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Mineral Area College trustees approve tuition and fee increases

MAC President Dr. Joe Gilgour addresses the board of trustees regarding a proposed tuition and fee increase for fiscal year 2025. File photo

The Mineral Area College (MAC) Board of Trustees approved an increase in student tuition and fees for the fiscal year 2025 at its March meeting held in the VanHerck Board Room on the Park Hills campus.

Provost Dr. Keith Zoromski addressed the board regarding a proposed increase in course fees in fiscal year 2025.

“As Dr. Gilgour reminded us of our institutional mission, the two words that came out most importantly in this report are ‘affordable education,’” he said. “So, I don’t come before you to propose course fee changes lightly.

“This is something that Dean Angela Erickson and the instructional leaders under our supervision take very seriously. The increases are mostly due to rising costs that we’re all well aware of in our professional and personal lives.”

Next, MAC President Dr. Joe Gilgour addressed the board regarding a proposed tuition and fee increase for fiscal year 2025.

“As previously discussed in the work session, we’re recommending no change to dual credit tuition, but other tuitions up $10 a credit hour,” he said. “Our fee, which is currently $20 a credit hour, would be going to $26 a credit hour. This also includes the removal of the graduation fee. The A+ rate is going to be $215 a credit hour for next year. So that puts all of our in-district tuition and our base tuition for out-of-district tuition under the A+ rate, and all of them are under the Pell Grant maximum.”

The board of trustees approved both of the proposed increases.

Spring student census

Dean of Students Julie Sheets presented the spring 2024 student census report, noting that she had researched as far back as 2012 to compare statistics in various categories.

“We’ve never had a spring semester that we had all positive numbers,” she said. “Our headcount was up 8.7% and credit hours up by 10%. Full-time enrollment is up by 11%. Freshman classification went up by 25% and we had a 25% increase in returning students. There was a 40% increase in 22- to 24-year-old students and a 40% increase in the number of 40- to 49-year-old students.

“The Cape Outreach Center has grown from 38 students to 85, which was a 123% increase. In Iron and Madison counties, we saw an increase there of 9% in both of those areas. In our Mac Tech program, we have 107 students enrolled, and the second eight-week semester is going to start right away. Summer registration is going on now.”

Concluding her report, Sheets said, “We’re looking forward to a lot of great news as we move forward with so many things that are happening in this stage of our area and territory.”

Annual dual credit report

Dual Credit Coordinator Sarah Rodgers presented the annual dual credit report, telling the board of trustees that the program had seen some positive changes.

“There has been a percentage increase in headcount anywhere from three to almost 12%,” she said. “The percentage increase in credit hours is anywhere from 9 to about 40%. Each semester, I see that program growing. We have 12 districts that are participating in dual credit, but we also have schools that may not have qualified instructors for dual credit, so we offer dual enrollment.  Districts like Marquand or Caledonia are smaller, but we don’t view them as being any less important.”

“Of the 12 schools in the fall semester, we offered 71 dual credit classes. In the spring semester, we offered 53 dual-credit classes. One of the biggest reasons for that number difference is that our five credit hour courses, such as biology, chemistry, human anatomy, and physiology, require more time. So, they’re spread out over years. They only count in the fall. So, it’s counted as five credits — one class for fall, and then it’s not counted for the spring semester. We have about 52 qualified dual credit instructors that we work with within those 12 schools.”

One of the trustees asked about the difference between the classifications of dual credit and dual enrollment.

Rodgers replied, “Dual credit is whenever the course is taken at the high school with a high school instructor that is qualified to teach at the college level; they pay straight tuition. Whenever a student takes a dual enrollment course, it can be either online, on campus, or at an outreach center–it’s with our instructor.  Tuition’s the same, but they also incur a student support fee, and they’re responsible for their books and other courses as well.”

Student success rates

Dr. Gilgour expressed his appreciation to Allison Sheets, Director of Career Services, who had been given very short notice to compile and summarize a large number of graduate follow-up result reports for the board.

Sheets said the reports contained information about student success rates and transfers to other schools, a basic 180-day follow-up result, which is what the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requests.  Along with a key to interpreting the report data, a sample listing of potential employers for the graduates listed in the report was provided.

