JWCC Trustees hear report on increased Spring Enrollment, 50th Anniversary celebration

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QUINCY — During its regular meeting on March 20 held at the John Wood Community College Southeast Education Center in Pittsfield, the JWCC Board of Trustees heard a spring enrollment update and details regarding JWCC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Event.

According to the Illinois Community College Board Spring Opening Enrollment Report released in early March, JWCC increased its spring headcount by 3.8 percent compared to last year. In 2023, the College had 1,679 students. This year’s spring headcount was 1,743.

“We gained students over the last year, which is great, but we still have work to do to attract and retain more students,” JWCC President Bryan Renfro said. “Enrolling students is the beginning; our mission is to ensure they complete a credential or certificate efficiently and affordably so they can transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree or directly enter their career pathway.”

Renfro also shared details of JWCC’s upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration event set for April 19 at 5:30 p.m. at Pointe D’Vine Vineyard and Venue.  The evening will include in-person remarks from Pike County native Jim Reed, a charter member of the College’s Board of Trustees, and a video featuring alumni reflections from the past five decades.  The event also serves as a fundraiser for the JWCC Foundation’s $500,000 Pathways to Promise Scholarship Drive. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at www.jwccfoundation.org.

“In its first 50 years JWCC went from a college without walls to an Aspen-recognized top 150 community college in the country,” Renfro said. “This event is to celebrate the trail blazers who bravely founded this college and the faculty, staff, students, community members, and supporters who helped it grow over these last five decades.”

In other business, Trustees:

  • Learned of the College’s efforts to create an equity plan as required for all Illinois community colleges.  JWCC is developing a plan with guidance and support from the University of Illinois Office of Community College Research and Leadership. The plan will focus on how to promote equity at JWCC and within educational and employment outcomes for all residents within the College’s service area.
  • Approved submission of a $5,000 grant application to the Department of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance for a Body-Worn Camera package for campus police to comply with the Illinois Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act.
  • Approved submission of a grant application ranging between $150,000 and $250,000 to the Illinois Community College Board for the Trades School Grant Program Round #2. If received, funds would be used to expand career exploration, credential opportunities, and work-based learning for high school students in the fields of welding, certified nurse assistant, truck driver training, robotics, and computer science.
  • Accepted an additional $72,000 in grant funds from the Illinois Community College Board from the Early Childhood Consortium for Equity (ECACE) program. Additional funds were requested beyond the initial three-year grant amount because JWCC doubled expected enrollment in early childhood programs. Funds will allow current JWCC early childhood education students to continue to receive grant-funded scholarships, services, and support through the Spring 2024 semester.
  • Approved changing the regular Wednesday, May 15, 2024, Board of Trustees meeting to Wednesday, May 22, 2024. The request allows the JWCC leadership team to attend an Illinois Community College Leadership Institute conference.
  • Approved changing the regular, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, Board of Trustees meeting to Tuesday, June 18, 2024. June 19 falls on a state holiday, Juneteenth.
  • Accepted the low bid of $89,995 from Midway Trailers, Inc., DBA Total Trailers for a mobile education trailer to provide on-site training for companies and schools. The purchase will be paid with Department of Labor Strengthening Community College Training/Access to Training Opportunities in Manufacturing and Technology (Round #2) grant funds.
  • Approved the 2025-26 College Calendar and revised the 2023-24 and 2024-25 College Calendars to include Juneteenth (June 19) as a recognized paid holiday.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, April 17, at 6:00 p.m. at the JWCC Quincy campus.

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