SIC Summer Enrollment Increase Recognized at Board Meeting

August 22, 2014

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Tuesday night, August 19, at 6 p.m. and recognized larger numbers in enrollment for the summer semester.

Summer final enrollment showed an increase of over eight percent from the start of the term report, and well ahead of last year’s enrollment.

“The success we had in the summer was really a pleasant surprise,” said President, Dr. Jonah Rice. “We began the summer on the short side but custom training, late start and some new marketing and recruiting initiatives really helped.”

As for fall enrollment, the Board heard reports that most colleges around the state are declining in enrollment due to a stronger economy and smaller high school populations.

“Some colleges are down as much as 10 to 13 percent,” said Dean of Enrollment, Chad Flannery. “We project SIC will be about half that at the start, but we will have to see how we end up at the end of the term once all our dual credit and late start classes are processed. We could end up similar to summer enrollment.”

Unfortunately, the mandatory 10 day beginning enrollment does not factor into college funding like end of term enrollments.

“We always have a lot of late additions due to dual credit with our local high schools, custom training and new initiatives along the way,” said Vice President for Academics and Student Services, Dr. Dana Keating.
College officials said that the 10 day state enrollment report is for a university model and does not work well for a nimble, adaptive and responsive community college.

“Community colleges have to spin on a dime,” said Rice. “If we get a sizeable request to offer a short haul trucking course in mid-fall, then that is what happens.”

“We get mid-year requests all the time for special training and that is just what we do,” said Flannery. “The old fashioned model of reporting only at the start is just that—an old way of thinking.”

Other News and Events

The state released its performance based pay allocation this summer and SIC came out a regional winner. SIC tied for first in the state out of 39 community colleges for transfer to four-year institutions and cumulatively, SIC had the most dollars of any other college in this region.

“We have good relations with our senior institutions and our staff does a great job working with students who wish to transfer in finding their next college,” said Rice.

SIC was among the top 10 for degree production of at risk students, and top 14 for remedial advancement.
In response to a request last month regarding developmental student success, Trustee, Dr. Frank Barbre had reported that the national average for developmental success is around 19 percent. College administrators shared with the board that SIC is well above that rate.
“Our reading and writing success rates are exceptional,” said Dean of Academic Services, Gina Sirach. “They are around or above 50%, respectively.”

There was also an update on the completion of the simulated coal mine building project funded by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Construction should begin soon and training is expected to start within the year.

SIC once again has a black budget for fiscal year 2015.

“We live within our means and live frugally,” said Chief Financial Officer, David Wright.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Sheila Turrentine, part-time secretary at the David L. Stanley Carmi Center, approved numerous position descriptions, employed Stephanie Fortner as the part-time secretary at the David L. Stanley Carmi Center, approved the provisional employment of Sara DeNeal as a full-time art instructor, approved the transfer of Dawn Pool from part-time accounts receivable clerk to full-time staff accountant, approved a 3.0 percent cost of living increase for administrative and staff employees, approved a 2014-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Southeastern Illinois College Education Association, and approved a number of adjunct faculty.

The next SIC board meeting is Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.