Illinois college marks 40 years

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This year will be monumental for Shawnee Community College.

The Ullin, Ill., post-secondary education center is celebrating its 40th anniversary and breaking ground on three new building projects.

The college was started in 1967 as a two-year college to serve the residents of Alexander, Johnson, Jackson, Massac, Pulaski and Union counties in Illinois, as well as Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Mississippi, New Madrid, Scott and Stoddard counties in Missouri.

The college generated only 227 credit hours the first year, and has grown to generate more than 23,000 credit hours in the fall 2006 semester and serve more than 2,500 students each semester.

The college offers more than 70 different degree programs -- see the Shawnee Community College advertisement for a listing of all possible degree programs -- in a variety of disciplines. The college offers associates of arts and sciences degrees, one-year programs, certification programs, meeting spaces, theater and cultural events.

In 2007, Shawnee will begin construction of three new projects.

The first is housing that will be run by the SCC Foundation. The suite-style buildings will hold 120 students and will be located just west of campus. According to public relation director Sarah Kinkade, the new housing project would be a great place for students from Missouri to know about and consider if they are not quite ready for Southeast Missouri State University or another four-year institution. Shawnee has small class sizes and can give the attention that the larger schools lack, said Kinkade.

The second project is called the Medical Arts and Sciences Building. This 22,000-square-foot building will house the allied health programs of the college. Programs utilizing this facility will be the expanded programs of licensed practical nursing, registered nursing, nurse's assistant, and massage therapy, along with other programs as they are developed. In addition, a rehabilitation center will be built that is equipped with a new wellness/fitness center and other related equipment. A medical clinic will be included in the building as well, which will be operated by Rural Health Inc. of Anna, Ill. Other areas planned for this building include a computer lab that will be open to all SCC students, wireless technology, additional classroom space available for classes outside the Allied Health Department, and offices for faculty.

The third building project will be the Career Technology Center, and will house the Truck Driving, Welding, Appliance Repair and Electronics programs. There will also be restroom facilities and a concession stand for the baseball and softball fields.

According to Kinkade, Shawnee is unique because of the variety of programs, ranging from cosmetology to nursing to truck driving, as well as transferable associates degrees. Shawnee courses easily transfer to Southeast Missouri State University through articulation agreements, and the college serves many students from the Southeast Missouri area.

Shawnee also offers online courses to students from all over the world, said Kinkade.

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