Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met electronically on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting was held electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jerry Smith, board member from Osceola and SWCC representative for the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT), presented the IACCT Legislative Priorities Resolution to the board. The IACCT bylaws require membership resolutions to be adopted during the IACCT Conference, which is held annually in July; however, the IACCT board authorized a one-time process for each of Iowa’s 15 community college boards to review and approve the priorities, because the 2020 IACCT Conference had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following Smith’s presentation, the SWCC board approved the resolution as presented.

The SWCC board heard a report from Phil Tyler, chief executive officer of Tyler Insurance Services, Inc., concerning the college’s insurance coverage. Tyler noted the college’s modification factor will remain the same, at .97, for the coming year.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reviewed the 260E Bond Trac report. Lesan stated all of the companies that were in Bond Trac a year ago ended the year in good standing with sufficient funds to pay off their indebtedness. According to Lesan, the Bond Trac contains three companies the college went final with during spring 2020.

Kim Bishop, SWCC’s dean of student services, reported preliminary fall 2020 enrollment is just above 1,500 students with credit hours at approximately 14,000. Bishop said this is down approximately 5 percent from the fall of 2019. Bishop will give the final fall 2020 enrollment report at the October board of trustees meeting.

Smith asked whether concurrent (high school) enrollment was impacted by school districts conducting online learning. Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, and Lindsay Stoaks, SWCC vice president of instruction, explained most all K-12 learning in SWCC’s region is face-to-face for fall. Stoaks said the headcount in concurrent enrollment specifically is down by approximately 20 students from fall 2019.

College administration updated the board regarding the college’s response to COVID-19. Bishop told the board the college recently launched a new electronic student absence form. Bishop said the intent of the form is to allow students to report illnesses, exposure to COVID-19, and positive COVID-19 tests. Upon receipt of the forms, Bishop said she is following up with the students and communicating with appropriate staff and instructors as needed.

Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, updated the board regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Samo noted $290,615 of the $293,694 available to issue to students as emergency grants has been issued. Samo said at this point the college has served 471 students with emergency aid grants.

Smith closed the meeting with a report on the recent IACCT meeting.