The Weatherford College Board of Trustees granted college administrators approval to begin work on creating a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Science degree in Organizational Leadership during their Thursday board meeting.
Initial steps include contacting the Metroplex Higher Education Regional Council, neighboring institutions of higher education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to inform these bodies of WC’s intent to submit an application for approval of the program.
If approved, the bachelor’s degree program would be offered starting in the Fall 2021 semester.
WC currently has 23 different certificates and degrees in applied arts and sciences in areas such as fire science, business administration, information technology, respiratory care and diagnostic medical sonography.
“All of the students who take those programs are basically in terminal workforce programs,” said Mike Endy, vice president of academics and student affairs. “There are a few institutions around us that will allow them to apply workforce-based hours in conjunction with some general education hours to work toward baccalaureate of applied arts and sciences degrees. Those students have to travel to get to those programs, and for many of our students, that's a restrictive condition that doesn't allow them to participate.”
This baccalaureate program would target students who have completed the core curriculum, which equals about 42 hours of general education courses, along with the coursework for their specific applied arts and sciences program paired with upper level courses in organizational leadership, management and planning, Endy said.
“This degree will give them higher opportunities for promotion within their field and opportunities for new employment,” he said. “It's something that our area wants. We hear employers talking about wanting people who are trained in personnel management, leadership, and, for our students, especially for professionals who are working in our area and paraprofessionals for whom travel is a limiting factor, this would be a fantastic opportunity.”
Endy said the program would be a combination of face-to-face classes, online and hybrid courses to serve the local population.
“I fully support this proposal,” said Dr. Tod Allen Farmer, WC president. “It offers great flexibility. It would be a huge benefit to our students, offering them a great choice on how they progress in their careers.”
This is the second bachelor’s degree program the college has pursued. College administrators began the work to develop a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree in October 2018. Pending approval, that program will begin in Fall 2020.
In other business the board:
- Approved the minutes from the Nov. 14 meeting.
- Approved the financial reports ending Nov. 30.
- Approved the quarterly investment report.
- Approved the bookstore management renewal agreement with Texas Book Company.
- Approved the 2018-19 financial audit.
- Received a strategic plan update from Dr. Arleen Atkins, dean of institutional effectiveness.
- Received updates from Endy on Guided Pathways, the demand student and the vet tech program.
- Received an update on the Workforce and Emerging Technology Building from Dr. Andra Cantrell, executive vice president of financial and administrative affairs.
In his president’s report, Dr. Farmer:
- Recognized the Board of Trustees in honor of Board Appreciation Month and all the work they have done to bring stability to the college.
- Congratulated student government, the cheer squad, athletic teams and other student groups who recently organized the first pep rally on the WC campus in many years. A follow up pep rally is now being planned for the spring semester.
- Recognized the WC Wise County campus for recently hosting an Executive Cabinet meeting.
- Congratulated the WC and Parker County Community choirs on their performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”
- Recognized Dr. Deborah Cregger, C2 International and International Students Inc. for providing the college’s international students with a Thanksgiving luncheon.
- Recognized all WC faculty, staff and students who recently sponsored needy children from the Manna Angel Tree.
- Recognized the Lady Coyote basketball team for their current 10-1 season record, the Coyote basketball team on their 10-3 record and the rodeo team for having three athletes in the top three of their respective events.
- Announced the resignation of assistant baseball coach David Walden.
- Announced that all WC trustees are up-to-date on all required trainings for the year.