JWCC looking at enrollment bump

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QUINCY — THEJohn Wood Community College Board of Trustees heard a promising report about the potential for future enrollment during its regular meeting Wednesday.

Dave Hetzler, dean of career and technical education, provided a special report to the Board that showed the College’s JDub Academy experienced a 48 percent increase in enrollment from the previous year. JDub Academy is a hands-on learning program for youth in grades kindergarten through 12th grade held at JWCC’s Quincy campus, regional centers and various sites during the month of June.

During the summer of 2023, 481 students enrolled in 51 classes offered by the academy, which ranged from agriculture and game design to geography and First Aid. The previous summer 324 students participated in the program and in 2021 the academy served 255 youth.

“It’s never too early for kids to identify a subject or activity that connects with a potential career field,” Hetzler said.  “Many students learn best when hands-on activities connect with concepts and skills and it is our job to provide those types of learning activities, especially during the summer, to help students continue to absorb and apply information in new settings.”

JWCC President Bryan Renfro added to Hetzler’s comments noting that JDub Academy’s success is a positive indicator for future enrollment and for students’ potential career paths.

“The students in JDub Academy should be considering additional ways to narrow down specific interest areas that lead to future career paths, and it is the College’s job to help them do that,” Renfro said. “Today’s JDub students should be sitting in dual credit or concurrent enrollment courses with John Wood very soon.  Our job is to help them learn about and visualize a career pathway as early as junior high and then provide guidance, experiences, job shadows, and courses that help them pursue their passion.”

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved a $18,013,268 balanced budget for the 2024 fiscal year. The tentative 2023–2024-year budget includes a zero-dollar increase in tuition and universal fees. Tuition and fees account for 43.7 percent of total revenue. Corporate and personal property taxes make up 37.6 percent, state funding 13.4 percent, and 5.2 percent is from facilities rentals and other sources.   JWCC kept the local property tax rate flat from the previous year.  An increase in equalized assessed valuation for property in the district will result in an estimated $137,166 in operating revenue.
  • Approved payment of $3,927 for the first installment of Illinois Community College Trustee Association dues.
  • Appointed Dean of Business Services and Institutional Effectiveness Josh Welker as College treasurer and Director of Fiscal Services Nora Klingele as assistant treasurer.
  • Authorized a revision of Board Policy 420 regarding student grievances and a revision to Board Policy 420 regarding student education records.
  • Approved five Resource Allocation and Management Plan documents and commitment of associated matching funds for submission to the Illinois Community College Board.
  • Approved closing the College for employee professional development for the afternoon of October 17, 2023.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, August 16, at 6:00 p.m. at the JWCC Workforce Development Center.

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