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The 43 rd annual spring commencement at East Central College will be different than any previous ceremony.  For the first time the event will be held during the day.


ECC President Jon Bauer informed college trustees at their November 5 meeting that the ceremony will take place Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m.  Previous commencements have been held on Thursday or Friday nights.


“We always seem to conflict with area high school graduations, so by moving to a Saturday we can avoid the scheduling problems that often occur  for families who have loved ones completing high school and college,” Bauer stated.  “The ceremony will also take place after final exams which is a more logical order.  We plan to hold the nursing department pinning ceremony earlier in the morning and in the afternoon host a ceremony for students who complete their GED.”




Bauer discussed the 117 page systems portfolio that was submitted last week to the Higher Learning Commission.  The Academic Quality Improvement Program is the accreditation process through which East Central College maintains its accredited status with the Higher Learning Commission  of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  Through AQIP , ECC demonstrates that it meets the Higher Learning Commission's Criteria for Accreditation while integrating the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of the college to assure and advance the quality of higher education.


“Accreditation is important to our students because it reinforces that these are quality programs and also determines our eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs,” stated Bauer.  “Institutional accreditation is also important for the acceptance and transfer of college credit to four year colleges and universities.  It also gives us a chance for a third party to look at areas where we can improve”


Jean McCann, vice president of instruction, updated trustees on the recent visit by an accreditation team from the National Association of Schools of Music.  “We submitted a self-study in September and the team met with students, faculty and staff during their visit,” McCann said.  “We won’t hear about our status until next fall, but the team members discussed some of their concerns regarding facilities and offered suggestions on how we can address those.”


NASM is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities that establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. 


McCann noted that a number of other programs – health information management, early childhood education, art/graphic design, nursing and the Learning Center – are in various stages in their pursuit of voluntary external program accreditation.    


Changes in Dental and Ancillary Insurance Coverage


Dental insurance and all other ancillary coverage for East Central College employees will be provided by Guardian for 2013. 


“Schroepfer Bauer Insurance, our insurance broker, was able to obtain a packaged savings discount by moving dental, life, accidental death and dismemberment and long term disability to Guardian,” stated Wendy Hartmann, ECC’s director of human resources.    


Reliance Standard  is the current provider of ancillary coverage and for 2013 their rate for dental coverage would climb to $35.42 per month, an increase of 27.3 percent.  The Guardian rate would be a 13.7 percent increase from the currently monthly rate with essentially the same benefits and a larger dental network which would result in greater in-network savings.  The proposal includes a one year five percent renewal cap on dental.  ECC will receive a rate reduction for life, accidental death and dismemberment and long term disability.


“With this package the increase will amount to $7,850 rather than more than $26,000 if we maintain coverage through Reliance,” said Scott Schroepfer.  “This will give employees better benefits and allow for better cost control.”


In October trustees authorized renewal of health insurance with Coventry, and vision insurance through VSP.


In other business trustees approved updating bank resolutions based on recent changes in personnel and approved the replacement of the current corporate credit card vendor.  ECC will switch from American Express to Visa cards through UMB Bank, thereby taking advantage of a state negotiated and regulated credit card service.  One advantage to the UMB card is the ability to download card usage information in a format that can be reconciled and uploaded into ECC’s financial records system.           

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