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SWIC to host a Virtual Spring Job Fair April 28

If you’re looking for a new job or just want to explore your employment possibilities, it’s time for you to attend the Southwestern Illinois College Virtual Spring Job Fair. Employers from a variety of career fields are expected to participate in the event.

The virtual fair runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 28. All job seekers are welcome and the event is open to the public.

To register for the event, visit swic.edu/job-fair.

For more information, call Career Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5562, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5562.

Celebrate Spring with the SWIC Plant Sale and Family Fun Day in April

Dig out your gardening tools – it’s spring! The SWIC Horticulture program is selling reasonably priced water and vegetable plants, tropicals, perennials, annuals, and herbs grown by SWIC students over the winter.

You can get your green thumbs (and fingers) on these plants at the annual Plant Sale April 22-23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the SWIC Belleville Campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave. The sale will be held in the greenhouse, located on the southeast corner of campus behind the baseball fields.

“Horticulture students play a major role in growing and nurturing these healthy, hardy plants throughout the semester,” said SWIC Horticulture Program Coordinator Kurt Range. “They get to see their hard work pay off by selling these beautiful, hardy plants.”

Only cash and check payments will be accepted. Proceeds benefit the Horticulture program.

In addition to the plant sale, SWIC will also be hosting a family fun day Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food and drinks available for purchase from SWIC’s very own food truck, Ollie’s Eatery; free flower pot decorating; carnival games and bounce houses. Also on display will be SWIC’s CNC mobile truck, a helicopter and more!

Everyone must wear a mask and social distance. For more information about the plant sale contact Kurt Range at 618-235-2700, ext. 5135 or kurt.range@swic.edu.

Fire Science program receives equipment donation

Thanks to O’Fallon Fire Department and Chief Brad White, the Southwestern Illinois College Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center received a donation of Amkus and Phoenix Vehicle Extrication Tools. These tools will be used to train firefighters across the program in various specialties. The SWIC Fire Science training program includes a two-year, 66-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree with Fire Protection Administration and Fire-Rescue Specialist options. Eleven certificates, ranging from Vehicle Rescue Operations to Hazardous Materials First Responder, help firefighters develop specific skills. The Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center, located on Freeburg Avenue in Belleville, is used for hands-on training designed to meet various national fire service training standards. For more information, visit swic.edu/fire-science.

SWIC to Host Workshop for Parents of Future College Students April 20

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, April 20, from 6-7 p.m. The event is open to the parents or families of future college students in eighth through twelfth grades. Face masks and social distancing will be required.

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 questions or more information, contact SWIC Admissions at 618-235-2700, ext. 5200.

SWIC Running Start alum gets a jump-start on his career

Maryville native Jackson Smith always knew he wanted to pursue engineering as a career. Smith’s ambition and passion for engineering is what helped him achieve a high school diploma and two associate degrees, at the same time, by being a part of the Southwestern Illinois College Running Start program.

He graduated from Triad High School, earned an Associate in Science and Associate in Arts from SWIC in 2019 and is now pursuing a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics from the University of Evansville.  

The Running Start program allows highly qualified high school juniors and seniors to earn a high school diploma from their local high school or homeschool, while simultaneously earning a transfer degree from SWIC.

Jackson Smith
SWIC Running Start program graduate, Jackson Smith of Maryville.

“I chose to be a part of the SWIC Running Start program because I knew it would make me stand-out from other individuals and give me an advantage over other students trying to enter the competitive field of engineering,” said Smith. “SWIC laid the foundation for my diverse skill-set in physics, chemistry and math; having learned these tools early on in my career gives me an edge and will enable me to excel further in my career.”

He believes that if you do good work and have a passion to keep growing and learning, you can have a real impact in your field and possibly the world. Smith feels that engineering helps people to understand mathematics and principles behind ideas as simple as linear spring motion and as complex as thermo-fluid dynamics.

He is currently a mechanical engineering student at the University of Evansville in Indiana, a teacher’s assistant for the Engineering Department, a campus dorm lead resident assistant and will soon be starting an internship at BWX Technologies, Inc.
 
Smith is a member of the National Mechanical Engineering Honors Society, Pi Tau Sigma, as well as a member of the National Engineering Honors Society, Tau Beta Pi. He has also been conducting research on thermosiphons and solar powered water heaters for use in third world countries.

In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, ultimate frisbee, card games, sand volleyball and watching rocket launches and static fire testing.

In the future, Smith hopes to be able to place his “engineering fingerprints” on as many unique places as possible such as the depths of the ocean, top of mountains or even in space.

“Knowing I helped design and create something that is on another planet or orbiting the Earth would be a crowning achievement,” Smith said.

