An increase in college tuition was proposed and approved during Southwestern Community College’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
The proposal covers fee increases for resident and nonresident credit hours, changed fees for embedded online content, billing changes for registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) fees and new fees for CPR for commercial electrical and carpentry classes.
The changes will go into effect fall 2015.
The increase will add $6 per credit hour for both resident and nonresident.
“That’s a 3.9 percent increase in resident, and it would bring our total tuition fees for next year to $160 per credit hour,” said SWCC Chief Financial Officer Teresa Krejci.
For nonresident students, the increase is 3.7 percent, which would increase total tuition and fees to $167 per credit hour.
According to the proposal, the increases are based on several criteria. The criteria include attaining standards set to attract and retain quality instructors, benefits from technology and providing a quality learning environment. Another criteria is the “rate will allow us to maintain our services while still keeping higher education affordable for southwest Iowans.”
Krejci proposed a change in billing for fees for RN and LPN fees.
“Currently, they go over to the bookstore and pay $10 for a voucher for their ID and their syllabi, and they pick that up at orientation,” Krejci said. “When they come to school, they will get that in the first week. We are proposing, instead of paying that at the bookstore, to go ahead and add that to their fee.”
Currently, nursing students pay $10 for a clinical identification badge and syllabi during orientation. According to the proposal, making the $10 a fee, rather than charging it separately, would allow students to charge it on their student account.
The fee would increase from $225 to $235 for RN students and $175 to $185 for LPN students.
An embedded online content fee will be added to students taking courses where the content is used. The online content consists of additional course content and labs linked directly to the online course.
“It’s like a book. It’s online and it’s actually embedded into their course,” Krejci said, “instead of buying the book, or trying to have an access code for their materials on their online classes.”
Previously, students had to get an access card from the bookstore at SWCC, go to a website, register using long access codes and sync coursework with the appropriate class. This process cuts the time down by making it more directly available.
“It’s actually expanding. More instructors are using it, and they’re able to choose the type of content that they want,” Krejci said.
The online embedding, a program through Iowa Community College Online Consortium, will be a varying fee, but will generally fall between $40 and $117 per semester.
A new fee will be added to commercial electrical systems and carpentry level IV courses. The fee will cover CPR training during the spring semester courses.
“We’re finding that a lot of students were wanting or needing CPR in these fields, it makes them more employable, and towards the end of the program, they might be completing that on their own,” Krejci said. “We’d like to add it to their program, so right out of the chute when they graduate they are employable and they have that skill.”
The $55 fee is recommended because it will allow students to be more employable, instead of having to get CPR separately.
In other SWCC news:
• SWCC Board of Directors approved the resignation of Loyal Winborn as information technology systems networking instructor. The board also approved the contracts of Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, Lindsay Stoaks, assistant vice president of instruction, and Barb Crittenden, president.
• SWCC Board of Directors approved dues for 2014-15 membership of Iowa Association of Community College Trustees to be paid. Dues did not increase, and the amount is $27,633.09.
• Taylor received approval for a proposed agreement with Union County Habitat for Humanity for a third year. The project is for high school carpentry and building trades career academy program students to build a home on property owned by Habitat for Humanity located at 622 N. Birch St.
• Spartan Court construction is on schedule, according to Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development. The new residence hall will be complete in July.