During its regular meeting on November 15, John Wood Community College Board of Trustees heard reports on cybersecurity measures in place to protect the College’s data and progress toward the Aspen Institute Top 25 application.
JWCC’s Director of Information Technology Josh Brueck and Assistant Director of Information Technology Matt Rolando shared security practices employed by JWCC, some of which include third-party penetration testing, firewalls, anti-virus, multi-factor authentication, email spam filtering and data backups. Brueck also updated the board on Student Information Software enhancement products expected to transform how students progress through career and transfer pathways.
Trustees also received an update on the College’s next step in the prestigious Aspen Prize process. JWCC was recently named a top 150 community college by the Aspen Institute based on student success data. A team has been assembled to report to Aspen JWCC’s excellence-driven programs, services, and culture. The report will be reviewed by a panel of higher education experts to consider JWCC for selection as a top 25 of community college in the country.
“Aspen has applauded the College’s 50 years of dedication to student success by recognizing JWCC in the top 10 percent of community colleges nationwide based on data indicators,” JWCC President Dr. Bryan Renfro shared. “The next step is to tell the story behind the data and share our best practices with other colleges across the country. We are proud of our recognition, but excellence is never static. Competing for the Aspen Top 25 is part of our continuous improvement process so we can impact even more students in the next 50 years.”
In other business, Trustees:
Approved process to begin reactivation of the Hospitality Management Associate in Applied Science (AAS) program of study. After meeting with local hospitality managers in the area, the demand for reactivation of the program was evident. JWCC is collaborating with a subject matter expert to redevelop and combine the previous lodging management and restaurant management degrees into one Hospitality and Culinary Management AAS degree. Laddered certificates in lodging and restaurant management will be developed to build into the two-year associate degree. It is estimated the reactivated program will be offered in the fall of 2024.
Adopted a resolution to lower the 2023 tax rate, excluding debt service, to $0.35460 per $100 Equalized Assessed Valuation. The 2022 tax rate was $0.36239. While the 2023 rate is lower, increased property values will result in additional revenue distributed to the College in the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Final approval of the total 2023 levy is scheduled for the December board meeting. The increased number of students enrolled at JWCC has not only allowed the College to freeze tuition but has also assisted in the slight decrease in the tax rate.
Approved submission of a $207,484 grant application for an Adult Education Bridge and Integrated Career and Academic Systems Program from the Illinois Community College Board.
Accepted $5,000 in grant funding from the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) for a membership project. Funds will be used to replace existing main campus vestibule lights with LED fixtures. Trustees also accepted $82,439 in grant funding from IGEN to retrofit 115 light pole heads at the main campus parking lot with LED fixtures.
Approved submission of a $152,690 grant application to the AmeriCorps Senior Corporation for National and Community Service to support the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program staff and programming.
Approved submission of a $5,000 grant application to the United Way of Adams County to support Retired and Senior Volunteer Program activities.
Accepted and filed the 2023 audit report as presented. WIPFLi, LLP conducted the audit and provided a clean report with no findings.
Approved 2024 regular meeting dates for the JWCC Board of Trustees.
Approved a $125,000 certificate to levy tax for Protection, Health, and Safety projects to replace a heat pump at the Agricultural Education Center and refurbish Quincy campus stairs and handrails.
Authorized entry into a one-year lease with Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials for space in the JWCC Mt. Sterling Education Center.
Accepted four bids totaling $98,207.99 from Advanced Technologies Consultants for piping, pneumatics, single pump, and hydraulics trainers for the industrial maintenance program.
Accepted a bid of $3,803.94 per month from Watts Copy System for a 60-month lease to provide copier service.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 13, at 6:00 p.m. at the JWCC campus at 48th and Harrison in Quincy.
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.