A new Hospitality Operations certificate will be offered at KCC beginning Fall 2019.
The 18-credit hour certificate packages two existing KCC courses along with four newly developed courses. It prepares students to enter the hospitality profession in hotels, restaurants, banquet and entertainment venues as well as meeting, convention and event planning settings. Employment opportunities are in restaurants, chambers of commerce, tourism destinations, recreation businesses and hotels.
“Entrepreneurship is the first class in the series because we see this program attracting entrepreneurs who are looking for the knowledge, skills and connections they need to develop an idea into a reality,” said Dr. Michael Boyd, vice president for instruction and student success. “We want this program to attract dreamers and innovators who have disruptive ideas that can transform the attractions of the area.”
Courses will be taught at KCC, with internship experiences at area facilities.
“Local businesses are interested in our hospitality students as interns and future employees.” said Boyd. “We held a discussion with industry leaders in collaboration with Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau and we had an overwhelming response.”
“We are proud to be a voice representing the tourism and hospitality industry and grateful that Kankakee Community College recognizes the need for a formal Hospitality Management academic program,” said Staci Wilken, executive director of the Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We hope this program can prepare students to roll out the red carpet for our guests.”
Students will be encouraged to earn Illinois Restaurant Association credentials in food handling, sanitation, alcohol and allergens. The hospitality classes also can be taken toward an associate degree, which can transfer to a hospitality program at a four-year college or university in Illinois to earn a bachelor’s degree.
For more information about the program, contact Robert Babich, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 815-802-8656.
Kankakee Community College is the top community college in Illinois for overall student satisfaction in a cross-section of areas.
“KCC strives to provide top-quality service across all areas of the college!” said KCC’s president, Dr. John Avendano. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our programs and services. We are pleased to have students who are satisfied with a number of services, and are even more pleased to know that the satisfaction levels include several departments and service areas.”
The college’s ranking takes into account students’ answers to questions on their satisfaction with nine areas on the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory: advising/counseling, responsiveness to diverse populations, admissions and financial aid, service excellence, safety and security, college experience met expectations, academic services, student centeredness, and registration effectiveness.
Eleven Illinois community colleges submitted this data to the National Community College Benchmark Project. On each of the nine benchmark items, KCC also is in the top 25 percent of all colleges nationally.
“Much like in a contest where several scores are pooled together in aggregate, KCC came out on top overall for Illinois schools who provided a number of benchmarks for comparison,” said Dr. Jose da Silva, KCC vice president for student development and services. “It is especially rewarding to know students appreciate the services we provide. We look forward to continuously evolving in order to meet the needs of our students now and in the future.”
KCC did well nationally in a number of academic areas as well.
The percentage of students who passed their first college-level math class after completing a remedial math class places KCC in the top 4 percent nationally; and the percent of students passing their distance learning classes at KCC places them in the top 20 percent nationally. The college is in the top 15 percent for first-time, full-time students who completed a degree/certificate or transferred within three years. KCC also is highly ranked—in the top 20 percent nationally—for first-time, part-time students who completed a degree/certificate within six years. By using a Noel Levitz survey, individual identities remain confidential. Using a national survey also allows KCC to compare results year-to-year, and with other colleges because most questions are repeated on each college’s survey.
More information about KCC is available on the college’s website, www.kcc.edu.
KCC will celebrate Black History Month with a workshop, “Securing Academic Success: A Guide for Students of Color,” on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. - noon in the lower level of KCC’s Miner Memorial library.
This event is free and the public is invited.
Jorge Tennin will discuss how you can access the resources available to become a successful college student. Get the tools you need to connect with faculty and staff. Students will walk away from this workshop feeling empowered and increase their ability in self-advocacy.
Tennin is originally from Rockford, where he grew up in a challenging neighborhood and environment. He learned to survive and adjust to the culture he lived in. Though he faced many barriers, Tennin said strength and the love of his mother, were keys to his perseverance.
Currently, Tennin serves as director of student activities at the College of Lake County. He has an associate degree from Rock Valley College, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He is completing a dissertation for a doctorate in adult and higher education from NIU. His passion is assisting African-American males in being successful while pursuing an education. Tennin says that he simply wants to create a path of success for them, encouragement and a sense of belonging!
For more information about the event Feb. 19, phone KCC’s Student Life Office at 815-802-8628.
Dr. John Avendano, president of Kankakee Community College, has been selected for the Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award from Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
According to Phi Theta Kappa, recipients are selected based on their “strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students over the course of their career.” Avendano was nominated by KCC’s Alpha Delta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.
“We know the depth of each member’s experience has a lot to do with the value placed on Phi Theta Kappa by college leaders,” said Lynn Tincher-Ladner, national president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. “Your nomination and selection for this award is recognition that your Phi Theta Kappa students have your support.”
Avendano will be honored at Phi Theta Kappa’s “Catalyst 2019” national convention, April 5. He is one of just seven college presidents who will receive the award.
“Our chapter has continually been supported and encouraged by Dr. Avendano during the 10 years of his presidency,” said Susan LaMore, KCC Alpha Delta Eta chapter adviser. “He has supported the chapter from the start. He takes time to welcome members at induction ceremonies, and always remarks about the value and benefits of participation.
“We are proud to be a five star chapter, marking the highest level of participation in the organization. Dr. Avendano’s support and pride in this accomplishment are appreciated.”
“Receiving this award is truly special,” Avendano said. “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of dozens of Phi Theta Kappa inductions and events, and the energy is positive, engaging, and contagious. Internationally, Phi Theta Kappans are the best and the brightest honor society students. I also know from personal experience how it makes a difference, because both of my daughters were members and officers at KCC. Their college experience was greatly enhanced by Phi Theta Kappa and I’m proud of all of them! Again, this is truly an honor.”
The lifetime achievement award is Avendano’s third national Phi Theta Kappa Award. In 2013, he received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for outstanding efforts given to those who promote the goals of Phi Theta Kappa. In 2009, he received the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Administrator Award while he worked at Illinois Central College. From 2010-13, Avendano served as the liaison between the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents and the Illinois Region of Phi Theta Kappa.
Himself a community college graduate, Avendano also is an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa at KCC.
Phi Theta Kappa has recognized academic achievement at associate degree-granting colleges since 1918. It also is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations.
The society offers opportunities for scholarships, intellectual enrichment, and personal development through programs based on the society’s hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. To be eligible for membership, students must have a 3.5 grade point average or better on a 4.0 scale. The Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Michael Bennett, longtime president of St. Petersburg College in Florida.