Regents approve new Fire Science degree

by Darin Allred | Aug 20, 2013 <p> </p>

GAINESVILLE - North Central Texas College regents voted to approve a new Fire Science degree and certificate at their regular meeting Monday.

The Fire Academy certificate and Associate's degree is proposed to be added to the technical program offerings beginning Spring 2014.

Lecture classes will meet on the NCTC Flower Mound campus with other hands-on training being held at one of the Flower Mound fire stations, as well as other locations in Denton County.

Flower Mound Fire Department Chief Fred Calhoun spoke to the regents about the need for the program and the demand for qualified firefighters in North Texas.

In other items, regents approved the 2013-14 NCTC budget in the amount of just less than $51 million. They also adopted the ad valorem effective tax rate of 0.0668 cents per $100 valuation for 2013. This effective tax rate was calculated by the Cooke County Appraisal District.

The board also approved an agreement between the college and Cooke County for a joint election on Nov. 5. The county will print the ballots, employ election judges and clerks, conduct early voting and regular voting, tabulate votes electronically and report the results to the college. NCTC's estimated share of the cost is around $7,000, a savings to the college of about $2,000.

Regents then approved Martindale Feed Mill as the vendor for grain feed for the Beef Evaluation Center for the period of Sept. 1, 2013 through Aug. 31, 2014.

They then voted to participate in the Texas Community College Purchasing Network and approved scholastic standing changes in the 2013-14 catalog. In the past, students were placed on scholastic probation based on a semester GPA below 2.0. Now, students will be placed on academic probation at the end of the first semester the cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Students on probation who complete the subsequent long semester with a cumulative GPA less than 2.0 but with a semester GPA of 2.0 or greater will continue on a probation status.

Also currently, students are placed on scholastic suspension after earning a semester GPA of less than 2.0 when already on scholastic probation. The new policy states that a student on probation who completes the subsequent long semester with a cumulative GPA less than 2.0 and semester GPA less than 2.0 will be placed on academic suspension.

Regents then voted to meet on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 11:30 a.m., to discuss the evaluation and possible contract extension of NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock. They also approved several new and revised local board policies as recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards.

The board also heard several reports including updated numbers on summer enrollment. System-wide, enrollment for summer classes was up 2.5 percent to 4,216. More than 2,000 of those students took classes online. There was also a 2.8 percent increase in contact hours in the summer.

Regents also received an update on NCTC's external funding. It was reported that this coming fall, 569 scholarships totaling more than $198,000 will be awarded to students. There are now 128 endowed scholarships worth $4.1 million.

Board members also got an update from representatives of EIKON Group, Inc., on repairs to the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the demolition of the 300 building on the Gainesville campus. Both projects are expected to be completed before classes start next spring.

It was also reported that NCTC has now completed reaffirmation proceedings with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

All board members were present for Monday's meeting.