Community Advisory Board Meeting held in Greenville

Kaskaskia College held the first of its fall series of Community Advisory Board meetings on Friday October 18 at the Greenville Education Center.  Meetings in Vandalia, Salem, Trenton and Nashville will follow in the coming weeks.


The purpose of these meetings, as stated by KC President Dr. Jim Underwood, is twofold.  One purpose is to inform the community of the status of the College and its philosophies and growth, and the second is to solicit input from community members and leaders on ideas of how the College can better serve the population.  More than 24 invitees and KC personnel were present.


Dr. Scott Crothers, newly minted Dean of Student Success for KC and Greenville native and resident, acted as host for the meeting.


Mrs. Jerri Davenport, Director of the Greenville Center, gave a synopsis of the history of the center, which started as a storefront space in 2002, serving a relative handful of students with a small number of courses.  In the ensuing decade, the center has grown in enrollments and offerings to the point, in 2008, when a new, revamped Center was opened at its present location at 209 North 3rd Street, site of the old thrift store.  The new space has much more room for classes, offices including small business incubator offices, and laboratories, including computer labs for student and community use.


Dr. Underwood praised the job that Davenport and the other directors of the education centers have done before giving an overview of the status of the College and the initiatives it is pursuing, including a series of new building projects in Vandalia, Trenton, Nashville, and on the main campus near Centralia.  Other initiatives noted were the ongoing and developing partnerships the College has with its 15 University alliance partners, the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the burgeoning education partnership with the Federal Penitentiary in Greenville, where inmates can currently take classes in Microsoft office and hope soon to be able to earn college credit in the institutions ongoing Cabinet Making class.  It was noted that education is a major factor in reducing the number of inmates who wind up back in incarceration after release.


Dr. Greg Labyak, KC’s Vice president of Instruction, gave a rundown on new classes and courses available at the Greenville Education Center, which include Medical Billing and Coding, and a number of Pre-professional programs, which Dean Kellie Henegar spoke about.


Dr. Labyak also opened up the floor for comments, questions and concerns about how the College can better serve its students and communities.  Many comments praised the job the College is doing in being responsive to needs and concerns.  Some questions were asked about the Nursing Program, especially in the possible need for a number of certified school nurses in the future should legislation requiring them be passed at the state level.


Other questions concerned the status of the College’s GED preparatory program and tutoring services through its Reading Link program.  Ms. Lisa Atkins, Director of Adult Education and Literacy reported that the old model of GED testing will be phased out in January of next year to be replaced by computer based testing.  She reported that only a number of sites are certified by the state to conduct this testing at the moment, with KC’s main campus being one.  Work is ongoing to allow the testing to migrate out to the College’s other educational facilities.  Mention was also made of KC’s unique policy of offering a scholarship for two years of tuition at the College for GED graduates who prepare through the college program.  A graduation ceremony for GED completers will be held at the College’s Lifelong Learning center on October 29, which KC Board of Trustees chairman Bill Hawley called “a truly uplifting experience.”


A catered lunch was provided by 2 Martha's Hospitality Art and Gifts in Greenville.  Many comments praising the quality and taste of the food were made.​

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