It was the final meeting Thursday in the Oak Room for the Neosho County Community College Board of Trustees. Renovations for the dining area and the Oak Room are set to begin after graduation. While construction is going on, the board will meet in room 105 of Sanders Hall. 

President of Student Learning Dr. Sarah Robb shared that she had just received information regarding Title III grant funding. Title III is a federal grant that helps assure that the college can serve lower-income students. A draft of guidelines has been published for comment. Robb expected that the final guidelines would be available in June, probably without much change. 

College President Dr. Brian Inbody was concerned about the timeline, with applying in July for funding that is typically dispersed in October. Robb said that the concurrent initiatives had been successful and were expanding with the northern high school initiative, where high school students can take classes at the college that are not offered at their high schools. They have expanded the program to the south as well. The C3 program that NCCC had been piloting at Ottawa High School is going well and expected to continue. A similar program, called College Now, was being discussed to be offered at Chanute High School. Removing the fees for Career and Technical Education had also brought enrollment up for NCCC’s service area, with some waitlists for certain classes. 

Low passing rates for the nursing program was addressed. The nursing faculty voted to change the lowest passing grade in the program from a 76 percent to an 80. The required 80 percent would be in all categories of a student’s grade, including homework, exams and so forth. Nursing faculty is also looking at updating exams. Robb also shared that new programs would begin next year with the addition of Construction at Yates Center High School, and electrical technology at Ottawa High. 

Treasurer Sandy Solander updated the board on the college’s finances. A large payment of $1.9 million was made for the Ottawa campus. The college also dispersed $800,000, for a final balance there of $7.8 million. Solander also explained that they had received unanticipated revenue for Postsecondary Technical Education funds. The budget for NCCC will have to be amended to have the authority to receive and spend the funds amounting to over $750,000. The Board of Trustees approved the amended budget for publication and for a hearing to be held on Thursday, June 13, at 5:30 pm. 

Inbody shared that fall enrollment was up overall by 17 percent, but yearly enrollment was down 3.5 percent. More and more enrollment is going towards concurrent credit classes, with a big jump in the CTE programs. 

“It definitely worked to remove those fees,” he said. 

In new business, the board voted unanimously to renew the Memorandum of Understanding with the Neosho County Health Department. This agreement allows the health department to use NCCC facilities during a crisis as a unification center for families. Inbody explained that a center is used to house children and other family members until they can be reunited. 

A bid from Merle Kelly Ford was approved for the purchase of two 2019 Ford Transit 12-passenger vans for an amount of $26,862.93. They will replace leased vehicles. Inbody felt that the advantage to purchase was that the college would be able to retain the value of the vans.   

There was also a first reading for a change in the college’s overtime policy. Kerry Coombs was selected as the staff member of the year by students. The Trustees also accepted the resignation of Sydney Meyer as Administrative Assistant for the Dean of the Ottawa and Online campuses, as well as Accounting Specialist Kasie Setter and part-time bus driver Larry Alexander. Current Bookstore Coordinator Kara Hale was approved as the Director of Finance. Hale has been employed at the college since 2006 with a couple of different roles in financial aid before working in the bookstore. 

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