It was reported that from fall 2022 to summer 2023, the top five universities that MAC students chose to transfer to were Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), Central Methodist, University of Missouri at St. Louis, University of Missouri at Columbia, and William Woods University. According to Sheets, this was the first time that SEMO was the top transfer school, rather than Central Methodist, which is physically located at the MAC Park Hills Campus.

She also shared information about an upcoming job fair that will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 17 on MAC’s Park Hills campus.

“It is open to the community, open to high school students, as well as our MAC students and graduates,” Sheets said. “A short list of confirmed employers includes US Tool Group, TG, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, Missouri Children’s Division, Division of New Services, Mississippi Line, Iron County Medical Center, Doe Run Company, and Continental Fabricators. We usually have about 50 employers and are going into our seventh year for the fair.”

Classified Staff

Presenting the classified staff report to the board, Executive Administrative Assistant Angie Hagerty said that the Missouri Community College Association is planning to have Classified Staff Day, and MAC will be hosting it in the ITC innovation bay with a tentative date of June 14.

She also reported that the classified staff council would begin accepting nominations for next year’s election.

“Roy Henson is our current vice president, so he will become the classified staff president next year,” Hagerty said.

She also mentioned that MAC’s Financial Aid Department would continue reviewing scholarship applications through March 22.”

Faculty Forum

Biology Professor Korey Byers gave the faculty forum report and said he’d spoken to as many people as possible. He said that everyone was looking forward to spring break, and there would be no classes from March 11 to 15.

“Student Activities has several big events planned on campus,” Byers said. “The biggest one will be a blood drive on May 3. It apparently used to be the largest drive in the area, and there are hopes that we’re going to bring that back to our school.  Admissions representatives and navigators are visiting schools to speak to as many people as they can for the fall and summer.

He also reported that the Faculty Forum had taken nominations for the executive council the previous week. The elections would be held in March, with the results announced in April.

Champion of Excellence award recipients recognized at the March Mineral Area College Board of Trustees meeting were Canna Wisdom and Chris Visnovske. Submitted photo

Champions of Excellence

MAC President Dr. Joe Gilgour presented the Champion of Excellence award to two individuals: Canna Wisdom from the Business Office and Chris Visnovske from the IT Department.

“Canna was recognized by her peers because she is everywhere all the time doing everything,” Gilgour said. “If you go to games, she’s at the front gate taking money. She helps clean up afterward in the booster room. At any activity or event, Canna is the first to step up and volunteer and be present for it outside of her regular functions here.

“Chris, too, is recognized by his peers for his leadership in e-sports, especially the big e-sports competition held recently in our new building. It was a great event, and it’s good to see that building being used and getting students on our campus.”

Commenting on the e-sports competition, Visnovske said that 10 schools had participated, and more than 100 students competed in the event that was held in the new Industry and Technology Center’s (ITC) multi-purpose innovation bay.

President’s report

In his State of Missouri and college news report, Gilgour said there wasn’t an update yet on state funding. He said the amount would be about $150,000 for additional core funding, and MAC is second to last on the list of award amounts.

Gilgour said Missouri Senate Bill 1075, relating to course transfers, was voted out of the committee, and he felt that was encouraging because it passed unanimously at a time when “the Senate hasn’t been passing much lately. The change is core 42 to core 60, and also adds some requirements for coordinating boards and higher education to develop procedures for credit transfer disputes between universities and colleges. We at MAC are fully supportive of this bill.”

Moving on to another topic, Gilgour said, “Something new we’re starting with our leadership team here is the cabinet is going to start doing a monthly service project in the community. The first one is tomorrow at the Parkland Hope Center. If you see that around, your leadership team believes in service, leadership, certain leadership, and they’re getting out of the community representing the college.”

Other items approved by the board of trustees during the meeting included:

–  meeting minutes from the previous month.

–  payment of bills.

–  investment of funds and the quarterly budget report.

–  purchase orders and requisitions over $10,000.

–  the Cape Girardeau School District lease, which was negotiated down to $40,000 from $80,000.

– the second 8-week full-time faculty overloads and part-time adjuncts for the spring semester.

The next board meeting will be at 11 a.m. on April 11 in the VanHerck Board Room at the Park Hills campus. It is open to the public.

Lisa Brotherton-Barnes is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at lbarnes@dailyjournalonline.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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