The NCK Tech Board of Trustees held their April meeting in the conference room of the Severance Student Union on Monday evening. President Eric Burks discussed NCK Tech’s work with on a summer enrichment program.
Burks said, “We are working with USD 273, Economic Development, and Regional Planning to plan a summer enrichment program intended for current 6-8 grade students. Our hope is to provide dynamic and impactful experiences for these students to expose them to career opportunities available in this area. We have received some funds from DS Bus Lines and Regional Planning. We have several opportunities for field trips, guest speakers, and facilities. It will likely be hosted, at least in part, at the college.”
Burks also discussed a meeting he had with Beloit City Administrator Jason Rabe last week to discuss resurfacing campus roads this summer.
The Employee Engagement Team also met recently to discuss future activities. The group will deliver meals on wheels and participated in National Walk at Lunch Day today.
Burks also addressed work he is doing at the state level. He said at the March meeting of the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority. TEA was established by the Kansas Legislature in 2007. It functions under the auspices of the Kansas Board of Regents and makes recommendations to the Regents regarding the coordination, statewide planning and improvements/enhancements to the postsecondary technical education system. The TEA is comprised of 12 appointed members. At the meeting, NCK Tech’s Associate’s Degree Nursing Program received a $5,000 incentive for meeting all four criteria of Outcome Metrics.
There was debate about limiting the number of programs added or making the process more stringent. Eventually they agreed that limiting programs could stifle innovation. Instead, they want to start looking at existing programs and determining whether the state should continue to fund those programs based on their performance.
He also discussed a recent Kansas Association of Technical Colleges meeting where the focus was on concealed weapons procedures, marketing and advocacy strategies.
Dean of Student Services Angel Prescott reported that they had approximately 500 students and guests visit NCK Tech during Eighth Grade Day. Since the last board meeting, another 200+ students and guests visited through group tours.
“These experiences take a considerable amount of planning and coordination by the Student Services Coordinators and involve all departments on each of our campuses,” Prescott said.
Prescott also reported that NCK Tech is actively participating in Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April. In conjunction with DVACK and Option, Inc., they have launched a promotional campaign including campus-wide posters, informational tables and classroom presentations.
Three new bike racks were installed on the Beloit campus. This was a student led initiative through Student Senate. The new racks are located by the Union, Resource Center and in between Dorms 7 & 8. They look like the bike racks at the Wellness Center so all coordinate on campus.
In terms of marketing, over the last month, NCK Tech launched a promotional campaign to encourage students to apply for scholarships. The campaign included a mailer, quick link web banner, email reminders and multiple Facebook notifications. As a result, they saw a 24 percent increase in applications.
Dean of Instructional Services Cory Isbell said the college had their Perkins visit on April 13. Connie Beene from the Kansas Board of Regents was on campus most of the day touring programs which utilize funds from the federal Perkins Grant. This process began in the first semester when they received word that the college was up for review. Each department chair had to submit a report and they had to submit an institutional report by the end of the first semester. Beene was very complimentary of the work that the department chairs put in as well as how we operate as an institution.
Enrollment has begun for students interested in returning for next year. This is a busy time for advisors as they work with students to help them get enrolled. The advising system is one that was commended by Connie Beene from KBOR during the Perkins visit. This is a fairly-new system for NCK Tech, and they were pleased with the positive feedback they received.
Dean of Administrative Services Brandi Zimmer said they have reviewed and are adjusting some of the enrollment procedures for benefits to simplify the process by offering online enrollment. Much of Zimmer’s time in recent weeks has been dedicated to the budget. She said they have been addressing needs in terms of insurance through reviews and implementing changes based upon the findings of those reviews.
Zimmer also said that the maintenance department has been working on several projects from the Department of Homeland Security visit. They have been installing carbon monoxide detectors in the dorms and several new smoke detectors as well. A new detector was also installed in the IT server room. They will continue to work on the small projects until the report is received and the larger items can be prioritized.
In action items, the board approved the financial report and the renewal of the health insurance policy for the college and staff.
The next meeting of the NCK Tech Board of Trustees is scheduled for Monday, May 15.