With classes for the fall term beginning one day prior, the State Fair Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday afternoon for their monthly board meeting.
SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson reported that after the first day, enrollment is down slightly from 2014 figures.
“Our enrollment is down slightly, 4 percent from fall of last year,” Anderson said. “There are several dual credits that are not in and that is a factor.
“Our retention numbers are up from last year though,” Anderson said. “That is a credit to the hard work our Navigators are doing.”
The college was predicting a decrease in enrollment for the fall semester of 2 percent.
One area where SFCC is seeing increased numbers across the board is The Learning Force.
The program focuses on economic development and work force readiness, but it is responsible for numerous projects.
“We have streamlined several departments,” Jessica Craig, director of the Learning Force, said. “We are directly making an impact in the 14 counties we serve.”
Craig said the program has secured more than $2 million in State Training Funds, which has helped to create and retain 1,874 new employees.
“Through our efforts we have served 4,356 students and customers,” Craig added. “The $2 million represents a 70 percent increase in state training funds.”
The Learning Force is also having an impact on the programs it oversees at the college as well.
This summer, SFCC saw a record enrollment in its Kid’s College.
“We had 399 students enroll in the program,” Craig said. “Last year our enrolment in the program was 154; that’s a 159 percent increase in one year.”
Craig credited that number to the work of her staff who were contacting area schools to increase the awareness of the program.
“Each one of those students has the potential to become a student at SFCC,” Craig added. “Their older brothers and sisters and parents are as well.”
“Anytime we can create more positive experiences for patrons it benefits the college and community as a whole,” Anderson commented.
The board voted to raise the property tax rate to the permissible amount of $0.4084 per hundred assessed valuation. The rate last year was $0.4075.
In other actions, the board voted to:
• Accept a proposal from Brightenergy LLC of Kansas City to provide all materials and labor to replace the campus exterior parking lot and walkway lightening with LED fixtures.
The funding for the project will be paid with a $66,765 rebate program from the KCP&L Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Program. The college will use cash reserves to pay $70,435 for the remaining cost. The expected project payback is 3.87 years.
• Renew the Conflicts of Interest policy. The policy was first adopted by the Board of Trustees on Sept. 1, 2005, and must be readopted every two years.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484