Graduation Archives - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC to offer Sonography program starting fall 2022

You could be part of the challenging and well-paying field of Medical Diagnostic Sonography with only one year of training from Southwestern Illinois College.

Medical Diagnostic Sonography was named the top Healthcare Support Job, on U.S. News & World Report list of Best Jobs for 2022.

To help meet job market demands, Southwestern Illinois College is offering a three-semester, 42 credit hour, certification program in Sonography starting in the Fall 2022 Semester.

“The ultrasound career field is in such high demand with competitive pay in multiple healthcare settings,” said SWIC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Coordinator Jacqueline Owens. “There is so much more than meets the eye and being a sonographer allows you to see what’s happening with your patients up close and in real-time.”

Sonographers are trained professionals who specialize in operating non-invasive, ultrasonic imaging equipment. Such devices are used to produce diagnostic images, scans, and videos to assist healthcare professionals in making an accurate diagnosis.

SWIC’s Sonography program will provide foundational knowledge on the skills necessary to become a successful, registered sonographer. Not only does the program include classroom education, but laboratory, simulation, and clinical experience in a sonography setting as well.

The hands-on training allows students to have access to the latest equipment and technologies available within the field.

If you have already earned an Associate in Applied Science in a related healthcare field, such as Nursing Education or Radiologic Technology, you could qualify to enter this program.

Sonographers work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient imaging centers. The field is expected to grow 12 percent by year 2029. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary range within the St. Louis area for a sonographer is $47,629 – $111,134.

Registration is under way for the fall semester. Classes start Monday, Aug. 22. For additional information about this program, visit swic.edu/dms; or contact SWIC’s Coordinator of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Jacqueline Owens, at jacqueline.owens@swic.edu.

Celebrate Spring with the SWIC Plant Sale 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 21-23 from 8 a.m. to 5 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.

Face masks and social distancing are recommended. For more information about the plant sale contact Kurt Range at 618-235-2700, ext. 5135 or kurt.range@swic.edu.

SWIC offers Respiratory Care degree – profession ranked 16th in the nation

Southwestern Illinois College Respiratory Care Program Coordinator Diane Dodd could have told you what a great profession Respiratory Care is even before U.S. News and World Report named it the 6th Best Health Care Job and the 16th Best Job in the country for 2022.

“Respiratory Therapists are essential frontline workers who help patients with a variety of respiratory and cardiac issues get better and get back to their healthy lifestyle,” Dodd said. “They play a vital role in hospitals and patient care.”

The magazine ranked the profession high on its list based on the combination of factors such as salary, job market, job satisfaction and stress level.

SWIC offers a two-year, 71-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Care. The program prepares students for entry-level practitioner positions in the profession. Respiratory therapists have a high level of patient contact.

RTs, under the supervision of a physician, see patients of all ages to assist in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonary problems. The practice of respiratory care entails: monitoring, evaluating and reporting patients’ cardiopulmonary status, providing treatments and ventilatory support to keep the airway open. In addition, RT’s perform sleep studies, metabolic studies, patient, community and family education, home care, discharge planning and follow up, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation.

Applications for the SWIC program are accepted Sept. 1 through May 1 for the following fall semester.

Averaged over a three-year period, 98 percent of SWIC graduates passed the national certification examination required for licensure.

SWIC graduate survey results, also averaged over a three-year period, indicate 94.7 percent of graduates are employed in the profession within 12 months after completing the program.

“RTs are in high demand,” Dodd said. “There is a nationwide shortage and hospitals are looking for new graduates.”

According to the U.S. News and World Report article, the profession is expected to grow by 23 percent between 2020 and 2030, with an estimated 31,100 jobs opening in that time.

In addition, the median salary for Respiratory Therapists in the nation was $62,810 in 2020.

“The program is very hands on,” Dodd said. “Our students work in clinical facilities as part of their education and most students receive multiple job offers from their clinical sites before they even graduate.” 

For more information about the SWIC Respiratory Care program, visit swic.edu/respiratory-care or contact Dodd at 618-235-2700, ext. 5907 or diane.dodd@swic.edu.

SWIC recently graduated largest Police Academy class with Session 145

The Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy recently celebrated the graduation of Session 145. The SWIC Police Academy is an intensive academic and physical training program designed to prepare recruits to enter a career in law enforcement. It is one of only seven police academies in Illinois.

