A Strong Summer leads Kish into the 2016-17 School Year
Enrollments are up this summer at Kishwaukee College for the first time in four years. This is good news as we strive to meet the higher education needs of our district residents. Our highest increase in enrollment this summer is in our traditional aged students, those under the age of 24. Most notable is our increase in high school age students, as we have expanded partnerships in offering dual credit. High school students are able to earn college credit, getting experience in what it takes to be successful in a college course. Helping our young people be college and career ready, no matter what their higher educational choice may be, is a goal of the College.
It is truly impressive that this enrollment growth has occurred after a year of significant budget challenges, with having to reduce 17% of the College staff. In the past semester, I have seen the passion and commitment that our faculty and staff demonstrate every day to the almost 8,000 students annually that choose to come to Kishwaukee College. Our faculty and staff are second to none and this past year their commitment and dedication to our students and excellence in education has not only been reinforced, but it has been the driving force behind the College move forward.
During the past few weeks, we have hosted Community Listening Sessions to determine the future direction of the College. We are appreciative to those individuals attending and providing feedback. With diminished resources, we need to be strategic and intentional in our work and listen to our constituents, ensuring we are meeting the needs of those so generously supporting the College. We are committed to continuing our reduction of dependence on state aid in our operating budget. Our decline of relying on state aid has begun, with a decline from 22% of our budget being state aid in the 2015-16 budget to just 10% in the proposed 2016-17 budget. We are also pleased that due to changes implemented at the College, we have retained 61% of our College reserves.
It will be imperative that we forge strong local partnerships to continue the important work of serving our students given the state economic climate. Private-public partnerships, increasing enrollment, and examining cost-reduction strategies, while maintaining our focus on quality in our service to students, will be our strategies for achieving our goal of decreased dependence on state funding. I am proud to be leading Kishwaukee College during this time of challenge and transformation.
Dr. Laurie Borowicz
President, Kishwaukee College
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