Trustees Discuss Tentative Balanced Budget with Tuition Freeze for 2021 Fiscal Year
John Wood Community College Board of Trustees heard plans for the fall 2020 instruction that will include in-person classes during its regular meeting Wednesday, June 17. The meeting was conducted virtually as permitted by the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“JWCC will offer face-to-face classes with options that utilize a mixture of in-class instruction with virtual learning and online classes for the fall 2020 semester. This plan provides a quality education with the most flexible and safest opportunity to have some traditional classroom experience while adhering to social distancing practices,” JWCC President Michael Elbe stated. “JWCC’s small, affordable and familiar environments are more valuable than ever for students, wherever they might live. Online learning is also a key differentiator for JWCC students as the College has been ranked the best online community college in the state of Illinois by SR Education Group.”
All JWCC’s campuses are open for business for in-person and virtual appointments for assistance with admissions, registration and other college services. JWCC continues to adhere to all social distancing practices and mandates issued by local, state and national government bodies.
The Trustees also approved a tentative $15,991,005 balanced budget for the next fiscal year. Although the budget is $451,131 higher than last year, it does not include an increase in tuition or institutional fees for in-district, out-of-district and online instruction. This is the fourth straight year JWCC has frozen tuition for students. State budget information being received anticipates that funding will remain flat for FY21.
“Our Board of Trustees continues to balance its conservative approach with progressive investments in strategic initiatives,” Michael Elbe shared. “Continuing to hold the line on tuition as much as we can should help more students access higher education at an exceptional value. The investment in funding plans to boost enrollment, especially in programs that lead to key workforce sectors, will help us experience positive growth in a very challenging environment.”
In addition to the tuition freeze, the budget increase is based on strategic planning investments, enrollment initiatives and College contractual obligations. Several enrollment initiatives are part of the 2021 proposed budget, including the expansion of JWCC’s athletic department to include Esports through the National Junior College Athletic Association, a new Sports Management associates degree program, the Automation and Robotics Technician certification program and the continuation of the Missouri Plus Scholarship to attract students into career and technical programs and building partnerships with Missouri businesses to attract adult students.
The 2021 budget will remain on display for 30 days for public review. The budget will be formally adopted during the July Board meeting.
In other business, the board:
Authorized submission of a $125,521.46 grant application to the Illinois Board of Higher Education for the Early Childhood Education Cohort.
Authorized submission of a $178,287 grant application to the Illinois Community College Board for Carl D. Perkins Postsecondary Career and Technical Education.
Authorized submission of a $3 million grant application to the Federal Economic Development Administration for FY2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment for the Workforce Development Center Expansion.
Approved $6.4 million level for the School Treasurer’s Bond with The Hartford through the Illinois Community College Risk Management Consortium.
Approved $28,822.76 in tuition and fees, bookstore and miscellaneous write-offs. JWCC will continue to seek payment on write-offs through a collection service.
Authorized standing committees for JWCC for 2021.
Approved entry into a contract for the Workforce Development Center Expansion Project architectural/engineering services with Klingner & Associates/BLDD, architectural/engineering firm.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday, July 22, at 7 p.m. at JWCC’s Quincy campus.