INA, Ill. (Nov. 10, 2015) – Andrea Witthoft, Rend Lake College Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, has had her hands in almost every aspect of the Illinois Community College System. Over the last 25 years, Witthoft has served as an administrative assistant, instructor, distance learning and media technician, and now vice president, with one goal in mind: helping local students.
Witthoft, a resident of Anna, landed a job at Shawnee Community College (SCC) in November of 1990 as an administrative assistant for their new TRIO Student Support Services grant, and it was just the first step of many on her way up. In addition to working her way up the employment chain, she also worked her way up the educational ladder as a non-traditional student, graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree from SCC, a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois.
Since the early 1990s, Witthoft has helped write, co-author, and manage numerous grants and contracts, both at SCC and eventually at RLC. In addition to the TRIO Grant, she worked on the Higher Education Consortium Act grants, one Title III Strengthening Institutions grant, and the first USDA / RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant awarded in Illinois, all at SCC. On the side, Witthoft also got into the classroom to teach career development classes.
After her transition to RLC as the Distance Learning and Media Technician in January of 1999, Witthoft continued her work to successfully aid the college in securing grants and contracts that have continued to help students to this day. She worked on additional grants with the Higher Education Consortium Act and served as the coordinator for the Title III Strengthening Institutions grants at RLC. She also added other projects to her plate in the form of the Illinois State Library grants, Illinois Department of Corrections contracts, and Adult Education and Family Literacy grants.
Witthoft was also instrumental in the development of the Southern Illinois Telecommunications Network, which today includes more than 44 videoconferencing classrooms in Southern Illinois. She was a major contributor to RLC’s 2008 Higher Learning Commission self-study and accreditation process. On the side, she has helped RLC revise the program review process; initiate the telecourse rental program; manage program review, progress reporting, and strategic planning processes; and lead efforts to select and implement a new ERP system.
As if her hands weren’t full enough, Witthoft has also served as the Chair for the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators (ICCCA) Learning Resources Commission, Secretary of the ICCCA, on the Shawnee Library System Board, and as a member of the transition team for the formation of the Illinois Heartland Library System. Witthoft will retire from RLC in January of 2017, shortly after finishing her 17th year with the college.
“As a community college graduate, I believe in the system and the variety of quality educational programs it offers for all students in Illinois,” said Witthoft. “I’ve been truly blessed to start out as an administrative assistant and finish my career as a vice president. Working in the Illinois Community College System has been a very rewarding career.”