April is Community College Month! 

This is a great month for those of us at Clinton Community College and I hope you will celebrate with us. 

This year marks our 10th anniversary of celebrating this special month. During the last ten years, we have been able to celebrate all that is good about our community college.  We have found that we have much to celebrate and much for which we can be proud.

We are proud of our history in the Clinton area.  Our college was started by citizens who wanted access to higher educational opportunities close to home.  This early start has provided us with a special connection to the community; we are so proud to be a part of this area!  We have great respect and appreciation for that early vision and today we maintain our focus on access to higher education, quality offerings, and affordability.   CCC has offered many students a great start to their education while staying close to home. Our programming is driven by local need.  And, when there is a need for services or purchasing materials, our first choice is to do so locally.

We are proud of our connections in our communities.  Our graduates represent CCC in their jobs and in their home communities.  Our faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents to a variety of community organizations; our hope is that this will help to strengthen our communities.   We are always so proud of the contributions they make.  Our Alumni Association continues to work with us to provide opportunities for graduates to stay connected to CCC.  We are so fortunate to have many donors who honor us with their gifts to the Paul B. Sharar Foundation — these gifts allow us to offer scholarships to students, and add to our programming at the college.  

An active board oversees the work of the foundation and this group of people has helped to create more opportunities to our students.  

And,  by working with a variety of area organizations, we have been able to offer special programming including Visiting Artists, Eagle Watch, Citizen’s Police Academy, Horticulture in the Heartland,  and ENCORE to name a few.

We are proud of our programming.  The breadth of our programming is amazing.  Our Adult Education offerings range from GED, English as a Second Language and literacy programming to training for our local industries.  Our Career and Technical programs prepare our students for entry into the labor market with our Arts and Sciences programming assisting students to be prepared to transfer to a four year college or university.  Our faculty take great care in planning curriculum so students can be ready for their next step.  Student activities offer students learning opportunities outside of the classroom while our services are available to assist students in being successful.  There is a great emphasis on providing programs and services that will offer students the tools to be successful.

We are proud of our growth.  Over the last ten years we have celebrated a number of semesters with record enrollment.  Our yearly enrollment has increased by 59 percent during these last ten years.  We know what a privilege it is to work with our students; we are honored that they have asked us to be a part of their education.  We have also updated programs to meet local needs and worked to provide training in local workplaces that will allow employees to stay current with their skills.  Increased emphasis on partnership agreements with four year colleges and universities have made it easier for our students to continue their education once graduating from CCC.

We are proud of the improvements to our facilities.  Over the past ten years we have added technology, renovated classrooms, added buildings and additions.  Our goal in all our work has been to improve our learning environment for our students.  

We continue to improve our facilities to meet the needs of our students.

We are proud of our students.  We work with a diverse group of students.  They are unique people with unique needs.  

Our goal is to work with them where they are and provide them the skills to get where they want to be.  

Our students succeed in the classroom; students have earned spots on the President’s and Dean’s List each semester.  Students are participating in our college’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, participating in student organizations, and volunteering in the community.  CCC students transferring to four year colleges and universities continue to succeed in their studies.  

We are proud of our faculty and staff.  Many of us often comment that when we came to CCC our intent was to only stay for a few years.  

Many of us have elected to stay much longer.  

We have found a college community that values people, ideas, integrity, and student success.  

We have found people who care about each other and our students.  We have learned that each of us has the opportunity to make a difference to our students, our college, and our community.  The faculty and staff at CCC are a talented, dedicated, and caring group of people.

We are proud to celebrate Community College Month.  

This is a special month for us and I am hopeful that throughout the month, you will celebrate with us!

Karen Vickers, PhD., is the president of Clinton Community College.

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