by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief
Enrollment and faculty evaluations were among the topics discussed at the January meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.
Dr. Robin Satterwhite, vice president of academic affairs at SPC, presented the increase of 16 percent in enrollment for the 2015 Winter Interim Session. The 2015 Winter Interim Session offered 13 common core courses. Two more Texas and Federal Government courses were also added to the session.
The Winter Interim Session’s enrollment increased from 84 students in 2010 to 165 students in 2015.
“Our average enrollment was around 13 students, and that generated approximately 7,900 contact hours,” said Dr. Satterwhite.
According to Dr. Satterwhite, South Plains College’s enrollment in the Winter Interim session has been increasing since 2010.
He also discussed student evaluations of instruction. There were 9,500 evaluations that went out in 2015, and the results were presented to the Regents. He went over the results from 2006 to 2015.
“There are very little variations (from 2006 to 2015), which is good,” according to Dr. Satterwhite. “There were all very positive evaluations.”
Dr. Satterwhite presented the results to the Regents in what he called “a grade.” He listed the questions and put them as a percentage from 0 to 100. In the face-to-face category, the questions instructors scored the best on, according to Dr. Satterwhite, were as follows: Was the format of the class explained, including special requirements and grading policy? Does the instructor demonstrate knowledge of the subject? Are the examinations graded fairly? Is the instructor willing to help students when students have difficulty. Instructors scored in the high 90 percent range.
The online course evaluations of SPC faculty were slightly lower, according to Dr. Satterwhite, but it was due to the fact that only about 16 percent of the evaluations are turned in. He said the evaluations are not very low; they are just lower than the face-to-face evaluations.
The ITV course evaluations of instructors were also lower because only about 30 percent of evaluations are returned. However, those scores were still in the high 90 percent range.
“From my position, those things that I think are most important for our students are, not coincidentally at all but fortunately, are those that we scored highest on,” Dr. Satterwhite said.
Cathy Mitchell, vice president for student affairs at SPC, discussed the Preliminary Spring 2016 enrollment numbers. For Spring 2016, there are 8,069 students enrolled at South Plains College overall. This actually shows a decline of 387 students compared to the same time last year.
Enrollment at the Levelland campus is up 161 students, or 2.7 percent. The Byron Martin ATC campus is up by 85 students, which is 23.5 percent. Reese Center campus is down by 246 students, or 9.1 percent. The Plainview Center is also down by 34 students, or 9.5 percent.
Dr. Kelvin Sharp, president of SPC, added to Mitchell’s presentation. He said that Mitchell’s office has been contacting students who completed applications but had not yet enrolled in classes. He also added that the unemployment rate in Lubbock is 3.4 percent. This means that most of the students who are normally enrolled in classes have jobs, so they are not looking to go to school.
Stephen John, vice president of institutional advancement, introduced Dane Dewbre, associate dean of marketing and recruitment, to present to the Regents. Dewbre discussed his departmental report on marketing initiatives. First were the SPC television commercials that are now airing on four Lubbock television stations. Those television stations are Fox 34, KCBD 11, KLBK 13 and KAMC 28. Ramar Communications produced the high-definition commercials. The commercials are also shown on monitors in the Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD and Cooper ISD schools. There are also commercials running on radio stations in Lubbock and Levelland.
Businesses have inquired about production spots thanks to the student testimonial spots. Dewbre also presented print products that are handed out by recruiters during visits to high schools and colleges in the region. Last year, 99 campus tours were available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and provided by a staff daily. Last fall, recruiting events brought in 3,300 prospective students.
John added that the Austin ViaGomez commercial and the digital Viewbook are marketing pieces that are finalists in a national competition hosted by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. March is when the college will be notified about the award.
Dr. Sharp was the last to present to the Regents. He said that there was damage to the Byron Martin ATC caused by the snowstorm in December. There was a partial collapse over the LISD automotive area. A roof at the Levelland campus also collapsed over the shed behind the Welding Technology Building. Dr. Sharp also addressed that there were several trees lost due to the strong winds from the snowstorm and will be removed. Several other trees will be removed from the front of the Administration Building because of a weakened root system. This is a result of the insect damage and age to the trees. During the next three months, replacement trees will be installed. At the new Lubbock Center, a wooden section connected to the facility was damaged. The structure was not sound and was demolished after it was reviewed.
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance issues SPC had are being addressed. The site was reviewed in October 2014 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. A restroom was completed in the Visitor’s Center in accordance with ADA. The other major compliance item will involve Smallwood Apartments being renovated to ADA standards.
Dr. Sharp also discussed construction at the Lubbock Center. Twenty hydraulic lifts in the floor will be filled with concrete.
He also said Jan. 20 through Feb. 19 is the period for filing for the two positions on the Board of Regents. Mike Box and Ronnie Alexander announced they will file for re-election.