JWCC Trustees Hear Report on the Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Visit

JWCC main campus building
August 18, 2022

JWCC Trustees Hear Report on the Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Visit

John Wood Community College Board of Trustees heard a report regarding the upcoming Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Visit to the College on October 24 and 25, 2022, during its regular meeting on Wednesday, August 17 held at JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center in Baylis.

The College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit by a team representing The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Commission has accredited John Wood since 1980.

“Accreditation is an assurance to the public and our students that an institution is properly prepared to do its job of educating and serving our students’ success,” JWCC President Michael Elbe stated. “On a more practical level, the HLC and the other accrediting agencies have been designated as the ‘gatekeepers’ for state and federal funds in higher education, including student financial aid and accountability of providing quality academic programs and services. This is the same Commission that accredits four-year schools in our region. The Commission doesn’t award the reaffirmation of accreditation easily and we have had many faculty and staff working the past year on our assurance argument that will be submitted to the HLC by September 26.

Elbe continued, “Under the outstanding leadership of JWCC Vice President of Instruction Services Dr. Laurel Klinkenberg and JWCC Dean of Instructional Effectiveness and Business Services Josh Welker, the steering committee is well prepared for this visit. We anticipate a feedback report validating the quality of the College as a whole, which speaks to the commitment and dedicated work of our faculty and staff.”

For the past four years, the College has been engaged in the process of self-study, addressing the Commission’s requirements and criteria for accreditation.  The evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the Commission a continuing status for the College; following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action. Students who choose JWCC receive the same quality instruction as their peers at other two and four-year schools with relevant and rigorous programs.

HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Institutional accreditation evaluates and examines the quality of the College beyond its academic offerings and verifies the College is in compliance with the criteria and assumed practices. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For more information, please visit www.jwcc.edu/about/hlc-campus-visit/.

The Board heard a report announcing the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Workforce Development Expansion (WDC) Project located at 4220 Kochs Lane, Quincy. The event is on Wednesday, September 7, at 10:30 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.

Construction is starting in August, with project completion expected in the fall 2023. The expansion will add 14,170-square-feet to JWCC’s current WDC facility including a new Truck Driver Training addition, development of the east side with a new physical building entrance, expanded space for HVAC, and business and industry training. A remodel of the current interior of the building will include expanded space for welding, industrial maintenance and manufacturing, robotics and automation, and flexible use-space for new programs such as a virtual reality lab. A new vehicle road entrance off 42nd Street will be added, leading to a larger parking area.

The Board heard an update on JWCC Foundation’s 3rd Annual Wine Pull Fundraiser on September 22, at the Quincy Country Club.  This fundraiser showcases an evening of exquisite wines, extraordinary food, music, friendship, and the fun element of anticipation for the Wine Pull. The cost is $50 per person, which includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, carving stations & desserts.

“The JWCC Foundation funds student success in a variety of ways,” JWCC Foundation Executive Direction Barb Holthaus said. “The event proceeds will help provide direct assistance to local students including scholarships, books, and emergency grants.”  Please contact Barb Holthaus for tickets or to be a sponsor at 217.641.4105, foundation@jwcc.edu.

In other business, the Board:

Accepted $52,815 in grant funds from the Illinois State Library/Jesse White Secretary of State for Adult Volunteer Literacy.

Accepted $220,000 in grant funds from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) for the Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Fund – College Bridge program.

Accepted $21,840 in grant funds from the Illinois Bureau of Higher Education for the Illinois Cooperative Work Study.

Authorized submission of a $312,095 grant application to the ICCB for the Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce (PATH).

Adopted the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, position statement for John Wood Community College.

Adopted the 2022-2023 JWCC College Catalog.

Accepted a $245,750 proposal and awarded Peters Heating & Air Conditioning to provide replacement boilers for Building D.

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, certificates, and personal enrichment courses.