In an effort to fulfill the philosophy of the College by making education accessible at times and places convenient to the learners, the College determined an educational center was needed in western Clinton County to better serve the citizens of the western part of the College District. As a result, the Trenton Education Center was established in the fall of 1999 at its current location. The City of Trenton agreed to lease to the College the front section of the former Illinois Power Building on the east side of Trenton. Also, the Center was made possible by a $36,000 contribution by the Trenton Industrial Commission in July 1999 and through other community support.
Over the past 12 years, the Trenton Education Center has steadily grown, adding programs and classes to meet the educational goals of students, as well as services such as continuing education classes designed to enrich lives for those who enjoy learning for learning's sake. Because of its location and the public's response the College scheduled classes on weekends and evenings to help meet demand for its services. However, the situation is now to the point where the current facility is much too small for the demand for programs. The plan is to expand the College presence in Trenton to serve this growing demand.
The Kaskaskia College Trenton Education Center will link education and resources through technology...moving us forward.
The Rationale for the Kaskaskia College Trenton Regional Education Center Expansion
The decision to expand KC's presence in the Trenton community was based on these needs and trends:
- Constant need for training and retraining of the workforce;
- Rapidly changing skill requirements;
- Globalization of the economy;
- Increasingly rapid technological advances;
- Increasing number of learners who are place-bound and timebound;
- Need for flexible scheduling and delivery systems;
- Increasing commitment to lifelong learning;
- Need to educate our youth closer to home, slowing the "brain drain;" and
- Need to expand the range of degree programs available in the area.
Virtually every study of future needs for Illinois emphasize the critical importance of higher education, especially in programs offered through community colleges. Report after report makes the point repeatedly of the vital role higher education must play in implementing the changes necessary to revitalize and sustain the economies of smaller communities. In this environment, the area's ability to retain its people, especially its best people, will depend on how well it meets the educational needs of employees and their families.
The expanded Kaskaskia College Trenton Education Center will dramatically enhance the quality of life within the region by offering continuing education opportunities to employees of existing business and industry firms, thereby assisting in their retention and in advancement potential, along with providing a skilled workforce for employers.
The state-of-the-art Center will greatly increase the opportunities for attracting new business, new industry and new employees, as the college is planning to develop room for industrialized training.
Offerings at the Center will be both credit and non-credit. Also, in keeping with the College's mission to provide educational opportunities to its residents at times and places convenient for the learner KC will also establish several program and degree offerings. In addition to the Kaskaskia College offerings, courses at the upper division and graduate level will be made available through cooperative agreements with four-year colleges and universities to further enhance training of the workforce and further stabilize the area economy.
Student financial aid, enrollment services, advising, academic assessment, Library services, and counseling will be available at the Trenton Center through Kaskaskia College. Tuition charges assessed at the Center will be the same as set for all KC district students and determined by the Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees.
The plan is to renovate an existing facility or purchase land and construct a facility in order to expand from the current 3,810 to 10,000 square feet. Five to 10 acres of land is considered desirable for the current and future expansion plans.
The planned facility will include general purpose classrooms, computer labs, science labs, industrial lab, conference room, open computer lab for the community, nursing lab, GED lab, and inter-active video distance learning classroom, three business incubator offices, student commons area, and faculty and staff offices.
Economic Impact of a Kaskaskia College Education
CCBenefits, Inc. conducted an economic impact study of the effect Kaskaskia College has on the local economy, and the economic effect for students completing programs at the College. The following are a few of the most compelling highlights:
Economic Impact of Kaskaskia College:
- Annual state and local government support for KC will be fully recovered in 8.9 years.
- State and local government will see an annual rate of return of 14.7 percent on their financial tax support for KC.
- For every dollar KC pays in salaries, there is another 31 cents or 31 percent generated in the district; which is the multiplier.
- KC programs are critical for recruiting new businesses, expanding current businesses, and for creating long-term economic growth.
- It is estimated the region embodies over one million credit/non-credit hours earned at KC.
- KC is considered the "Engine for Economic Development."
Economic Impact on KC Graduates:
- After successfully completing a program at KC, the average student will spend 35.8 years in the workforce, and he/she will earn $379,982 more than someone with just a high school diploma or GED.
- The average annual earnings of someone with an Associate Degree is $39,763, or 36.4 percent more per year than someone with just a high school diploma or GED.
- Students enjoy an attractive 30.4 percent rate of return on their KC educational investment, and they recover all educational costs in 4.9 years.
- KC graduates have earned $123.76 million that has caused an additional $91.56 million in other industries increased sales.
- 80 percent of all KC students are employed full or part time.
- 73 percent of KC students stay in the region and contribute to the local economy after graduation.
- Nationally, individuals with higher levels of education have lower unemployment rates. In 2010, the unemployment rates are as follows:
- 14.9% with less than a high school diploma
- 10.3% for high school graduates
- 9.2% for individuals with some college
- 7.0% with an Associate Degree
The Growing Use of KC's Trenton Education Center
While it was originally opened to better meet the needs of residents in the western area of the KC district, the KC Trenton Education Center has become one of the most popular off campus locations for students to attend college classes. An analysis of the traveling patterns of students to the Trenton Center shows students are willing to drive from throughout the college district to attend classes here, highlighting the growing need for expanded services in this area. The following two charts highlight the growing popularity of the Trenton Education Center with students attending classes in Trenton from 18 different communities over the past four years.
Trenton Center Steering Committee
|Trenton Education Center Campaign Chair|
|Campaign Chair||Mike Conley, Trenton|
|Steering Committee Teams|
|Campaign Manager||Suzanne Christ - KC Coordinator of Institutional Advancement Programs|
|Campaign Recorder||Cathy Quick - Executive Assistant to the KC President and Board of Trustees|
|Governmental Team||Mel Barret, Trenton|
|Service Clubs Team||Elizabeth “Pehg” Zeller, Trenton|
|Education Team||Gary Brink, Trenton|
|Alumni Team||Mary Pennington, Trenton|
|Retiree's Team||Sandra Glanzner, Trenton|
|Publicity Team||Cathy Karrick - KC Dir. Public Information|
|Events Team||Arlene Covington - Director of KC Trenton Education Center|
|Healthcare Team||Helen Essenpreis, Trenton|
|Grants Team||Mike Loomis - KC Grants Facilitator|
|Individual Giving Team||Margaret Conley, Trenton|
|Retail Business Team||Nancy Hubert, Trenton|
|Industrial Team||Art Borum - Director of Business and Industry|
|Finance Team||Nancy Kinsey - KC Vice President of Administrative Services|
|Site Selection Team||Mike Jones, Trenton|
|Program Planning Team||Kellie Henegar - KC Dean of Arts & Science|
|Technology Team||Gina Schuetz - KC Director of Information Technology|
|Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees|
|John W. Hawley - Chairman|
|Linda Stover - Vice Chairman|
|Jack Mays - Secretary|
|Dr. Dee Boswell|
|Zachary McGeehon - Student Trustee|