Great start to fall 2017 semester

Classes in session

Classes for the Fall 2017 semester are under way, and campus is full of positive energy.

In his back-to-college letter to team members, SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska shared enthusiasm about the upcoming year.

“Through changes at Seward, we are positioned for continued serious progress and momentum driven by our positive attitude and vision to be a top performing, sought-after, and exciting community college,” he stated.

Across campus, all five divisions have exciting options to offer students.

Humanities Highlights:

The humanities division has welcomed new instructors Michele Van Hessen, theater and communications, and Joshua Paulus, English. Van Hessen will offer an evening class in acting from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, which gives students a taste of acting master techniques taught by Adler, Berry, Meyerhold, Rodenberg, Stanislavsky, Strasbert, and Mamet. Auditions for the fall play, “Our Town,” a regionally adapted twist on the classic play, will be open to the community, and are set for Sept. 22-24.

Department veteran Janice Northerns will take on the creative writing class, which is offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Northerns, a published poet herself, will present students with an opportunity to learn about poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction and, she stated, “get the chance to to try their hands at all three. We will do lots of fun activities and exercises to jump start the creative process.” Much of the class will be conducted as workshop sessions, where students read and discuss each other’s work and receive constructive feedback in a friendly environment from their peers and the instructor.

Following the departure of former dean Adam Borth, the humanities division will be supervised by Dean of Arts and Sciences Luke Dowell. Summer improvements to the division include revamped sound and lighting systems in the Showcase Theater, just in time for fall performances.

Math, Science, and HPERD Highlights:

Under the leadership of dean Luke Dowell, the division continues to prep students who plan to transfer to four-year universities for professional credentials in various STEM disciplines.

The Bridges Program continued research projects through the summer, and coordinator Myron Perry will assist program participants in close partnership with Kansas State University researchers.

An astronomy class taught by physics and math instructor Darin Hook will enable students to understand and potentially view the upcoming eclipse in August. Hook has promised to explore a day trip to a geographic area where the eclipse may be viewed, along with providing students with an introduction to astronomy.

The department will also continue to develop hybrid math classes for students in the adult basic education branch of SCCC, so that language learning does not hinder students whose math skills in their original language are already advanced.

Agriculture, Business, and Personal Services Highlights:

Computer information systems instructor Ed Hall, who was awarded the 2016 Kansas Council for Workforce Education Outstanding New Teacher, has been working diligently to develop curriculum that integrates drone and robotic technology in the computer sciences and agriculture. He and Nick Noterman will be testing to receive their drone operator licenses.

The agriculture division has welcomed new instructor Josh Morris to the team. A longtime 4H leader and K-State Extension agent, Morris brings a breadth of experience with area students to the position. The department is recruiting more students for the Livestock Judging Team which competes on the regional, state, and national level. Ag instructor Noterman said he hopes to “educate our students on how drones and robots can be used to positively affect farming and ranching in our region.”

Following  a highly successful year, the Phi Beta Lambda organization will once again be recruiting members. The 2016-17 team qualified to compete at nationals in Anaheim, Calif., in June, where business instructors Lisa Kennedy and Johnette Johnson accompanied them.

Hiran Gunasekara, economics instructor, was named a 2017 NISOD Award recipient in recognition of his work with students as an instructor, advisor, and mentor.

Cosmetology instructors continue to integrate technology into the classroom using the Pivot Point system. Students are also trained to utilize Guest Vision professional software for the business aspects of becoming a licensed cosmetologist. Instructors attended a national conferences to stay current on the latest trends in the industry.

Industrial Technology Highlights:

With new dean Travis Combs at the helm, the Industrial Technology division continues to develop nimble delivery systems for students who have their eye on work-force success and high-demand jobs. A semester-by-semester system to enable students to “stack” credentials as they complete studies in a particular area will provide real-life opportunities to work, increase earnings, and come back for continuing education.

The summer saw significant projects launch in the Industrial Tech campus, with ongoing renovations to the old “vo-tech” snack bar area. In partnership with Great Western Dining, SCCC has begun upgrades to what will eventually be named “Louie’s Place,” a convenience store/cafe-style space for students to grab a quick bite, study, relax, and recharge.

Commercial Driver’s License classes have already kicked off the first six-week session for this academic year, with newly wrapped semi cabs and trailers for students to use. Instructor Michael McCarthy noted that class participation is even higher thanks to Spanish-language instruction by fellow instructor Manuel Hernandez.

In the Corrosion Technology area, new instructor Autry Coleman Sr. brings a broad range of professional industry experience to the classroom for this rapidly-growing field.

Allied Health Highlights:

With ongoing clinical studies and a rigorous schedule, Allied Health sometimes operates on a slightly different calendar than the general education areas of SCCC. The division’s dean, Dr. Suzanne Campbell, noted that she encourages student who want to embark on a health care career to pay close attention to the necessary prerequisites for nursing, respiratory therapy, surgical technology and medical laboratory technology.

“A lot of times, students need to complete basics like biology, English comp, and other gen-eds, in order to apply to these programs,” Campbell said. “We’re happy to advise them appropriately.”

That said, application for the respiratory therapy program opens in September. Students who complete an associate degree at SCCC can continue their education without having to move, through a newly launched articulation agreement with the University of Kansas for bachelor’s degree completion.

In other areas, the nursing program has received state-of-the-art simulator units that allow nursing students to practice their skills on manikins, in preparation for clinical work.

Enrollment for the fall semester is now closed. To view a dynamic, constantly updated class schedule, and get an early start on enrollment for spring, which opens Oct. 30, visit the college website at On campus visits are also welcome, with all administrative offices back on normal business hours, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the main campus, 1801 N. Kansas Ave., Liberal. For more information call 624-1951.

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