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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 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.

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/.

Katherine Nieroda

Congratulations Katherine Nieroda!

Belleville, IL

Katherine Nieroda

In the degree of

Associate in Arts

Kristen Lara Hammiel

Congratulations  Kristen Lara Hammiel!

Belleville, IL

 Kristen Lara Hammiel

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Massage Therapy

Kimberly Roseanne Bennett

Congratulations Kimberly Roseanne Bennett!

Graduate Statement:

“I am truly honored to be considered a 2020 graduate from Southwestern Illinois College. My time here was not a walk in the park by any means, but I had the opportunity to learn from so many outstanding professors during the course of my Marketing degree. I hope that anyone who has the chance to follow their dreams is as lucky as I am, in regards to learning from some of the best individuals out there. A special thank you to: Tom Bilyeu, Jessica Talleur, Paris Rosenburg, Karla Brown, Damon Chaffin, Ken Kelly, Catherine Evans, and a few others. I would not have made it to where I am without all of you. Thank you SWIC! Heres to being a 2020 Graduate!” – Bennett

Belleville, IL

Kimberly Roseanne Bennett

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Marketing

SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE

Excellence in Marketing, 2019-2020

Nominated By: Tom Bilyeu

Kimberly Roseanne Bennett

STUDENT RECOGNITION AWARDS 2020 – Business Division

Misty Garrison

Congratulations Misty  Garrison!

Graduation Statement

“Thanks to all who supported me on this journey! I did it!”

Belleville, IL

Misty Garrison

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Medical Laboratory Technology

Alexis J Sanders

Congratulations Alexis J Sanders!

Belleville, IL

Alexis J Sanders

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Medical Laboratory Technology

Basil Noel Shelton III

Congratulations Basil Noel Shelton III!

Belleville, IL

Basil Noel Shelton III

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Medical Laboratory Technology

John Wills Jefferson Jr

Congratulations John Wills Jefferson Jr!

Belleville, IL

John Wills Jefferson Jr

In the degree of

Associate in Applied Science
in Medical Assistant