculty members are also encouraged to participate in recruiting and public relations events.
Donovan also reported on the strategic plan and institutional goal that addresses the performance of college programs designed to assist underprepared students. The college has developed an at-risk program where employees can recommend a student to the at-risk team, which assists with personal as well as academic issues. The program is designed to help the college retain students.
Through the at-risk program and the early alert program, the college is making great strides to retain students. The retention rate is 58 percent, compared to the target goal of 41 percent that was presented to the Kansas Board of Regents.
Another of the performance indicators through KBOR addresses developing an action plan to increase the number of freshman Hispanic students who complete an associate degree program within three years. The college reported a 31 percent rate of degree-seeking students who completed a two-year degree in three years. This exceeded the target goal of 27.3 percent. The college is also evaluating reasons why only half these students completing an associate degree plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.
In celebration of the state’s 150th birthday, the students at the college will be participating in service projects for area residents, organizations or businesses. During the last few weeks of March, the college will host “Saints in Service” where students will donate their time and services to assist local individuals, businesses, or organizations. Students will be available to paint, rake, read, move or help with other projects. The goal is to provide 150 hours of community service in recognition of the 150th anniversary of statehood. Civic organizations or interested individuals may contact Wade Lyon, director of student activities for more information at 620-417-1064.
In other action, the board accepted the bid from Eads, Inc., of Meade, in the amount of $124,854 to install a new ventilation system in the Welding Shop using PEI 2009 Series Bond money.
Xtreme Challenge for high school students is Wednesday, March 30. Spring break is the week of March 13 with no classes in session. The Saints and Lady Saints basketball teams will be playing in the second round of the NJCAA Region VI basketball tournament in Wichita and the cheer and dance team will be the feature performers at the tournament on Saturday evening, March 5.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, April 4 in the board room.