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SIC Board hears of new transfer possibilities and honors board secretary

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees heard about new transfer outreach possibilities and new agreements with multiple universities to help SIC students achieve a smooth transfer process during the April 24 meeting.

SIC received visits recently from Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and Western Illinois University (WIU) and were invited to Murray State University (MSU) regarding student transfers for bachelor’s degrees.

“Eastern’s nursing director spent the entire day with our staff and students to observe our program and discuss with our students the new articulation agreement between us for a two-plus-two agreement leading to a BSN [Bachelor of Science in Nursing],” said SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice.

Dr. Karen Weiss, Vice President for Academic Affairs for the college, added, “Eastern’s BSN program is offered online, which is a convenience to many of our students who are planning to enter the workforce and would like to continue their education simultaneously.”

Rice reported that WIU visited campus to discuss six points of intersection between SIC and WIU.  Intersections include a 90 credit hour transfer degree, or three-plus-one, bachelor’s degree, BSN online, and other strategic partnerships.

MSU also recently articulated a new two-plus-two BSN program that is all-online, in addition to some other online degrees. These articulations provide local students with seamless transfer opportunities that are both cost effective and convenient.

MSU and SIC worked together on this agreement many years ago culminating with a long-standing two-plus-two BSN transfer agreement.

“The possibilities could be very beneficial for students, and it’s particularly nice for our students to feel wanted and know they can expect a smooth transfer process,” said Rice.

SIC Student Trustee Bridgett Fitzpatrick voiced praise for universities that make for an easy transfer process.

“I know a lot of SIC students are looking for a smooth transfer as well as affordable education.  It’s nice to see even more options for SIC students,” said Fitzpatrick.

Executive Dean of Student Services Chad Flannery’s report suggested that recruiting is strong this year with a significant response from White County, particularly from Carmi this year.  About 40 percent of all college seniors plan on attending SIC after graduation. Taking into account dual credit students and only college-bound seniors, that percentage increases substantially.  Overall, SIC recruits over 50 percent of the district’s college-bound seniors, and well over that when dual credit is factored in.

In other action, the board held a swearing-in of elected officials.  Dr. Frank Barbre and Debbie Hughes were re-elected this year with terms expiring in 2023.  Officers elected this year include Dr. Pat York as chair, Barbre as vice-chairman, and Jim Ellis as secretary.

A policy on facilities usage was updated by the board, as were academic calendars for 2018-2021, which will soon be posted on the SIC website,

The board approved KRB Excavation, Inc., as the contractor to replace hazardous sidewalks campus-wide for protection, health and safety.  

The board also had a lengthy discussion about health insurance options to combat the increasing cost of healthcare in the past decade.  The board will consider options to contain costs, and a decision will be made at the May board meeting.

The board also approved a short-term bond to help cover basic operational costs as the state of Illinois denies higher education funding.  The last time the board engaged general bonds during a refinancing of rates in 2010 was to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

In personnel, the board accepted the resignation of Career & Technical Education special projects and campus safety coordinator, Brent Maguire, as well as the resignation of financial aid specialist, Kathleen Riggs.  The board approved the transfer of Amy Spivey to admissions specialist from financial aid specialist.

In addition, the board honored Barb Potter, retiring board secretary with a dinner and recognition awards for her 22 years of service to the board and to the president.

The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room at SIC.