JWCC Trustees Hear Reports Positive Enrollment Impact from New Programs

John Wood Community College Trustees, meeting in regular session Wednesday, September 18, heard reports on how new programs are positively impacting this year’s enrollment.

 JWCC President Mike Elbe shared that both headcount and credit hours have increased 1 percent compared to last fall.  Fall 2019 figures show 1,934 students enrolled in 19,515 credit hours which is an increase of 26 students and 189 credit hours compared to Fall 2018.  JWCC has 16 more first-time freshman than last year and is delivering more credit hours in career and technical programs. 

 Elbe credits new academic and athletic programs, a focus on students’ experiences and an inclusive environment for the increase.  The College began an HVAC program this fall, began three athletic programs last fall and increased enrollment in its College for Life (CFL) program that serves students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  “We are building on our success over the last five years of moving the enrollment needle upward thanks to our faculty and staff working together to provide relevant programs and a supportive environment so every student, on every type of educational path, can attain their goals,” Elbe said.  “We will continue to focus on enhancing students’ experiences in and out of the classroom to prepare them to meet the needs of our communities and workforce.”

 Michele Westmaas, JWCC’s College for Life Coordinator, gave a special report that showed the upward trend of enrollment in the non-credit, three-year certificate program, which is one of a handful in the State of Illinois designed for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students travel up to 50 miles to take classes at JWCC’s campus in Quincy and are taught by a range of instructors from across the community.

 Since the program’s inception in the fall of 2017, enrollment has doubled from 8 to 19 students.  Students take eight core courses that cover positive communication, personal finance, getting ready to work, self-advocacy, healthy relationships and positive communication. Ten elective courses round out the certificate to allow students to tailor their experience. Elective courses range from nutrition and video storytelling to poetry and German.


Many CFL students have progressed from non-credit courses to pre-college developmental classes and some have begun college level courses.


 “Students have a path to opportunity that simply didn’t exist three years ago,“ Westmaas shared. “Students in the College for Life program have so much more to contribute to our communities and it is exciting to see them learn and grow each day in an environment that supports their gifts, skills and spirit. We are grateful to the JWCC community and many organizations and companies who have embraced this program and offered their expertise to help our students succeed.”

 More information about the CFL program and be found at www.jwcc.edu/collegeforlife.

 In other business, Trustees:

 Received an update from Cullan Duke and Joe Knochel from Klingner and Associates, P.C. regarding a revised draft of the Facilities Master Plan for the College. The updated plan is scheduled for approval at the October board meeting.

 Approved a revision to Board Policy 606 regarding depositories and investments and a revision to Board Policy 305 regarding instructional materials.

 Approved a resolution to participate in real estate tax abatement incentives provided by the Scott and Morgan counties’ Enterprise Zone effective January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2035. 

 Approved a resolution to petition the Illinois General Assembly to Extend the Term of the City of Quincy’s Central Business District West Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Redevelopment Project.  The resolution supports Quincy’s request to extend the existing TIF district 12 years from its current expiration date of December 31, 2021.


Accepted $123,902 in grant funds from the Illinois Community College Board Perkins Postsecondary Career and Technical Education to support tutoring for more than 60 career and technical students and the purchase of supplies and equipment for electrical, industrial maintenance technology, HVAC and truck driver training.

 Accepted $216,745 in grant funds from the Illinois Community College Board to help adult students receive instruction and support services to obtain knowledge and skills for employment and self-sufficiency including GED credentials, English as a Second Language, literacy and career training.  The program serves 154 students annually.

 Accepted $53,815 in grant funds from the Illinois Department on Aging to support volunteer coordination efforts for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) programs in Adams, Brown and Pike counties. Volunteers provide an average of 51,575 hours of service to non-profit organizations within the three counties each year.

 Accepted $32,840 in grant funds from the Illinois Green Economy Network for a geothermal heating and cooling system trainer and instructional materials for the HVAC certificate program.

 Accepted $25,000 in grant funds from the Workforce Investment Area #14 to provide education, support services and case management for students’ ages 17-24 who will complete a program designed to deliver GED education and workplace skills training.

 Authorized submission of an application to the United States Department of Education for a TRiO Student Support Services grant in a range between $315,000-$350,000.  Funds would support the Student Services Program, which provides academic and personal support for 175 low-income, first-generation and students with disabilities on JWCC’s campus. The grant would also support the retention, graduation and transfer of students to a four-year university.

 The next meeting of the JWCC Board of Trustees is set for October 16 at 7 p.m. at the Quincy campus.

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

Learn more at: www.jwcc.edu.