View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site
Skip to main content

Medical Assistant program growing at JWCC

picture of medical studentA year after its inception, John Wood Community College’s medical assistant program has more than doubled in size, according to school officials.

They said the program has 13 students enrolled after 6 graduated last year. Officials said medical assistants can take on many roles at a doctors office from taking payments to taking a patients vitals.

“It takes less training and they can be overseen by a RN or LPN working cooperatively,” said Rose Ghattas, Director of CMA Program. “So that different skill sets can be used throughout the office.”

Economy Is Key Driver As Community College Enrollment Declines Again

picture of studentsEnrollment declined at Illinois community colleges again this fall, driven in part by a strong economy and low unemployment.

In all, 271,426 students were enrolled at Illinois’ 48 community colleges this fall. That’s down 4.2% from fall 2018, and it’s down 14.1% from this time five years ago, the Illinois Community College Board reported this week.

It’s concerning, said Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham—but not necessarily surprising. Illinois’ jobless rate fell to a record low 3.9% in September. That labor market and the economy overall have an inverse relationship with community college enrollment, especially among adult students and those in career-technical education programs, Durham said.

Female Inclusion in the Trades at DTI


Kennedy King College’s Dawson Technical Institute (DTI) celebrated female inclusion in the trades with its annual Mentoring a Girl in Construction (MAGIC) event. Sixty four students from local Chicago Public Schools participated in a free, one-day, workshop designed to introduce school aged girls to exciting careers in construction. MAGIC offers young ladies the opportunity to learn about countless avenues of employment available to women in the construction industry and to engage them via hands on demonstrations. Students toured DTI and dialoged with a panel of industry professional women sharing their experiences about the construction trades and offered advice to help young women become more informed and successful with their respective career paths. Current female Dawson Tech students joined the conversation with the panelists centered around involvement, empowerment, and valuing women’s contribution to the workplace and the recognition of female worth in non-traditional jobs for women.

Students toured DTI’s Carpentry, Welding, Plumbing, Gas Utility and Overhead Electrical Line Worker labs, participated in hands on demonstrations and ate lunch with the female construction students and industry professionals. Schools participating in the event included Woodson Elementary School, Al Raby High School, and Christian Fenger High School.  Volunteers from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Kiewitt Construction, FH Paschen Construction, Antionette Mitchelle Consulting LLC, and Dawson Technical Institute worked in partnership to make this event a success.

ICCET Exemplary Program Award

At thPat_Kallaus_and_Gina_De_rosier-Cook_photoe ICCET Conference in October, the Board presented the Exemplary Program Award to Pat Kallaus (Coordinator of Shah Center Operations) from McHenry County College.  From one concept in 2018, Pat worked with Catherine Jones (Associate Vice President of Workforce Development) and a number of local organizations to develop a total of three programs.  Starting with Step Forward (Stateline Transforming Employment Potential), five session (two hours/week) workshop was developed focusing on work readiness for job seekers with a non-violent, criminal background.  The program allowed participants who are newly released from jail, gain basic skills to help address the felony with employers and gain confidence to interview, obtain and sustain employment.

Upon completion, participants are given a certificate of attendance and strongly encouraged to complete a WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) application at the workforce network to access more programs and resources.  Working in partnership with the courts, four workshops have now been held with increased participation at each workshop.  Following the success of the workshops, it was evident that the participants who were applying for manufacturing apprenticeships were not equipped with basic skills.

Because of that, the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program was developed for WIOA clients including this re-entry population.  This six-week, 180-hour program provides training in both soft skills and industry basics.  The first program in April/May 2019 started with nine participants with four completions.  Another date is scheduled for this fall.

Illinois Postsecondary Profiles Tool

ipp graphicThe ICCB and IBHE jointly released the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles tool on October 10, 2019. The data and accountability website provides stakeholders with a powerful but user-friendly platform to access pertinent information on Enrollment, Affordability, Progress, Advancement, and Completion for 2- and 4-year Illinois higher education institutions.

How can high school students use “Dual Credit” to get ahead?

dual credit graphicDual Credit allows academically prepared high school students to simultaneously earn credits that count toward a high school diploma and a college degree. Dual Credit instruction delivers a “win-win” arrangement for all parties: students gain access to challenging college-level coursework to make their junior and senior years of high school more productive; students can prove to others and themselves that they have the ability to succeed in college; college costs can be reduced for parents and students; time-to-degree at college can be shortened; and the enhanced high school and college faculty dialogue can contribute to a better alignment between secondary and postsecondary education.

Read more…

Betsy DeVos visits Waubonsee Community College


Betsy DeVos, United States Secretary of Education, visited Waubonsee Community College campus.  She toured the Automotive Technology, Manufacturing & HVAC facilities and held a round-table discussion with several students and faculty members.

Forum for Excellence

Conference logoThe Forum for Excellence is Illinois’ premier Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Adult Education (AE) professional development event.  The Forum is designed to highlight educational initiatives and effective practices impacting career pathway implementation and expansion.  Sessions are selected by ICCB and serve as a launch to the year’s professional development delivered through the Professional Development Network.

Featured Speakers

Tuesday, September 24 at 9:15
Dr. Ben Williams, Chief Executive Office at the Nations Alliance for Partnerships in Equity.
Topic: The National Perspective: Equity, Education, and Apprenticeships

Wednesday, September 25 at 12:15
Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO at Philadelphia Youth Network.
Topic: Partnering for Success

More information