Part of Clatsop Community College’s effort to creatively expand revenue has been increasing activity during summer term.

President Larry Galizio, though, reported at the college board’s Tuesday meeting that summer enrollment numbers are not good at all and likely related to toughening federal financial aid requirements, the economy and changes in apprenticeship agreements with CCC.

“Most institutions are experiencing a significant drop” in summer enrollment, said Tom Gill, the college’s institutional researcher. He said the college is seeing a more than 33-percent decline in full-time equivalent summer enrollment compared to this time last year.

As of Monday, there was the equivalent of about 69 full-time students, compared with 104 last year.

Gill and Galizio pointed to tougher federal aid requirements as a main culprit behind summer’s lagging enrollment.

New federal financial aid requirements effective July 1, 2012, in an effort to cut spending on Pell Grants, require students to have a high school diploma or GED to receive financial aid. In addition, said Gill, students can now only receive full financial aid three out of four terms in an academic year, adding that’s it’s part of an effort forcing students to make steady progress toward completion.

Students used to be able to take a basic skills test to prove their ability to benefit from college education. Galizio said that many students aren’t seeing summer as productive of an option as they did before the new rules.

He’s called a retreat for July 30 with the board and about two dozen staff to discuss summer enrollment and other college issues, its strategic plan and the steps it needs to take to reach its goals.

“This will require what many call ‘courageous conversations’ since limited resources – both financial and human necessitate difficult choices,” he wrote in his monthly presidential address, adding that he’ll be sharing progress with stakeholders via email and other means.

The college board, which faced no contested elections May 21, switched leadership Tuesday, voting in Kirsten Ayles as board president and Patrick Wingard, who was not present, as vice president.

It also said goodbye to its long-time executive assistant to the board and president, Kari Ferber. She moves soon to Bend, where her husband and former Clatsop Community Bank CEO?Steve Ferber took leadership of High Desert Bank.

“There have been a couple of rough moments over those 14 years,” said board member Frank Satterwhite about the rise and fall of the college’s fortunes, “but she has survived and come out on top.”

Board members thanked Ferber for helping mentor each of them and her promptness in communications.

On Monday, the college hired Pat Schulte as a replacement. Schulte worked for the past seven years at the Chiesman Center for Democracy, Inc. in Rapid City, S.D., as director of the institute for educational leadership and evaluation. Before that, she worked for nine years as a grants administrator with Youth and Family Services in Rapid City.

In other news:

• The board approved a three-year contract with the Clatsop Community College Part-time Faculty Association, which represents adjunct instructors at the college, through June 30, 2016.

• Patricia Warren, the college’s director of advancement, reported that the CCC Foundation’s fund is up to about $2.7 million and has earned $100,000 year-to-date. “We’re almost where we were before the recession,” said Satterwhite in response.

• The college’s auction date was set for April 12, 2014.

• Donna Larson, the college’s vice president of academic and student affairs, said the Clatskanie School Board approved $25,000 to bring a CCC?auto instructor to their high school to teach. Students will take coursework this coming fall, and the CCC?instructor will come to campus starting winter term in 2014.

• JoAnn Zahn, vice president of finance and operations at the college, said it’s currently reporting a negative general fund balance of nearly $250,000 but is expecting about $525,000 more in state, property tax and timber revenue by the closing of the books in August.

• Zahn said that the beginning fund balance for next year, adopted at $350,000, will likely be around $327,000. She added that balance is less than 3 percent of the college’s general fund, and that it needs to increase the amount to 10 percent in the coming years.

• The college is researching a potential second owner to its 2 acres of Towler Trust Arizona Property, which the board previously agreed to accept once the deed is cleared up. The land came by way of a trust started by John Towler in honor of his father Emmett Towler, namesake of Towler Hall and a long-time Astoria School District administrator. “We do want to continue to look at it as an asset that if sold would go to the foundation,” said Zahn of the property, adding that it currently only adds to about $24,000 in tax value.

• Zahn is teaching a summer introduction to business course, while Galizio is teaching another on state and local government. Galizio was previously an instructor at Portland Community College, along with serving as an Oregon state representative..

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