Summer enrollment numbers are down at Mineral Area College.
During Thursday’s meeting, Dean of Student Services Julie Sheets gave the Board of Trustees an update on numbers for summer and fall.
The summer semester started on Monday.
Head count is down 8.3% and credit hours are down 6.6%, Sheets said.
According to her monthly enrollment/registration report, total head count for this summer is 745 students. Last summer, it was 815 students; in 2019, it was 865.
As for credit hours, this summer the total is 4,556. Last summer, it was 4,800 hours and it was 4,535 in 2019.
“Our fall is looking better,” Sheets said.
As of now, head count numbers for fall are up 4.5%, she said, and credit hours are down less than 1%.
The enrollment report shows that head count is at 1,217 right now. The final number for last fall was 2,439. Credit hours are currently at 14,147 compared to 26,308 total for last year.
She said they are using Higher Education Relief Funding (HERF) to pay a few faculty members who are normally off during the summer to help with advising.
“We're grateful to have those folks to help us out (and) to work with students who are in the pipeline, to get those students registered,” Sheets said. “There's 410 students who were here this semester in the spring that are not registered for the upcoming term. So that's puzzling to me. They're not graduates. Why are they not coming back? So we've got to work on that.”
They are also going to work on reaching out to the students who have financial aid on file but are not registered, she said.
As for College Park student housing, she said they have 140 applicants and 54 returnees.
“So we are looking really good at College Park, which is excellent,” Sheets added. “We haven't been that way in a long time. So maybe some of our enrollment might not look awesome, but College Park is a big deal for us.”
In his report, MAC President Dr. Joe Gilgour gave the trustees an update of the possibility of a 13th community college in Cape Girardeau. The needs assessment requested by the group is complete.
“We have not seen the data from that needs assessment yet,” he explained. “But in speaking to the chairman of that committee, he has informed me that the needs assessment does reveal that a 13th college is not needed in Southeast Missouri. So that's good news. … It's nice to have some validation and that threat being neutralized.”
He also said they received word from the state that funding will be released this year from the MoExcels program. The college applied for the funding in 2019 but it was put on hold last year in the pandemic.
According to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, MoExcels funding facilitates development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs and initiatives to substantially increase educational attainment.
“We're excited about that,” Gilgour added. “It helps us build an HVAC facility for that in that grant. And they are also leaving open the door to adjust those costs. Those construction costs were all developed prior to pandemic, and now, as we all know, they're all higher.”
He also reminded the board that pinning for the nursing graduates is July 23 and the MAC Foundation Trivia Night is July 24.
In other business, the trustees:
- Heard an update from Mineral Area Council on the Arts Director Scottye Adkins, who said they engaged 2,992 community members with their programs this year.
She said 17% of their budget comes from the Missouri Arts Council, 43% from donations, and the rest from event ticket sales and reserve funds.
“As you can imagine, our ticket sales were a little bit lean this year,” she added.
She also told the board about the stories of several community members that illustrate why the council does what it does.
- Approved purchases of: $45,598.90 for nuclear lab kits for the science department with HERF money; $177,973.02 and $38,218.76 for distance learning equipment and installation with HERF money; and $15,000 for Campus Logic, which is a financial aid software program that college is currently using.
- Were introduced to new employee Angie Hagerty, who will work in the student services office.
- Approved the summer employment recommendation lists.
- Approved the submission of the 2021 Nonprofit Corporate Registration Report to the Secretary of State.
- Approved the renewal of the conflict of interest policy.
- Approved the agreement with Missouri Baptist University.
- Approved the revision of an outdated board policy regarding disposition of assets.
- Approved the reopening of the building fund checking account to use for the Community Development Block Grant project. Camille Nations, as the board treasurer, Mit Landrum, as the board treasurer pro tem, and Lori Crump, as the chief financial officer, were authorized as signees.
Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.