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PCC accreditation confirmed as students begin new semester in Pratt

Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune
Jerry Sanko, campus IT director has been named Chief Information Officer for Pratt Community College.

While Pratt Community College plans and changes plans for the upcoming school year, hard work in the past has resulted in the Higher Learning Commission reaffirming the colleges accreditation for another 10 years. The college has just received confirmation of accreditation. 

The HLC visitation team was on campus in March. They were impressed with community, faculty, staff and Trustee involvement with the college during the visit. 

While accreditation is complete, the college does need to work on a couple of monitoring reports, one for the nursing program that is rebuilding and working on improving the pass percentage for the mandatory NCLEX exam on the first attempt. 

Student assessment is a three year process that is changing and already underway. The college has four years to complete these reports, said PCC President Michael Calvert. 

The Pratt Community College faculty and staff continue to prepare as students return to campus to attend class in person. 

The fall semester will not have a fall break and classes will wrap up by Thanksgiving with some limited interaction for must have hands-on classes. Labor Day could be a teaching day. 

Kent Adams, vice president of finance and operations, said negative ion units will be installed in the residence halls before school starts. Face Shields and gloves have been ordered, fabric masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning equipment, foggers for rooms, signage, infrared thermometers and more are already in place. 

“I think were in good shape,” Adams said. “We have almost everything here already.”

A college task force, made of a cross section of campus departments, has held regular meetings and been working to get students enrolled. Any student that visits campus is asked if they have been traveling, have they been in larger gatherings, have they been exposed to the virus.

An isolation and quarantine response team has been established to assist any student that has to be quarantined on campus. This is not an “if” it happens but “when” it happens mentality, said Lisa Perez Miller vice president of student and enrollment management. 

Residence hall check-in will be extended over two days to minimize contact between students. Students can bring up to three guests to help with move in. 

Resident hall students have already been talking about health safety and many have more strict ideas then Pratt residents.

Adams said they are looking at a 10 percent decrease in credit hours at 23,409 but he said he thinks those numbers will improve as they get closer to the start of class in August. 

Calvert said with PCC rates so much cheaper than other colleges and universities, enrollment numbers could be better than last year. 

Among the many changes will be all fall sports except cross county will be moved to the spring. The National Junior College Athletic Association made the decision in an attempt to buy time to get students involved in academics and training so sports can open up in the spring semester, Calvert said. 

The next couple of weeks will be pivotal for sports, based on what is going on with the virus across the country. Calvert is anxious for sports to get started. The college cut the ribbon on a new track and soccer facility last year but hasn’t had a chance to have a game on the site. 

Jerry Sanko, campus IT director, has been named Chief Information Officer. He will retain the same IT duties. This is a new title and cabinet level position. The position was created since all learning is touched by technology. 

“We’re excited to have him as part of the team,” Calvert said. 

Miss Kansas Annika Wooton paid an unannounced visit to the Trustees. She has also been teaching painting online and working with the Miss America Organization on providing mock interviews for local title holders and presenting talent videos showcasing state title holders.