Board of Regents Raymond Lewis

Summer enrollment on the rise at Galveston College

Summer enrollment at Galveston College is on the rise, the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents learned at the June 10 meeting.

Dr. Myles Shelton, president, said the COVID-19 pandemic caused the college to shift its summer classes to an online format, with the exception of certain technical courses and programs that require hands-on instruction such as Emergency Medical Services, the Law Enforcement Academy, Welding Technology and other applied technology areas.

As of June 10, enrollment in the summer I 2020 term reached 894 students compared with 874 students in summer I 2019 and 802 students in summer I 2018.

Dr. Shelton said college officials are considering a variety of scenarios for the fall semester, ranging from on-campus classes with facilities modifications that allow for social distancing, to a hybrid model with a combination of virtual and in-person classes.

“Community college enrollments generally tend to increase when unemployment is high,” he said. “It’s hard to predict what the fall semester will look like. Students are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude. They are waiting to see what college will look like this fall.”

In other business, Carmen Allen, director of institutional effectiveness and research, presented a report on spring 2020 course withdrawal, completion and success rates, which summarized the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on college retention after classes were moved to an all-online format on March 23.

Allen said the college’s overall completion rate in spring 2020 courses decreased 5.5 percent from the previous year – from 93 percent in 2019 to 87.5 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, the college’s student success rate decreased only 1.7 percent from spring 2019 to spring 2020 – from 82.2 percent in 2019 to 80.5 percent in 2020.

The college experienced an 11.8 percentage of seats withdrawn in courses rate after the spring 2020 census date, as compared with 7 percent in spring 2019. She said the college experienced a 10.6 percentage of seats withdrawn after census in spring 2018, which was the semester following Hurricane Harvey.

A total of 19.9 percent of students withdrew from at least one class in spring 2020, compared to 13.1 percent in spring 2019.

In board action, members ratified the acceptance of a Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund COVID-19 Special Initiative grant for $115,000 to provide training for business and industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately $2,000 per participant will be available for training and retraining existing full-time employees, as well as furloughed and laid-off employees and new hires. Examples of training that can be provided to large and small businesses include digital marketing and web design, sales and marketing in a digital world, health and safety in the workplace, software skills for new technology, customized training to aid with job reassignments and more. The Galveston College Continuing Education department is coordinating this effort.

Board members granted tenure to four faculty members, including Clint A. Jones of the Developmental Mathematics department; Anna E. (Liz) Lacy of the Performing Arts department; Dr. David Shane Wallace of the English and Humanities department; and Dr. Arlinda B. Washington of the Nursing department.

Regents also approved updates and revisions to 26 Galveston College policies upon recommendation of the Policies Committee, which met prior to the board meeting. Click here to view the policies revisions.

In other action, board members:

• approved the purchase of DocuSign software in the amount of $61,750 to be funded with CARES Act funds that will enable the college to automate agreement preparation.

• approved the purchase of laptop computers to loan students for online courses in the amount of $59,000 to be funded with CARES Act funds.

• approved a proposal by Beach Town Lawn Service LLC of Galveston to provide annual landscaping maintenance services at $36,000 plus $1 per palm tree.

• approved the purchase of new tables and chairs for the Cheney Student Center at a cost of $21,935.

• approved the purchase of $12,353.56 in furnishings for the visual arts and ceramics classrooms.

• approved the purchase of $7,640.52 in audio/visual equipment for the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center to be purchased with Carl D. Perkins grant funding.

• approved the purchase of new chairs at a cost of $1,155.20 for the Welding Technology classroom.

• renewed National Flood Insurance Program and Texas Windstorm Insurance Association policies and purchased additional insurance coverage for property and contents.

• renewed Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund insurance coverage for unemployment and workers’ compensation coverage.

• approved the 2020 budget and tax rate planning calendar.

• adopted a resolution granting residence homestead tax exemptions for the 2020 tax year.

Above: Carla Biggers, executive assistant to the president, administers the oath of office to Galveston College Regent Raymond Lewis, Jr., who was recently re-elected to the board, as Board of Regents Chair Karen Flowers looks on.