This has been a transitional year for our college, students, faculty, staff, and the community. We have been working hard teaching your students and working diligently to connect with your schools, businesses, and communities.
Here is some data from the past year that we want to share.
Enrollment for 2018-2019 Academic Year: 7,835 unduplicated
Graduation for 2018-2019 Academic Year:
Associate in Arts Degree: 207
Associate in Science Degree: 99
Associate in Applied Science: 391
IPEDS Graduation Rate: 55% (first-time, full-time students)
Average cost for students per semester: Tuition (12 hours) $2,088, Fees $96, and Books $1,000
(This is an estimate we use for external reporting.)
— The average loan amount for our students (SCC) who borrow is just over $4,800 per year.
— Approximately 31% of our students (SCC) take out a loan on a yearly basis.
— SCC’s 2018-2019 graduates had an average student loan debt of $6,600. The 2018-2019 average National Student Loan Debt for (Undergraduate) Graduates was $35,359 (for all public and private institutions).
Statewide SCC and the other 15 KCTCS colleges provide:
— Training for 82% of the state’s skilled trades workers
— Award 66% of all nursing and allied health credentials
— Award 87% of all nursing and allied health associate degrees
— Award 98% of all short-term certificates
— Train 80% of Kentucky firefighters
— In addition, as a system, we are the largest provider of higher education with more than 106,000 students compared to 113,000 students attending all 8 of the public universities.
Somerset Community College (SCC) has always been a very important part of Pulaski and Laurel counties as well as our service area counties of McCreary, Russell, Clinton, Casey, Wayne, Adair, Whitley, Cumberland, and Rockcastle. We have been building relationships and meeting new people that include our students, those we serve, and those with whom we work.
— The new University Center of Southern Kentucky was established this year and will begin operations in fall 2019. This initiative began with local support led by Congressman Hal Rogers and quickly developed into a unique opportunity for students and families in the SCC region.
— The Honors Program will begin this fall after much planning and work with a pilot cohort of 20 students. This program is led by a very dedicated faculty member and will be another success story.
— Moved Culinary Arts program to the Somerset Campus.
— Upgraded technical areas on the Somerset South and Laurel South campuses.
— Schedule changes
— Successful reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Those we serve:
We started with a central focus and that is student success. SCC has used “Our Main Thing-Student Success” as the central thread in planning and decision-making during this academic year. Building a baseline for our work and planning for the future, we began with the people in our service area. Some key changes in this area:
— Expansion of hours for all four centers; McCreary, Clinton, Casey, and Russell changed from being open two days to four days per week. This allows more interaction and development in those communities and includes them in future planning. Our plans are to offer technical programs at each site for two to three years and then rotate to another location.
— Continued development of relationships with local and county governments, legislators, and school districts. We have met with many people and discussed the best ways SCC can help them achieve their group goals and needs. We hope to meet with the remaining people and organizations as soon as practical.
— SCC has been well represented in numerous events and community gatherings such as chambers of commerce, service clubs, and economic development entities.
— We have engaged business and industry as much as possible. The KY FAME programs have built a beneficial relationship with manufacturing to sponsor, train and employ students for careers with these companies. This initiative has grown over the past year and will continue to grow as companies recognize its value and get involved.
— Community Programs such as Kids Kollege, Upward Bound, Earth Day, the Master Musicians Festival, Governor’s Minority Scholar College Preparatory Program (GMSCPP), International Festival, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast bring folks to our college campuses.
— Relationships with secondary school systems have grown and dual credit is a key part of our work. We had a successful year in this area and as we continue to work with these partners for the benefit of students, hoping to see increased dual credit options in both transfer and career technical education for the future. Several area technology centers and high schools have opened their doors for additional course offerings in their areas that benefit both the high school student and public at large.
— Increased focus on providing pathways for SCC graduates to pursue a career or further education. SCC has numerous articulation agreements with universities including those available through the new University Center of Southern Kentucky.
Those we work with:
In keeping with our Main Thing focus, we also took some big steps this year in our organization and how it best serves our students. There are several key strategies supporting this effort.
— We made some initial organizational structure changes that redirected internal efforts.
— Initiation of the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) division
— Shared Governance Restructure
— Strategic Enrollment Management development
— Academic Master Plan development
— Diversity Plan revision
For the coming year:
In the coming year, SCC will remain focused on student success and more precisely define that impact through strategies that will include culture, efficacy, and impact as we move forward. These include:
SCC is highly focused on student success and completion, known for our willingness to help, being a part of our community, and developing ourselves to meet a high level of excellence.
ACADEMIC: SCC will provide the best possible education and training in the shortest possible time while meeting students’ needs and the needs of the external community.
STUDENT SUPPORT: SCC will provide accurate, timely, and compassionate student support for all students to ensure successful completion of their academic goals.
PEOPLE: SCC faculty and staff will understand their roles and impact on student success and provide friendly and informative assistance.
SCC has developed a solid footing to move forward but we have much work to do. We continue to struggle with enrollment but have instituted specific changes for the coming years to help improve those numbers to fit the community we serve. These include recruiting, financial aid, and faculty hires that directly recruit, enroll, and teach our students. We continue to develop and implement strategies through a revised strategic plan, new academic master plan, revised strategic enrollment plan, and focused diversity plan.
We continue to pursue additional resources such as grants, partnerships, and donations, but remain focused on improving our performance-based funding dollars through enrollment and retention. The continued support of our legislators and regional leaders will be crucial for our success.
SCC has continued to focus on student success and will be driven to better ourselves for the coming year!