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SCCC/ATS Trustees Meet, Approve Program Review

The Seward County Community College/Board of Trustees met Monday, Nov. 4 to hear campus reports.

Jerry Thor, tennis coach, introduced four members of the Saints and Lady Saints Tennis teams, who had an exceptional fall season. Ronzai Saurombe and Alejandro Gonzalez made history by becoming the first Saints Tennis Team in to win the 2013 ITA National Championship in Junior College Doubles.

Thor said the two students were the “wild card” and became the first Saints Tennis players to earn a trip to the ITA National Tournament. Saurombe was 13-2 for the season and Gonzalez was 10-3.

The second “wild card” to enter the tournament was the Lady Saints Tennis duo of Paula Lopez and Paula Coyos, who won their third place match at the same tournament. Coyos was 8-3 for the season and Lopez was 11-2.

In addition to the student’s successes on the court, Thor said he was most pleased with their heart, was proud of the type of people they are, and the people they are becoming.  He also thanked the Board for their support of the program.

The board approved the program review of the Criminal Justice program, after a presentation by Cristy Mulanax, Criminal Justice coordinator. The advisory board and part-time instructors have been an integral part of the success of the program, she said. The program covers law enforcement and community corrections.

The program has seen an increase in associate in science degrees, Mulanax said. In addition, more and more students are successfully completing their courses in the Criminal Justice area.

Among the goals of the Criminal Justice programs Mulanax said she wants to complete three new articulation agreements with public universities, purchase a firearms training simulator, and document student advising sessions.       

One of the greatest challenges is student enrollment, which fluctuates annually. The economy affects enrollment in the program.

Deb Weilert, human resources director, told the board that the college health insurance falls in line with the Affordable Health Care Act. She said the college made some wise decisions in the past by offering health insurance to anyone who is employed for 30 hours or more per week. This coincides with the requirements of Affordable Health Care.

The college will begin a new class entitled Principles of Troubleshooting, which is funded through a Kansas Board of Regents Innovative Technology Grant for the college’s industrial technology student, as well as regional industry employees. The course is industry-requested and designed to give industrial technology students additional training and troubleshooting skills. The course will be patterned after a flight safety course and will use the Flight Safety International software at a cost of $30,000 for three years. Each student will pay a $75 enrollment fee.

Janese Thatcher, dean of career and technical education, said that instructors Dave Ratzlaff and Joe Aranki will take the class to learn the software and then will train other instructors on campus.

Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, presented the results from a housing survey that they will use to improve services in the student housing.  Results of the survey indicate a high level of satisfaction with the student experience in campus housing.

Dennis Sander, dean of finance and operations, told the board that Jerri Lynn Lyddon, director of the Saints Bookstore, would be the new president of Mid-States Association of College Stores (MSACS). Lyddon has served in a number of positions in the national organization.

Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, informed the board that new federal regulations may determine where we can teach an online class without being assessed an additional fee from other states. In addition, he said this may also affect clinicals and other partnerships we have that take us out-of-state. Dunn indicated that the new regulations were developed in order to address the various types of colleges offering online courses, which show minimal student success and yet result in high student debt.  Many of the on-line courses offered by SCCC/ATS are offered through the eduKan consortium but SCCC/ATS also offers some allied health and business courses online.  The regulations require approval by each state to offer online and face-to-face courses in that state.

Dean Thatcher announced plans for the agronomy and soil courses as part of the sustainable agriculture program.  Plans are to include heritage crops and plants, which are becoming more popular in plant research due to drought tolerance and gluten free seed production.

Prospective students and the public are invited to visit the college’s agriculture programs during an open house on Nov. 13.  The agriculture department will have tours of the greenhouse, discuss the soils lab use, and explain opportunities in animal science and food science industries.

In other action, the board

1.              Hired Sonia Hernandez as the education specialist for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grant;

2.              Accepted the early retirement of Andy Yoxall, director of public and alumni relations, effective May 31, 2014;

3.              Approve an exemption to the Professional Development Grant to allow two nursing instructors to begin pursuing their master’s degree this spring and summer, who do not meet the one-year employment eligibility requirements of the grant;

4.              Recognized the membership of the SCCC/ATS Professional Employees Association and its officers that include Chris Guyer, president; Jay Castor, president-elect; Dawn Hemphill, secretary; and Cristy Mulanax, treasurer;

5.              Approved Cristy Mulanax, Rusty Tuman and Ed Anderson as representatives to the PEA Professional Welfare Committee;

6.              Approved the academic calendar for 2014-15 school year; and

7.              Approved the closing of campus on Fridays, May 22-Aug. 1.

November events include the fall play, “Story Theater,” at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 7-9, theater; MillionHair Runway Finale (Cosmetology), 2-3 p.m., Nov. 9, SU214; Agriculture Open House, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 13, agriculture building; Lady Billy’s/Days Inn basketball classic, 6 and 8 p.m., Nov. 15-16; Children’s Art Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nov. 16,Shank Humanities building; International Student Recognition Ceremony, 12 noon, Nov. 19, student union; and Celebrity Livestock Judging Contest, 8 a.m., Nov. 23. Agriculture building.

Campus will close for the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 27-29.

© SCCC/ATS Press Release
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