Local News

April Board Report IVCC

Illinois Valley Community College will pilot a Transfer Academy this fall allowing dual credit high school students to be released in the afternoon for classes at Ottawa Center, board members learned Thursday.


 The initiative will allow high school students to complete all general education core courses over four semesters – with the possibility a few summer courses may also be needed.


    “The schedule at Ottawa Center will be well-suited to students pursuing studies in humanities, social sciences and those uncertain what their major will be,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.


As with all IVCC dual credit courses, students will receive a 25 percent tuition discount and those qualifying for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program will pay just the $5 registration fee.  


“I anticipate this will bring a new demographic to the Ottawa Center in the afternoons as students are released to take classes there,” said Anderson. “I am also optimistic the experience of the college campus will attract more students to IVCC after high school graduation.”


IVCC is also developing a plan to allow dual credit students seeking STEM-related careers to attend afternoon classes on main campus.


The board also learned IVCC’s 60-credit Associate of Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity has been approved by the Illinois Community College Board.


Beginning this fall, the program will address a surge in demand for skilled workers in information security and will cross-train IT staff to protect networks from cyber threats. Courses include Managing Information Security, Digital Forensics, Security+, Cybersecurity Scripting, Computer Ethics and Ethical Hacking.


A 2017 study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education estimated there will be a 1.8 million worker gap in the information security workforce worldwide by 2022. Security analysts earn a median hourly wage of $45.26 with an annual salary of $94,134, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (2018).


In other business, the board learned part-time music instructor and Wind Ensemble conductor Gene Montgomery will retire May 18.


In his retirement letter, Montgomery recalled, “It was approximately 29 or 30 years ago that I was sitting in the office of Dr. Sam Rogal, Dean of what was then the Humanities/Fine Arts Division. We were lamenting the fact there had been a several year hiatus of having an instrumental performing group at IVCC, and he asked me if I knew of anyone capable of re-instating the ensemble.


“Although I was still a full-time public school instrumental and choral teacher, I quickly answered that I would be more than happy to accept the challenge,” Montgomery wrote. “Since that time, the IVCC Wind Ensemble has been widely respected among music educators in Illinois.”


    In other action, the board approved:

  • Sabbatical leave for the fall semester for Lauri Carey, a 19-year biology and horticulture instructor. During the sabbatical, Carey will work to improve curriculum and instructional methods in biology.

  • The retirement of 13-year welding instructor Paul Leadingham effective June 30.

  • The $1,469,000 bid of Dodson Plumbing, Heating & AC of Pontiac for the Building C Air Handler Unit/Chiller replacement.

  • Purchase of 71 PCs from Dell Inc. for $47,831 for rooms E215, CTC119 and B213.

  • Three-year licensing from CDW of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware/Anti-Virus software for $24,000. The cloud-based software manages and protects college devices, even off-campus.

The board also learned:

  • La Moille High School will begin a Career Start program in fall 2019 allowing its students to enroll in IVCC Career and Technical Education courses as part of their high school coursework.

  • IVCC nominated The Results Companies of Streator for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association 2019 Business/Industry Partnership Award. The customer service and sales call center has worked with IVCC since 2016 to provide its employees continuing education and college credit toward a customer experience and sales certificate. To date, 108 employees have completed the program and another 41 are now enrolled.

  • Final cost of the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre accessibility upgrade was $638,530, about $230,000 under budget. New seating and ADA-compliant ramps to each side of the stage were among the enhancements. The project was partially paid for from a bequest of more than $620,000 from the estate of Walter Durley and Hazel Marie Boyle.

  • Final cost of the exterior stairs upgrade was $138,652, about $95,000 under budget.

  • A new three-year lease has been approved with the Economic Development Corporation of North Central Illinois for $4,284 per year. EDCNCI will move into E building rooms 309, 311 and 312.

  • The retirements of Financial Aid Reconciliation and Compliance Specialist Lorri Foockle effective April 19, longtime facilities groundskeeper Mike Minnick on April 30 and textbook buyer Jackie Carlson on June 28.

  • Recent Student Government Association elections resulted in Matthew Klein of Peru winning as student trustee, Kaitlyn Ruppert of La Salle as SGA president, Lillian Moskalewicz of La Salle as vice president, Cierra Espinoza of Oglesby as treasurer, Andrea Medina of La Salle as SGA secretary, Haley Fittanto of West Brooklyn as sophomore representative, and Megan Brooker of Granville and Karlee Arjes of Peru as sophomore programming board members.

  • Admissions’ March 26 Explore IVCC event “was well planned and executed thanks to the fine work of Quintin Overocker, Aseret Loveland and Gracelyn Quesse,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. “A long list of faculty and staff played a role in making the event worthwhile for prospective students.”

  • The Foundation’s April 3 Giving Day III raised over $29,000.

  • Project Success, a federally-funded TRiO program serving students who are first-generation, low-income or with disabilities, scored a perfect 15 on the Department of Education’s annual performance report for how well a program meets its objectives. “Project Success exceeded all rates in persistence, good academic standing, associate degree or certificate attainment, and transfers to a 4-year institution. We had funding to serve 165 students and ended up serving 179,” said Corcoran.

  • The IVCC board and chair Jane Goetz hosted the Illinois Community College Trustees Association Northwest Region April 3. Computer aided design instructor Dorene Data presented on the college’s MIMIC (Making Industry Meaningful in College) program and on an initiative to increase the number of women in technology fields.

  • The nursing honor society Alpha Delta Nu inducted 16 members Monday.

  • IVCC sophomores Lillian Rodrigues of Mendota and Nic Bollis of Peru were recognized for extraordinary academic achievements at Tuesday’s All-Illinois Phi Theta Kappa banquet in Springfield. As Illinois’ New Century Transfer Scholar, Rodrigues earned a $2,250 scholarship. Both she and Bollis will attend Northern Illinois University next fall. Rodrigues plans a career as a physician’s assistant, Bollis as a pediatric cardiologist.