2020 - Page 2 of 132 - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC Receives $1.2 Million Workforce Equity Grant for 2021

A $1.2 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant from the Illinois Community College Board will enable Southwestern Illinois College to continue offering its one-year career training programs in East St. Louis.

“We’re able to continue the incredible work we’ve been doing at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus,” said SWIC Executive Director of Enrollment Development Bob Tebbe. “We look forward to expanding career pathway programs and helping students achieve their educational and career goals.”

SWIC received a $1.4 million WEI grant in 2020 to develop employment training programs to assist minorities in underserved communities. Those programs include certificates in Welding, Nurse Assistant, Food Service, Forklift Training, and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. This year, 274 students completed certificate programs at ESLHEC.

Additional certificate programs for 2021 include Phlebotomy, Practical Nursing, and Help Desk.

“The goal is to provide underserved residents of the East St. Louis area with vital job skills so they can earn a prevailing wage,” Tebbe said.

The 2020 grant also allowed SWIC to purchase a food truck to teach a food service class and a mobile technical education trailer to teach precision machining in that community.

To help students start their new careers, SWIC has earmarked funds from the 2021 grant to provide a stipend to students who complete a certificate program and secure employment.

“Southwestern Illinois College is developing relationships with community programs and businesses to create a pathway for students once they complete the program to enter into employment,” said Programs Outreach Coordinator/ESLHEC Site Administrator Gary Cruise. “We are excited to receive the $1.2 million training grant and looking forward to SWIC being a part of changing lives.”

The award to SWIC is part of an $18.7 million ICCB grant to 17 community colleges throughout the state that serve larger African American and other minority populations.

While the first year of the initiative was impacted by the current health crisis, demand remained high with 1,840 Illinoisans enrolling in WEI programs in the spring of 2020.

With the support of Illinois’ Legislative Black Caucus and House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth, funding from the WEI allows participating colleges to develop or enhance training and career pathway programs in primarily five high demand employment sectors – health care, manufacturing and construction, transportation, information technology, and emergency services.

For the full WEI report visit:  http://www.illinoiswei.org/.

To find out how you can sign up for one of the WEI career training programs, contact Cruise at 618-874-6595 or leonard.cruise@swic.edu.

Get a jump on filing 2021-22 FAFSA Oct. 1 using 2019 taxes

If you want to maximize the amount of student financial assistance for which you are eligible, then set your calendar for Oct. 1. That’s the day you can begin to file your 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Early FAFSA completion allows for additional funding opportunities such as the Illinois MAP Grant, which has limited funding.

“The application is a student’s first step in receiving financial assistance for college educational costs,” notes Financial Aid Director Jessica Evans. “Beginning Oct. 1, students currently attending or planning to attend Southwestern Illinois College can file their 2021-2022 academic year FAFSA using 2019 tax information. By filing in October, students can be considered for programs, like Illinois MAP grants, which have limited funding.”

Early FAFSA also allows students and families to have a better understanding of the aid they’ll have available to go to school, enabling them to make a more informed decision about their school choices and plan for a student’s or family’s contribution to the educational costs. To file online, visit www.fafsa.gov.

For more information or questions about early filing, call Financial Aid
at 866-942-SWIC (7942): Belleville, ext. 5558; or email fin_aid@swic.edu.

SWIC Fire Science Program students to learn on donated fire truck

Retired Fairview Heights firefighter Daniel Lougeay of Marissa, has made an in-kind donation of a fire truck to the Southwestern Illinois College Fire Science Program. The 1963 retired fire engine will be used by fire science students to learn how to operate a fire hose pump, as well as other things.  

1963 Fire Engine
Pictured, Daniel Lougeay, right, and son, SWIC Fire Science Program Coordinator Curt Lougeay, stand with the donated 1963 Fire Engine that Daniel donated to the SWIC Fire Science Program.

“Being able to help the next generation of firefighters become the best they can be, not only for themselves but for the safety of the public is what matters,” said Lougeay. “It also feels good to be able to contribute to one of the best fire science programs in our area.

Lougeay bought the truck from the Willisville Fire Department in 2002 and used it for parades and antique fire truck shows. The truck will be located at the SWIC Clay Baitman Fire Science Center, located at 1521 Freeburg Ave. in Belleville, where all the fire science courses are offered. The fire science graduates more than 30 firefighters annually.

“We really appreciate the donation of the fire truck to our program,” said SWIC Fire Science Program Coordinator and Daniel’s son, Curt Lougeay. “Having the ability to provide real-world learning opportunities for our students is extremely important and with the addition of this new equipment, we can ensure we are placing well-educated and prepared firefighters out in our communities.”

SWIC offers a two-year, 66-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree in Fire Science with two options and 11 certificate programs.

For more information on the Fire Science Program contact Program Coordinator Curt Lougeay at 618-234-5138 or curt.lougeay@swic.edu or for information on how to donate to SWIC visit swic.edu/community/foundation/ways-to-give/.

SWIC’s Mark Bosworth Wins NTMA Teaching Award

NTMA St. Louis Chapter President Tony Maus called Southwestern Illinois College Industrial Technology Coordinator Mark Bosworth an “Education Super Star” as he presented Bosworth with the William E. Hardman Award for Excellence in Training on Nov. 10 at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.

Bosworth, who has been with SWIC since 2008, has grown the Precision Machining Technology program from a handful of evening students to more than 60 day and evening students.

