2020 - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC program ranked 8th in nation

Southwestern Illinois College’s Precision Machining Technology program ranked No. 8 on stateuniversity.com’s list of Most Popular Schools for Machine Tool Technology/Machinist Major & Degree Programs in the nation.

The website stateuniversity.com is a national college and university ranking website that rates educational institutions on a variety of topics including best vocational programs, most affordable tuition and safest campuses.

“It’s exciting to be nationally ranked for our outstanding program,” said Dean of Technical Education Bradley Sparks. “At only $122 per credit hour our program is the best value in the region.”

SWIC offers a two-year, 72-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology. Certificates include: Precision Machining Technology, CNC (computer numerical control) Machining, Mastercam, SolidWorks and Advanced CNC Programming.

The SWIC PMT program prepares students with the skills and experience necessary to enter a variety of machining fields. Students learn to safely set up and operate machine-shop equipment such as lathes, mills, drill presses, grinders and computer numerical control machines. They also learn computer software programs to design parts and create programs for CNC machines.

Southwestern Illinois College’s precision machining program ranked No. 8 on stateuniversity.com’s list of Most Popular Schools for Machine Tool Technology/Machinist Major & Degree Programs in the nation.

“At only $122 per credit hour our program is the best value in the region.” – Bradley Sparks

PMT courses are held at the Industrial Technology Center on the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus. Students train on the latest most advanced equipment from HAASCNC and up to dated technologies used in industry today.

The SWIC program is recognized by NIMS, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills; and PMT students regularly earn medals at the SKILLSUSA challenge.

The website stateuniversity.com ranks institutions statistically based on U.S. government surveys and reports provided by the schools themselves. StateUniversity.com uses many different measures in ranking schools including ACT/SAT scores, student retention, faculty salary, and student/faculty ratio. For more information about the SWIC PMT program visit, swic.edu/pmt. Registration for Spring 2021 Semester begins Oct. 26.

SWIC offers 6-week online courses starting Dec. 1

Get ahead and complete the courses you need in only six weeks, wherever you are!

Southwestern Illinois College will offer 13 online courses that can be completed in six weeks during the semester break period, starting Dec. 1, 2020 and ending Jan. 11, 2021.

These classes provide students the opportunity to earn additional credits or finish degree prerequisites in a short period of time.

“These classes are perfect for SWIC students working toward a degree, or university students who need to earn some additional credits that will transfer to their institution,” said SWIC Chief Academic Officer Gina Segobiano, Ed.D. “Online courses in a variety of subjects make it more convenient to earn credit during the hectic holiday season.”

Courses available include:

• AOJ 258-SB1 Computer Forensics/Cyber Crime 3 semester credits  

• ART 101-SB1 Art Appreciation 3 semester credits  

• BIOL 106-SB1 Environmental Science 3 semester credits  

• BUS 209-SB1 Business Computer Systems 3 semester credits  

• COMM 151-SB1 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3 semester credits  

• COMM 155-SB1 Interpersonal Communication 3 semester credits  

• HES 151-SB1 Personal Health and Wellness 2 semester credits  

• HRO 150-SB1 Nutrition 2 semester credits  

• HRO 120-SB1 Pharmacology 3 semester credits  

• HRO 100-SB1  Medical Terminology 1 semester credit  

• LIT  113-SB1 Introduction to Fiction   3 semester credits  

• MUS 101-SB1  Music Appreciation   3 semester credits  

• PSYC 151-SB1 General Psychology 3 semester credits 

Visit swic.edu/courses for details, or call Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455.

SWIC Early Childhood Education Program Awarded $25,000 Competency-based Education Grant

Southwestern Illinois College Early Childhood Education program was awarded a $25,000 Illinois Community College Board Competency-based Education Grant. SWIC ECE Program Coordinator Carolyn Beal and SWIC Dean of Arts & Sciences Mary Ruettgers, Ed.D., co-created the grant application.

 According to the ICCB: This grant is designed to create and support Early Childhood Education competency-based education programs and projects in the community college system. Competency-based education focuses on determining a student’s achievement by evaluating proficiency within a set of learning outcomes and objectives moving away from traditional time-based constraints.

“This grant is a great opportunity for the SWIC Early Childhood Education Department and the SWIC community,” Ruettgers said. “Professor Beal has done a phenomenal job leading the SWIC ECE program as well as serving on many state-wide initiatives to further support Early Childhood Education. Initiatives such as these will help local ECE providers hire qualified candidates.”

