The Seward County Community College/Board of Trustees met Monday, Jan. 6 to review a wide variety of programs and approve insurance changes.
Following a presentation by Al Shank of Al Shank Insurance, the board approved the insurance renewal proposal from Employers Mutual Corporation in the amount of $290,902.
Although the college had a little more claim activity than it had in past year, the college is still very solid, he said. A 17.4 percent loss ratio is excellent.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, gave an update of the Land Use and Facilities plan from 2011, which is also a part of the FY2014 institutional goals. As part of that expansion plan, the college has completed an extension to the Area Technical School for Corrosion Technology and Process Technology, and added greenhouses to the agriculture department. The SCCC/ATS Foundation Board is working on an assessment study to determine feasibility of a capital campaign for new facilities. The Foundation has asked for direction on the focus of the study from the college Trustees and administration.
To continue the concept of the campus growth, Dunn presented a proposal to change from the original Land Use and Facilities plan and when considering the move of allied health programs to the main campus. The plan would create facilities on the north end of the Hobble Academic Building.
Dunn also reviewed a change to a proposed indoor hitting facility that would be located south of the current tennis courts. Other considerations may include improvements to the softball facilities.
The board agreed the college needs to move forward on the proposed changes to the Land Use and Facilities plan and directed the president to work with the architect on plans and cost estimates.
"It’s ideal to have allied health on the main campus,” said Trustee Rick Brenneman, and the timing for allied health is now.
Cynthia Rapp, dean of academic affairs, reported on the institutional goal regarding distance education opportunities. More and more instructors are using eduKan resources to teach online or to supplement their classes and enhance instruction. EduKan is the online consortium with five other western Kansas community colleges. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of instructors offering hybrid courses where a portion of the instruction is delivered face-to-face and remainder is online.
Through the Title V grant, the college has added an instructional designer who assists instructors with training and provides assistance with developing online courses, videos and other elements to enhance the class.
Dr. Janese Thatcher, dean of career and technical education, along with division chairs Kim Zant and Larry McLemore and National Carriers, have developed an opportunity for truck drivers to complete a business component of courses so that truck driver can obtain an associate’s degree through online classes.
The college has also developed a social media committee to help meet the institutional goal to use social media more effectively. The committee first determined what social media is used presently on campus and how is it used. The committee also evaluates the college webpage and has determined that social media should effectively direct its followers to the college website.
Andrea Yoxall, director of public and alumni relations, gave an overview of her department. The department has helped increase visibility of both alumni relations and the foundation through a facebook presence for both areas.
In addition, Yoxall said the college is communicating more electronically. Two years ago the college introduced an electronic holiday card.
The college also established an alumni initiative through close coordination with the SCCC/ATS Foundation Office. The College was successful in increasing information released on alumni through the newsletters, news releases, through alumni.sccc.edu, and the news release blog. The College held a 45-year reunion for former area technical school personnel, students and friends of the Liberal Area Vocational-Technical School and Southwest Kansas Technical School. SWKTS became a part of the college in 2008.
The Admissions Department has undergone a wide variety of changes since their initial program review a year ago. Although many of their responsibilities overlap, three coordinators now oversee different areas of the department. Nereida Lujan is the admissions/events coordinator who develops, coordinates and oversees recruiting events and activities; analyzes enrollment patterns; develops recruitment and enrollment strategies; coordinates marketing materials; and chairs the IMPACT (marketing) committee.
Aly Call is the admissions coordinator who oversees recruiting, helps coordinate the overall visitation schedule with high schools, provides academic advising and enrollment services for students, develops and facilitates instructor involvement in recruiting, and maintains the social media sites.
The admissions office has a presence at the area technical school since Veronica Thor’s office is at that location. As career services and admissions coordinator she recruits in the fall and assists students and alumni with career planning in the spring. Veronica also works with employers in the area to determine job availability, and helps develop job leads for students in addition to preparing them for the job search itself. She has tried to create a bridge between the main campus and the technical school programs and its students.
“We all bring different strengths to the department,” said Thor.
Norma Jean Dodge, director of Business and Industry, gave an overview of her department and its programs that focus on community enrichment, institutes, Kids College, job fairs and contract training. She told the board that the office will provide training both on campus, as well as at an employer’s worksite.
She said the community would see changes in the Measurement and Pipeline and Gas Compressor institutes in the future. Measurement and Pipeline will be held on campus in fall 2014. In spring 2015, both the compressor and measurement institutes will be held during an extended schedule.
One of the highlights of training at the college is the NACE Rectifier School that is held twice a year.
“Bob Speck has been a joy to work with,” Dodge said. He not only has run the institutes but he has donated his resources and equipment to the both the Corrosion Technology program as well.
She also said Kids College was given a boost this year with support from local entities and additional sponsors including High Plains Pizza, High Plains Leader & Times, Rine’s Karate, and Sharp McQueen Law Office.
The Allied Health Job Fair Norma Jean has helped initiate over the past years will be combined with the Southwest Kansas Regional Job Fair this year that is coordinated through the Liberal Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Thatcher reported that the Cosmetology program has clarified its attendance policy in order to assist students in meeting the State Board of Cosmetology requirements for licensure. In addition, the program has added an eyebrow class and a certification for hair extensions, and is looking at a new line of natural makeup in order to assist individuals who may have issues with skin reactions to cosmetics.
Since the college received a national retention award this past summer from Noel-Levitz, Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, reported that Star Link will be coming to campus with a camera crew to create a video that would showcase all of the retention initiatives/strategies we are doing at SCCC/ATS. They want to produce a video for the purpose of sharing our practices with other colleges.
After the board received the budget preparation timeline, Dunn gave an overview of the upcoming legislative session in Topeka. He said he is sure there will be no new money from the state for community colleges.
In other action, the board
Approved the employment of Darrin Hook as the physics lab monitor/instructor funded through the STEM grant; and
Accepted the resignation of Curt Near, Corrosion Technology specialist effective Jan. 3, 2014;
Classes begin Monday, Jan. 13. The next board meeting will be Monday, Feb. 3.