Published December 13, 2017 4:14 pm

The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees held their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the college’s Administration Center.

The board heard a report by Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, regarding the college’s Early Retirement Policy. Samo said there are 17 employees eligible for early retirement under the policy. The policy has an April 1, 2018, application deadline for employees. Following Samo’s presentation, the board approved the proposed plan. The expiration date for this plan is June 30, 2018.

Samo next reported the college received a clean audit with no findings. Following her report, board members voted to receipt and file the college’s Audit Report as presented.

A short dialogue between board members and college administrators took place, during discussion of the monitoring process, regarding services provided through the Vocational Rehabilitation Intermediary Network. It was also noted during the monitoring report that Southwestern staff members have been meeting regularly with Creston’s Ferrara Candy Co. employees to discuss educational options available to them as a result of the plant closing in December. Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president for economic development mentioned that Ferrara had been approved for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which will provide additional opportunities for employees who are losing their jobs.

Beth Kulow, dean of student services, presented to the board regarding the college’s annual Student Demographic Report. According to data presented by Kulow, during the fall 2017 semester there are 685 full-time students and 889 part-time students, for a total of 1,574 students, taking a total of 15,104.5 credit hours. Fall 2016 enrollment was at 1,646 student and 15,643.5 credit hours.

Doug Greene, SWCC distance education director, updated the board on the Iowa Community College Online Consortium’s (ICCOC’s) recent switch in learning management systems. The consortium is comprised of six Iowa community colleges working collaboratively to offer online educational opportunities to students. This fall, the ICCOC made the transition from Pearson eCollege Learning Management System to Canvas.

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

The board then moved into closed session to discuss the purchase or sale of real estate. Following the closed session, the board reconvened for adjournment.