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New Powersports Program and Tuition Freeze at SIC

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Tuesday, Jan. 16 to approve a new career education program and freeze tuition.

The board approved a new Powersports Technology certificate program that will cater to students in the region who want to learn more about All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Utility Vehicles (UTV), and small engine repair and maintenance.

“We listened to industry and faculty and decided to run with it full force,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice.  “Students will learn from qualified faculty in a new Powersports Technology Lab about this exciting and very popular industry.”

Rice said the existing faculty want to make sure that new enrollment is achieved and current programs maintained prior to new hiring for the Powersports program.  Should new enrollment occur, Rice said he will consult with faculty and staff about bringing the new position back to the board for passage.

“While the board and I were prepared tonight to create a new full-time faculty position, recent talks with the lead faculty in this career area resulted in us taking a slightly different turn,” said Rice.

“I appreciate their conservativism and concern for the institution as a whole.  They get it.  We have to serve new audiences and grow new enrollment.  And I appreciate that understanding,” Rice added.

Staff does believe new enrollment will happen, and the numbers could be large as the program is novel to the entire region and state.

“It’s the way we do business here, and this serves as testament to the faculty we have and their concern for the organization as a whole,” said Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Weiss.

The college is also working on an associate degree in Powersports Technology to compliment the new certificate once final approval is given by the Illinois Community College Board.

The college also froze tuition for the upcoming year.

“We want to remain one of the most affordable options for students,” said Board Secretary Jim Ellis.

The board passed the tuition freeze with a unanimous vote.  Tuition will remain at $106 per credit hour, saving students thousands as compared to universities.

In other business, the board tabled a vote on bids for the new Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art, as all bids came in significantly over architectural estimates.  The board has asked administration to review and work with the donor on solutions to bring back to them to keep the project moving forward.

The board also approved Lisa Hite to be the Treasurer for SIC as well as approve budget transfers, a change order to the archery building, and approved fees for CPR classes, technology, and activities.

The board also approved multiple policy revisions as part of its board policy review process.

In personnel, the board approved Bethany Mathis as the new part-time student resource assistant and approved adjunct faculty.

The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room at SIC.