February 2002 Board Meeting Report

Nearly 90 percent of Illinois Valley Community College’s 184 truck driver training graduates have been employed in the business since the program started two years ago, the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees learned Wednesday.

Bruce Hartman, coordinator of the truck driver training program, gave the board an update on the program’s growth and the truck industry’s satisfaction with IVCC graduates.

Jeff Turchi, a former 20-year LTV Steel employee, recently completed the program and is now working at JCJ Trucking of Peru. "IVCC does a great job of preparing drivers for the road and also does a great job with placement," Turchi told the board.

Truck driver training had 86 students in its first full year and has seen that number grow to 80 students already for the first three-quarters of this year. The number of trainers also has expanded with the program from two at its inception to eight today.

"Our motto is do whatever it takes," said Hartman. "We utilize the trucks and equipment throughout the day to help move the students through the program and into the working community."

While truck driver training has been one of the choices for some of the LTV Steelworkers who lost their jobs when the Putnam County plant closed, Hartman said the truck driver training classes also have proven popular with several other segments of the Illinois Valley population.

For example, the company has contracted with Illinois Cement Co. to provide customized training for drivers, and nine have been trained so far through the program. Presently, 12 students are in the classroom and another nine are training with the equipment. Hartman said the goal is to continue to expand the program safely, efficiently and profitably.

From the trucking industry’s perspective, IVCC has delivered competent, qualified graduates. "IVCC has an excellent program," said Gary Dahl, owner of a local trucking company and member of an advisory board that helped start the program. "The classes have gone way above what we envisioned. Classes are being offered in three shifts, and the quality of the training is absolutely first class."

The board also heard a report from Project Success director Marty Wygmans and program participants Lisa Twardowski and John Oelschlager. Project Success serves about 180 first-generation, low-income and disabled students each year.

"I enjoy the individual attention I receive from Project Success," said Oelschlager, who will transfer to Northern Illinois University next fall to study meteorology. "Marty is able to focus on my problems and help me find solutions.

"Project Success counselors have helped me with scholarship applications, allowed me to register early and helped me get my classes set up at NIU," he added.

In personnel action, the board approved tenure for five instructors: Robert Abele, philosophy; Stephen Charry, history; Laura Hodgson, nursing laboratory; Tina Nink, nursing; and Tom Tunnell, mathematics.

The board accepted the resignations of two instructors, Ray Garcelon, health and physical education, and Glenda Tannahill, computer information systems.


In other business, the board:

  • Authorized preparation of the fiscal year 2003 budget.
  • Learned IVCC will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Associate Degree Nursing this year. Gloria Bouxsein, chair of the division of health professions, said IVCC nursing program graduates account for about 60 percent of all the nurses working in district hospitals.
  • Learned English instructor Randy Rambo has earned the 2002 Faculty Excellence Award. According to his nomination papers, Rambo of Spring Valley earned the award, which is voted on by faculty and counselors, for being a "skilled, innovative pioneer who captures the attention and respect (of students). He is a teacher in the fullest essence…"
  • Accepted the $20,925 bid from Castle-PrinTech in DeKalb for printing the fall/summer class schedule.
  • Approved a three-year contract to provide computing services and support for La Salle County. Four full-time IVCC support staff provide services for 18 county offices in six buildings.
  • Learned of the appointments of Rhonda Veit as secretary to the vice president for business services and finance; Aime Nauyalis as secretary to the career planning and placement center; and Deborah Crask as literacy program manager. The board also was notified of the resignation of Judy Meling, secretary for Student Support Services.
  • Learned spring semester enrollment is up 5 percent from one year ago with 4,015 credit students enrolled as of Wednesday. In addition, IVCC President Jean Goodnow said the Feb. 16 Foundation Dinner Dance at Mendota Civic Center was a success with 128 in attendance.
  • Learned seven state Senate and House of Representatives candidates will participate in the 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 "Candidates’ Forum on Education" in IVCC’s Cultural Centre.
  • Learned IVCC’s Early Childhood Education Center has earned accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC recognition has been achieved by just seven percent of early childhood programs nationwide.
  • Goodnow announced McHenry County College President Daniel J. LaVista has been named the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s executive director. "We are optimistic community college capital projects will be given more attention under his leadership," said Goodnow.