Pratt Community College prepares for re-accreditation.
For two days in November, Pratt Community College came under some very extensive reviews as they prepare for re-accreditation in 2020.
A team from GHS EducationGroup conducted a mock visit to campus on Nov. 18 and 19 as they reviewed the campus Systems Portfolio, Assurance System Evidence and Systems Appraisal. This visit helped the faculty and staff prepare for the peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission that will visit the campus on March 9 and 10. The HLC findings will determine PCC reaccreditation. The mock visit information was presented to the PCC Board of Trustees at their Dec. 16 meeting.
Many of the faculty and staff were not at PCC the last time the college was up for re-accreditation and the visit mock visit was important to prepare them for the HLC review team, said PCC President Michael Calvert.
The president's cabinet is reviewing every bullet point to make sure that every concern is addressed. While there were areas of concern, there was nothing unexpected, Calvert said.
After the mock visit, the faculty and staff said they felt better about the actual visit and were working on the issues brought up by the mock visit team.
"I feel good about it. We have further work to do but there's a lot of positives," Calvert said.
After the HLC visit, further adjustments are expected. There will be one more review but Calvert is confident the college will be re-accredited.
Retiring PCC Board of Trustees member Darrell Shumway was honored for his years of service to the board and was named Trustee Emeritus of PCC. Shumway served on the Board for 30 years as member and Board Chair, he served as President of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees and he served as National Chair of the Association of Community College Trustees.
Mike Lowry, senior vice president and assurance services for Allen, Gibbs and Houlik LC presented the results from the annual audit. The college received an unmodified opinion for 2019, the highest level that can be given, Lowry said.
Kent Adams, vice president of finance and operations, and his staff were very well prepared and helpful during the audit, Lowry said.
The Kansas Legislature is considering changing not allowing colleges to use Fees as a source for scholarship dollars. The college puts fees into scholarships and fees provide the largest amount of source dollars for scholarships. In 2019, they accounted for $735,600 of the $1.2 million source dollars. That amount is expected to increase to $740,000 in 2020 and $760,000 in 2021. The college uses all the source dollars every year so if fees could no longer be put towards scholarships, it would hurt the college a lot, Calvert said.
The college will pay close attention to this matter in the 2020 Legislature.
Adams is pursing a possible refinancing of Certificates of Participation. If the certificates can be financed, it will save the college $94,000 in 2020.
In other board action:
The board approved the purchase of electrical trainers for the automotive program from A-Tec for $14,600. They approved the purchase of track uniforms, batting jackets and baseball gear from Graphic Edge for $9,400. Both of these were sole-source purchases.
The board approved $48,500 for AR Commercial to repair the roof over office areas 51 to 59 in the Benson Education Center. This includes $14,200 for an emergency repair over Office Area 55 to be completed by Dec. 13. The project has a 20 year warranty, Adams said.