Beginning with the Early Childhood Credential, between 2016-2017, all Illinois Gateways Credentials moved from standards and benchmarks to competencies. As a result, many colleges have worked to incorporate competency-based activities within their program framework and outcomes, including those related to technology. Many programs are also working to identify ways in which to observe and assess students in simulated or virtual reality scenarios. Through this grant project, grantees will have access to Mursion Technology, a virtual reality simulation platform, as well as technical assistance from ICCB and its partners.

SWIC is an Entitled Institution for ECE Credential Level 2-4, Infant/Toddler Credential Level 2-4 and Illinois Director’s Credential Level 1. 

This competency-based education grant will support the ECE program with the needed resources, technology and personnel to create modules, align modules with competencies, create assessments and rubrics, and access to virtual technology, Beal said.

The funding from this grant will support the creation of self-paced modules for students to meet the six-semester-credit requirement in Early Childhood Education to obtain the ECE level 2 credential or be lead-teacher qualified. 

For more information about the Early Childhood Education program, visit the swic.edu/ece or contact Beal at carolyn.beal@swic.edu.

Chantay White-Williams and Belle Hamm earn SWIC Faculty Member of the Year Awards

A passion for teaching, expertise in their subject matter and drive to help their students succeed are what made Chantay White-Williams and Belle Hamm the obvious choices for the Southwestern Illinois College full- and part-time Faculty Members of the Year Awards, respectively.

White-Williams is a full-time SWIC Associate Professor of English whose academic career has spanned more than 16 years. She embraces the culture of all students and uses creative and diverse material when teaching English and literature courses. White-Williams is a champion for underrepresented students. She developed and launched a course on African-American literature, has advocated to offer minority students more student-centered programming and also rallied to acquire special seating and software updates in computer classrooms for students needing accommodations.

She served as the English and Film Department Chair from 2012-2016; 
served as the Two-Year College English Association 2016 Midwest Conference chairperson; helped establish the Committee on Race and Ethnicity; hosted and assisted in the planning of the English Department’s conference on their Accelerated Learning Program; previously worked as the Computer-Assisted Instruction Coordinator in charge of the computer labs in the Liberal Arts Building; and received the English and Film Department Wonder Women Award while serving as the department chair.

Southwestern Illinois College Associate Professor of English Chantay White-Williams, left, of St. Louis instructs Anastasia Ottinger of Shiloh during her English class. White-Williams was named Full-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

SWIC Associate Professor of English Chantay White-Williams, left, instructs Anastasia Ottinger during her English class. White-Williams was named Full-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

“SWIC has a great many faculty who serve our students and our larger community in an exemplary fashion; however, White-Williams does it in a way that is consistent, year after year, with a thoughtful approach,” said SWIC English and Film Department Chair Steve Moiles. “The college is fortunate to have her in our ranks.”

When she isn’t teaching, White-Williams enjoys reading, volunteering with the Madison County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and spending time with her family. She also loves all things Star Trek.

She earned her Bachelor and Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is a member of the National Association of Developmental Education, National Council of Teachers of English and International Literacy Association and the Alpha Kappa Sorority-Upsilon Phi Omega chapter.

White-Williams currently lives in St. Louis City and has three sons, Marquis, Jonathan, and Jalyn; and two grandchildren, Jonathan, Jr. and Brooklynn.

Hamm is a part-time Adult Education Instructor who has been with SWIC since 2014. She is always eager to help students realize their potential. Hamm makes it a priority to establish a safe, non-judgmental environment within the classroom which helps nurture learning and self-esteem. She also takes into consideration the mental health and special needs of her students.

Hamm goes above and beyond to help her students succeed. Her extra measures include: individualized instruction, special testing accommodations, finding third-party financial resources, scheduling advocates to assist students in their daily living and medical needs, plus being available outside of classroom hours to meet with learners

Hamm has served as a High School Equivalency instructor at the SWIC Red Bud Campus, has become a certified Standard Proficient instructor by the Illinois Community College Board, trained new instructional personnel, established quality services within the Randolph County area and has become well-known as a community leader and resource for her students and community. It is Hamm’s personal mission to serve others and has proven she truly is making a difference in her students’ lives.

SWIC Adult Education Adjunct Instructor Belle Hamm
SWIC Adult Education Adjunct Instructor Belle Hamm was named Part-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

“My teaching philosophy is to show students the potential I see in them, even if they don’t see it in themselves and to give them a reason to be proud of themselves,” said Hamm. “I always strive to look for a reason to tell a student I am proud of them because many of our students have never had someone to express pride in them. As a result, I have been able to establish a safe classroom environment and a good rapport with students because they know I truly care about what happens to them in and out of the classroom.”

