The fall semester is in full swing at Kishwaukee College, with students on our campus and in our classrooms. Enrollments are down slightly from last year, but the enrollment decline is primarily out of district students. Kish is the college of choice for approximately 30% of the local graduates of the class of 2017. Enrollment history shows that close to 50% of all area high school graduates will take a least one class at Kish within two years of high school graduation.
Local athletes competing on our sports teams this year is nearly 50% of all athletes, up from 19% last year. Our goal is to reach 75% of our Kougar athletes being graduates of our local high schools by 2019. We have brought back women’s volleyball and basketball for the 2017-18 school year, and will have men’s and women’s soccer and cross country for the 2018-19 school year.
Given the number of local high school graduates choosing to attend Kishwaukee College to continue their education, it is important that we work with the area high schools to help students easily transition to our College after high school. Programs with our high schools, such as dual credit, prepare students to be college and career ready. Annually I host a K-12 Administrators Breakfast, which was recently held on October 26th. Ten K-12 administrators, representing school districts from DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Hiawatha, Indian Creek, KEC, Paw Paw, Rochelle, and Sycamore, attended the meeting. Discussion focused on how we can continue to work together to build educational pathways for students from high school to college. Acting President of NIU, Dr. Lisa Freeman, joined us at the K-12 Administrators Breakfast, the first time a NIU President attended. The meeting was groundbreaking as we work to create K-16 educational programs and pathways for our local students. I feel fortunate to be working with Dr. Freeman and the area K-12 Superintendents to enhance opportunities for the students attending our respective educational institutions.
Many students attend Kishwaukee College with the intention of finding employment in our communities following graduation. Kish is proud of the Career and Technical Programs we offer, preparing students for our local workforce. I serve on both the GREDCO and DCEDC boards of directors, which allows Kish to play a key role in local economic development for both current and future employers. Businesses considering relocating to our area critically look at the local workforce, examining the opportunities that exist to hire and train employees. It is important for us to demonstrate what we can offer in workforce development for prospective employers. To support this effort, I am pleased to be involved in expanding workforce partnerships beyond our local area, working with five Community College Presidents in Northwestern Illinois. Together we are exploring how we work together to support the workforce needs of the region.
It is by working with others that we build on the rich tradition of quality education at Kishwaukee College - Your Community College. I am proud and honored to be serving as President. To learn more about the great things happening at Kish, follow me on my blog at drlaurie.kish.edu.
Dr. Laurie Borowicz
President, Kishwaukee College