The Seward County Community College/Board of Trustees met Thursday, Aug. 30 for the September board meeting. Due to the Labor Day holiday the board met early.
The board had an opportunity to tour the library and the new math lab that was funded through the United States Department of Education STEM grant for science, technology, engineering and math. The lab is located at the south end of the library and consists of a glass panel wall, student workstations, computer desks and an instructor teaching station. The move to more digitized resource materials in the library has enabled the addition of the math lab to the library. The math lab is also adjacent to the Academic Achievement Center, which allows for increased access to peer tutors and other academic assistance provided by college personnel.
Rhonda Kinser, director of the Student Support Services, gave a status report of the TRiO SSS grant through the United States Department of Education. The goal of the grant is to encourage first-generation and/or low-income students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Students accepted into the TRiO program have to show an academic need as well. SSS grant staff encourages students to first obtain an associate’s degree and then transfer into a bachelor’s program.
Seventy percent of the 160 students allowed in the program must be retained; 85 percent must stay in good academic standing; 40 percent must graduate and at least 15 must transfer. “The college has met or exceeded these expectations,” Kinser said. Out of the 160 students allowed in the program, 105 are first generation, 85 Hispanic or Latino, and most are 18-21 years old.
The quality check-up visit for the Academic Quality Improvement Program is scheduled for Sept. 24-25. AQIP is the accrediting process through the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission for SCCC/ATS. “This is the first accreditation visit since the college began the AQIP program,” said Cynthia Rapp, dean of academic affairs. This is a seven-year cycle. The group will spend time on campus meeting with small groups. The board will have an opportunity to meet with the team.
“The new city bus route will pick up and drop off at the main campus of SCCC/ATS, as well as the Area Technical School,” said Dennis Sander, dean of finance and operations. The bus route will run from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
The board authorized the administration to invest $1,000 toward the “Be Liberal” initiative that will engage business, education, government and human services to reshape the Liberal community. The college along with other local entities will participate in Public Square Communities, an organization driven by citizens who want to help bridge cultures and create a unified Liberal. Process to get different stakeholders in the community more vested in its future, said Dustin Ormiston, SCCC/ATS board member. The process tries to intentionally involve a broader spectrum of this community.
The baseball program will benefit from the Brent Gould Foundation beginning this year.
In other action, the board
Hired Molly Woods Otto, as the Title V Activity coordinator/Career Services coordinator;
Approved changes to the Senior Citizen’s Courtesy Card designating which counties are eligible for use of the card;
Accepted the low bid from Flooring America and Furniture in Liberal in the amount of $10,775 to remove and replace specific areas of turf at Brent Gould Field using Liberal Bee Jays and SCCC/ATS Foundation funds;
Authorized the administration to employ a part-time six-month interim dean of career and technical education with the potential beginning date in mid-November and a national search to begin in early spring.
The Foundation Auction that raises money for scholarships is Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Seward County Event Center. Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling 620-417-1131.
The college will host an all-day training opportunity for all EduKan faculty, Sept. 28. EduKan is the college’s online consortium with Barton County, Colby, Garden City, Dodge City and Pratt community colleges.
The October board meeting is Monday, Oct. 1.