In her free time, Hamm enjoys volunteering at nursing homes, crafting, crocheting and spending time with her two Yorkies, Ollie and Sophie.

She earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is Middle School Certified in Language Arts K-9 and Mathematics K-9 and has her Standard Proficient Math Certification.

Hamm and her husband, Kelly, live in Sparta. They have two children, Grace and Luke.

White-Williams and Hamm were also nominated by the college for the Illinois Community College Trustee Association’s Outstanding Full-time and Part-time Faculty Member of the Year honors.

For more information about SWIC visit swic.edu.

SWIC to Host Workshop for Parents of Future College Students Oct. 6

If you are preparing to send your son or daughter to college in the near future, the Southwestern Illinois College workshop, Parent 101, can help you understand the ins and outs of the college process.

This free in-person or online workshop will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 6-7 p.m. The event is open to the parents or families of future college students in eighth through twelfth grades.

The informational presentation will include:

– Timeline for preparing for college
– The financial aid process
– Earning college credit in high school  
– Transferring courses to four-year universities
– Cost saving benefits of education and training at the community college

To learn more and to register, visit: swic.edu/admissions-events.

For more information, contact the SWIC Admissions at 618-235-2700, ext. 5675, or toll free at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5675.


Southwestern Illinois College is proud to observe the nationally recognized Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on Sept. 20-26. The annual awareness week was created to heighten public awareness, strengthen alliances, leverage resources, and increase the number of people who understand the vital role adult education and family literacy plays in our nation’s well-being.

The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy Department is a prominent supporter and contributor in helping raise awareness and aid in the fight against low literacy rates within the community. The college currently offers many classes and programs to assist adults such as Project Read, High School Equivalency test preparation, English as a Second Language, Vocational, Computer and Citizenship classes.  Some classes are offered FREE of tuition, for those who qualify. Other notable SWIC programs and special educational services are also available for residents ages 16 to 24 years old who need assistance earning their High School Equivalency Certificate, transitioning to college or finding employment.   

According to ProLiteracy, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level; 43 percent of adults with the lowest literacy  levels live in poverty; children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of displaying behavioral issues or dropping out of school and 68 percent of adult education and literacy programs are struggling with long student waiting lists.

Volunteer opportunities are also available for the Project Read Adult Literacy Program. For more information on Project Read contact SWIC Project Read Coordinator Deborah Bruyette at 618-235-2700, ext. 5462, or via email at deborah.bruyette@swic.edu; or for SWIC Adult Education and Literacy information visit swic.edu/adult-education contact 618-235-2700, ext. 5323 or email infoadulted@swic.edu.

2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

Annual Event Will be Held Virtually on September 16th

SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 27 Illinoisans and businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special virtual event on September 16, 2020 at 2 p.m.

The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service.

“These past few months have shown us once again that volunteers are the beating heart of Illinois,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “We are honored to be able to highlight just a few of the nearly 3 million people in Illinois who give back.”

The Commission received more than 215 nominations in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps, and youth) from the Commission’s five service regions across the state (East Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southern, and West Central). Commissioners reviewed the applications and selected 28 award winners.

Deserie Gibson

Deserie Gibson of Belleville, the Southern Award recipient for Senior Corps, began her volunteer service in the Senior Companion Program in 2006. She has provided more than 20,000 hours of service during the past 14 years, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. For the past eight years, Deserie visits her client, who has dementia, assisting with daily tasks and keeping her from harm. This client would have gone into memory care long ago if she didn’t have special attention from her Senior Companion.

Deserie feels “called” to help others. She spends her free time visiting others in a nursing home with their church ministry. She said, “Going where I can go, to help where I can help, is my mission.”

The impact that a Senior Companion can make in the life of one individual, keeping them from a nursing home for just one year, saves upwards of $75,000.

