After having its original plan for how to use funds dispersed by the federal CARES Act nixed at the last minute, the Neosho County Community College Board of Trustees updated the plan, which should get checks to qualified students by the end of the week.

The CARES Act, which is funded by the US Department of Education, disbursed $403,000 to the college to be used to refund qualified students who had paid for face-to-face classes, as well as room and board.

“There are 549 students who are qualified to receive a grant,” NCCC President Brian Inbody said. “As of now, 453 students have completed the certification form. The plan calls for qualified students to receive funds based on the number of credit hours enrolled during the spring 2020 semester. Based on the total number of credit hours taken by qualified students, the amount is estimated to be about $50 per credit hour taken.”

Inbody said checks should be mailed by the end of this week.


Animal policy

The board also approved a new policy for having animals on campus.  

The policy states that all domestic animals on college property, including open space, athletic fields, and playing fields, must be leashed and under personal control of the owner at all times. Animals are not to be tied to or secured to trees, posts, shrubs or left unattended. 

Each owner is responsible for its  animal, including clean-up and proper disposal of waste. 

Service animals will be allowed on campus, but must be under the control of their handlers. When it is not readily apparent that an animal is a serviced animal, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. 

NCCC may exclude a service animal if it is not housebroken, or poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Service animals used by students must be approved by the ADA coordinator before they are taken into any college building. All animals taken onto the campus must have current vaccinations evidenced by a tag on the animal or a vaccination certificate in the immediate possession of the owner.


Other business

Another new policy will require full-time International students to have health insurance. Prior to the board passing Resolution 2020-19 on Monday, students were able to choose their own providers, which has been problematic. Issues with verification and different levels of coverage have been the main concerns.

Administrators decided to select one insurance company for all International students. The board decided to go with the International Medical Group, which will cost each student $2.09 per day. Full-time International students will be charged for the cost of the insurance.

Inbody also said the college is looking to expand some of its vocational programs. 

“We are adding construction and certified nursing assistant (CNA) at the LaHarpe site in the fall of 2020,” he said. “We also have a few new opportunities as well. While expansion raises educational opportunity for students and adds enrollment to the college, it does take resources to accomplish it. We are looking at some external pots of money to accomplish these projects.”

The school has two new programs currently before the Technical Education Authority for approval in Individual Machine Maintenance and Aerostructures.

Additionally, Inbody said both programs need a home, so they have set aside space at the Ross Lane facility. The school has applied for a grant to pay for the renovation of Ross Lane and some of the equipment needed for the programs. 

“The grant looks very probable at this point as we work through the paperwork needed to finish the awards process,” Inbody said. “These programs are still working their way through the approval process, but should be ready to launch fall 2021.”

Inbody finished the meeting by recognizing Kendall Bitts who works in maintenance as this month’s Ben Smith Service Award winner.

“Just take a look at how good the grounds look is my justification for Kendall to get this award. He works so hard on the grounds around here and does most of the work by himself. He is here early, late and on weekends to make this campus look its best,” he said.

He will receive a trophy and $500.

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