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Local Column

Borowicz: The 50th anniversary of Kish continues

Dr. Laurie Borowicz
Dr. Laurie Borowicz

Last week, we hosted about 150 guests at our Fragments of Kish wine walk. It was a great opportunity to highlight Kishwaukee College’s beautiful campus while raising money for student scholarships. Based on the responses of guests, we anticipate it will be a yearly event.

Summer is a busy time at the college. Summer school is in full swing, and there is lots of activity to prepare the campus for another school year.

Our summer enrollment is up a bit, especially in online offerings. The flexibility for our learners to study at a time that works in their schedule is critical, and we continue to make great strides in supporting nontraditional instruction. This past spring the college was approved to offer programs fully online.

Over the next year, we will be working to develop curriculum to begin offering online degree programs starting in fall 2019.

A main focus of our efforts last year was on supporting the learning needs of our students. We created a proactive advising model and piloted a number of support services and activities to help our students achieve their academic goals.

In looking at fall enrollments, our efforts appear to be making an impact, as we are doing a much better job as a college of helping our students stay at Kish to complete their degrees.

We will continue to push forward on our Student Success activities in the coming school year. The next big 50th anniversary event at the college will be homecoming Sept. 15.

There will be many family-friendly events on campus for this event, and we will be rolling out the college’s new strategic plan, which includes an updated mission and vision to take the college into the next 50 years.

Throughout the strategic planning process many people provided input on what we do, where we are going and what we value as a college and community.

We are so pleased to be starting out the school year with a state budget. It is giving us an opportunity to focus our attention and activities on our students.

The campus is getting some minor facilities updates, including painting the gym, updating some of the original campus hall, and ensuring technology and computer labs are located where students need them most.

One of the biggest activities in the summer is goal setting for the next school year. Partnerships will continue to be at the forefront of our planning of activities.

We look forward to continuing our strong collaboration with Northern Illinois University, as 70 percent of our students planning to transfer after they graduate transfer to NIU.

High school students are our future, so building our collaborations to help young people be college and career ready is paramount.

Our role as a college is to prepare learners for their career after they complete higher education, so partnering with businesses and economic development are key in supporting and building our local communities. We will all be stronger by working together.

I am proud of how we continue to move forward at Kish to best serve our students.

The dedication and service on the part of our faculty and staff to provide a first-class education to our students is demonstrated every day.

I look forward to another school year.

• Laurie Borowicz is the president of Kishwaukee College

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