Summer semester enrollment numbers rise at WSCC

SCOTTVILLE — West Shore Community College dean of student services Chad Inabinet brought good news to the board of trustees on Monday about an increase in summer enrollment.

West Shore Community College dean of student services Chad Inabinet gives the board of trustees the good news that summer enrollment numbers rose this year breaking a trend of several semesters of declining enrollment at the college.

West Shore Community College dean of student services Chad Inabinet gives the board of trustees the good news that summer enrollment numbers rose this year breaking a trend of several semesters of declining enrollment at the college.

The college had been in a declining enrollment trend for several semesters, but Inabinet said the summer numbers are very encouraging as they saw a rise both in head count and credit hours.

“I am very pleased to report that this summer we are serving more students than we did last summer,” said Inabinet. “We saw an increase of 7.4 percent, which is 20 students, and our summer enrollment is 290 students compared to 270 last year. Credit hours are up even higher at 17.4 percent, which is an uptick of about 212 credit hours, and contact hours also went up 17.9 percent, which rounds out to 142 contact hours.”

Inabinet also compares where WSCC ranks in terms with the MACRO Small Eight Community Colleges from around the state and all the community colleges in the state. For the spring semester WSCC was near the bottom, but that number went up dramatically in both areas.

“We were second in head count of the MACRO Small Eight only to Glen Oaks who went up 19.82 percent to our 7.4 percent and with credit hours we trailed only them as they went up 28.70 percent to our 17.40 percent.”

The trend continued in WSCC’s comparison to all the community colleges in the state. WSCC was third in head count numbers and second in credit hours.

Board chair Bruce Smith inquired if the increased trend was state wide or just limited to a few colleges.

“Quite a few saw decreases and there were more of them than those that increased,” said Inabinet. “It is not a trend.”

Inabinet attributed the rise to several things.

“We tried to add more hybrid courses which meets one day a week and some of that is online and that allows them to often take two courses instead of one,” said Inabinet. “The other thing is we had some contract changes that allowed us to keep some classes that we couldn’t offer before in the summer.”

Board members took action on Monday to approve a pay increase for Ward.

Last month Ward received a positive evaluation, and Smith brought the board some recommendations from the board’s executive committee in terms of compensation. That committee took into consideration the president’s performance and compensation to other college presidents both in western Michigan and other smaller institutions.

“With President Ward we gave him an opportunity to share any changes he would like to see in his contract both in language and compensation,” said Smith. “The board executive committee then asked him to leave the room and we discussed those changes, and what you see presented today is what we are recommending.”

When Ward was hired in December he received a salary of $142,000 per year and an annuity of $12,000 per year. He also had an automobile stipend of $750 per month, reimbursement up to $12,000 a year for educational expenses and annual compensation of $5,000 to encourage him to be active in social and community activities.

The board executive committee has recommended the following changes for his contract:

• An additional year being added to the contract so it expires on June 30, 2021;

• Additional $3,000 to his salary compensation;

• Additional $3,000 to his annuity; and

• Additional $1,000 to his office holder’s account.

Board members named trustee Mike Ennis and Ward to serve as the college’s representatives on the Michigan Community College Association Board of Directors. Smith was named as the alternate to the association.

Action was also taken by the board name the real estate the college acquired at 6050 N. U.S. 31 from Riemer Real Estate Investment LLC the WSCC Regional Public Safety Training Center.

“We tried to find an acronym for the the name, but we just weren’t able to come up with one,” said Ennis.

Ward also brought the board a request to go off campus for the July Board of Trustees meeting. Traditionally the board does that for its April and November meetings, but Manistee Area Public Schools superintendent Ron Stoneman extended the invitation to WSCC.

Approval was given on a 6-0 vote and Ward said the board will retain its regular rotation, but will add the MAPS meeting at 6 p.m. on July 16.

Another item the board approved by a unanimous vote was to set a special meeting for 5 p.m. on July 23 for the purpose of approving construction projects for the ice arena,WSCC Regional Public Safety Training Center and the technical center to prevent any delays in construction time.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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