HARRISBURG, Ill. (April 1, 2021) — Southeastern Illinois College announced today that it will join #CCMonth, a monthlong grassroots education and stigma-busting campaign coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The primary goals of #CCmonth are to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges, and to bust longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.
“The past year has proved beyond any doubt that our college is absolutely vital to our community and our state,” SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice said. “#CCMonth is an opportunity to reach out into both and to demonstrate not only that community colleges should be the first choice of many collegegoers, but why community colleges are first-class institutions that are vital to our local and state economies.”
Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all people. They are the primary educators of life-saving nursing and other healthcare professionals among many others. They also serve as an onramp to bachelor’s, master’s and higher-level degrees for many students, and particularly for the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse students. They guarantee fair admissions for all students. They offer supports for adult students who have to work to support their families. And without community colleges, many American students would not be able to access higher education at all.
Despite all this, many American people wrongly believe that community colleges are inferior institutions, and in most states, universities receive significantly more per-student state support than community colleges do. These negative attitudes and disparities support and encourage ongoing socioeconomic and demographic disadvantages and inequities in the United States.
“Community colleges are engines of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Association of Community College Trustees President and CEO J. Noah Brown. “They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”
The campaign is expected to have strong participation from community colleges and their supporters throughout the country.
Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg with an extension center in Carmi was founded in 1960 and offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs. At $106 per credit hour, SIC boasts one of the lowest tuition rates in the region, and more than 70% of students receive some form of financial aid or scholarships.
SIC has provided online classes since 2001 and offers dual credit for area high schools, accelerated courses, night classes and community education opportunities. With approximately 4,000 full or part-time students per year and approximately 140 employees, SIC is a top employer in Southern Illinois. For more information, visit www.sic.edu.
Registration for summer and fall is going on now. Email [email protected] to register. Students that register for fall before June 1 will be entered for a chance to win all their fall semester books for free – twenty students will win. Students 25 and older may be eligible for the new fresh start scholarship. Visit www.sic.edu/freshstart for details and the application.