ICC Board of Trustees Celebrates Campus and Student Achievements

The Illinois Central College Board of Trustees met to discuss the new human patient simulator HAL S5301, student enrollment, and other topics of importance to ICC on Sept. 21 on the East Peoria campus.

ICC has had its first major enrollment increase since 2011. It was confirmed that enrollment has increased by 7.6%, but that is not the only significant increase that was noted during the meeting. An even larger increase has been made this year with students taking on noticeably more credit hours, with an 8.7% increase in student credits overall.

Ron Budinski from the Board of Trustees says the biggest takeaway of the meeting for the average Illinois Central College student is the enrollment increase.

“I mean, that is so encouraging,” Budinski said in an interview. “It represents so much. It is up higher than we expected.”

ICC is breaking even more records this year with Student Life.

Student Life hosted a new student orientation, which had the largest turnout that had ever been seen before. There were 121 students who attended, as well as 142 guests. It was hosted on August 12, 2023, Matthew Jones, Administrative Assistant at Student Life, confirmed.

Another topic discussed at the meeting is the new patient simulator HAL S5301. HAL is one of only four of its kind in Illinois and is said to be the most advanced simulator of its kind.

Students can practice surgeries, emergency care, respiratory procedures, trauma intervention, and other activities that nursing students may need to practice. HAL can also replicate human movements with fully functional legs, arms, and hands. It can even carry on a conversation using AI-generated speech, which one board member got to experience herself.

Board of Trustee member, Cindy Byrd, visited HAL and talked about her experience with the patient simulator, saying, “This is a blessing to have this as part of our healthcare programs.”

After hearing about her experience with the robot, ICC President Sheila Quirk-Bailey said, “As human beings, we want to feel competent and confident in whatever we’re doing, and the simulators boost that.”

The nursing students of Illinois Central College are not the only ones seeing big achievements this year. The athletes of Illinois Central College are seeing achievements this year as well.

Rob Bus, the director of athletics at Illinois Central College announced that 35 athletes earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) awards this year. To qualify for the award, students must have a 3.6 GPA or higher, and Illinois Central College smashed this out of the park with 13 of the 35 students having a perfect 4.0 GPA.

More exciting news came about when the Board of Trustees welcomed a new Arts and Behavioral Sciences dean during the meeting: Dale Young. Young has been a professional theater artist for over 40 years, has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Theatre School of DePaul University, and a doctorate in Film and Theater from Bowling Green State University.
“We do have phenomenal facilities,” said Young, after being welcomed by the board. “I look forward to filling them with all kinds of voices and activity and creativity.”

Illinois Central College has received C.G.A. (Charitable Gift Annuities) funds in partnership with trade unions through the Climate Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program. This is their first time partnering with a community college and they have given over $700,000 in funds.

During the meeting, the trustees announced the Illinois Central College students who received funds, as well. Scholarships and awards were shared during this time to recognize exceptional students.

In other news, the “Alumnus of the Last Decade Award” went to Mason McCoy, a 2015 graduate. He is the third Illinois Central College student to make it to a Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

 Another alumnus, Cassie Keller, former student trustee, was awarded a two-year scholarship to Bradley University.

The Student Government Association, or S.G.A. held senator elections for the 2023 and 2024 terms. The elections were held on September 27-28. The winner of the election was Collin Grebner.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body in charge of the overall direction and focus of the college. This largely relates to the budget and certain institutional policies. They work hand-in-hand with President Shelia Quirk-Bailey.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is this Thursday, Oct. 19.