The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees held their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, 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 told the board language was added to the plan to clarify all individuals will be subject to a bona fide retirement period regardless of which retirement plan they are participating in upon retirement. Samo said there are 16 SWCC employees eligible for early retirement. Following Samo’s presentation, the board approved the proposed plan. The plan became effective as of Dec. 11, 2018, and the expiration date for the plan is June 30, 2019.

Samo reported to the board regarding the college’s annual audit. The college received an unmodified opinion with no material misstatements. Samo said there was a finding concerning internal controls. She explained the college has implemented policy and procedural changes and the response has been completed and accepted by Denman & Company, LLP, the college’s auditing firm. Following her report, board members voted to receipt and file the college’s annual audit report as presented.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, spoke with the board concerning the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship Program. The Future Ready Iowa Last‐Dollar Scholarship is for Iowans seeking postsecondary credentials up to associate degrees in approved programs at Iowa public and private colleges and universities. Taylor stated the top priority for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is for 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to obtain education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. This scholarship program was created to help reach this goal and bridge the financial divide with money for Iowans to complete associate degrees leading to high-demand jobs. Taylor said Southwestern can add five categories of programs to the Last-Dollar Scholarship list. The following eight SWCC programs are included in these five categories: administrative office technology, agricultural business, automotive collision repair/refinish, automotive repair technology, business administration, crop production, graphic design, and livestock production. Students in those programs would then be eligible to be considered for Last-Dollar Scholarships. Following Taylor’s presentation, the board approved SWCC’s Last-Dollar Scholarship Program list as presented.

Cait Maitlen, SWCC admissions director, presented to the board regarding the college’s 2018 Student Demographic Report. According to data presented by Maitlen, during the fall 2018 semester there are 683 full-time students and 864 part-time students, for a total of 1,547 students, taking a total of 14,837 credit hours. Of SWCC’s students, 73 percent are enrolled in arts and sciences college transfer programs and 27 percent are enrolled in career and technical education programs. The average age of SWCC students is 20.9.

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.