“The outdoor industry is booming across the nation, and this program will appeal to anyone who likes the outdoors and wants to make a living at it,” said Ben Ross, Career & Technical Education Special Projects Coordinator. “One of the best ways to learn about wildlife conservation is to be part of it, and this program combines the two. It’s really exciting to see this taking shape.”
The program has been sent to state bodies for final approval given the board’s approval of the certificate, degree and courses. Once approved, it is anticipated that the first classes will begin in fall 2019 on the Harrisburg campus with multiple outdoor labs.
College officials say since this is a reinvention of a long-standing program at Southeastern, they expect final approval to come soon. Multiple colleges have provided letters of support for the program to be a regional program as well.
“It makes sense to work together and share programs rather than compete with one another,” said Executive Dean of Academic Affairs, Gina Sirach. “We’re glad to have so many partners in education who support one another.”
Southeastern shares many programs with neighboring colleges, such as health information technology, culinary arts, veterinaryassistant, and massage therapy with Rend Lake College, as well as coal mine training with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges,among others.
The board also reviewed an agreement with the Saline County Conservancy District for use of the college water tower. The board expects to sign the agreement at its July meeting once the final agreement draft is complete.
In personnel, the board approved the employment of full-time UMWA financial aid specialist beginning June 4 – Brianne Douthitt; part-time financial aid assistant beginning May 14 – Bethany Mathis (transfer from part-time student resource assistant);full-time UMWA payroll/accounting clerk beginning June 4 – Devona Morales (transfer from part-time TRiO program specialist); and a number of adjunct faculty.