Pratt Community College has undertaken an extensive self-study program that President William Wojciechowski said, “really puts us under the microscope, but I think it’s very valuable to ensure we have the quality we need.”


Pratt Community College has undertaken an extensive self-study program that President William Wojciechowski said, “really puts us under the microscope, but I think it’s very valuable to ensure we have the quality we need.”

Team leader Eric Webb presented information about the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Monday night to the PCC Board of Trustees. The program requires that the college not only identify areas for improvement, but also undertake projects to implement change, and show that the projects have achieved the desired results. Three projects must be underway at all times.

Results thus far include

• reclassification of job descriptions and revision of the salary schedule that is now followed very closely, and changes as the rate of inflation changes. Longevity bonuses were also put in place.

• improvement of instruction in developmental English classes to help students transition more easily to regular for-credit composition classes, by reducing the student-instructor ratio and use of the computer lab. Eighty-eight percent of certified developmental enrollees in the fall of 2010 achieved success in reading and 72 percent in writing. Developmental math classes, with 178 enrollees in 2010 and a 61 percent success rate, are the next area of study.

• implementation of a pilot project with student athletes that incorporates intense orientation, aptitude and achievement testing, training in study skills and time management, along with mandatory study halls.

The study process replaces a more traditional report and four-day visit from an accrediting team, repeated every 10 years.

“It’s a very intense process,” Wojciechowski said. “What we like about it is it’s a continuing process.”

The college continues to reach out beyond the campus on K-61 in order to achieve growth, which is tied to funding.

A new endeavor being launched this week is training in health care fields with the Urban League of Kansas, headquartered in Wichita. The Urban League approached PCC with a request for training to equip people to work in certified positions in long-term care and assisted living, which could lead to more advanced career pathways such as licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and physical therapy technicians.

“We’re gaining quite a good reputation in health care, primarily because of our nursing program,” Wojciechowski noted.

The course will require class attendance for four hours, five nights a week at the ULK headquarters. Most of the instruction will be online, with a tutor on site and clinicals at Wichita area facilities. Twenty computer stations will be provided, and 20 students must be enrolled to break even. The class will be overbooked by about 20 percent in order to maintain the number.