The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at 5:30 p.m., in the Administration Center board room.

The SWCC board approved the college’s Five-Year Facilities Plan following a brief presentation by Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development.

During discussion of monitoring process, Fred Shearer of Corning, vice president of the SWCC board, asked about the possible remodel of the library to house student resources, as mentioned in the five-year facilities plan. Dr. Marge McGuire-Welch, SWCC president, responded to Shearer stating the college administration is in preliminary discussion regarding a remodel of the current library to centralize student services, but maintain the critical resources offered by the library. The goal would be to make better use of the space and increase student usage. McGuire-Welch said the concept is in the initial planning stages and input from a planning committee will be utilized moving forward. She indicated updates to the board will be provided as they become available.

Rachel Ramaeker, SWCC secondary programs coordinator, spoke to the board regarding Southwestern’s Career Academy programs. Ramaeker explained the college’s Career Academy programs allow high school students from SWCC’s region to have opportunities to complete up to a year of their college education while still in high school. Career Academy students attend courses at Southwestern for a portion of their day and spend the remainder of the day at their high schools taking required and articulated classes. Students earn a certificate upon completion of their Career Academy programs. Ramaeker said enrollment in Career Academy programs has increased to 180 students this year, from 120 students during the last academic year.

Jerry Smith, board member from Osceola and SWCC Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, spoke briefly regarding IACCT’s recent virtual conference. Smith noted that Emily Shields, IACCT executive director, will be in attendance during the September SWCC board of trustees meeting.