Kaskaskia College Continues to Celebrate National Career and Technical Education Month

​Last week Dean of Career and Technical Education (CTE) George Evans published the first of a five part series highlighting and celebrating National Career and Technical Education at Kaskaskia College.  Kaskaskia College CTE faculty and programs highlighted last week were Agriculture, Business, Accounting and Culinary Arts.  This week we will be shifting our focus to these additional successful programs at Kaskaskia College:
  • Office Technologies
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Automotive Technology
The Kaskaskia College Office Technologies program trains individuals to work in variety of office and business settings, from small medical practices to large corporate real estate and insurance offices.  The Office Technology program is led by Professors Nathan Wilkins and Stephanie Klie.  Nathan holds an MBA from SIUE and has been with Kaskaskia College as a full time faculty member for the past 14 years.  Stephanie has over 13 years of full time college teaching experience, holds degrees in Management of Information Systems and Computer Management Systems, as well as she is fast approaching the completion of her doctorate.  Stephanie is also the past winner of the Kaskaskia College Horizon Award, an award that is presented to new faculty whom have demonstrated vision, student service and prowess in their academic delivery.  Employment opportunities for graduates of this program are incredibly high, as the Workforce Investment Act data projects over 3000 replacement positions in the Kaskaskia College district alone.  One essential component of the Office Technologies program is the flexibility of the course offerings though the college’s Business Learning Center (BLC).  Students can have one on one interaction with certified instructors in the BLC at times convenient for them.  The BLC is structured to cater to working professionals and those who are unable to attend structured coursework on a normal schedule, by allowing them to earn college credit around their busy work day.  Additionally, we are very excited to announce that the college will be offering an updated Medical Billing and Coding Certificate starting in August 2017.  Completion of this certificate will allow students to sit for the Certified Coding Specialist certification (CCS) provided by The American Health Information Management Association.   This certification will make individuals much more marketable in the office environment industry.  For information or employability questions in the Office Technology fields, please contact Mr. Wilkins at or Ms. Klie at
The Computer Information Technology (CIT) program is led by Professors Angenien Huffstutler and Kerri Richards.  Both instructors bring over 45 years of computer information technology experience to Kaskaskia College.  As many of you know, the constant advancements in computer technologies make a career in this field very exciting and challenging.  In order to keep pace with the ever changing computer industry, Kaskaskia College is very excited to announce the introduction of the three new CIT degrees: 
#1.  Cyber Defense Degree – this degree will focus on those who wish to become security specialists in the computer industry.  This degree will assist you in obtaining the skills needed to gain employment in the CIT industry that focuses on preventing, mitigating and identifying unauthorized access and compromises to computing devices, network systems and data assets.  There is a predicted rise in the need for well qualified security professionals due to the nature of incredible increases of hackers and cyber terrorist groups.  The Cyber Defense degree provides a realistic solution for the development of skill sets required to combat the growing threats facing our nation’s businesses, citizens, and government agencies
#2.  Information Security Analysis Degree – this degree will support students who wish to enter the field of CIT incident response and incident handling.  Information Security Analysis differs from Cyber Defense as professionals working in this field respond to incidents as a direct result of a breach in security, data compromise, data theft, and or forms of hacking attacks.  Professionals working in Information Security Analysis are able to track the source of unauthorized access, reclaim data assets, provide supporting documentation to law enforcement agencies in order to successfully prosecute cybercrimes in a court of law, and they work to identify entry points which lead to the compromise in order to identify how the attack was achieved.
#3.  Database Software Developers – As businesses continue to rely more heavily on technology, there will be a demand for professionals that can create and manage databases that store information on customers, inventory and projects.  This employment field has significant employment opportunities and is expected to grow 12% over the next ten years.  The average median pay for a software developer (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor) is $100,690!!
Those who are interested in hearing more about earning degrees in the CIT fields, please contact Ms. Huffstutler at
The Criminal Justice Program is led by Professor Ken Ingersoll.  Professor Ingersoll is a staple of the faculty at Kaskaskia College and sets the bar high for his peers and students.  Ken has over 26 years’ experience as a community police officer, as well as possesses a Master’s Degree in Workforce Education and Development.  The Criminal Justice Program at Kaskaskia College prepares students to enter the field of Criminal Justice in a wide variety of employment opportunities.  Those who wish to pursue careers as a police officer, probation or parole officer, correctional officer, or work in private security can all earn an Associate Degree in these fields through our program.  In addition to the Criminal Justice Degree, certificates in Private Security, Retail Security and Safety, and Geospatial Technology in Criminal Justice, are available.  A Correctional Officer Degree and a Law Enforcement Certificate are also available to those currently in the perspective fields.  Those wishing to attend a certified police or corrections academy are better prepared with the prior completion of the Associates Degree in Criminal Justice.   Professor Ingersoll does an excellent job of relating his life experiences into the classroom.  Students are educated in the areas of ethics, fingerprint collection, investigative techniques, courtroom testimonies, interview and interrogation, police conduct, probation and parole requirements, and detailed report writing.  Special speakers and specific training seminars are also offered throughout the semesters.   He also stays up to date on the latest of police, corrections, and investigation procedures/techniques.  In addition, Professor Ingersoll has one of the most diverse and experienced advisory boards on campus.  His criminal justice advisory board is made up of retired and employed police administrators, local judges, and states attorneys, correctional wardens and other experts in the law enforcement industry.  Those wishing to pursue a career in the many fields of law enforcement are encouraged to reach out to Professor Ingersoll at
The last program to be featured in this week’s editorial is the Kaskaskia College Automotive Technology Program, led by Professor Chuck DeBernardi.  Professor DeBernardi has been working in the automotive industry since he was 12 years old, and has an immense amount of knowledge of the auto industry.  Chuck is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Master Mechanic and he possesses 12 ASE certifications.  At present, students who complete the Associate of Applied Science Degree can potentially earn up to nine certifications in various areas of auto service such as air conditioning, brakes, power transmissions, electrical systems, etc.   The employment prospects for the auto industry are very promising.  Over the next ten years experts predict, there will be a dire need of trained and skilled auto technicians that will be qualified to work on tomorrow’s automobiles.  The technician field is expected to expand by approximately 39,000 jobs nationwide over the next eight years, and the average wage of an entry level technician is $37,850.
In addition to the promising job outlooks, Kaskaskia College is also happy to announce the introduction of new degree that focuses on diesel engines.  The new Associate in Applied Science in Diesel Technology will be unveiled for an August 2017 start date.  Students who wish to specialize in light diesel technology (light diesel means normal vehicles such as cars, private trucks and smaller farm trucks of the 3500 size or smaller – not semi tractors).  We have experienced significant demand from our local industry for trained light diesel mechanics.  Nathan Deien of Deien Chevrolet in Trenton, Illinois was quoted at the last automotive technology advisory board as stating “we need a technician with light diesel experience, and most truck dealers in our area need them.”  Those who have an interest in joining the workforce as a trained auto technician should contact Professor DeBernardi at
As you can see, Kaskaskia College CTE continues to adapt to the needs of our community and businesses.  It is our number one goal to provide the training and knowledge needed for students to gain employment in the ever competitive technical industries.  These industries are secure above average wage jobs!  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for next week’s article!

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