The Weatherford College Board of Trustees approved the implementation of differential tuition for Allied Health programs starting in the 2014-15 academic year during their regular monthly meeting held March 20.
At the recommendation of the board during their February meeting, administration further researched the possibility of charging more per credit hour for courses which are more costly to operate. Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs, came back with a suggestion of charging an extra $20 per credit hour for Allied Health programs such as sonography, respiratory therapy, radiology technology and nursing.
Cantrell found four other Texas community colleges which currently charge differential tuition and many more discussing the possibility.
Allied Health programs were selected as a starting point for differential tuition because the programs are more costly for the college to offer due to small class size requirements, expensive equipment needed for the programs and the high cost of qualified faculty.
The estimated increase in revenue for differential tuition is $174,340 for the upcoming academic year. This increase does not cover the actual cost of the program, but officials say it will help close the gap some.
“We don’t want to scare off students,” WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton said. “Even with an increase we are still a third of the cost of a university. You may have five or 10 less applicants, but we will have no problem filling our programs.”
Cantrell backed this statement adding most of the programs have double or triple the applicants than what are accepted due to restricted class sizes.
Also as discussed during the February meeting, overall tuition will increase at the following amounts: $4 per semester credit hour or 5 percent for in-district students; $6 per semester credit hour or 5 percent for out-of-district students; $6 per semester credit hour or 6 percent for out-of-district WC Wise County campus students; $6 per semester credit hour or 6 percent increase for out-of-district Granbury campus students; $3 per semester credit hour or 2 percent for out-of-state students.
In other business the board:
- Listened to a construction update on the Don Allen Health Science Building which is ahead of schedule with carpet and landscaping going in over the next two weeks.
- The building is scheduled to open in early May.
Heard the President’s report which recognized:
- Shirley Brown and the WC Math Department for an outstanding job with the 12th Annual Coyote Math Championship.
- Nita Parsons and the rest of the Vocational Nursing Program. WC achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX Exam for 2013, the licensure exam for VN students. Of the 22 programs which received a 100 percent pass rate nationally, WC had the most test takers at 51.
- WC Wise County nursing students Kim Taylor, Jamie Battenfield, Lacy Garris, Sarah Ervin and Alex Talamantes for representing WC at the Texas Student Nurses Convention Brain Bowl where they tied for first place.
- Bob McKinley, head women’s basketball coach and athletic director, for being named Coach of the Year for the third straight year and eleventh overall by the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference.
- Basketball players Bre Brooks, Itiana Taylor and Tonko Vuko for being named First Team All-Conference and Sam Osina for being named Second Team All-Conference.
- Brent Baker for receiving the 2014 Businessperson of the Year award from the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce.
- Dr. Molly Harris and Phi Theta Kappa for their recognitions at the Texas Regional Convention of Phi Theta Kappa. Jordan Owen, Skylar White, Barrett Monk and Kerri Paddack were each inducted into the District II Hall of Honor. Harris received the Horizon Award, presented for leadership and service to the Texas Region. The chapter received the Five Star Recognition, the highest status a chapter can receive, and the Honors in Action Award of Distinction. Lastly, the chapter was recognized as a Top Chapter, ranking 15th out of 89 chapters.
- Rodeo coach Johnny Emmons for being named to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in April.
- Approved to move forward with a five year, 50 percent tax abatement for a 40-acre development on BB Fielder Road near Bethel Road. Ten acres of the land will be home to KEG1, a warehouse company moving from Mineral Wells. The new business will generate about 100 new jobs. The other 30 acres will be developed as a business park.
- Approved the reinstatement of the Emergency Medical Services Profession AAS Degree.
- Approved the 2014-15 academic calendar.
- Approved a transfer rate increase to help fund athletics, student activities and the Oak Leaf annual.
- Heard a presentation from Parker County Livestock Improvement Association President Dan McIntosh regarding a long-term lease of college property located off Highway 180, west of Weatherford. The board discussed this item further in executive session, but took no action.