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President's Report

The President’s Report is a newsletter that covers the accomplishments and achievements of students, faculty, staff and alumni at Elgin Community College. This publication also provides updates about college projects and programs that are essential to Community College District 509. The President’s Report is published quarterly and delivered to residents and businesses throughout District 509. The President’s Report is the winner of the 2010 Gold Medallion Award in the newsletter category from the National Council for Marketing and Publications.

Here a few of the stories you'll find in the spring 2016 issue!

ECC Students Data

ECC’s Institutional Transformation Lauded in High-Profile Case Study

Students Success

The number of degrees and certificates awarded by ECC increased by nearly 44% over the past eight years. View data chart

Elgin Community College student success efforts are worthy of replication at higher education institutions across the country, according to a recently released case study.

Last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sent a team from SPEC Associates, a nonprofit evaluation and process improvement organization, to interview ECC leaders, faculty, staff, students, and administrators about their initiatives and progress toward student success goals. Discussions from those meetings and subsequent research were compiled in a case study released to the public in February.

In the report, SPEC Associates identified key drivers of institutional transformation at ECC which may have contributed to innovations put in place aimed at improving educational attainment and achievement, particularly with Latino students.

Those drivers include: the college’s equity focus, strong ties to a community that supports education, low staff turnover, sharing of leadership responsibilities, and effective use of data for decision making. Another important factor, the SPEC study found, was the prioritizing of personal interactions over technology in support of student success.

“A common metric used to gauge institutional success is the percentage of students who graduate within four years,” said Phil Garber, PhD, executive director of planning and institutional effectiveness at ECC. “Currently, ECC’s highest percentage gain in the graduation rate occurs among Latino students.”

ECC has had great success in closing the achievement gap for its Latino students. From 2006 to 2010, Latino students showed a 19 percent gain in college completion rates followed by Caucasian students at 16 percent, Asian students at 11 percent, and African-American students at 5 percent, according to the college’s Institutional Research Department.

It is the first time ECC has been featured in a study of this caliber.

“This recognition validates the reforms ECC has made in student success,” Garber said. “We hope that it helps other colleges see value in attempting similar reforms. We feel honored.”

Reflections From ECC Alumni

As students work their way through the spring semester, four alumni from the fall class of 2015 offer their advice on how to succeed at Elgin Community College.

Catalina Restrepo

Catalina Restrepo

“For those incoming students and current ECC students, do not give up. Elgin Community College is an amazing institution with countless opportunities to help you excel in your academics and career. Take advantage of everything that is offered such as TRiO, clubs in Student Life, and the Tutoring Center. This may mean you may have to get outside of your comfort zone, and that is OK because that is where you will grow the most.”

Associate in Science, Fall 2015. Student Commencement Speaker

Kenia Najera

Kenia Najera

“They say the best years of your life are in high school; however, the best years of my life have been at ECC. The experiences I’ve had shaped me into a better individual in all aspects of my life. The dedicated professors have prepared me for any academic challenges in the future. My advice to current ECC students would be to make your college proud to have you, and become involved in your community. College is a great opportunity to become the most amazing version of yourself.”

Associate in Science, Fall 2015

Melliza Malabanan

Melliza Malabanan

“To current and future students, I implore you to get involved on campus. Visit Student Life and find out how to get involved and find your passion. In my time at ECC, I’ve seen, worked with, and helped develop amazing students and leaders. I credit my involvement in Phi Theta Kappa, ASPIRE, and Student Government to my development as a student leader, a mentor, and an individual. The person I was when I first came to ECC is vastly different from the person I am today. Coming to ECC was the best decision I made.”

Associate in Arts, Fall 2015

Rick Ceh

Rick Ceh

“My advice for current ECC students is to take advantage of all that ECC has to offer and to get to know your fellow classmates, your professors, and the other staff members of ECC. The ECC networking events helped me grow as a person and helped me meet a lot of amazing people. Take advantage of your professors’ office hours, ask questions in class, and sit in the front row. I’ve experienced first-hand the effort that ECC puts into helping us achieve success. The Tutoring Center and all the resources available through our library have also really helped.”

Associate of Applied Science, Fall 2015. Student Commencement Speaker

Lasting Impact Award

For outstanding leadership and service by citizens whose longstanding actions have positively impacted the community and strengthened the mission and shared values of ECC. View recipients

Jane Barbosa

Jane Barbosa

Jane Barbosa has been a major player in supporting Latinos in her community. Barbosa’s involvement in ECC’s Latino community has been important to the college’s success. As a former ECC employee, she founded the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) at ECC and was named the first female chair of the Illinois Migrant Council.

William Geister

William 'Bill' Geister

William “Bill” Geister is a fourth generation Elginite and ECC alumnus. He was an ECC Foundation board member for 17 years and was awarded emeritus status. Geister has always thought that providing people the opportunity for self-improvement is important, and that those who need some assistance to help themselves will go on to help others.

Tom Roeser

Tom Roeser

Tom Roeser, owner of OTTO Engineering, gives his time and financial support to organizations including Elgin Community College and the Business/ Education Partnership at Dundee Crown High School. During the recent recession, he kept tradespeople employed and prevented area neighborhoods from falling into disrepair by purchasing foreclosed homes to renovate and resell at no profit.

Wes Scott

Wes Scott, MD, PhD, MPH

Colonel Wes Scott has devoted more than 30 years to the U.S. Army and other federal agencies. He is active in organizations including St. James AME Church in Elgin and the Illinois Commission on Human Relations and Diversity. Scott has received the President’s Award for Volunteer Service, the President’s Medal for Heroism, the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit.

Donald Sleeman

Donald Sleeman

Donald Sleeman grew up in Elgin during the Great Depression. He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard and served in the Korean War. Sleeman has been an active member of the Elgin American Legion Post 57 since 1955. While chairman of the Elgin Bicentennial Committee, he helped save the Old Main building in Elgin from demolition.

Students, Practitioners to Receive Real-World Experience at Emergency Training Facility

Emergency Training Facility

Training Facility

In a move that places the institution at the forefront of first responder training in District 509, the Elgin Community College Center for Emergency Services is expected to be fully operational in fall 2016. The facility, located at 815 East Plank Road in Burlington, will provide cutting-edge technology and training for current and future practitioners. “There are people in our area who have what it takes to save lives,” said Ileo N. Lott, ECC dean of sustainability, business, and career technologies. “And we are going to ensure that they are properly trained.”

The 119.7-acre site features an 18,300-squarefoot academic building; an apparatus building, which models the work environment of a functional fire station; and a three-story burn tower to simulate both residential and commercial fires. In addition, the site has two ponds, which provide water for firefighter training and searchand- rescue training.

Core to the academic building are flexible classrooms that will initially be used for public safety communications education, emergency medical technician instruction, and fire science education. A digital forensics lab can be used by police to conduct investigations. The college is also pursuing plans to add continuing education classes at the facility for local law enforcement officials.

“We are preparing our curriculum to address emerging trends in public safety communications, which include broad integration of 911 centers for police, fire, and emergency medical services,” says Pat Collins, ECC instructor and retired Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department lieutenant. “It is fast-paced and exciting and is an essential component to a community’s response to all types of emergency situations. It is an evolving field with great opportunities.”

“This facility is ideally suited to provide local communities with well-trained and educated entry-level candidates and to offer continuing professional development for current practitioners,” said Carl DeCarlo, interim director of ECC’s Fire Science Program. “Additionally, it will enhance access to public safety careers for all district 509 citizens, with an emphasis on quality educational opportunities, while maintaining the affordability of a community college.”

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