Dual enrollment discussed at board meeting

By Joe Thornton, editor-in-chief

With multiple items on the Board of Trustees meeting for this month, numerous Delta staff members congregated to address the current state of the college Tuesday, Oct. 2. An issue that continues to remain prevalent within Delta College is decreasing enrollment rates, bringing into question what the future is going to look like on campus.

While past plans formulated by former director of facilities, Larry Ramseyer, entailed construction of new parking lots, Goodnow now questions if those parking lots will be necessary moving forward. After all, what good does more parking do with fewer students?

One way of tackling the problem of decreasing enrollment rates is to increase awareness about dual enrollment programs, and that is what Director of Dual Enrollment Patrick Tobin is attempting to do.

Delta College President Jean Goodnow has made this program a priority as well, setting a benchmark of 5 percent annual growth between last year and this year in dual enrollment.

The dual enrollment program is very close to reaching their goal, and it looks like they’ll surpass it soon, but some board members hope for more clarity and resolution on the plan for dual enrollment.

A large amount of discussion took place on the issue, but no concrete solutions were proposed. The board decided it would be best to be more informed about the issue before taking action, and invited Tobin to come back at a later meeting to further educate the Delta College staff on the issue.

Another large item on the agenda was the approval of a contractor for the new Midland center. Although many companies put in a bid for the project, the Board of Trustees felt that the Spence Brothers of Saginaw were the best option.

Many board members, one of which being Mary Lou Benecke, were adamant that the Spence Brothers would yield the best results for this project, even though there were cheaper bids on the table.

“It’s not always about the dollar; it’s about the value of the community. Even though the Spence Brothers are more expensive, it shows in their work. They’re a company that is active in the community and will be the best fit for this project,” stated Benecke.

The new Midland Center will be located on the block of Ellsworth, Townsend, Buttles and Conkright, and is replacing the current Midland campus on 1025 Wheeler St, due to the current facility’s aging infrastructure.

Board of trustees meetings at Delta College are usually on the second Tuesday of every month. Next month’s meeting, therefore, is scheduled for Nov. 13, with a dinner meeting at 5:30 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m.

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