The Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Tuesday, Sept. 3 to hear a variety of reports and approve policy changes.
Gayla Myers, director of Student Support Services, presented an overview of the federal SSS/TRiO grant program that is in its fourth year of the five-year grant.
The original funding amount for this current five-year grant was to be $238,496 per year, Myers said. However, the program has received a reduction each of the last two years due to federal budget cuts and the funds appropriated this year are $219,016. Even with the cut in funding, the college’s SSS program will continue to serve 160 students, the maximum amount of students allowed under the grant. The program must service low-income and first-generation students, students with disabilities or students with disabilities who are low-income.
Myers said she was extremely pleased with the outcomes for the program in which they exceeded the required eligibility requirements. Under the grant at least two-thirds of the participants served during the project should be low-income and first-generation, students with disabilities or students with disabilities who are low-income. The college exceeded this requirement with 73.12 percent.
Thirty-three percent of the students with disabilities had to be low income and SCCC/ATS exceeded that goal at 40 percent.
Also to remain eligible, 70 percent of all project participants served by the SSS project must persist from one academic year to the beginning of the next academic year or graduate and/or transfer to a four-year institution. The college’s SSS students exceeded that goal with 82.50 percent. Eighty-five percent must remain in good standing and the college exceeded that goal with 90 percent. In addition, 15 percent of the new participants served each year must transfer with an associate’s degree or certificate of completion within four years. The college exceeded that goal at 33 percent.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, presented information on the administrative review of programs. With increasing budget restraints over the next few years, the college will review all programs and departments to determine efficiencies and effectiveness. The board was asked for their input as to what criteria they would like the administration to consider in addition to enrollment, placement of students, minimum numbers in classes and graduation rates.
The board approved a revision of the Criminal Justice program to emphasize Community Corrections rather than institutional corrections, which is designed more for prison systems. The program revision emphasizes probation, parole and jail positions and is a change recommended through the state curriculum alignment process.
The board approved the purchase of a VRSIM SimSpray System from Aidex Corporation in the amount of $27,500, which will give students the opportunity to work with simulation equipment to improve refinish and industrial spray operations in Auto Body Collision Repair. Janese Thatcher, dean of career and technical education, said the equipment could be used for individual student training or as a demonstration to the class. Not only can the simulator improve technical skills but critical thinking skills as well. The simulation system reduces the use of fluids, paints, and cleaners while allowing the students to work in spray and finish techniques, including paint patterns, flow rates, and finish appearance.
Funding for the simulator is through a Carl Perkins Reserve Fund Grant.
Cynthia Rapp, dean of academic affairs, provided the board with an update on citizenship classes, which have always been funded through Adult Basic Education grant dollars. Since funding regulations have changed, the college’s Business & Industry office is continuing to provide citizenship classes and meet the need of local residents. Elva Morales, who has been teaching citizenship classes for many years, continues to teach the classes at the Colvin Adult Learning Center.
With a possible drop in enrollment this semester on campus, Dunn told the board that the college needs to remind its own staff as to the importance of its online classes through eduKan. For those students who may be working and unable to come to class, eduKan is a great alternative to taking college courses and still brings in credit hours to the campus. In addition, when a student is forced to drop classes due to personal reasons, they need to be reminded of the opportunity to take online classes. EduKan enrollment is expected to rise 20 percent this fall.
In other action, the board
1. Hired Ryan Grubbs as a new transportation instructor and George Cody Pickering as the new Automotive Business Management instructor;
2. Approved deleting Policy 105 regarding an articulation agreement between the college and Southwest Kansas Technical School as the policy is no longer needed as a result of implementing the merger of SWKTS and SCCC;
3. Approved changes to board policy 106 regarding Public Records, designating Dennis Sander as the freedom of information officer for SCCC/ATS;
4. Approved changes to the Institutional Integrity policy 112 to include the full college name; and
5. Approved changes to Board Policy 202 regarding a change in Kansas Statutes allowing the college to own property outside of Seward County and the seven-county area.
The SCCC/ATS Foundation Party Auction is Saturday, Sept. 21. Tickets, which are $30, are available by calling 620-417-1131. The auction supports student scholarships and incudes both a live and silent auction, food and drink and other activities.
The next board meeting is Monday, Oct. 7 in the board room.