ACC targets outreach, speeding

Allen Community College wants to improve outreach to the Burlingame campus and plans to talk to area superintendents about ways to improve. Also, the trustees and staff expressed concern with motorists speeding through the parking lot at the Iola campus.

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February 10, 2022 - 9:43 AM

Allen Community College trustees and staff are concerned about speeding in the parking lot at the Iola campus. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Allen Community College is looking at ways to bolster its outreach facility in Burlingame.

College administrators John Masterson and Jon Marshall briefed ACC trustees Tuesday on their plans to meet with school superintendents in Osage County to discuss the outreach campus in Burlingame.

Masterson, ACC president, noted the Burlingame campus has seen a precipitous drop in enrollment over the past decade.

Some of that was to be expected as Allen bumped up its online courses and concurrent enrollment programs at area high schools.

Still, Masterson noted it would be good to visit with public school administrators there to gather their input.

“We’ll be there to listen to their suggestions as to how we can do better,” Masterson said, noting Allen there are several new faces in the school districts there. “It’s good to start asking questions outside of our own tent to see how we can improve.”

Marshall said superintendents from Burlingame, Lyndon, Marais Des Cygnes Valley, Osage City, Santa Fe Trail and Mission Valley-Eskridge will be a part of the conversation.

“Half of the superintendents are long-time employees, but the other half is new,” Marshall noted.

Masterson said he also planned to visit with Osage County commissioners in the near future to get their input.

While it’s still too soon to get official enrollment numbers for ACC’s spring semester — those are collected on the 20th day of class — Allen Vice President for Student Affairs Cynthia Jacobson said enrollment is down slightly across the board compared to the spring 2021 term.

She will have final figures for the Board’s March 8 meeting.

Allen Vice President for Student Affairs Cynthia Jacobson talks about speeding on the Iola campus.Photo by Richard Luken

MOTORISTS driving across the ACC campus in Iola may want to hit the brakes.

Jacobson noted speeding on campus has become a concern, particularly with drivers approaching the main campus from the student dorms on the north edge of the property.

“We’re looking at ways we can slow the traffic here,” Jacobson said, such as adding signage or rebuilding a pair of speed bumps west of the main campus building.

The traffic issue was identified as an area of concern by the school’s Safety and Security Committee, Jacobson said, which consists of college officials and others from the community, including law enforcement representatives.

The committee plans to meet soon to discuss that and other topics, Jacobson said.

IN OTHER topics, Jon Marshall, vice president for academic affairs, discussed a pair of digital video production courses in the works.

The college has been working with Iolan Paul Porter, who has extensive experience in digital media production, to develop a course curriculum.

The production courses will tie in well with journalism and theater students, Marshall said, and will be open to anyone, regardless of their primary course of study.

“It’ll be a really good fit as an elective in all areas,” Marshall said.

A classroom is being renovated to accommodate the video production equipment.

“We’re excited about it,” added Tosca Harris, dean for academic affairs.

IN OTHER business, trustees:

— Approved the City of Humboldt’s request to continue its neighborhood revitalization plan, which gives property tax rebates to those who improve their residential and commercial properties. The agreement has been in place with Humboldt since 2008.

— Approved a request by the Allen Endowment Association to allow alcohol during the group’s March 19 fundraiser.

— Were told that Allen’s quiz bowl took fourth at a recent national qualifier tournament in Johnson County.

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