March 2020 Board Report

Illinois Valley Community College graduates are faring well at Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University according to fall 2019 reports, board members learned Thursday.

At Illinois State, the average GPA for 168 IVCC transfers was 3.23, surpassing the 3.07 average for all 3,900 community college transfers and the 3.03 average for roughly 11,400 native students.

At Northern, the average GPA for 153 IVCC transfers was 3.19 compared to the 3.07 average for 6,600 community college transfers and the 2.90 average for more than 6,300 native students.

“The reports show our students continue to excel academically after transferring,” said Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski.

In a campus update opening the meeting, Grzybowski said IVCC’s student body is getting younger.

“At the height of the enrollment bubble in fall 2010, the mean age was 25,” Grzybowski said. “In fall 2019 it was slightly less than 24.”

Also noteworthy, Grzybowski said is increased “financial stressors” on students.

“Last fall, 72 percent of students filing the FAFSA were awarded Pell or MAP awards – both of which are primarily income-based,” he said.

In other business, the board approved:

  • Intermediate and advanced welding certificates in both GMAW (gas metal arc welding) and SMAW (shielded metal arc welding).
  • The $608,000 bid of John’s Service and Sales of Oglesby for the Building F (Weeg Cultural Centre) air handling unit and Building J (Auto Shop) exhaust upgrades.
  • The $267,750 bid for replacement of the gym bleachers by Carroll Seating Company of Elk Grove Village. The work will take place this summer.
  • A campus office for Central Illinois Police Mobile Training Unit (MTU). MTU will lease an office in the Peter Miller Community Technology Center and have access to a classroom for training. “This arrangement will provide a safer campus and allow for unique experiences for criminal justice students,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.
  • A pledge to work collaboratively with all Illinois community colleges as part of an Illinois Community College Board initiative entitled CAREER (Comprehensive Agreement Regarding the Expansion of Educational Resources).

Board members learned:

  • IVCC’s student loan default rate for 2017 was 8.9 percent, the best it has been in three years and lower than the 2016 state average. “This is a credit to our Financial Aid staff, including director Eric Johnson and his predecessor Patty Williamson,” said Corcoran.
  • The Feb. 26 Edible Car Contest attracted LaSalle-Peru High School, St. Bede Academy, DePue High School, La Moille High School, Putnam County and Trinity Catholic junior highs and many IVCC students, faculty and staff.
  • The March 6 Career Expo at IVCC drew over 1,000 students from three high schools and 13 grade schools. Among the 75 career sessions facilitated by 80 faculty, staff, students and outside presenters were law enforcement, manufacturing, banking, marketing, health care, social services and building and construction trades.
  • The annual employee recognition event is Friday, April 17 at Grand Bear Lodge. Social hour begins at 4 and presentation of awards at 5:30.
  • Contracts were renewed for the 2020-21 academic year with non-tenured faculty Jessie Bouxsein and Amber Robertson, nursing; Nicholas Fish, EMS; Amber Fox, accounting; David Garrison, mathematics; Stephen Gibson, industrial maintenance and electricity; Kevin Hermes, criminal justice; Kathryn Lillie, agriculture; Richard Marko, automotive; Nancy McDonnell, cybersecurity; Kaity Ritter, medical assistant; and Anthony Sondgeroth, welding. 
  • Grace Norris has been hired as electronic resources librarian and Katharine Young as help desk specialist.
  • Diane Kreiser, a 30-year business office employee and currently the interim payroll and benefits coordinator, will retire Aug. 31. In her retirement letter, Kreiser wrote, “It has been a great experience working at IVCC. I will take with me many special memories and friendships. I have been a champion of IVCC since I was a student and will continue to be one.”
  • Another nearly three-decade employee, Katherine Sramek of the admissions office, will retire July 31. “I’ve never regretted for a minute choosing to work in education,” Sramek wrote.  “Choosing to retire is both exciting and scary; nevertheless, it is time to spend more time with my grandchildren, in my flower gardens and travel.”
  • Leslie Martinez, enrollment services assistant, and Ashlee Fitzpatrick, administrative assistant in Continuing Education and Business Services, have resigned.
  • IVCC has entered into a six-month digital marketing campaign with Studstill Digital Solutions of Peru. The campaign will focus on prospects 18-24 years of age, students enrolled in dual-credit and dual-enrollment courses and high school students who have taken the SAT or PSAT exams.
  • Corcoran received a thank you letter from LP Principal Elect Ingrid Cushing for his Feb. 27 speech to the school’s 300 High Scholarship Legion winners. “Preparing and delivering an inspirational speech is a difficult and time-consuming task,” Cushing wrote. “The excellent attention of the audience and the many favorable comments we received indicate your efforts were most successful.”