Local News

Child activity center set to open at IVCC

Watch center will be open for use by IVCC students as early as February

A Child Activity Center staffed by the Illinois Valley YMCA will soon open at Illinois Valley Community College.

The short-term watch center on the second floor of the Peter Miller Community Technology Center will open for use by IVCC students as early as February. The YMCA will charge IVCC $50 an hour with a schedule determined on an on-going basis.

A recent focus group with IVCC students cited childcare as a barrier to enrollments.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran announced the partnership at the Dec. 9 meeting and said he was optimistic the center could accommodate up to 18 children.

Trustees also approved:

  • Licensing Brightspace by Desire2Learn for a three-year contract averaging $54,000 annually from 2022 through 2025. The college will migrate from Blackboard to the new Learning Management System by July.
  • Basic, intermediate and advanced manufacturing certificates. The “stackable” certificates will allow students multiple entry and exit points and will prepare them for technical careers more efficiently, said Dean of Workforce Development Shane Lange.
  • An Early Childhood Education Licensure Endorsement certificate including courses in child growth and development, curriculum programming, language development and math for young children, among others. “This allows teachers to add professional development hours and teach a wider range of ages,” said Tammy Landgraf, ECE program coordinator.
  • Release of closed session minutes from special meetings Aug. 30 and Sept. 2. The meetings involved selection of a person to fill a board vacancy. (Bill Hunt of Oglesby was selected Sept. 2 to replace trustee David Mallery of Hennepin.)
  • Purchase of up to eight battery backup systems for servers from CDW at a cost not-to-exceed $42,479.
  • A request from tutoring coordinator Angela Dunlap for temporary reassignment from full- to part-time.
  • Closed session minutes from Dec. 9.

In other business, the board learned:

  • Jim Carlson has been hired as temporary IT Director/Project Manager. The retired Seneca High School superintendent is expected to serve in the role for six to 12 months. Chris Dunlap recently stepped away from his duties as IVCC’s IT director.
  • Test question development training is available to faculty via the “20-minute Mentor” subscription and a workshop presented by the college’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
  • The number of required credits for the Associate in General Studies has been reduced from 64 to 60.
  • The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved IVCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting.
  • Samantha Manahan has been hired as administrative assistant in community relations. She holds a bachelor’s in marketing and is completing a master’s in digital studies from Northern Illinois University.
  • Edgar Lucero Castillo has resigned as staff accountant in the Business office and Jill Thompson from the assessment center.
  • A pair of MOUs have been signed with AFT Local 1810 regarding COVID-19 quarantine and testing days and full-time counselor alternative service delivery.
  • In a campus update, Director of Human Resources Leslie Hofer said her department filled 45 full- and part-time positions in 2021 including 11 full-time support staff hires.
  • Corcoran credited Director of Learning Resources Patrice Hess for coordinating the Jan. 7 all-staff session and development day activities. “I also want to thank all contributors to the discussion on COVID-19 protocol, especially, those who’ve demonstrated their patience and professionalism when explaining what’s involved with adherence. As conditions have changed along with directives from the governor’s office, health department and CDC, so have we,” Corcoran said.
  • Jill Guynn, University of Illinois Extension Director for the Bureau, La Salle, Marshall and Putnam Unit, will retire at the end of January. “I want to recognize Jill for recommending the Extension be located at IVCC in the first place. She and her colleagues also played an important role in helping us relaunch our ag program,” Corcoran said.
  • Fall GPAs for student athletes were 2.83 for men’s sports and 3.21 for women’s. The overall athletics’ GPA was 3.01.
  • The IVCC Foundation’s 2021 Annual Appeal has raised a record $44,205 from 133 donors.
  • In public comment, English instructor Delores Robinson praised Medical Assistant program coordinator Kaity Ritter for her leadership of the high-demand program.
  • Fall semester headcount increased about 4% and credit hours were down about 2%. Winter Intersession enrollment yielded 158 credit hours from 65 duplicated students and 88% of seats were filled. “Despite the challenges we’ve faced, enrollment continues moving in the right direction,” Corcoran noted.
  • Dr. Holly Novak, a Springfield cardiologist, will be the 2022 commencement speaker. Novak graduated from IVCC in 1974 and was one of the first students to attend Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine. A philanthropist, Dr. Novak is among the IVCC Foundation’s leading benefactors.
  • For the first time, IVCC plans to hold its commencement outside. Corcoran said, “Mark your calendars for a very special event in IVCC’s 98-year history beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14 with Dr. Holly Novak as our distinguished keynote speaker.”