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What Benefit Does A Community College Have For The Community?

April 30 will officially close out National Community College Month.
We at Kaskaskia College have been bustling with activity as we have celebrated this wonderful month with several open houses at our five education centers located throughout the Kaskaskia College district, culminated with our final open house held on main campus this past Monday.
As we shift gears and shift our focus towards our commencement exercises next week, I would like to leave one final thought in celebrating National Community College Month, as I wish to highlight just a few of the many reasons why Kaskaskia College is so important to the nine county region of which it serves:
#1. In 2017-2018 Kaskaskia College served over 4,000 unduplicated students. On Friday, May 11th, over 500 of these students will graduate with a degree or certificate.
#2. Affordability – Kaskaskia College is BY FAR the most affordable option to obtain a high quality education at a very minimal price when compared to state and private universities. The total cost of a two year degree at Kaskaskia College is little under $10,000. In addition to this low cost, the Kaskaskia College Foundation is home to over $5 million dollars of endowed funds that are utilized to award over $250,000 in scholarships yearly! In addition, nearly 60% of our student population qualify for some type of federal financial assistance.
#3. High Quality Education – while our tuition costs are much cheaper, the education provided is high quality and touched up with a “dash of personal flavor.” Our student to faculty ratios are small and our faculty are very well integrated with their students. We know who you are when you walk our halls. We care about you, as we are here for one purpose: to serve you. There are no graduate assistants teaching our courses. Each and every day our highly qualified faculty are in the classroom, face to face, or online with our students!
#4. Focus – At Kaskaskia College we focus on what matters and what is important to the student. On the baccalaureate side, we work with our transfer students to ensure seamless entrance into a four year university once they have completed their Associate of Arts or Science at KC. We work with you to ensure you are on the right track and the fast track to your academic success.
#5. Careers – Kaskaskia College is located in a highly agricultural community, surrounded by high paying industrial careers and supported by many careers in the allied health and service industries. On the Career and Technical side of our house, we are committed to providing the highest skill level and career related education to those pursuing the very lucrative careers in the agricultural, manufacturing and vocational industries. We often speak on the critical skills gap that is approaching the United States. In actuality, the use of the word “approaching” is false and misleading. The critical skills gap is HERE. Currently, in the history of Illinois or the United States as whole has there ever been a bigger demand for trained labor than there is right now (other than during the Second World War). This demand is only going to rise, as the average worker in the vocational and a manufacturing workforce is 56 years old. These are not jobs – these are careers, great paying careers right here in your own backyard.
#6. Economic Engine – Kaskaskia College employs approximately 200 full time faculty and staff and approximately another 200 part time staff and adjuncts. Our staff, faculty and students shop in your stores, purchase your gas, eat at your restaurants. Our graduates work for you, our students want to be more like you, so they come to us to receive the proper education. We are a very big part of the community and are very lucky to be part of such a college friendly community.
In closing – the word “community” in community college is there for a reason. We are part of the community and we are committed to doing our part to ensure that the region not only continues, but it thrives. We are very proud of the relationships we have built over the years and are thankful for the many supporters we have at Kaskaskia College. If you have not been to campus in some time or never have – please come visit – we truly are a gem located in the middle of a field, and for that we could not be more proud.
Happy Community College Month!

George Evans
Interim President
Kaskaskia College

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