Dodge City Community College board of trustees approved several items during its Sept. 22 meeting, including the launch of a new mobile Unified Student Engagement app for DCCC.


According to DCCC officials, the app would allow for faculty and students and future recruits to better communicate.


"We have to move forward into the future right now," trustee Kathy Ramsour said. "We are in the midst of what we are trying to do to get students engaged and with all of the professors."


By integrating to one app hub, the college would then be able to eliminate several communication messages done currently through texts on a different system and emails that would be done through being on the app and the use of push notifications and text messaging.


Trustees approved the new app with a 7-0 vote.


Trustees also approved agreements for SPARK funding, the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas funds given to counties from the state for COVID-19 relief.


According to DCCC legal counsel Glenn Kerbs, Ford County received more than $11 million in funds to be used for various items due to the coronavirus.


"The community college is receiving $1,019,000 and this agreement is an agreement between the college and the county," Kerbs said. "It's actually an agreement as a template provided by the state and it simply identifies the college is assuring the county that the funds will be used for purposes represented and used for what was allocated."


Some of the requests for funds will be reimbursement of expenses and direct aids used by Dec. 31, 2020, among those being COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment for the college.


Trustees approved the agreement for funding with a 7-0 vote.


Trustees also approved the purchase of seven new wire welders for the welding department. According to Clayton Tatro, DCCC vice president for workforce development, funding for the purchase can be made through the Title V grant with no impact to the general fund.


Trustees approved the purchase with a 7-0 vote.


Tatro also gave an update regarding enrollment for the first part of the school year.


"In terms of tech ed, we are off to a great start to the semester," Tatro said. "We have strong enrollments in welding, diesel, building complexion and held our own in terms of other programs, as well.


"We are excited about the Title V grant and commerce grant to go towards the climate control lab, so we are anxious about that."


Tatro added that despite COVID-19, enrollment among high school students for programs is going well.


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