Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

Phil Tyler, Tyler Insurance Services, Inc., spoke with the board about the college’s insurance coverage.  Tyler noted an increase of 2 percent in the college’s property blanket coverage due primarily to an across-the-board inflation guard on the policy.  Tyler said the college’s Worker’s Compensation Modification Factor decreased from 1.04 to 1.03.


Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reviewed the 260E Bond Trac report.  He noted SWCC has three remaining issuances with 11 companies still having financial obligations to the college.  Lesan said there may be an issuance with four companies after the first of the year.

Lesan updated the board on the Spartan Drive repaving project.  According to Lesan, all concrete has been poured and, weather permitting, the lines will be painted and the area opened to traffic next week.  Lesan also spoke about the reconstruction project underway in room 220 of the Instructional Center.  He said the crew has made progress and the project is nearing completion.  Construction should be finished by November 1.

Beth Kulow, SWCC’s dean of students, reported preliminary fall 2016 enrollment is at 1,668 students, down slightly, approximately eight students, from last year.  Kulow said the credit hours students are enrolled in are down approximately 4 percent from last year.  Kulow will give the final fall 2016 enrollment report at the October board of trustees meeting.

Erica Frey, SWCC Educational Talent Search (ETS) director, provided an overview of the TRIO ETS program to the board of trustees.  The ETS program at SWCC serves 800 middle and high school students in eight area school districts—Bedford, Clarke, Creston, East Union, Lenox, Murray, Orient-Macksburg, and Southwest Valley.  The goal of TRIO programs is to break the cycle of poverty by encouraging first generation and low-income students to enroll in and graduate from college.  SWCC’s ETS program received word this summer their grant was refunded through the summer of 2021 and their grant amount was increased as well.  With the increase in funding, the ETS program was able to hire a student success specialist, Bobbie Patten.  The ETS program is 100 percent federally funded through the US Department of Education.  

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member from Osceola, gave a brief report on the recent Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) meeting in Des Moines.