Graduates in alphabetical order include:
 

  • Benjamin M. Abney of the Johnston City Police Department
  • Sarah A. Alvarez of the Fairview Heights Police Department
  • Joshua T. Anderson of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Johnathan W. Ashlock of the Sandoval Police Department, winner of the Jeremy Chambers Top Gun Firearms Award
  • Allen J. Averbeck of the Alton Police Department
  • Blake M. Bachmann of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Academic Award
  • Justin D. Benton of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Paul M. Blankley of the Granite City Police Department
  • Andrew C. Bode of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Marshal T. Brooks of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Tyler E. Bucco of the Creve Coeur Police Department
  • Aleksandr M. Budnik of the Hebron Police Department
  • Chase J. Burk of the Winchester Police Department
  • Brandon L. Burkett of the Flora Police Department
  • James N. Capeheart of the Shawneetown Police Department, class president and winner of the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association Most Outstanding Officer Award.
  • Christian M. Cepeda of the Metropolis Police Department
  • Corey R. Cline of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Defense Tactics Award
  • Tyler R. Coffey of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office
  • Allen J. Cooley of the Chenoa Police Department
  • Allie E. Cooper of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Police Department
  • Caren L. Cyvas of the McKendree Public Safety Department
  • Joshua L. DeHeve of the University of Illinois Springfield Police Department
  • Jordan A. Felax of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mark S. Fenske III of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kelly M. Fischer of the Edwardsville Police Department
  • Zachary D. Fitzgerald of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Jake R. Freeman of the Greenville Police Department
  • Trenton S. Gonzalez of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chase E. Harrison of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kaylan M. Hendrickson of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, winner of the Most Improved Over All in Physical Fitness Award
  • Jordan E. Hernandez of the Sesser Police Department
  • Leonardo M. Hernandez of the Nokomis Police Department, winner of the Best Over All in Physical Fitness Award
  • Evan M. Hillier of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office
  • Joseph M. Howell of the Venice Police Department
  • Joshua M. Hyman of the Collinsville Police Department
  • Samuel A. Jackson of the Coles County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dylan D. Jeffords of the West Frankfort Police Department
  • Anthony R. Jellison of the North Pekin Police Department
  • Jay L. Joiner of the Metropolis Police Department
  • Taylor G. Kalous of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Department
  • Kurtis L. Kimbro of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Taylor L. Kirchhofer of the Waverly Police Department
  • Matthew W. Long of the Carmi Police Department
  • Ryan M. Lutes of the Spring Valley Police Department
  • Anthony E. Matthews of the Alton Police Department
  • Adam T. Miller of the Alton Police Department
  • James L. Minton Jr. of the Washington Police Department
  • Austin L. Mulkey of the Albion Police Department
  • Logan T. Murray of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Tyler D. Norris of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Chralene A. O’Dell of the SWIC Public Safety Department
  • Remington G. Paris of the Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Christopher A. Parks of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hunter S. Parks of the South Jacksonville Police Department
  • Brennan C. Poland of the Effingham Police Department
  • Gavin D. Prater of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dreyton Z. Ruholl of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Isaac J. Smith of the Vandalia Police Department
  • Bobby L. Smith Jr. of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Blake M. Starkweather of the Herrin Police Department 
  • Jason J. Stimeling of the North Pekin Police Department
  • Lucas J. Tobin of the Carbondale Police Department
  • Corey A. Waide of the McLeansboro Police Department
  • Mack W. Waldman of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Donald W. Watkins Jr. of the Grayville Police Department
  • Taylor D. White of the Tuscola Police Department
  • Joshua R. Whitecotton of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Thomas M. Wicker of the White County Sheriff’s Office

SWIC Aviation programs win Spirit of Flight award

Southwestern Illinois College recently won the 2020/2021 Spirit of Flight Award from the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame, the first two-year college to receive the award. Pictured from left, Dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development Bradley Sparks, Aviation Pilot Training Coordinator Keith Mueller and Aviation Maintenance Technology Coordinator Matthew Harter in the AVMT Hangar. The Spirit of Flight award annually goes to the organization that has made a substantial contribution to aviation in Illinois, with Illinois-based activities over a long period of time. The winning organization’s members must go above and beyond the call of duty and exhibit a high degree of excellence in their accomplishments. The award was presented at the annual Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame banquet in St. Charles, Illinois in October. SWIC offers associate in applied science degrees and certificates in Aviation Pilot Training and Aviation Maintenance Technology. The college’s Aviation programs were established more than 50 years ago. For more information about SWIC Aviation programs, visit swic.edu/aviation.

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 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/.