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OWC Trustees Approve Nursing Admissions Changes, Collegiate High '05-'06 Admissions Standards and Consider Land Lease at Ft. Walton Campus to Help Foster Children


Meeting in regular session on November 16, the District Board of Trustees of Okaloosa-Walton College approved changes to the admissions criteria for the limited enrollment Nursing, Dental Assisting and Surgical Technology programs in order to increase student access to the popular degrees.

Included in the changes were provisions for students to improve their point standing in the competitive selection process by taking certain college courses prior to application, inclusion of a mechanism for students who have completed a GED equivalency diploma to earn points toward selection for admission, and other modifications. All the colleges health programs have now opened their application periods for selection to the Fall '05 class.

As the governing board of the college's Collegiate High School, trustees also approved the '05-'06 admissions process for the charter school and set the application period for Fall '05 admissions to February 1 to 28, 2005.

Trustees also approved a mid-year admissions period to allow a limited number of new 10th and 11th grade students to apply for January 2005 admissions to the Collegiate High School. OWC senior vice president Dr. Jill White noted that students who apply now to enter the school in January may have a greater chance of selection due to the smaller number of applicants normally received for the mid-year admissions process.

In other matters, trustees accepted an audit of the OWC Foundation, the college's fundraising organization. The independent audit, conducted by the firm of Nicholson, Reeder and Demski, reflects a clean opinion with no findings.

A retirement resolution honoring the 31 years of service of Walter Shipley of Shalimar, who is retiring from the college in December, was also approved by OWC trustees. Shipley most recently served as a humanities and speech instructor at the college's Fort Walton Beach Campus, and was instrumental in forming OWJC's theater program through his service as the drama and forensics sponsor, director of the Proscenium Playhouse, Musical Theater and Summer Musical Theater and other endeavors.

Trustees also approved guidelines for a proposed agreement with the Children in Crisis Corporation, a local not-for-profit group, for the lease of college property in Fort Walton Beach for construction of facilities to foster children. Trustees authorized the college president to negotiate with the group and to produce an up to 20-year lease, at $1 per year (one-dollar), for up to 20 acres at the OWC/UWF Fort Walton Beach Campus for the construction and operation of a residential style housing complex. The group initially made a presentation at the board's September meeting about the need for stable, long-term housing for children in crisis. The final lease document is scheduled to be brought to the trustees at its January 18 meeting for approval.

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