Kim DeClue is the newest Pratt Community College Board of Trustee member. DeClue was selected Feb. 19 to fill a vacancy on the Board after Trustee Ken Van Blaricum resigned because he and wife Annette are moving from Pratt.

Kim DeClue is the newest member of the Pratt Community College Board of Trustees. DeClue and Jack Kennedy were considered for the position left vacant following the resignation of Trustee Ken Van Blaricum who is moving from Pratt.

DeClue was selected by secret ballot after she and Kennedy introduced themselves with a very brief biography then each was asked an identical set of questions from each trustee while the other was out of the room.

Administrative Assistant to the President Donna Meyer Pfeifer swore DeClue in after the selection was announced and DeClue immediately took on her duties as Trustee for the regular meeting.

Pratt Community College President Michael Calvert said the college was very excited to have an appointment to Trustees from the community and he was confident DeClue would be a great addition to the Board especially since she is already familiar with the community.

Calvert said the college was fortunate to have two strong candidates for the Trustees position.

Calvert praised the outgoing Van Blaricum for his years of commitment invested in the Board. His professionalism, advocacy and his legal prospective contributed much to the college.

"He will be missed. We wish him well in his future ventures," Calvert said.

The extensive work of the nursing department to get the Advanced Degree in Nursing program re-certified has taken a major step forward. The Kansas Board of Nursing is expected to recommend that PCC be allowed to admit students back into the ADN program in August.

A contingent from PCC will attend the Board of Nursing meeting in March to support the program in hopes of making the recommendation official. If the recommendation is approved, the college will request admitting 30 students into the ADN program.

"It's very promising," Calvert said. "We've taken steps in the right direction to improve the quality of the program."

Pass rates for the NCLEX exam, required of every student to become a nurse, in the ADN program at PCC had fallen below acceptable levels and the program lost its certification in 2014. Now, thanks to the hard work from the nursing staff, the pass rate is at 83.3 percent and that is above the state desired level, said Kim Hansen, director of the PCC nursing program.

Calvert said KSBN had visited the campus in early February and was impressed with the hard work in the department on both the Practical Nursing and ADN programs. They were also impressed with the commitment and support of the Trustees. The KSBN re-approved the PN program for another five years and that is best that can be given, Calvert said.

The PN program already had a high pass rate and had maintained their certification. The PN program will be looked at again in five years.

The City of Pratt is working on a possible solar farm to the east of PCC. A power line would have to be run along an easement on the south side of the college past the baseball field, rodeo arena and soccer field to the proposed solar farm area that would cover about 40 acres of an 80 acre field. Several questions were raised about the issue and no action was taken until they could visit with representatives from the city.

Lisa Perez Miller, vice president of students and enrollment management, reported that credit hours were down three percent from a year ago and enrollment was also down about three percent as anticipated.

The Trustees approved the purchase of three vehicles: 15 passenger van from Lanterman Motors for $30,700, utility vehicle from Kincheloe's for 28,573, 2016 Malibu from Doug Reh Chevrolet for $14,000.

Calvert presented a number of certificates of Appreciation to various staff and students for recent accomplishments.

Through the efforts of Trish Jackson, physical science instructor, the college was able to get a grant that was used to update the greenhouse.

Charles Keefer, director of students and residence life/residential supervisor, received a certificate for the first Winter Fest events.

Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Zeta Chapter members Vice President Briannah Davidson and President Brittany-Lee Smith were honored for their work with the fraternity that recognizes scholastic excellence. Two chapter members, Natalie Holquin and Kassidy Weaver, were recognized as All-State Scholars.

Basketball team member James Brooks was recognized as the Jayhawk Conference Player of the week.

Many other certificates were presented.