The following are the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. More information about the recipients is on the Serve Illinois website at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

East Central Award Recipients

Adult: Teresa Bachtold – Forrest
For service to Harvest Call

AmeriCorps: Jalen Butler – Springfield
For service to Springfield Urban League

Senior: Shannon Nosbisch – Dieterich
For service to Effingham Public Library

Senior Corps: Valerie Beguin – Towanda
For service to Fostering Dignity

Youth: Aja Capel – Urbana
For service to 4-H

Northeast Award Recipients

Adult: Scott Milliman – Chicago
For service to Literacy Volunteers of Illinois at Illinois Youth Center Chicago

AmeriCorps: Kiamara Rodriguez – Chicago
For service to Center for Disability and Elder Law

Business: Abbott Laboratories Legal Department – Abbott Park
For service to Ascend Justice

Senior: Donna Adam – Des Plaines
For service to Clean Up Give Back

Senior Corps: Shirley Cassens – Harvard
For service to Senior Services Associates, Inc.

Youth: Kiran Mohan – Buffalo Grove
For service to Crescendo for a Cause

Northwest Award Recipients

Adult: Dan Portz – Fulton
For service to River Bend CUSD 2-Fulton High School Robotics Program

AmeriCorps: Linda Bolls – Kewanee
For service to Abilities Plus

Senior: Ted Brolund – Rockford
For service to Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity

Senior Corps: Marjorie “Midge” Murphy – Rock Falls
For service to Dillon Elementary School

Youth: Lucy Kuelper – Rio
For service to #MoveOver Project

Southern Award Recipients

Adult: Michael Moyers – Herrin
For service to Christopher Elementary School

Business: PNC Bank – Fairview Heights
For service to East St. Louis School District #189

Senior: Melody Shimada – Carbondale
For service to Carbondale Public Library

Senior Corps: Deserie Gibson – Belleville
For service to SWIC Programs and Services for Older Persons

Youth: Elijah Gunter – Scheller
For service to Sesser Jr. Football

West Central Award Recipients

Adult: Daniel Luthi – Washington
For service to American Red Cross

AmeriCorps: Deja Jenkins – Galesburg
For service to Illinois Justice Corps/Knox County Courthouse

Business: JIMAX Group – Peoria
For service to Tireless Project

Senior: Joel Estes – Knoxville
For service to Blessings in a Backpack

Senior Corps: Lloyd Lawber – Griggsville
For service to Pike County All Wars Museum

Youth: Abigail Oakley – Quincy
For service to Quincy Art Center

Later this fall, nomination forms will be made available for the Commission’s companion awards program, the Governor’s Hometown Awards. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.

Experience breathtaking Alaska, coastal Maine or an island cruise with PSOP

Dreaming of your next big adventure? Let Southwestern Illinois College Programs and Services for Older Persons help make it a reality! PSOP is hosting three excursions in 2021 and 2022 that will create memories to last a lifetime.

Alaska by Land & Sea – Aug. 9-20, 2021
Explore the Alaskan “final frontier.” The seven-night cruise and four-night land adventure leaves Belleville, Monday, Aug. 9. 2021. Highlights of the adventure include visiting Denali National Park; taking a ride on the Alaska Railroad; experiencing a wilderness dogsled ride; viewing the gigantic Hubbard Glacier; visiting the Icy Strait Point; watching whales on the waters of Port Frederick; and all the amenities of the world-class Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium ship at night and much more!

The tour includes airfare, transportation, activities, meals, lodging on land, cruise accommodations as selected, entertainment on the ship, port charges, taxes, government fees, travel insurance and gratuities. Prices start at $5,023 per person, with double occupancy.

Landscapes & Lighthouses of Coastal Maine – Oct. 9-15, 2021
Experience all the beauty coastal Maine has to offer. The six-night trip leaves St. Louis on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Highlights of the trip include tours of historic Boston and America’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park; taking a scenic Casco Bay Cruise and seeing lighthouses, forts, lobster boats and seals; visiting one of America’s oldest and most photographed lighthouses, Portland Head Lighthouse; experiencing a traditional lobster clambake; traveling to the tallest peak in the Northeastern U.S., Mount Washington and much more!

The excursion includes roundtrip airfare from St. Louis, six-nights lodging in first-class hotels, nine meals, motorcoach transportation, admissions per itinerary, sightseeing, hotel transfers, baggage handling at hotels, a travel protection plan and a professional tour director. Prices start at $3,599 per person, with double occupancy and the booking discount.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise – Feb. 20 to March 3, 2022                 
This unique island winter escape is jam-packed with things to do and features something for everyone. The 10-night journey leaves Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 and will explore what Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the eastern Caribbean islands, and Celebrity Cruises Millennium cruise ship have to offer. There are many excursion options to choose from including:  exploring vibrant coastal villages and white-sandy beaches; navigating the El Yunque rainforest; tasting local cuisine; shopping at local shops filled with artisanal batik clothing, leatherwork and textiles; riding a narrow-gauge train through breathtaking scenery; snorkeling to view sunken shipwrecked ships; viewing the magnificient Mount Liamuiga, a 3,792-foot-high dormant volcano and more!

