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SWIC Earns 2021-2022 Military Friendly® School Designation

Southwestern Illinois College announced today, Feb. 26, 2021, that it has earned the designation of 2021-2022 Top 10 Military Friendly ® School.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly ® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation.

“We’re very proud to provide a welcoming environment for our active-duty military and veteran students, and help them earn a college education through their education benefits,” said SWIC President Nick Mance. “In addition, we’ve enjoyed a longstanding mutually beneficial partnership with Scott Air Force Base.”

SWIC has the largest population of student veterans of all colleges and universities in the state. Ten percent of currently enrolled students use military educational benefits.

Established in 1946, SWIC serves the more than 300,000 residents of Community College District 522 through campuses in Belleville, Granite City and Red Bud plus numerous off-campus sites, including Scott Air Force Base and the East St. Louis Higher Education Center.

SWIC offers more than 150 affordable degree and certificate program options – including online and accelerated courses – for students who want to transfer to a university or prepare to enter the workforce. Articulation agreements with public and private colleges and universities help to ensure the transfer process is seamless for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at militaryfriendly.com.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly ® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community.

Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, within a logic-based scoring assessment. Military Friendly also measures the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Military Friendly ® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data driven standards in our designation process. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs. Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community,” said Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly ®

For information about SWIC student veteran programs, visit swic.edu/veterans.

 About Military Friendly ® Schools: The Military Friendly ® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to

the proprietary, data -driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all post-secondary schools that wish to participate.

Criteria for consideration can be found at militaryfriendly.com.

Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at viqtory.com.

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 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.

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.

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’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.

Missouri History Museum Open

5700 Lindell Boulevard, Forest Park, St. Louis

(314) 746-4599

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday

You must reserve free, timed-entry tickets in advance to visit.

The Missouri History Museum Shop will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Café St. Louis will reopen July 22. The History Clubhouse will remain closed until further notice.

For tickets, visit the museum ticket website.

For additional information that can help you prepare for your visit, go to mohistory.org/museum-visits.

Juneteenth: Message from the President

Juneteenth: a time for reflection and recommitment on the Black Life and the Fight against Racism

As an institution of higher education, we at Southwestern Illinois College are committed to valuing human life,with respect, fairness, equality, and dignity. I am appalled at the recent events across our country, the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and innumerable others. The reality is: we as individuals have a responsibility to build relationships valuing each other with respect, to learn and to understand diverse cultures and views, and to appreciate each other’s unique backgrounds, societal inequities, and abilities.

In our continued commitment toward respecting differences, and in light of the national conversation regarding racism and injustices, Southwestern Illinois College empathizes with the historically unique Texas celebration of Juneteenth, the emancipation of the last Confederate slaves on June 19, 1865. Two months after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, five months after passage of the 13th Amendment and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery in Texas had yet to be abolished. On June 19, as a Confederate insurgency continued, Union Major General Gordon Granger, in command of 1,800 Union soldiers, proclaimed that “all slaves are free” in the state and that there would be “absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.” (Rita Reynolds, Associate Professor and Chair of Wagner College History Department)

Lizz Schumer, a staff writer for Hearst Magazines, on June 4, 2020 posted a Twitter comment from Makayla Butler on the Good Housekeeping website.

Juneteenth twitter image

Let’s respect, support, and extend understanding to one another as human beings because it makes us stronger and we are able to achieve greater success together.

Respectfully yours,

Nick Mance