Following a student/Board of Trustee dinner, the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Monday, Dec. 2 to review a wide variety of programs and upcoming activities.
The board accepted the annual academic program reviews of the Nursing, Surgical Technology, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Assistant and Respiratory Therapy.
Veda King, Allied Health Division chair, gave an overview of each of the programs.
Following an accreditation visit, the Practical Nursing program was approved for the full five years and the Associate Degree Nursing program for two years with a status report on the program accomplishments due in two years. The only concerns following the accreditation visit were the credentials of some of the nursing faculty. Those who do not have a master’s degree are required to show progress on their degree programs.
The graduates of the Practical Nursing program had 100 percent pass rate for the eighth straight year, King said.
One of the challenges of the Medical Laboratory Technician program, King said, is communication with partnering academic and clinical institutions and recruitment of students. Part of the curriculum is offered online, but the labs and clinical sites are offered in Liberal or at other approved clinical sites.
The Respiratory Therapy program received continuing accreditation by meeting or exceeding its required outcomes. The program has restructured its curriculum to include more clinical time, which was suggested during the accreditation visit.
Surgical Technology students now are required to have 120 surgeries compared to 80 a year ago. Changes in the curriculum to meet this criterion are currently awaiting approval from the Kansas Board of Regents. The program now encourages students to take their general education courses during the summer, prior to the start of the fall semester.
The Medical Assistant program converted its program to a hybrid program that offers some courses online and some in the traditional classroom. Since students only have to come to campus three days a week, this should help increase the numbers in the program.
The board also approved the annual academic program reviews of Accounting, Agriculture, Business Administrative Technology, Computer Information Systems, Cosmetology and Business Marketing/Management.
Kim Thomas, Agriculture, Business, and Personal Services division chair, gave an overview of each of the programs.
Enrollment is slightly down overall in these programs, she said, and the faculty is working hard to improve their marketing techniques. They are also teaching more classes to high school students.
The Accounting program continues to work with four-year institutions to ensure an easier transition for SCCC/ATS students.
With new programs in the agricultural field, such as Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Food Science and Safety, recruiting has been an increased challenge for the Agriculture department. However, instead of each instructor working separately, they are working together to market the agricultural program as a whole, Thomas said. They have also introduced courses for high school students.
Enrollment continues to be a challenge for both the Business Administrative Technology, and Computer Information Systems programs. Business Administrative Technology now has classes for high school students from Liberal, Hugoton and Sublette and CIS began offering classes to high school students as well. In addition, they have developed an articulation agreement with Fort Hays State University for students who receive the associate in applied science degree and can now transfer that degree to FHSU toward a bachelor’s degree.
Thomas also reported that the division is looking to reintroduce a Fashion Merchandising program in the future.
Sports Management is also a new program in the division.
Two of the biggest challenges for the Cosmetology program are the rotation of equipment and the development of a budget that will work more effectively.
The board also approved the annual academic program update for Automotive Business Management.
The primary market for this program is the high school program, said Larry McLemore, division chair of industrial technology. In addition, the Auto Business program is an integral part of the division, because it provides, supplies and equipment to the other programs such as the automotive programs or Machine Tool Technology.
As one way of improving enrollment, Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, reported that they will be doing some training to encourage faculty to offer program or book scholarships earlier in the year. The intent is to try to get students to commit earlier to the college, she said. By offering scholarships earlier, the college might be able to better determine fall enrollment.
Another good recruiting tool, said Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, is to use “our current students as part of the recruiting process.”
In other action, the board
1. Accepted the early retirement of Les Jantzen and Pam Perkins effective June 30, 2014;
2. Approved continuance of the early retirement benefits for fiscal 2015;
3. Approved a new program request for an associate in applied science degree for the Food Science and Safety program and authorized the administration to submit the proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents for its approval;
4. Approved the quote from ConsuLab Corporation in the amount of $10,795 for an Air Conditioning System Trainer with Orifice Tube for the Automotive Mechanics Technology program; and
5. Approved the quote from Groendyke of Liberal, in the amount of $34,000 for a 2007 Freightliner semi-trailer truck for the Truck Driving program.
The Winter Concert will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5 in the theater; the Arts and Crafts Show and Sale will be from 7:45 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, in the Shank Humanities Building; and the Community Brunch will be 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8, in the SCCC/ATS Student Union. Campus will be closed for winter break Dec. 21 – Jan. 1.
Spring classes begin Monday, Jan. 13.