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May 2014 Board Report

Putnam County High School is partnering with Illinois Valley Community College to launch “College Start,” a program for up to ten of its seniors next fall, IVCC board members learned Thursday.

Academically qualified students will enroll in classes at IVCC that will be considered dual enrollment with PCHS.

“This allows their seniors to attend our classes in the fall, spring and summer while earning both high school and college credits,” said Sue Isermann, Interim Vice President for Learning and Student Development.

“College Start will help make their senior year as productive and challenging as possible,” said Isermann. “I believe it will also lead many to continue their education here the following year.”

To qualify, students need a minimum 3.5 GPA, no more than six absences the prior year, a 500-word essay and interview, among other requirements as determined by PCHS. The students will pay IVCC’s full tuition rate.

In other business, the board approved:

  • The retirement of 33-year developmental math lab instructor Cheryl Hobneck effective May 31. In her retirement letter, Hobneck said, “Regardless of their background, many of our developmental math students are successful. Each year at the academic awards banquet and graduation, it warms my heart to see so many of our students recognized for their academic achievements.”
  • Seeking bids on the summer resurfacing and repair of parking lot 1 for an estimated $250,000. Trustees also OK’d asphalt pavement repair, sealing and marking of the roadway for $16,083 from Seal-A-Lot of Ottawa. 
  • Purchase of a Yamaha CL-3 Bundle Special from Professional Audio Designs of Wauwatosa, Wis., for $19,701 for the Cultural Centre sound system. D.J. Sickley Construction of Peru was awarded the $677,061 bid to replace the system, paid for through Protection, Health and Safety funds and $45,458 from student technology ($11,900) and information technology reserves ($33,558).
  • The purchase of an Exmark Lazer X mower for $5,950 after trade-in from Martin Sullivan of Roanoke.

Board members learned:

  • Jackie Carlson has been hired as the bookstore’s textbook buyer.
  • In April, IVCC received a $90,000 grant from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for geothermal installation costs related to the Peter Miller Community Technology Center.
  • Board chair Melissa Olivero of Peru, an administrative law judge, was a 2014 Alumni Award Winner for Northern Illinois University’s College of Law and the NIU Alumni Association.
  • IVCC will be honored for its 40-year membership in the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s May 14 banquet at Starved Rock.
  • The April 17 job fair attracted 59 employers and feedback from employers and job-seekers was positive, said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.
  • Approximately 200 Hall, Marquette, Princeton, LaSalle-Peru, and Serena high school students participated in cadaver lab tours in April. Students also visited the Natural Sciences Lab and heard a presentation on the raptor rehabilitation program.
  • IVCC has received a $73,600 Illinois School Security Grant for “facility interoperable communications” using a distributed antenna system in all buildings. The $150,000 project will improve cell phone coverage and facilitate communication between college personnel and emergency responders as well as enhance cell phone reception for students and staff.
  • Corcoran credited committee members Paula Hallock, Jeanne Hayden, Theresa Carranco, Carey Burns, Sue Harding, Kris Curley and Glenna Jones for planning the April 25 employee recognition event at Grand Bear Lodge.
  • Corcoran met with Rep. Frank Mautino, Sen. Sue Rezin and other legislators at the April 30 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Lobby Day in Springfield.
  • Peru native and IVCC-LPO Hall of Fame member Jim Blass, Director of Caterpillar’s Research and Development Center in Mossville, led a May 1 tour of the facility sponsored by the La Salle County Regional Office of Education. The group of 17 counselors, teachers and administrators represented Streator, Ottawa, Mendota, LaSalle-Peru, Princeton, St. Bede, Earlville, Putnam County, IVCC and the LP Area Career Center.
  • Wednesday’s Honorspalooza featured student projects on social issues such as poverty, drugs, gifted education and alcoholism.
  • The Oct. 22 Manufacturing Expo at IVCC is expected to attract 300 high school students from across the district to visit manufacturers, tour the CTC and interact with industry experts and IVCC program coordinators.
  • Corcoran is on a taskforce of presidents studying the feasibility of Illinois community colleges awarding applied technology and/or applied science baccalaureate degrees. Nearly two dozen states allow community colleges to offer limited baccalaureate degrees to address unmet and documented needs, Corcoran said.