On Religion, The Media and Life as a 20-something in Chicago

Posts Tagged ‘ECC’

ECC chief looks at legislative concerns (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

ECC chief looks at legislative concerns (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

ECC enrollment dips for 3rd semester (Sun-Times Media)

You may remember this as the site Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall said it “remained to be seen” whether Elgin emergency responders actually will use.

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2012 at 9:00 am

ECC trustees OK purchase of Burlington site for new center (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

ECC Alliance seen as ‘common core standards’ model (Sun-Times Media)

ELGIN — Three years ago to the day, “it was hanging in the balance,” Elgin Community College President David Sam said. The ECC District 509 Board of Trustees was considering whether to go for a $178 million bond referendum at its Jan. 27, 2009, meeting. The economy had begun to sour, and the community college already had lost a referendum in 2006, Sam said. But its campus at 1700 Spartan Drive needed major infrastructure improvements — especially its library, which was in danger of losing its accreditation, he said. Ultimately, the board pushed for the referendum, and voters passed it by 35 votes. And on Friday — Jan. 27, 2012 — Elgin Community College celebrated the completion of its last major Facilities Master Plan projects on campus with the grand opening of the Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources. “I remember the day after the referendum, somebody asked me, ‘How does it feel to have won by only 35 votes?’ ” Sam said. “My response was very simple: ‘Come and see what we do on campus in three years and see if those votes weren’t worth it — see the treasure that is going to serve the community for many years to come.’ ” The Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources was one of the largest of the Facilities Master Plan projects, budgeted at $26 million for completion in summer 2012. It was completed not just ahead of schedule for the start of the spring semester two weeks ago but also under budget, for $21.5 million, according to college spokesman Jeff Julian. It also was one of the most-needed. The previous library, similarly named the Renner Learning Resources Center, was built in 1970 to accommodate about 2,500 students, Sam noted. (In the 1950s and 1960s, it had been housed in Renner Hall at Elgin High School.) By 2006, enrollment had grown to nearly 12,000; and the Higher Learning Commission, responsible for accreditation, had cited the library as “unsatisfactory,” he said. It was the smallest community college library in the Chicago area — smaller even than many of the middle and high school libraries in the area, he said. And it was the one concern Sam had when he took the position as president five years ago, he said. “That was not going to deter me from coming here, and I’m glad I came to ECC, because we have accomplished nothing short of a miracle,” he said. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News. Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

School celebrates new library as a success of 2009 referendum (Sun-Times Media)

Where’d your school rank? Here’s a link to Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s full report, remarks on community colleges.

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Lt. Gov. Simon to colleges: Focus on the finish

ELGIN — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has released a report on the state of the state’s community colleges, and has proposed a number of reforms summing up her fact-finding tour of every community college in the state over the past year. That report found that four out of five recent high school graduates who enter such colleges do not complete a certificate or degree within three years, making community colleges, in Simon’s words, “revolving doors.” “We’re doing a good job of getting all types of students into the doors of community colleges,” she said in a written statement. “But now we need to do a better job of moving them across the stage at graduation with a certificate or degree that leads to a good-paying job here in Illinois.” To do that, Simon’s report lays out four steps community colleges can take to “focus on the finish.” She set a goal to increase the number or working-age adults in Illinois with certificates or college degrees from 41 percent to 60 percent by 2015. And she singled out several programs at Elgin Community College, which she visited in late September, both in her report and in remarks she made Thursday morning at The City Club in Chicago. “We have a lot of strong professionals at the college who have worked on this a long time and finally, they are being recognized,” Elgin Community College President David Sam said. “It’s a step ahead of many places, and we are pleased with that.” The lieutenant governor’s report puts ECC about in the middle of the 48 community colleges in Illinois for certificate and degree completion. ECC awarded certificates or associate’s degrees to 25 percent of students in three years or less between fall 2007 and fall 2010, Simon said. That’s a percentage that has held steady over the past decade, even as enrollment at the school has grown, according to ECC spokesman Jeff Julian. The community college awarded 2,529 total certificates and degrees in 2011, compared to 1,793 in 2008, according to the college. And, Julian noted, that puts the Elgin school at the top of the community colleges in the Chicago area. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Lt. governor encourages community colleges to ‘focus on the finish,’ touts programs at ECC (Sun-Times Media)

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Chinese students get warm welcome in Elgin (Sun-Times Media)

SOUTH ELGIN — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin surveyed the display of Raid cans, jars of Miracle Whip and Welch’s jelly, bottles of International Delight coffee creamer and Tide-to-Go sticks at Hoffer Plastics Corp., all made at the South Elgin company. Touring the South Elgin facility Wednesday, he joked, “I’m going to learn something today. The education of a senator is a daunting task.” Durbin’s visit to Hoffer Plastics was one of many he has made across Illinois to hear stories from businesses that are “doing well in the recession and hiring people,” he said. He had just visited Kraft Foods Inc. in Champaign, “where they fill the Miracle Whip bottles,” Durbin said. The senator said he was glad Hoffer was one of the last stops. That’s because part of Hoffer’s story is the WorkKeys assessment, part of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Partnership and 1,000 Workers Skills Initiative. Durbin also took part in a roundtable discussion about that initiative with Hoffer Plastics President William Hoffer, Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and Elgin Area Chamber President Carol Gieske, among others. Area government, schools, businesses and the United Way of Elgin all are part of the initiative. “This is good. This is good news,” Durbin said. “After all these travels to Danville and all over the state, Macomb and Champaign, all these places I’ve gone, I’m glad this is one of the last stops because you’ve kind of explained to me what we need, and it’s there. We just need a commitment to it.” For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Durbin keys in on local efforts at job readiness (Sun-Times Media)

ELGIN — Adult education has been “kind of wrong all along” in its traditional approach to learning, according to Peggy Heinrich, dean of adult education at Elgin Community College. Historically, the idea behind adult education was to ”go through the levels” — earning a GED (that is, passing the General Education Development test) or gaining English as a Second Language proficiency before moving on to higher-level courses, Heinrich said. As a result, she said, only 3 percent of adult students ever complete a degree. That could change at ECC, thanks to some outside funding help. ECC is one of eight community colleges in Illinois to receive grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other leading philanthropies to help adult students complete post-secondary education and training. That money is part of a $1.6 million grant from Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative, supported by the Gates, Joyce, W.K. Kellogg, Kresge and Open Society foundations. That’s according to the Illinois Community College Board, which was awarded the three-year grant earlier this month by Jobs for the Future. Breaking Through initiatives are co-managed by Jobs for the Future and the National Council for Workforce Education. ECC officials are not sure exactly how much money the college will see over the next three years, Heinrich said. Whatever is received will be used to expand a program to help adult students earn vocational certificates in a program ECC piloted last spring. “For me, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve seen in adult education since I’ve been here,” she said. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

Grant to help ECC with new adult strategy (Sun-Times Media)