As the spring 2013 semester prepares to begin, the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Monday, January 7, to hear a variety of reports.
Board member John Engel, liaison to the SCCC/ATS Foundation, reported that the foundation will receive a half-million dollar gift from a former Panhandle Eastern engineer. He said one requirement of the donation is that the money be placed in government-secured funds.
The board heard a report from Dr. Suzanne Campbell, grant project director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant. The college recently submitted an annual report to the U.S. Department of Education regarding accomplishments of the grant’s initiatives. Although the college did not meet all grant expectations for year one, it has submitted a revised plan of action.
The curriculum for the Sustainable Agriculture Resources program that began in fall 2012 is now complete, she said. Students can obtain an associate in applied science degree to move directly into the work force or an associate’s degree to transfer to a four-year university. As part of the program, SCCC/ATS is completing articulation agreements with both Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University for completion of the Sustainable Ag program.
Campbell also said that the college is in the process of hiring an instructor for the Food Science and Safety program that will begin in fall 2013.
In addition, the college completed the renovation of the Mathematics Resource Center as part of the grant.
The college is also developing a faculty learning community using the Universal Design of Learning model. UDL helps instructors establish instructional goals, methods and materials that can be adjusted to the individual needs of the students.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, reported that the college received official notification from the Institutional Actions Council through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for continued accreditation of the college, with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2019-20. Dr. Dunn indicated the college received the maximum years of reaffirmation with no follow-up reports or further requirements required by the college.
Al Shank of Al Shank Insurance presented the board with the insurance renewal rates as well as comparisons to the prior year. The college’s insurance package is through Employers Mutual Corporation and reflects a 10.3 percent overall increase.
Kevin Brungardt, dean of career and technical education, distributed the schedule of non-credit business and industry classes for spring. He explained that while the schedule represents the current schedule of classes, new classes are always added based on community and business requests.
Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, told the board that spring enrollment looks good with less students on academic probation compared to a year ago.
In 2012, individuals and corporations donated $70,500 gifts to the college through the Kansas Higher Education Tax Credit program. The college can use these donations for identified deferred maintenance projects. The Kansas taxpayer receives a 60 percent tax credit through the state of Kansas.
In other action, the board
1. Hired Sam Rucker as the new agriculture instructor and Livestock Judging Team Coach; and Rhonda Kinser as the counselor/retention specialist;
2. Accepted the retirement of Neva Dorman, developmental education instructor, effective May 20;
3. Approved the change from Alli Lyon to Rusty Tuman on the Professional Employees Association Professional Welfare Committee;
4. The board approved the quote from Fisher Scientific of Hanover Park, Ill., for a plant growth chamber in the amount of $5,232.33;
5. Approved the low quote from Professional Cleaning Systems of Dodge City for a pressure washer in the amount of $5,475 for the diesel program; and
6. Approved the low bid from Apple Inc. Education in the amount of $38,388.56 for twenty-six iMacs and two MacBook Pro computers for the art department.
Spring 2013 classes begin Monday, Jan. 14. Campus will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21.
The next board will meet Monday, Feb. 4.