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Navarro College’s Petroleum Technology program was named the recipient of a $2.6 million grant from the Department of Labor this week.
The announcement of the grant was made at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Navarro College Board of Trustees.
Navarro has several industry partners that have helped grow the oil and gas technology program at the Corsicana campus. The federal grant will help expand the training Navarro is able to provide in the program.
The grant will be used to add new equipment and technology in the program, said Dr. Donald Capone, assistant dean of business, professional and technical education.
Capone explained the grant will allow the college to purchase a final piece of gear to fully simulate oil field production, plus help fund instruction and other equipment and technology, including the remote operation of oil and gas wells.
The grant is part of a $500 million grant program announced this week by the Department of Labor, and the second installment of a $2 billion/four year initiative, a release on the department’s website said.
The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math careers through partnerships between training providers and local employers. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
College meeting briefs
Presidential search underway
Board Chairman Lloyd Huffman said work of the presidential search committee has begun with the approval of the presidential profile outlining the requirements and characteristics the board is looking for in a new leader for the college. The committee hopes to name a new president by April 2013. Dr. Richard Sanchez is retiring effective Aug. 31, 2013.
Tax rate adopted
Trustees completed the process of setting the college district’s ad valorem tax rate for the coming year. The tax rate remains unchanged at 11.9 cents per $100 taxable valuation. The vote to approve the rate was unanimous.
Financial reports presented
Gettie Moreno, vice-president of finance and administration, reported on the August financial statement and quarterly investments for the college. No new investments were made in the final quarter of the college’s fiscal year, since interest rates were lower than the .75 percent the college is earning from its depository bank.
Construction Manager named
Trustees named the firm of Hill and Wilkinson as Construction Manager at Risk for the building project in Waxahachie, which includes the construction of a new classroom building and physical plant building.
Department profile presented
Trustees heard an overview of the Media Integration Services Center from center director Matt Miller. The center administers the college’s online courses and Blackboard learning center, as well as provides numerous audio/visual and digital services throughout the year, including video productions for college an community, distance learning, video conferencing, video streaming, and instruction and support on most aspects of digital life on campus.
Enrollment down slightly from 2011
Enrollment for the Fall 2012 semester is down slightly from year-ago figures. Final enrollment for fall is projected at 10,150 — just under 1 percent down from last year. Contact hours are projected to be just under 3 percent down from year-ago figures. In the college’s housing program, the fall semester finds only 15 vacancies out of the 893 capacity program.
Meningitis vouchers helped enrollment
Because of new requirements for vaccination against Bacterial Meningitis for incoming students, the college has issued 889 vouchers for students to receive the inoculations, allowing them to enter classes. The vouchers have been given to students as a form of “scholarship” to enable them to cover the cost of the shots, sometimes as much as $125.