DANVILLE – The Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday will consider enrollment incentives for the fall semester.
The incentives include a discount for online classes and the ability to take bonus classes during the fall semester.
To encourage students to take as many online courses as possible during the fall semester and in the wake of COVID-19, DACC will continue to offer the same half-price discount incentive introduced for summer online classes.
The college also would offer a comprehensive range of transferable online courses and expand the half-price discount offer beyond DACC’s district boundaries to the seven contiguous Indiana counties.
The half-price discount would apply only to courses that are 100 percent online. Hybrid classes—including labs—would not be included in the discount program since these require an on-campus presence, thereby defeating the purpose of offering the online incentive.
For a three-credit online class, the student’s total cost is $247.50.
President Stephen Nacco said the half-price discount for summer online classes has been successful, especially with “visiting students” who are home for the summer after attending an out-of-district university.
“The summer is looking good. Enrollment is up,” he said. “We’re getting students from different ZIP codes that we haven’t gotten in the past. It’s the most I’ve seen since coming here in 2016.
“They’re picking up credits that are transferable to their university,” he said.
The bonus class program, which DACC has piloted for two years, will be modified to provide an incentive for students to enroll in up to 12 credit hours and then receive a $500 discount for taking an additional three credit hours for a total of 15 credit hours.
“If you register for 15 (credit hours), you get $500 back,” Nacco said.
These additional credits will not only boost enrollment, but also support the college’s student-success goals by helping students keep on track to graduate on time. A three-credit class, plus technology and activity fees, costs $495.
Also Thursday, the trustees will:
• Hear a financial update.
• Hear the president’s report.
• Consider renewing Nacco’s contract for one year from July 1 through June 30, 2021. His annual salary would be $187,500.
Nacco said he requested that his contract be renewed for only one year because of the “uncertain times” with enrollment and finances due to COVID-19.
“We don’t know what the state is going to do or what enrollment is going to do,” he said.
“You can’t commit to what revenue will come in,” he added. “We’re not sure the state can finance education at the rate it has been.”
Nacco said the budget the state just passed looks “promising.” The state budget includes capital improvement funds for DACC, such as $100,000 for renovations at the U.S. Army Reserves Center and $2.5 million to remodel and build an addition at the Clock Tower Center.
• Consider selling $1 million in general obligation bonds to purchase new computers, instructional equipment and other technology for the college and levying an annual tax to pay the principal and interest.
The $1 million would be used during two years — $500,000 each year — to upgrade technology and purchase instructional equipment to provide state-of-the-art capital resources in DACC’s classrooms and supporting services.
To meet the principal and interest obligations of the debt, the college must issue technology and equipment funding bonds in the amount of $1 million.
DACC has issued a $1 million bond for technology for many years. The bond is paid off in two years and then a new bond is issued.
• Consider entering into a five-year contract with G4S Secure Solutions of Bloomington for $951,948.01 for security services.
The previous five-year contract for security services totaled $477,660; however, additional security services have been added since then, such as additional shifts and additional hours for some existing shifts.
“We are going to ask them to do social distancing checking and everything we have to do to keep the campus safe,” Nacco said. “They will be taking temperatures at the door and making sure people are wearing masks and that they’re social distancing.
“We want people to feel safe when they come to campus,” he said.
DACC is considering offering a hybrid approach during the fall semester with classes being divided into groups of 10 or less students who will meet in class once a week and complete coursework online.
“In many cases we will be more stringent (with COVID-19 restrictions), such as in our Childhood Development Center,” Nacco said.
• Discuss the college’s campus master plan/priority project list. The plan provides an annual update of estimated project costs, funding information and revenues as of May.
The $7.3 million in projects listed in the master plan include renovating the former U.S. Army Reserve Center to house the healthcare professions center at an estimated cost of $5.7 million and adding a campus storage facility at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.
The master plan will be discussed Thursday, with the trustees voting to finalize the plan at its June meeting.
The college then will submit the master plan as its fiscal year 2021 resource allocation and management plan (RAMP) to the Illinois Community College Board. ICCB requires the board of trustees to approve a RAMP report each year by July 1.
• Consider making written closed session minutes from Nov. 13, 2019 open to the public. The purpose of the closed session was to discuss the annual evaluation of the president.
• Discuss the 2020-2021 strategic planning matrix that provides an overview of the college’s strategic priorities during the course of an academic year.
With the matrix’s strategies and tactics, individual departments are able to derive more detailed annual goals.
The matrix also plays a crucial role in laying the groundwork for the budgeting process. The 2020-2021 strategic planning matrix has undergone a six-month development process that has included input from all key college stakeholders.