The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees held their regular board meeting electronically on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting was held electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting began with a report from Iowa community college legislative liaisons Jeffrey Smith and Matt Fitzgerald. They briefed the board regarding past and upcoming legislative sessions.

The board then approved the college’s Early Retirement Policy for fiscal year 2020-21. The policy remained unchanged from the previous year. The expiration date for the plan is June 30, 2021.

Lindsay Stoaks, SWCC vice president of instruction, spoke to the board about the program evaluation process the college is required to complete for career and technical education (CTE) programs to meet the requirements of the Iowa Community Colleges Program Review and Evaluation System developed by the Iowa Department of Education. Stoaks said each CTE program completes this intensive internal review every five years.

Stoaks told the board that during the 2019-20 academic year five-year program reviews were conducted for the arts and sciences programs, management information systems program, and welding technology program. Stoaks said during the program evaluation process instructors and program evaluation committee members utilize information from advisory committee members, graduate satisfaction surveys, assessment documents, placement data, and job market trends to identify goals for improvement.

Next, Stoaks spoke to the board about Southwestern’s six career academies. There are 14 high schools participating in the following career academies: automotive repair technology (35 enrolled), carpentry and building trades (19 enrolled), electrical technology (six enrolled), health science (49 enrolled), information technology systems networking (five enrolled), and welding technology (22 enrolled).

Stoaks reviewed the 2019-20 General Education Assessment Report as well.

Kim Bishop, SWCC dean of student services, presented to the board regarding the college’s 2020 Student Demographic Report. According to data presented, there are 621 full-time students and 882 part-time students, for a total of 1,503 students attending SWCC during the fall 2020 semester. Bishop said these students are taking a total of 13,781 credits. The survey utilized for the Demographic Report showed the top two reasons students chose SWCC are proximity to home and cost of attendance.

Bishop reported to the board that Southwestern’s Annual Athletic Fundraiser will move to a virtual format this year due to COVID-19. The college will utilize for an online silent auction of items donated from across the community. The opening date of the auction will be Thanksgiving Day, November 26. The auction will be open through Friday, December 4.

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.