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

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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.

Building Concept

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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, HEC lab, and inter-active video distance learning classroom, three business incubator offices, student commons area, and faculty and staff offices.

Trenton Center

Trenton Center

Floorplan for Trenton Center

Economic Impact of a Kaskaskia College Education

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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 HEC.
  • 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 HEC.
  • 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:
    1. 14.9% with less than a high school diploma
    2. 10.3% for high school graduates
    3. 9.2% for individuals with some college
    4. 7.0% with an Associate Degree

Trenton Regional Education Center Programs

The educational plan is to offer Associate in Arts Degrees, Associate in Science Degrees, and Associate in Applied Science Degrees as well as Certificates in a variety of program areas.

Degrees Available:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate in Applied Science
    • CISCO Networking (Certificate)
    • Other AAS programs as demanded

Credit Programming:

  • Natural, Physical, Life, & Social Sciences (The science/art lab allows for offering science courses)
  • Fine Arts & Humanities (The science/art lab will provide for various art classes)
  • Health & Personal Development
  • Communications, Mathematics
  • Core Values & Leadership

Potential Degree/Certificate Programs: (Under review for future offering)

  • Office Technology
  • Computer Information Tech.
  • Marketing and Finance
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Paraprofessional Educator
  • Business Administration
  • Energy Conservation
    • Weatherization
    • Geothermal Technology
    • Wind Turbine Repair
  • Sheet Metal Fabrication
  • Agriculture/Horticulture
  • Construction Trades
  • Truck Driver Training
  • Culinary Arts
  • Automotive Systems Technology
  • Small Engine Repair

Potential Industrial Programs:

  • Welding
  • Electronics
  • Industrial Maintenance
  • Drafting
  • Electrical Technology/Industrial Electricity

Potential Health Occupations:

  • Allied Health
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Emergency Management Fire Science/Homeland Sec.
  • Paramedicine

Business & Industry Opportunities:

  • Introduction to Customer Service
  • Customer Service & Beyond
  • Introduction to Work Place Ethics
  • Leadership Training
  • Management & Supervisory Training
  • Microsoft 2007 Suite
  • Customized Training for Professionals
  • Face-to-face workshops for various professions (such as: Real Estate)
  • Online continuing education opportunities

Illinois Small Business Development Center:

  • Small Business Development Workshops (offered quarterly)
  • Business Incubator Offices for start up small business opp.

Adult Education:

  • HEC Program
  • Literacy/Tutoring

Open Computer Lab:

  • Computers available with internet for citizens on a walk-in basis

Community Education Opportunities:

  • Computer Understanding I-IV
  • How to Buy & Sell on eBay
  • Internet & Email
  • Digital Photography
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Online Ed2Go (over 300 instructor-facilitated online courses)
  • KICK Program (Exciting and challenging classes for children K-Grade 8)

Distance Learning:

  • Courses will be made available from main campus as well as other Education Centers via interactive-video technology
  • The technology will also be available for one on one counseling or tutoring Sessions

The Growing Use of KC's Trenton Education Center

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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
Jim Beasley
Dr. Dee Boswell
Kelly Bennett
Bryan Holthaus
Zachary McGeehon - Student Trustee