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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Pratt Community College gets grade of 99 percent

  • Some corrections needed on compliance issues.
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  • The Higher Learning Commission committee has given Pratt Community College a 99 percent positive review and has notified the commission that the college be reaffirmed for accreditation.
    The accreditation news was presented to the PCC Board of Trustees during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.
    The accreditation is vital to the college. Without it PCC credits would be difficult to transfer, PCC students would not be eligible to get federal financial aid and funding for federal grants would not be available, said PCC President William Wojciechowski.
    Almost every aspect of the college met with positive comments form the HLC committee.
    The college did have two areas where they were short on federal compliance issues. The college is required to correct all federal compliance issues.
    The first issue was a lack of structure to address student complaints.
    The college actually did have a system in place and did a good job of handling complaints. But what they lacked was a system of tracking complaints.
    A better tracking system is now in place that will bring the college into compliance.
    A second federal issue was a lack of staff and support for students seeking financial aid. The college lost both its two top financial aid officers because of higher paying job offers.
    To help ease the stress on the financial aid office the college has increased the office staff and hired a financial-aid consulting firm to train that staff.
    The college has also outsourced some of the processing of documenting financial aid applications. This will free up the financial aid staff to spend more time up date processing and make sure all reporting functions are adequately addressed, Wojciechowski said.
    On both federal issues the college has until May 1 to present a plan to the Commission on how they plan on fixing the problems and the college has until Aug. 1 to report the outcomes of those plans, Wojciechowski said.
    The Committee also listed some strategic issues that needed attention. Correcting strategic issues is not mandatory but strongly suggested.
    One strategic issue was a stoppage in the tech department because of a waiver policy needed to get the repair pieces. The college is now considering eliminating the need for three bids for items under $5,000.
    This will allow the college to purchase more goods locally and faster, Wojciechowski said.

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