August 2009 Board Meeting Report

Following a summer session that saw enrollment hours up over 33 percent, the fall semester began last week up over 13 percent, Illinois Valley Community College trustees learned Thursday night.

A total of 2,285 students took summer classes, an increase of 375 or 19 percent over 2008. At the Aug. 17 fall semester start, head count was up 159 students or 4 percent.

“Our enrollments are a reflection of our quality instruction and programs and our affordability,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. At $69.75 per credit hour, IVCC has the second lowest tuition rate of 39 Illinois community colleges, Corcoran said.

“We are definitely on-track for record credit hour enrollments this year,” he added.

Enrollments in IVCC’s Adult Education and Literacy programs were also up the past year, program director Sara Escatel told the board in a campus update. Escatel said 678 students completed at least 7.5 hours of attendance in 2009.

In addition, the program had 108 GED completers, 285 ESL students and 16 new U.S. citizens. IVCC’s I-READ Adult Literacy program served 554 students in 2009. 

In other business, trustees welcomed Dr. Larry Huffman of Peru to the board. Huffman, a former Kankakee Community College and IVCC president, was appointed Aug. 3 to fill the vacancy of trustee Paula Endress.

In other action, trustees approved the hiring of Patricia Williamson as Director of Financial Aid. Williamson, the former director of student financial planning at Concordia University Chicago and financial aid director at both College of Lake County and Triton, has over 25 years experience in the field. She starts Sept. 8.

The board also approved

  • A $34 million fiscal 2010 budget following a public hearing.
  • Insurance premiums totaling $266,993. The package provides the same coverage previously enjoyed by the college at a savings of $10,015.
  • The transfers of $156,000 from the auxiliary/bookstore fund to athletics and $43,000 from auxiliary/food service to childcare.
  • The $19,500 bid of Standard Industrial Auto Equipment of Hanover Park for a 4-post alignment rack for the automotive technology program and $10,456 in bids from three firms for biology instructional supplies.
  • An identity theft prevention policy “to detect, prevent, and mitigate loss due to errors or malicious behavior …”

The board also learned

  • IVCC will receive maximum funding – $20,000 per year for four years – from the U.S. Department of Education through the “Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program.” The grant will provide partial to full tuition waivers for students who have children in IVCC’s Early Childhood Education Center. Corcoran credited instructor Diane Christianson and Dean of English, Mathematics and Education Marianne Dzik for writing the successful application.
  • All six July graduates of the therapeutic massage program passed the National Certification Board Exam and are now licensed massage therapists. Over the 10-month program, students performed over 1,500 free therapy sessions, which amounts to over 1,000 hours of community service. 
  • The City of Ottawa has hired the architectural firm of Serena Sturm to prepare the building renovation plan for IVCC’s proposed Ottawa Center on West Main Street. The plan will include a number of “green” features to enhance energy conservation, Corcoran said. The administration hopes to bring a final plan to the board for approval in October or November. The board received letters of support for Ottawa Center from Marquette High School and Serena and Earlville unit districts.
  • Rosemary McGinnis, Ottawa Regional EMS Coordinator and adjunct instructor for IVCC’s EMT program, received the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Educators Award in August for “hard work, diligence and meticulous effort in EMS education.”
  • IVCC conducted its second New Student Convocation (NSC) Tuesday followed by the annual Spirit Day celebration. Corcoran commended NSC planning committee leaders Tracy Morris, Juletta Patrick and Dr. Rick Pearce for the successful event in which faculty and department heads donned graduation attire for a processional and presentation.