Trustees receive positive enrollment update

February 22, 2022

Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, and Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, provided a positive spring enrollment report during Cowley College’s Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Shaw spoke of the spring cohort of the Electromechanical Maintenance degree pathway begun at the Winfield Correctional Facility that has 12 students enrolled. Shaw and her enrollment team have also been visiting area high schools to make sure Cowley College is meeting their needs in enrollment and classes offered.

Phelps mentioned the college’s retention and stop-out-rates. For the past three reporting years, Cowley College’s retention rate has been much higher than many of the other Kansas community colleges.

Phelps also informed the Board that Cowley College’s Military connective students stop-out-rates are much lower than the average stop-out-rate.

“We are working as a team to retain and develop some type of outreaches to help students be able to come back to College,” Phelps said.

Phelps also mentioned that stop-out-rates have declined for the third year in a row for students that are taking 100 percent online classes.

“That’s thanks to faculty that teach online classes as well as Michelle Schoon’s staff of distance education,” Phelps said.

Trustee Chris Swan thanked Phelps for the data she provided the Board with.

“I had some curiosity questions and she provided me with a lot of really good data,” Swan said. “It gives you an idea of what they are working on.”

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Dr. Rittle informed the Board that the turf project on the Tiger athletic fields is complete, while the roof at The Lodge Dormitory and fencing on the baseball field is nearing completion. Dr. Rittle also mentioned the College recently had a successful Homecoming Week. Department budgets and evaluations are underway, while the Sumner Campus Housing Project is going well with the plan to conduct a ribbon-cutting at the facility in June. Lastly, Dr. Rittle wished Board Chair Gary Wilson a happy birthday.
2. Saw Dr. Rittle present a gift to January Student of the Month Morgan Nellis of Parkerfield, KS.
3. Bob McGregor provided the board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
4. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
5. Board Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
6. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
7. Approved the Consent Agenda:

  1. Board Minutes of the January 18 meeting.
  2. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
  3. Administrative Reports.
  4. The Board held first readings on the following policies: (129.00) Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); (141.00) Use of College Property; (161.00) Requisition and Selection – Non Faculty Personnel; (247.00) Class Work-Based Learning Projects; (261.00) Student Evaluation; (273.00) Check-Out Process.
  5. The Board approved the following policies: (125.00) Tobacco Use on Campus, and (167.00) Tuition Reimbursement.
  6. The Board approved the resignation of Ashley Leighty as Tiger Deli Manager, effective January 28; approved the resignation of Jennifer Rupp as Humanities Instructor, effective May 31.
  7. Approved the employment of Adrian Crosby as maintenance technician II, effective February 22; approved the internal reorganization of Stephanye Edwards as athletic advisor and compliance officer, effective March 1.

8. Liz Shepard, Upward Bound Director, provided a Centennial Committee update.
9. Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, informed the Board what the College is doing in terms of growing enrollment.
10. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
11. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, provided an update on the Writing Center, Phi Theta Kappa, Adult Education, Library, Golden Tigers, Career Center, Business and Industry, Distance Learning and Site Management, Winfield Correctional Facility, and Workforce and Community Education.
12. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
13. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board the IE Office supported Academic Affairs with the coordination of the Follow Up Collection, a data collection that reports what career & technical education are doing during the next fall term. Cowley College CTE faculty and staff reach out to the students identified by the Regents Data, Research and Planning (DRP) staff as Perkins completers and concentrators during the fall semester. For the second year in a row, faculty and staff were able to connect with nearly 80% of the students on the file as a result of increased methods for communication.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. Rhoads is working with Wichita State University to establish a 2+2 with the Sports Management program to broaden recruitment potential for Cowley’s AA in Sports Management.
15. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Hall of Fame Luncheon on January 29 was a success. Also, the Tiger baseball, softball, tennis and track and field teams have opened the spring season.
16. Trustee Dr. Steve Abrams as approved to serve as Treasurer for the Board.
17. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
18. Jim Brown, accessibility and Title IX coordinator, provided a Title IX update.
19. Approved the Great Western Dining Services contract.
20. Approved an increase in tuition and fees for fiscal year 2022-2023 with the modification of a $5 reduction in the proposed tuition and fees for Kansas and Oklahoma High School students.
21. Approved the increase in the dormitory plan with the modification of a $200 reduction in the proposed rate for Sumner Campus residential housing.
22. Approved the purchase of NDT equipment from Waygate Technologies for $53,875 through Higher Education Emergency Relief funds.
23. Approved the use of Capital Outlay funds to help with Brown Center Theatre lighting upgrades at a cost of $111,428.00.
24. Approved the use of Capital Outlay funds to update the HVAC and flooring in the kitchen of the McAtee Dining Center at a cost of $52,513.
25. Approved to proceed with the engagement of Loyd Group, LLC for College financial audit services for fiscal years ending June 30, 2022 – June 30, 2026.
26. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Rama Peroo

Director of Institutional Communication & Public Relations
Cowley College
125 South 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005