February 2021 - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC to hold tuition rate steady for fourth consecutive year

Good news for Southwestern Illinois College students. The Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to keep the tuition rate at $113 per semester credit for the 2021 school year.

The college has not raised its tuition or $6 information technology fee   or $3 student services fee since 2017. SWIC students pay only $122 tuition and fees per semester credit for classes, the lowest tuition rate in the state.

“The pandemic has caused financial hardships for so many people in our community,” said SWIC President Nick Mance. “The Board felt it would be in our students’ best interest to keep the tuition at an affordable, steady rate. We want to ensure a college education is accessible to all.”

SWIC students pay a fraction of state and private university costs. The average cost for a full-time student to attend SWIC for two years is $7,808. The average tuition for two years at a public university is $19,374 and a private university is $70,174, according to usnews.com.

“Students can save money by earning their associate degree at SWIC, then transferring to a university to complete their bachelor’s degree,” Mance said. “Or they can train for a variety of well-paying jobs in two years or less. Graduates can enter the workforce without massive student loan debt.”

Residents of Missouri and other surrounding states can also attend SWIC for only $122 per semester credit.

“We have a number of academic programs that community colleges in other states don’t have, so last year we opened the door to out-of-state students,” Mance said. “Out-of-state tuition was previously cost prohibitive; we’ve removed that barrier.” 

Some of SWIC’s more popular programs include: Aviation Maintenance Technology, Commercial Maintenance Mechanics, Industrial Maintenance Mechanics, Massage Therapy and Welding Technology.

The college recently added new programs such as Brewing Operations and Fermentation Science, Cannabis Industry Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Medical Laboratory Assistant, and Practical Nursing.

For more information, visit swic.edu/tuition-fees.

SWIC welcomes Dr. Ashley Becker as the new Dean of Business, Health Sciences and Homeland Security

Ashley Becker, Ph.D., has been named the new dean of Business, Health Sciences and Homeland Security programs at Southwestern Illinois College.

Becker brings 19 years of experience in higher education and has held previous leadership roles including Vice President of Instructional Services at Kaskaskia College, Senior Director of Academic Affairs for the Illinois Community College Board and College Director of ITT Technical Institute in Little Rock, just to name a few.

Becker is excited about working with SWIC students, faculty and staff. She enjoys and appreciates the mix of responsibilities and challenges that accompany her new role.

SWIC Business, Health Sciences and Homeland Security Dean
SWIC Business, Health Sciences and Homeland Security Dean Ashley Becker, Ph.D.

 “I love being a servant leader, someone who rallies their faculty and staff together to achieve the college’s mission,” Becker said. “It’s about impact, influence, inspiration and selflessness; I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing institution.”

In her free time, Becker enjoys watching her kids participate in activities such as tumbling, soccer, track, wrestling, basketball, dance, volleyball and spending time with family.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts from University of Great Falls in Montana and both her Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Phoenix. Becker is also involved with the CAEL Military Advisory Board and the Illinois Articulation Initiative.

Becker and her husband, Ian, live in Trenton and have three children, Kanyon, Grayson and Addison. For more information about SWIC, visit swic.edu.

SWIC welcomes new Economics Assistant Professor Dustin Sweet

Southwestern Illinois College is pleased to welcome new Economics Assistant Professor Dustin Sweet, who recently joined the college in the Spring 2021 Semester.

Sweet has a passion for economics and his ultimate goal is to help students understand the connection between economics and the real world.

Economics Assistant Professor Dustin Sweet
SWIC Assistant Professor of Economics Dustin Sweet

“I believe economics can be applied to everyday, real-life situations,” Sweet said. “I hope to be able to showcase that to my students and that they will leave my classes having a better understanding of why economics is so important.”

He will be teaching ECON 115 Introduction to Economics, ECON 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) and ECON 202 Principles of Economics (Micro).

When Sweet isn’t teaching, he enjoys refereeing youth soccer, running and golfing.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and both his Masters of Arts and Doctor of Economics at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Sweet currently lives in St. Louis.

For more information on economics classes or to search for courses offered at SWIC, visit swic.edu/courses.

Tips to help SWIC students succeed at online learning

Many students within the past year have had to transition to online learning. Whether you are new to learning from home or just want to be sure you succeed at it, Southwestern Illinois College has compiled the following best practices to assist students in their online learning journey.

General Tips:

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Create a weekly schedule, with exact times to focus on each class.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Tell family and friends when you are not available.
  • Work on one class for 30-45 minutes; then take a 10-15 minute break.
  • Submit all assignments on time.

Technology Tips:

  • Have consistent access to high-speed internet.
  • Have access to a computer. Not every assignment and activity will likely be able to be completed on a mobile device.
  • Check your SWIC email first thing in the morning and often.
  • Explore Brightspace and become familiar with its features and tools.
  • Additional software may be needed such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
    Be sure to download and test them before assignments are due.
  • Try different browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari, if certain apps, programs, or files are not working properly.
  • Always save your work.
  • Contact your instructor with any questions you may have.

For information on online tutoring, visit swic.edu/success-center; for technology support, visit swic.edu/students/services/support-services/technology-assistance/; or to search for online courses offered at SWIC, visit swic.edu/courses.