February 2019 Board Report
Illinois Valley Community College placed its Human Services and Graphic Design
Technology programs on inactive status at Thursday’s board meeting due to
approved discontinuing a Human Services Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
degree and certificate, as well as Substance Abuse Treatment certificates.
allow students already in either program the opportunity to complete
certificates or degrees, program courses will continue through the end of
spring 2020 in a “one-year teach-out,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs
The decision was
based on the administration’s annual review of “program viability.” The
programs had previously gone through “enhancement plans” in an attempt to
duplicated headcount fell from 140 in 2012 to 61 in 2018 and credit hours
generated from 420 to 180. The program had 13 graduates earn the AAS or a
certificate in 2016; just three students completed in 2018.
In a Jan. 14
memo to IVCC President Jerry Corcoran, Anderson lamented the program’s demise
after 16 years.
has strong ties to the social service agencies in the Illinois Valley. Many of
these agencies rely on our students to serve as interns and to staff their
entry level positions,” she said.
“In a very
humane sense, the program underscores our mission to contribute to the quality
of life in the Illinois Valley. Unfortunately, the dire need for people to
serve in this field has not attracted students to the program.”
One of the
primary reasons, Anderson said, is its entry-level positions “have low rates of
pay with limited career paths.”
prepares students for careers in family support, alcohol and drug abuse
counseling, adult day care, client and child advocacy, social services and
community organizing and outreach, among many other occupations.
coordinator and instructor Jean Batson-Turner, leader of the program since
2002, will have the opportunity to remain at IVCC as she is qualified to teach
sociology, Anderson said.
A few of the
Human Services students asked the board Thursday night to reconsider dropping
the program. Second year student Cyndi Freeman said the program produces
individuals “who mend the broken back to wellness.”
When informed of
the college’s plan to allow those already enrolled to finish the program, first
year student Patricia Dillard said, “That relieves a lot of fear for me.”
technology program coordinator Francie Skoflanc, who retired as a full-time
instructor in July, is teaching part-time this semester. No courses were
offered in fall 2018.
monitoring, this program remains low-enrolled and unable to generate revenues
that cover its expenses,” Anderson said.
After just two
students graduated from the program in fiscal 2016, graphic design rebounded
with 11 completers each in 2017 and 2018.
limited instruction is available this spring, it is unclear if that will
generate the credit hours necessary to demonstrate program viability,” Anderson
credited Batson-Turner and Skoflanc for their commitment to the college and
Francie have been wonderful representatives of the college across the community
in their many years of employment. They are well respected professionals
amongst their peers and have never given less than 100 percent to their
students,” Corcoran said.
In other business, trustees approved changes to 86 course fees resulting in 62
increases, 2 new courses, 15 decreases and the assignment of fees to 7 existing
The board also
of $450,000 to a Capital Development Board trust account for the building of an
agriculture program building where the dairy barn once stood. The college hopes
to move beyond storage as students learn how precision ag equipment works,
inspect it and perform minor routine maintenance out of the weather. The
building would also enable future expansion in other ag-related programs.
December 2018 Master Plan completed by Demonica Kemper Architects of Chicago.
of closed session meeting minutes from Oct. 12, 2017.
June 21-22 meeting of the Illinois Native Plant Society in CTC 124-125 that
will include dinners with alcohol.
agreements with Ottawa for a 12-year extension of a downtown TIF and with
Streator for its Route 18 East TIF.
of the 2020 fiscal year from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 and the budget
closed session, termination of an employee.
following closed session, the board responded to the American Federation of
Teachers Local 1810 regarding a faculty request to tie overload rates (beyond
what was negotiated) to whatever percentage increase is approved for part-time
board statement read: “As a follow up to our review of the complaints
voiced by the Federation on Oct. 11, 2018, the board and administration remain
convinced the collective bargaining agreement ratified Sept. 13, 2018, was
negotiated in good faith, followed fair and transparent discussions during the
entire process, and resulted in salaries and benefits overall that are
favorable when compared to peer community colleges. As Dr. Corcoran
communicated to (then-AFT President) Mr. (Steve) Alvin on the night of Nov. 8,
2018, no changes to the contract will be made at this time.
is absolutely no doubt about our commitment to making IVCC a wonderful place in
which to work and where every employee is valued. Our hope is that we can now
move forward together and focus our efforts on what we can do to boost
enrollments and grow the local economy for the betterment of the entire
The board also
on 180 online reviews, Niche.com ranked IVCC seventh of 48 Illinois community
colleges and 105th of 868 community colleges across the nation for the quality
of its professors, value, diversity, student life, safety and location. “Like
our board chair, I read every one of the reviews and found them to be
gratifying and informative,” Corcoran said.
Higher Learning Commission recently gave notice IVCC’s interim report had been
reviewed and matters pertaining to the strategic plan, academic program review,
retention, persistence and completion rate met HLC requirements. No further reports
are required. Corcoran credited Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah
Anderson for putting the report together.
high school superintendents have responded positively to a plan to market
IVCC’s Ottawa Center as a transfer academy. For the plan to be successful, more
high schools must be receptive to releasing seniors early in the afternoon to
enroll in college classes. “We will do everything we can to incentivize high
schools on the east side of the district to consider this,” said Corcoran.
“Ottawa Center’s fall schedule will be transfer-focused and we’re optimistic it
will have an impact on enrollment.”
fall, Illinois Valley Crime Prevention Commission will have advanced law
enforcement classes for police officers at IVCC. The commission plans to offer
courses for police officers who want to become field-training officers. “I
believe this will strengthen the partnership between the training commission
and local law enforcement and encourage officers interested in furthering their
education to do so at IVCC,” said Corcoran.
annual recruitment day for local hospitals at IVCC Jan. 28 introduced 53 of the
college’s soon-to-be-graduating RN students to a dozen representatives from
225 students from 11 high schools competed in the annual Regional Academic
Challenge Feb. 8 at IVCC. Winners advance to the Eureka College sectional.
State competition is April 22-25 at Eastern Illinois
annual Adult Education recognition event is 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 in the Dr.
Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre. The event honors those who have recently
passed the High School Equivalency Exam, become U.S. citizens or completed the
bridge to healthcare or manufacturing programs.
District State Rep. Lance Yednock visited campus Tuesday. “Rep. Yednock was
very clear in his appreciation for IVCC; I know he’ll do a fine job
representing our interests,” Corcoran said.
total of 165 fall graduates earned 186 degrees and certificates compared to 161
students earning 202 degrees and certificates in 2017.
In a letter to the
board, University of Illinois Extension ag program coordinator Daryle Wragge
praised the college for revitalizing its ag program. “After being in
agricultural education for 40 years at the high school, community college and
university levels, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support of our
young people in the agriculture industry. Your addition of a full-time
instructor, land lab, and an additional course structure is truly exciting.”