“I love working with the students and watching their skills develop,” Bosworth said. “I like to see them on track for a well-paying, solid career that will last a lifetime.”

The National Tooling and Machining Association is a US-based membership trade association with a collective force of 1,100 tool & die and precision manufacturing companies representing a more than $35 billion industry. NTMA’s focus is supporting the future of American manufacturing through small and medium-sized companies, and family-owned businesses. The William E. Hardman Award is a national award recognizing the high standards and achievements of educators.

“Today we are here to recognize Mark Bosworth’s role in training our next generation of precision manufacturing professionals and our industry’s next generation of leaders,” said NMTA president Roger Atkins. “The William E. Hardman Award for Excellence in Training is for a company or individual that has consistently demonstrated strong support and active participation in structured training for the precision custom manufacturing industry.”

In 2019, Bosworth won the Madison County CTE Business Supporter of the Year award for supporting local industry’s workforce needs and for serving as a conduit between industry and secondary/postsecondary CTE programs in the region.

In addition to being program coordinator, Bosworth teaches classes in all areas of the PMT program, which includes manual machining, computer numerical control (CNC) programming, and MasterCam programming, and some courses for Industrial Maintenance Mechanics.

In 2016, Bosworth was named SWIC Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year and won the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

Before joining SWIC, Bosworth taught at Ranken Technical College for 12 years and was a machinist for 11 years for five different companies in the St. Louis area.

Bosworth has a master’s degree in Adult Education and Administration from Jones International University and a bachelor’s degree in Management from National-Louis University. He’s also a member of the NTMA and SkillsUSA.

Bosworth lives in Belleville with his wife, Sue, and their daughter, Emily.

For more information about the PMT program visit swic.edu/pmt.

SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Adult Education now offering FREE classes

The Southwestern Illinois College Adult Education and Literacy Department at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road, provides FREE educational, vocational and transitional career services to eligible individuals from Madison, St. Clair, Randolph, Washington, Clinton, Bond, and Monroe Counties.

The following programs are currently offered:

  • High School Equivalency (formally GED) test preparation classes
  • Tutoring
  • English as a Second Language classes
  • Spanish Language High School Equivalency classes
  • Computer classes
  • Health Care Bridge to Nurse Assistant Certification
  • Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) – Precision Machine Technology (PMT)
  • Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) – Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Welding
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Forklift Training Certification
  • Career Pathways course
  • Job Skills course
  • Transition to college and/or workforce services

To learn more about upcoming SWIC classes in the Granite City area contact SWIC Adult Education and Literacy Transition Services Coordinator Torrin Suedmeyer at 618-797-7321 or via email at torrin.suedmeyer@swic.edu. Stay connected with SWIC SWGCC via Facebook @swicadultedswgcc and Instagram @swicadulted_swgcc.

SWIC Red Bud Campus offers out-of-school youth FREE services

Southwestern Illinois College is proud to offer the Youth Employment and Support Services Program, which is funded through the national Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Out of School Youth program. YESS provides St. Clair and Randolph County out-of-school youth, ages 16 to 24, with FREE comprehensive support and educational services to complete their High School Equivalency or secondary level of education. Work-site learning opportunities are also available to students in the career field of their choice.

Case managers design a formal, individualized agreement with each participant by assisting them in developing a plan of action to overcome barriers that may hinder them in fulfilling their education goals and/or obtaining employment that may lead to self-sufficiency.

     The following services are available through the program:

  • Tutoring and High School Equivalency instruction and testing
  • Employment opportunities linked to participants’ career interests
  • Work experience opportunities
  • Leadership development
  • Adult mentoring
  • Workplace readiness training
  • Follow-up services after exit (12 months)
  • Transportation assistance
  • Child care referral assistance
  • Comprehensive guidance and counseling, including referral to service partners for drug and alcohol counseling as needed

     To learn more about the YESS program or SWIC HSE classes contact SWIC Randolph County Youth Services Coordinator Karen Schaller at

Katherine Nieroda

Congratulations Katherine Nieroda!

Belleville, IL

Katherine Nieroda

In the degree of

Associate in Arts

ABC Pumpkin Cards

  • Cut paper in half
  • Fold long ways
  • Cut squares out
  • Cut pumpkin shapes – Leave part of the fold intac
  • Cut out green stems
  • Glue Stems to pumpkins
  • Add a letter to the front of the pumpkin – Draw, Use stickers, Have kids write the letter.
  • Open pumpkin card
  • On the top part of the card add a word and picture – Have kid tell you a Halloween word for the letter
  • Have kid repeat what you wrote
  • Repeat until alphabet is complete
  • Additionally you can also do numbers

SWIC Adult Education now offering online and in-person High School Equivalency classes

If you left high school without earning a diploma, let Southwestern Illinois College help you earn one from the comfort of your home or anywhere.  The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy department is now offering online and in-person High School Equivalency preparation classes.     

All services are free and online; support services are available.   

To learn more about upcoming SWIC classes in the St. Clair County area call Lachelle Dowell at 618-222-5365, toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5365 or email lachelle.dowell@swic.edu, for classes in Randolph County contact Karen Schaller at 618-210-8189 or email karen.schaller@swic.edu and for information about classes in the Madison County area call Barb Vrabec at 618-797-7358, or email barbara.vrabec@swic.edu.