For more information on the SWIC Running Start program, visit swic.edu/running-start.

SWIC releases fall 2020 dean’s list

The following is a list of full- and part-time students on the Southwestern Illinois College Dean’s List for the Fall 2020 Semester.

This list includes full-time students who completed 12 or more semester credits during the semester and part-time students who completed six or more semester credits during the semester while maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown:
SWIC Fall 2020 Dean’s List

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

SWIC releases fall 2020 grad list

The following is a list of Southwestern Illinois College students who graduated at the conclusion of the fall 2020 semester. The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown.

The list also denotes students who graduated with honors (a 3.5 grade point average or higher) and with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

SWIC Fall 2020 Graduate List   

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

Southwestern Illinois College Team Featured in Pilot Episode of ‘Clash of Trades’ and Advancing to National Skilled Trades Competition

A team of students from Southwestern Illinois College are finalists in the Project MFGTM National Challenge this month, a skilled trades competition for a chance to win scholarships, prizes and title of national champion. The team will be featured in the upcoming pilot episode of Clash of Trades to celebrate National Welding Month in April.

The students will compete in a two-day challenge March 24 and 25, 2021, at the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, with a film crew on site to capture the event. The team, along with three other teams from across the country, advanced to the national competition after rigorous judging in complex advanced manufacturing skills. Teams work together in a challenge that mirrors the real-world, hands-on skillsets needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing.

The SWIC team includes students Gavin Becherer of Troy, Connor Barnard of Godfrey and Connor Braasch of Troy.

The teams from Danville Community College, Calhoun Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and Southwestern Illinois College were selected based on rigorous judging of a complex advanced manufacturing project and conclude the 2020 competition series that was delayed due to COVID-19.

Each team is comprised of current or recently graduated students who are learning a skilled trade. The teams work together in a challenge that mirrors real-world, hands-on skillsets needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing.

The pilot episode of Clash of Trades will premiere on YouTube on April 20, 2021, at 7 pm CST, when the national champion will be revealed. The show will provide an engaging look at each team’s story and their approach to completing the challenge, judged by a panel of expert judges. The show intends to change the perception of the skilled trades by highlighting the stories of individuals entering the field and the high-tech, future-focused work of the US manufacturing industry. Those who register to view Clash of Trades on April 20 can enter a chance to win a $2500 scholarship.

The manufacturing industry is experiencing exponential change and new technologies are not eliminating jobs as some predicted. Studies have found the reverse – more jobs are being created. The skills gap may leave more than 2 million positions unfilled if more young people don’t enter the skilled trades. The US Department of Defense declared this deficit as one of the most vital challenges for the US defense industrial base.

Project MFG shines a light on the need and opportunities for skilled trades by focusing on the development of new talent to provide a path forward for individuals and our country. Project MFG competitions throughout the United States promote the trades across industries and help advance the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals. As an integrated workforce development and recruitment effort, Project MFG collaborates across communities, the private sector and government to expand the US industrial base workforce.

Project MFG is a program of the Global Learning Accelerator Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, funded by the Department of Defense, and operated and managed by RD Solutions, LLC. The mission of the Global Learning Accelerator is helping people find the nexus between their passions and what the world needs.

For more information about the SWIC Technical Education program, visit
swic.edu/tech-ed. For more information about Project MFG and the Clash of Trades premiere on April 20, 2021, please visit: www.projectmfg.com.

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 ANNOUNCES POETRY OUT LOUD WINNERS

Local high school students had the chance to show off their creative abilities through poetry through the 2020-2021 Poetry Out Loud competition, hosted by Southwestern Illinois College Feb. 11.

Each contestant submitted recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 1,100 poems. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding and accuracy.

Seven area high schools participated including Collinsville High School, East St. Louis Senior High School, Edwardsville High School, Freeburg Community High School, Governor French Academy, Mascoutah High School and Wyvetter Younge Alternative Center.

Winning artists for the contest include:                       

Edwardsville High School

Champion Winner: Jordyn Ginestra for reciting“The Wish, By a Young Lady” by Laetitia Pilkington and “My Partner Wants Me to Write Them a Poem About Sheryl Crow” by Kayleb Rae Candrilli.

Freeburg High School

Runner-Up: Joshua Merz for reciting“Altered After Too Many Years Under the Mask” by C.A. Conrad and “Hunger for Something” by Chase Twichell.

Ginestra and Merz will advance to the Poetry Out Loud state competition in March 2021, along with two finalists from each of the other seven Illinois regional contests.

The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency and SWIC.

To view all the poetry submission or for more information visit
swic.edu/poetry-out-loud or contact Amy Brockman at 618-235-2700, ext. 5324.