At the November 7 Board of Trustees meeting, members approved a recommendation on the creation of a career and technical academic advisor.
“Since the start of the year,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer, “we have looked at ways to enhance the level of academic advisement services provided to students.”
A key component of the plan is to move advisement primarily to the corps of professional advisors on staff, with less reliance on faculty advisement. The new position will serve career and technical programs located in the Business and Industry Center, primarily Precision Machining, Industrial Engineering, and Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC). A trained advisor with expertise in these programs will better serve students and help the college grow enrollment in those disciplines.
“This enables students to work with staff whose primary role is advisement,” Dr. Bauer added, “and provides the opportunity for faculty to focus on teaching and learning.”
The position of Instructional Program Assistant for Engineering will also be reclassified, consistent with the classification level of other academic advisors, in order to serve in an advisement role.
Dr. Bauer also provided an update to East Central College’s Strategic Plan at the meeting. In reviewing the 2015-2016 school year, Dr. Bauer praised the redevelopment of semester schedules crafted by Vice President of Instruction Dr. Tia Robinson – including compressed courses, weekend classes and expanded evening offerings. Numbers are trending in a positive direction.
“So far, nearly 50 percent of weekend courses are full,” explained Dr. Robinson. “Some 40 percent of 8-week courses are already full.”
Additionally, user-friendly scheduling technology has benefited both advisors and students. “We want to remove any unnecessary barriers that could hinder student success,” Dr. Bauer explained.
While the new Business and Industry Center ribbon cutting was recently held, other capital improvements are being made on campus. Dr. Bauer said the progress on Hansen Hall were coming along nicely. Phase one has been completed, and phase two will start in December. Renovations should be completely by January 2017 in time for the spring semester.
Also at the meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of 10 South Bend Lathes from Hartwig, Inc. for the Precision Machining program. They will be housed in the new Business and Industry Center and will cost $117,090, reimbursed at 75 percent through Vocational Enhancement Grant funds.
The Board also approved the bid of $31,729 from Heggemann, Inc. for installation of a welding gas piping system for the welding lab in the Business and Industry Center.