WC board receives update on Wise County campus
Kristin McLaughlin, executive dean of Weatherford College Wise County, provided an update on the campus to the Board of Trustees at their meeting Thursday.
WC opened its first Wise County facility in Decatur in January 2000 and moved into its current campus in 2012. Then, in 2021, the board and officials in Wise County worked together to refinance the building and save the taxpayers $12.4 million over the life of the bond.
Thanks to those savings, WCWC has expanded its Associate Degree Nursing program.
“Growth is coming,” McLaughlin said. “Last year, one of our ISDs approved a bond for a new school, and this year there are three additional ISDs hoping to add a bond to the May election for new buildings.”
The city of Decatur has 1,300 new homes in various stages of construction, and another 2,000 homes are in progress between the WCWC campus and Bridgeport, she said.
In addition to expanded health science programs at the campus, they have also added criminal law, creative writing and a drawing class, the first studio class for the campus.
“That class filled up in a couple of days,” McLaughlin said. “It’s so fun to watch.”
For the first time ever, the campus has Student Ambassadors, funded by the WC Foundation. The three students selected for this year each received an academic scholarship for their work, including giving campus tours and representing the college in the community.
“We’re also expanding student life,” McLaughlin said. “When I started in this role, that was one of the things students came to me about. They wanted a sense of community, and they didn’t feel they had that.”
To fill that gap, many student activities and events have been added to the campus calendar, including visits from the WC Jazz Orchestra, an annual Friendsgiving and student clubs like WC2. And a fitness room is currently in the works.
The campus also hosts an annual welding competition attended by local high schools and provides space to a community youth violin ensemble.
“The possibilities are endless, and our futures are bright,” McLaughlin said. “I can’t say how thankful I am to each of you for allowing me to be in this position, and it’s a great place to be.”
In his President’s Report, Dr. Tod Allen Farmer:
- Recognized board member Judy McAnally for her efforts to set up a meeting between the college and Texas Health that may lead to a partnership between the hospital and the college’s health science programs.
- Congratulated the Alesia Armstrong Wiggs Nursing School on the recently signed transfer agreement with the University of Texas at Arlington. The agreement will allow graduates of WC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to enter the Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing at UTA. Since the graduate programs are fully online, students may now seamlessly earn an MSN or PhD without ever leaving Weatherford College.
- Recognized the men’s Coyote basketball team on their national ranking.
- Congratulated WC basketball player Rodney Johnson and WC baseball player Robert Fortenberry on recently being named Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference players of the week.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the minutes from the Jan. 12 board meeting.
- Approved the financial reports ending Jan. 31.
- Approved budget amendment No. 1.
- Approved the renewal of electrical and mechanical contract services.
- Approved the Omnia Cooperative contract quotation for a diagnostic medical ultrasound system.
- Approved the competitive sealed proposals method of procurement for the stair and handrail replacement and repair project.
- Received a written academic and student services update, including information about the proposal of a new Associate of Applied Science degree in agriculture to begin in Fall 2023. The new degree will provide students with a pathway to employment and access to WC’s bachelor’s programs, including the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Organizational Leadership.
- Received a report on proposed 2023-24 tuition and fees, including a 7 percent increase for in-district tuition, a new technology fee of $10 per semester credit hour and a $50 increase on a semester meal plan.
- Following an executive session, the board discussed the possibility of seeking a Texas Historical Landmark registration for the De Bresson stable located on the Carter property and decided the next step toward that goal was to speak with the county attorney.