JWCC Trustees approve discounting two dual credit tuition rates

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QUINCY — During its regular meeting on February 21, John Wood Community College Board of Trustees approved discounting two dual credit tuition rates to expand access to students seeking college credit in high school.

JWCC courses taught in person at a high school by that school’s instructor will be discounted from $170 per credit hour to $50 a credit hour. Courses taught in high school by a JWCC instructor will be discounted from $170 per credit hour to $100 per credit hour. Both rates are inclusive of fees and will take effect in the Fall of 2024. All other dual enrollment tuition rates for high school students will remain the same.

“We’ve listened to the superintendents, administrators, teachers, and parents in our district and are lowering our tuition rates in these two categories to help more students access college credit while in high school,” JWCC President Bryan Renfro said. “Providing access to higher education to those who might not otherwise seek or afford it is a key component of our mission. Research has found that without some form of adapted tuition model, there are likely to be substantial gaps in college success between lower-income dual enrollment students and those from higher-income families.”

Renfro also said that overall, college completion outcomes have been stronger for former dual enrollment students who continued at a community college; in some states, more than 60 percent of such students completed a college credential.

“We believe that by improving dual credit opportunities for all, that we are improving the likelihood of students attending and succeeding in higher education,” Renfro said. “I believe it is putting a pathway in place for all students to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

The Board heard a special report from Brittany McKeown, manager of concurrent enrollment, who shared the various components of JWCC’s Smart Start program for high school students, including course offerings, scholarships, and Career Academies in welding, certified nursing, and pre-nursing.

McKeown also shared that enrollment in the program has increased 47 percent over a five-year period. In 2020, 361 high school students enrolled in JWCC’s Smart Start program. This year, 534 high school students are taking JWCC classes in various settings.

In other business, Trustees:

  • Received an update on the Great River Federation of Advanced Manufacturing and Education (FAME) chapter. The group is comprised of representatives from JWCC, the Great River Economic Development Foundation, DOT Foods, Gardner Denver, Titan, General Mills, and Knapheide. FAME is actively recruiting individuals to enter into employment agreements with member companies to work three days a week at a minimum of $22 per hour.  Selected individuals will attend training at JWCC’s Workforce Development Center two days a week. At the completion of a two-year associate degree, FAME trainees will be eligible to move into full-time positions at a base salary at no less of $63,000 a year plus benefits.
  • Accepted a three-year, $595,000 grant from the Department of Energy through the Illinois Community College Board to be a local source for energy assessments for small-to-mid size manufacturers and develop programs focused on skilled trades jobs in clean and renewable energy.
  • Approved submission of a $100,000 grant application to the Illinois Community College Board for a non-credit workforce training initiative grant. The grant will provide no cost training courses that lead to industry-recognized credentials.
  • Approved submission of a $101,300 grant application to the Illinois Community College Board for an access and equity dual credit grant. If received, funds would help increase the number of eligible high school teachers participating in dual credit programs and expand dual credit offerings in English, Communication, Biology, and Math by Fall 2025.
  • Approved tenure for full-time faculty members April Darringer, education instructor, Michael Wells, computer science instructor and Sue Bride, health sciences instructor, effective at the beginning of the 2024-25 academic year.
  • Approved naming of the commons area in the JWCC Workforce Development Center in recognition of a $50,000 contribution from the Rotary Club of Quincy and approval to name the computer aided design classroom in recognition of a $25,000 contribution from Gardner-Denver.
  • Accepted a $34,350 bid from Williams Crow, Inc., DBS Aidex Corporation for a Robotic Trainer.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, March 20, at 6:00 p.m. at the JWCC Southeast Education Center in Pittsfield.

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