HLC requirements need to be met

Dear Editor

There have been a number of comments from representatives of the Faculty Coalition made to the Community College Trustees at their monthly board meetings alleging the college is unfairly interpreting the guidelines of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) determining qualified faculty through HLC’s criteria for accreditation and assumed practices. The issue centers on the qualification of community college faculty. The citizens of Ford County deserve to know what the Higher Learning Commission is requiring.

In March of 2016, The HLC published a document titled, Determining Qualified Faculty through HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Assumed Practices, these guidelines and requirements relate to qualified faculty to ensure that students have access to faculty members who are experts in the subject matter they teach and who can communicate knowledge in that subject to their students.

The following is a quote from the aforementioned guidelines: "Faculty teaching general education courses, or other non-occupational courses, hold a master’s degree or higher in the discipline or subfield. If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or subfield other than that in which he or she is teaching, that faculty member should have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they teach."

For community college faculty teaching in career and technical education courses, the guidelines state, "should hold a bachelor’s degree in the field and/or a combination of education, training and tested experience." Tested experience should include a breadth and depth of experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching. However, the guidelines also emphasis that while experience can be considered "accreditation agencies expect that accredited institutions will use credentials as the primary mechanism to ascertain minimal faculty qualifications".

If anyone would like to read the regulations for themselves they can be found at http://download.hlcommission.org/FacultyGuidelines_2016_OPB.pdf.

It is important to let the public know that the college is attempting to work with those faculty members who may fall short of HLC guidelines to develop an action plan to bring them into compliance prior to the HLC appointed deadline of September 1, 2019.

Dodge City Community College is scheduled to undergo a Peer Review by the Higher Learning Commission as part of its reaccreditation process in April, 2018. It is critical that those faculty members falling short of HLC guidelines have their improvement plans on file prior to the peer review. It is time we addressed our compliance and academic rigor in a serious manner.

Morris Reeves

Dodge City

DCCC trustee and board chair

 

Plenty of issues at DCCC

Dear Editor

As the upcoming Dodge City Community College election looms, some voters have indicated confusion about which candidates they might support. Mudslinging and character assassination of good community members who are standing for election has already begun. I encourage voters to attend the forums, coffees and to make the effort to meet the candidates. Voters will need the very best information to make decisions about who might be most qualified and most devoted to DC3 prior to going to the polls on November 7.  The Dodge City Community College election of four trustees is one of the most important elections Ford County voters have participated in for years. 

Read the headlines in the Dodge City Globe. There are issues and problems at the college.  Most voters are aware of some of the issues. There are issues regarding uses of federal monies not only locally but use of Veteran’s Administration monies in the helicopter program.  There are compliance issues in regard to Title IX, dealing with equity between women’s and men’s sports scholarships. And the list of critical issues goes on. All of these problems are indicative of a board of trustees who have been lax in their duties of oversight, policy formation, scrupulous adherence to policy and board developed procedures which are simply good business practice. Unfortunately ,the current trustees seem flummoxed by these critical issues and seem unwilling to take responsibility and forthrightly address each issue in a timely manner. As the sign on President Truman’s desk said, "The Buck Stops Here".  And so it must. We need new trustees who have the experience and vision to lead in new and inspired directions and to take the time and make the effort to carefully oversee the work of our beloved college.

Yes, I am a candidate for a position on the board of trustees of DC3 and I believe I am a highly qualified choice. I served on the board of trustees of Sterling College. Sterling College has recently been recognized as one of the outstanding small liberal arts colleges in the midwest and I am proud to say that I was of service to this fine institution. Ford County tax payers deserve a great institution in Dodge City Community College. And we all deserve a board of trustees that understands and is committed to fulfilling their roles in seeing Dodge City Community College achieve greatness. 

Please vote on November 7.

Mia Schraeder Korbelik

Dodge City

Trustee candidate