The trip includes rountrip airfare and airport transfers; one-night lodging in Ft. Lauderdale with breakfast; 10-night cruise in selected accomodations; all meals and entertainment on the ship; baggage handling throughout the trip; customary shipboard gratuities; all port charges, taxes and government fees; tour-related taxes and gratuities for drivers and bellman and services of a PSOP representative. Guests also get to choose two of the following perks, at no extra cost: classic beverage package, unlimited internet package or an onboard credit of $150 per person for dining, spa, shore excursions and other onboard purchases.       

The deposit to reserve your spot for this excitement-packed excursion is only $500. Prices begin at only $2,999 per person. A passport is required and must be valid through Sept. 5, 2022. A passport card is not acceptable for this trip.

For more information or a brochure, call Group Travel Specialist Nancy Bauer at 618-234-4410, ext. 7020 or nancy.bauer@swic.edu.

Experience spring training with the Cardinals, discover the heart of Texas or explore captivating Iceland with PSOP in 2021

Dreaming of your next big adventure? Let Southwestern Illinois College Programs and Services for Older Persons help make it a reality! PSOP is hosting three excursions in 2021 that will create memories to last a lifetime.

Spring Training with the Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida – March. 16-19, 2021
Enjoy the beginning of spring with the “boys of summer.” The four-day trip leaves on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Highlights of the trip include a tour of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse; two Cardinals games at Roger Dean Stadium; exploring old-world architecture, beautiful fountains and sidewalk cafes in West Palm Beach; viewing celebrity mansions; looking for alligators while riding through the Everglades Holiday Park on an airboat; enjoying a “Gator” show by the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Team of “Animal Planet” and more!   

The trip includes roundtrip local airport transfers and airfare; deluxe motor coach transportation; three-nights lodging near the beach; three breakfasts and two dinners; all activities and admissions as listed in the itinerary; all tour-related taxes and gratuities and baggage handling. Prices start at $2,229 per person, with double occupancy.  

The Magnolia Trail & The Heart of Texas – April 24-28, 2021
Experience all the heartland of Texas has offer! This four-night trip leaves Saturday, April 24, 2021. Highlights of the trip include tours of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, President John F. Kennedy sites and locations, Perot Museum, AT&T Stadium, the western historic Fort Worth Stockyard District, Waco City and a guided tour of homes featured on the HGTV series “Fixer Upper.” Also included is shopping at the Magnolia Market at the Silos, viewing a cattle drive and much more!

The tour includes roundtrip airfare from St. Louis, four-nights lodging infirst-class hotels, six meals, motorcoach transportation, admissions per itinerary, comprehensive sightseeing, hotel transfers, baggage handling at hotels, a travel protection plan and a professional tour director. Prices start at $2,699 per person, with double occupancy and the booking discount.
Iceland Explorer – June 2-8, 2021

Discover picturesque landscapes created by volcanoes and glaciers, and learn about Viking heritage. The trip includes roundtrip airfare from St. Louis, motorcoach transportation, eight meals, sightseeing and admissions per itinerary, five nights lodging, hotel transfers, travel insurance, international air departure taxes and fuel, baggage handling at the hotel and a professional tour director. A valid passport is required.

Highlights of the adventure include visiting several museums such as Iceland’s National Museum, Skogar Folk Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. Also, view the Skogafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in the country; swim in a geothermal pool in the center of a large lava field called the Blue Lagoon; explore Thingvellir National Park; view hot springs and mud pots; explore five original Viking ships from the 11th century and visit Bessastadir, an ancient site and home to Iceland’s president. Taste “Hot Spring Bread” which is cooked using the heat from geothermal activity; learn Viking history and culture; and much more. The cost starts at $4,799 per person, based on double occupancy and with the booking discount.  

For more information or a brochure, call Group Travel Specialist Nancy Bauer at 618-234-4410, ext. 7020 or nancy.bauer@swic.edu.

George Portz and the Roots of Bluegrass Cancelled at SWIC

The George Portz and the Roots of Bluegrass concert originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. The concert is not being rescheduled at this time.

For ticket refund information contact SWIC Student Life Director Amy Brockman at 618-222-5324 or email amy.brockman@swic.edu.

For more information, call College Activities at 618-235-2700, ext. 5205.