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January 2009 Board Meeting Report

Enrollment appears to be up this spring at Illinois Valley Community College, board members learned Wednesday.

"We are pleased to see more students choosing IVCC first," said President Jerry Corcoran. "I believe it is not only a reflection of the economy but of our reputation for no-nonsense, practical programs, quality instruction and affordability."

In other business, the board heard a report on the three-year, $520,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant received by the college last summer to recruit students into engineering-related careers.

Computer aided design and engineering professor Dorene Perez said the grant will allow IVCC to target middle and high school students, adults and women and provide funding for camps "to allow young people to experience how much fun science, math and engineering can be."

Initiatives include the organization of high school engineering technology clubs, an IVCC "Taste of Engineering" course at high schools involving the building of a guitar, and middle school "inventor’s camps."

"We’re very excited about the opportunities this grant is providing and the great response we’re getting from area schools," Perez said, adding, "We invite anyone who would like more information to contact us."

The board also approved an initiative that will better prepare high school students for college-level English, math and reading. The plan calls for IVCC to begin offering developmental courses at high schools for seniors who do not place into college-level coursework by the end of their junior year.

"This program will allow students to complete remedial coursework before they get to our campus," said Sue Isermann, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. "This is one way we can address college-readiness at district high schools."

Isermann said the college has spoken with Hall High School about the program and other schools will be involved as well. Just as in IVCC’s Early Entry College (E2C) courses, students will be charged half the normal tuition rate, $30.25 per credit hour.

In other action, the board:

  • Accepted the $26,265 bid of MH Equipment of Streator for a stand-up forklift for IVCC’s warehousing/shipping and receiving program at Sheridan Correctional Center.
  • Approved the purchase of a cutting system for the college’s welding program for $9,980 from PlasmaCAM of Colorado City, Col. The system will also be used by students in MIMIC (Making Industry Meaningful in College).
  • Approved sabbatical leave for chemistry professor Matt Johll for the 2009-10 academic year and psychology professor Rick Mangold for the fall 2009 semester. Faculty can request sabbatical after six or more years of full-time service.
  • Approved a change in board policy so the college will be in full compliance with recent federal revisions in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
  • Learned Valery Calvetti, former director of community relations and marketing, has been hired as a counselor for IVCC’s Project Success program.
  • Learned employees Jim Barnes, Mary Shea and Kim Herout recently earned the Certificate of Leadership after completing six courses including service culture, ethical fitness and managing priorities.
  • Learned IVCC donated 25 computers each to Lincoln School in Mendota, Henry High School and Ohio Grade School.

In addition, the board approved the following appointments:

  • Cheryl Roelfsema, newly named Vice President for Business Services and Finance, as treasurer.

  • Steve Swett as warehousing/shipping and receiving instructor at Sheridan.

  • Connie Skerston as acting director of admissions and records through April 18 while director Tracy Morris is on maternity leave.

  • Don Pollex as acting associate director for the La Salle County Project. Pollex will oversee the computer services IVCC provides the county.

  • And temporary special assignments for Marianne Dzik, Perkins Grant coordinator; Jeannette Mathis, curriculum process and co-director of the IVCC/Starved Rock Associates for Vocational and Technical Education Partnership for College and Career Success Consortium; and Judy Day, CurricUNET implementation management. The assignments, which will run through June 30, were necessitated by Isermann’s assignment as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Isermann is also the Associate Vice President for Career and Technical Education.