The Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees met Monday, March 23, 2020, for its regular monthly meeting. Board members include Bill Hawley (Odin), Linda Stover (Centralia), Jim Beasley (Centralia), Bryan Holthaus (Carlyle), Laura Wedekemper (Shattuc), Louis Kalert (Centralia), Jim Mason (Breese) and Student Trustee Justin Huff (Dix).
After a yearlong process involving input from community members, business leaders, local educators, government officials, students, faculty and staff at Kaskaskia College, and many others, KC Board of Trustees has approved a dynamic three-year strategic plan that will guide the College into the future. The plan focuses on four institutional goals: providing a quality educational experience, effectively manage enrollment, and resources, maximize regional integration and engage the community.
“Kaskaskia College has long provided quality education to the residents of South-Central Illinois, whether they are first-time college students planning to transfer to four-year colleges, students pursuing career or technical training for employment or career advancement, or individuals interested in personal enrichment. As the educational opportunities and needs have changed the College’s must continue to review our mission and purpose to address the changing needs of our students and the community,” said KC President George Evans. “This plan offers a renewed commitment to accessibility, as well as a fresh focus on student achievement and success.”
As part of its four goals, the new plan has also set forth six strategic priorities, revitalizing technology, ensuring shared governance and collaborative process to improve communication across all divisions of the college, improving student retention and success, increasing targeted recruitment efforts, improving operational efficiency and investing in the College’s employees through human capital development.
The 2020-23 strategic plan is the result of a year of research, study, and analysis by the College community, as well as feedback from a number of constituencies. These included K-12 partners; government officials; non-profit agencies and other service providers; business and community leaders and other members of the general public. In addition, members of the KC community including faculty, administrators and staff, Board members, and students were provided opportunities to provide their input. The strategic planning process enabled the College to identify its major challenges and opportunities and to develop strategies to better serve its students and the community at large.
The Board also approved the College’s 2020-2035 Master Facilities and Improvement Plan. The plan will provide a roadmap for future facility improvements and development in order to support the goals and strategies outlined in the College’s strategic plan. The Master Facility and Improvement plan provides guidance for improvement, renovation, and replacement projects that ensures KC is meeting the needs of students today and into the future. Starting last winter, a Master Facilities and Improvement Plan Committee worked on the plan, utilizing an infrastructure survey and receiving feedback from more than 130 college employees and students.
In other action Monday evening the Board approved the purchase of furniture that will go in the Student Loft that is planned for the second floor of the Student Center. Plans are to remodel the to provide a more relaxing space for students to gather to study and visit, something students have expressed a need for through surveys and forums with administration. The new Student Loft will also provide a unique space for gaming, watching television, studying and socialization. The furniture will be purchased from Modern Business Interiors of St. Charles, Missouri in the amount of $61,324.07.
Trustees also approved adjusting some lab fees starting with the 2020 summer semester including increasing the Ceramics I lab fee from $25 to $50, removing the lab fee for Physical Therapy Assistant’s class Special Topics in Physical Therapy Practice, and adding a $10 lab fee and decreasing the travel fee for the PTA’s Introduction to Clinical Internship from $30 to $10.
Trustees took time during their comments at the end of the meeting to praise the hard work and commitment of the KC faculty and staff in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in moving all classes online and keeping the public informed of the College’s actions.
For the first time in its history, the Board conducted its meeting remotely online in response to the pandemic and Governor Pritzker’s recent shelter order. Monday was also the first day of the second half of the spring semester as students began instruction remotely and online due to the pandemic. This style of instruction will continue through the spring semester. Kaskaskia College’s main campus and education centers are closed to the public with only essential staff allowed in the buildings during this time.
All services have been moved to online including advising and registration. Please visit the website https://www.kaskaskia.edu/covid19/ for all updates on the College regarding the COVID-19 virus.