Southwestern Community College (SWCC) approved a contract with Habitat for Humanity and the hiring of new personnel Tuesday during its regularly scheduled meeting.
For the sixth year of the Building Partnership Contract with Habitat for Humanity, SWCC will have students involved in building a new house. The contract was presented by Bill Taylor, vice president of instruction. He informed the board of directors of plans to build a house at 606 S. Elm St. in Creston.
“We have 17 students that will be enrolled in the high school carpentry academy coming from Creston, Diagonal, East Union, Nodaway Valley and Southwest Valley,” Taylor said. “Those 17 students will be working on that house along with Habitat for Humanity.”
Taylor made a recommendation to hire Diogenes Ayala as a criminal justice instructor. This fall will be the first time SWCC is offering the degree program in criminal justice. Ayala has been an adjunct instructor for SWCC as well as Simpson College. Taylor highly recommended Ayala as the instructor for this position based on his background.
“He has a BA and Masters in criminal justice, both from Simpson, served in the military and has worked with cyber security through Verizon for the past 17 years,” Taylor said. “He will get this program off the ground and running.”
The board approved the hiring of Ayala as an instructor with an annual salary of $50,487. They also approved the resignation of Alex Anderson, automotive repair technology instructor, effective June 28.
Dr. Barbara Crittenden, president of SWCC, noted the upcoming summer commencement will take place 7:30 p.m. June 28. She also reported average summer enrollment numbers, which are slightly down compared to 2017, which is Tia Samo, chief financial officer at SWCC, noted is very typical for summer enrollment, which fluctuates year to year.
Erica Frey, director of educational talent search (ETS), gave an update on the events it is doing this summer and on the program’s success. She explained that TRIO and ETS use these programs to not only encourage students to go to college, but help them along the way. One program this summer is called “Summer Melt,” a mentorship program in which students who are home from their first year of college help recent graduates stay on track to attend college in the fall.
“We would have seniors who were college intending and had applied to college, but then, between May and August, they would not end up enrolling,” Frey said. “Before ‘Summer Melt,’ we didn’t have anything formal in place to continue working with these students. Now we have our mentors here to help guide these students through reminders about things like accepting their financial aid and signing up for their summer orientations. They are also there to answer any questions students have about how to complete these things and get ready for college.”