SIKESTON - The dream of having a Sikeston Area Higher Education Center of Southeast Missouri State University in Sikeston is a successful reality. In January the facility began its fourth year with another record enrollment.
According to Judy Buck, director, the numbers continue to support the belief of many that Sikeston and the area had a need for a center offering higher education.
In January 1998, the center had a duplicated enrollment of 305. In January 2002 the center had a duplicated enrollment of 1,276. The duplicated count represents 687 individual students enrolled in either Southeast Missouri State University or Three Rivers Community College courses or both.
Southeast in Cape Girardeau and TRCC in Poplar Bluff continue to increase the number of course offerings each semester at SAHEC and the student population continues to show growth, Buck said. This is a partnership that is working as indicated by the enrollment figures.
Recently at the SAHEC advisory council meeting, Dr. Mary Phyfer, vice president of TRCC and Jerry Cox, dean of continuing education, announced new programming that TRCC will begin offing at SAHEC and other off-campus sites in the fall. They include AAS in Criminal Justice-Corrections Option, AAS in Industrial Technology-Civil Construction Option, and AAS in Information Systems Technology-Executive/Legal-Medical-Microcomputer Options.
Also in the making is approval for AAS in Elementary Education and an AAS in Secondary Education. Some of these degrees will transfer into degree-specific four-year programs at Southeast.
A final program being considered is an AAS in Microcomputer Support Technology through TRCC which would require special equipment.
Steve McPheeters of Noranda Aluminum in New Madrid and Tom Austin of Alan Wire in Sikeston reported at the meeting the success of SLC training held at the center by Schott Electric of Cape Girardeau and Rockview of St. Louis.
Eight weeks of training was provided with five companies participating which were Noranda Aluminum Inc., Alan Wire, Cott Beverages, Good-Humor Bryers and Essex Wire. McPheeters also reported that Noranda received a reimbursement of $40,000 for the training from the State of Missouri through a Customized Training Grant written by Bud Joyner of TRCC.
McPheeters remarked he is in hopes this will be an incentive for other companies to join the Bootheel Regional Training Group and work together to apply for additional training dollars for the coming year.
He explained this would be a plus for industries in the area and their employees to receive assistance for training new and current employees and upgrading the skill level of employees.
Members of the advisory council include: Charles Ancell, Gordon Waller, Cathy Chasteen Dianne Jackson, Tim Buchheit, Richard Looney, Steve Matthews, Tom Austin, Margaret Dicus, Paul Bixler, Jan Barkett, Dr. Robert Buchanan, Steve McPheeters, Kim Heckemeyer, the Rev. Audrey Hundley, Dennis Ziegenhorn, Steve Borgsmiller, Tim Gilmore, Rita Milam and Roger Tatum; Dorothy Bruce and Joe Forrest of Charleston; Janet Coleman, Bryce Matthew and David Agey of Dexter; Avery Hutcheson and Leslie Marcum of East Prairie, Marian Bock, Bob Pulliam and Roger Montgomery of New Madrid; and Frances Farris, Tom Sadler and Angela Toton of Portageville.