Earlier today Howard College held a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. During the discussion of Special Initiatives, it was noted that there was no new information concerning the potential partnership with Big Spring Independent School District. It was also noted that there are 2 new members on the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) Advisory Board, Dr. Nancy Hlibok Amann, Superintendent of California School for the Deaf – Riverside, and Luanne Barron, Interim Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Deaf.
It was also noted during the meeting that official enrollment at all three campuses has decreased. According to Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, the head count, or number of students enrolled, had decreased by an average of 9 percent; and total contact hours, or number of hours a student is scheduled for class, had decreased by only 3 percent.
One of the factors that contributed heavily to the decline is the fact that dual credit is now offered through Angelo State University and San Angelo area high school students are able to apply for the Carr Scholarship that will pay for the dual credit class. Dr. Sparks also stated that dual credit in the Big Spring area has also declined and that it was likely due to intentional advising, where students are being guided and advised into pathways so they are not taking courses that are not a part of what they want to pursue a major or career in. It was also noted that because of this, there will be more of an impact on head count that will result as an effect of that.
It was noted that since Howard College is not currently in a base year, this decline is not as significant as if it were. A base year, according to Dr. Sparks, begins on March 1st and runs through the end of February of next year. During the base year, Howard College generates the contact hours that the school’s funding will be based on for the next two years.
Dr. Sparks went on to say that next they will be comparing head count and contact hours as compared to the last base year and discuss that at the next board meeting that is scheduled for March 26th.
It should also be noted that the cancellation of election was approved, due to the fact that only the incumbents of Precinct 3, Adrian Calvio, and Precinct 4, Maxwell Barr, were the only people who had filed for the positions on the Howard College Board of Trustees.
Photo - Members of the Howard College Board of Trustees