FRC ends the year on a high note
Feather River College’s Board of Director’s December meeting was a joint directors/foundation board meeting. As the final meeting of 2019, there was the sense of a good ending to the year.
Independent fiscal year-end audit is “good news” for FRC
Jeff Jensen, CPA, and partner in the firm Crowe LLP reported on his firm’s independent audit of FRC and the FRC Foundation for the year ending June 30, 2019.
Jensen reported “good news” to both boards. The auditors visited the FRC campus twice, he explained. During the first visit in June, they looked at federal and state compliance and financial aid. In September, they audited the district’s financial records.
He announced “clean audit results from a financial perspective.” And, he commended the college for having everything so well prepared. “Katie (Schmid) and Jim (Scoubes) are much appreciated,” said Jensen. “It makes our job a lot easier.”
Dean of Instruction Dr. Derek Lerch later lauded Schmid as well, noting this was an exceptionally difficult audit season because many of the audit questions had been “restructured,” which resulted in Schmid responding to questions, “at 11 p.m. on a Sunday.”
He went on to say there are “lots of technicalities you need to be aware of to get this clean audit.” In addition, the audit overlapped with FRC’s accreditation visit, which also kept Schmid very busy.
The college also received an “unmodified opinion” related to federal compliance and student financial aid, which means auditors found nothing wrong.
The foundation audit was similarly positive. Because they don’t have a large restricted fund, said Jensen, some recent changes to reporting guidelines didn’t really affect FRC’s foundation. He also noted a net increase in funds of $338,000, “a positive increase in the bottom line.”
Internship program fills an important niche
Carolyn Shipp, Career and Technical Education (CTE) coordinator, gave a presentation to the board about the college’s internship program. The purpose of the program, she said, was to help students transition from school (either high school or college) into jobs. Students get 1.5 credits for 25 hours of work. Moreover, the course is transferable to a four-year college.
Shipp recruits the students and the businesses to match them to throughout the semester. She meets with students and finds out what their interests are, and then she finds positions to fit their needs.
There are “great benefits,” said Shipp, in having an internship opportunity in this community, where there isn’t too much competition for jobs.
For example, one student came in and said he wanted to be a pediatric youth occupational therapist. Shipp contacted local physical therapist Kory Felker and was able to set up the desired internship.
Forestry is another unusual opportunity, said Shipp. Students get paid for full time work and get great experience. “You wouldn’t be able to get that in another county,” she said. “It’s pretty exclusive.”
She said also that the district attorney has taken on interns, as has the county public health department. Over time, students have expressed the most interest in dentistry, health care, forestry and law enforcement, she added.
Shipp noted that internships help many students decide on a career or, if they’re earlier in their education, it points them to the right major. She averages 15 students per semester, but she’s trying to build that number up. Shipp also said that the greatest difficulty she encounters is getting the word out to the community about the internship program and getting businesses on board.
As part of the program, students take aptitude tests that help point them in the right direction, said Shipp in answer to a question by trustee Trent Saxton. They also have weekly online assignments, which include resume building, communication and interviewing, self-management, and how to deal with HR issues.
In short, it’s “getting them used to the working world,” said FRC President Kevin Trutna. He also commended Shipp for “taking and growing this program.”
Athletes and academics
Much has been said about the women’s volleyball team’s smashing victory, winning the California state championship, but trustee Guy McNett wanted to highlight the team’s academic accomplishments. He said they were “tops in GPA in the state,” had the best transfer rate in the state, and that one third of them are members of the honor’s society. Further, “every sophomore will get a scholarship to continue in their education,” said McNett. “They’re not just extraordinary athletes; as students, they did a damn good job.”
Next week, look for a short report from the foundation’s brief, but entertaining, meeting.