The Fast Path Degree program at Kankakee Community College will host two information sessions in early March.
Students and their parents can attend a virtual Zoom meeting on Monday, March 1 at 6 p.m. or an in-person session on March 3 at 6 p.m. at the KCC Miner South Extension Center, 1488 E Walnut St. in Watseka
The event will share program details including a schedule of two classes at a time, two days a week for two years leading to an Associate in Arts transfer degree. Participants complete two classes every eight weeks.
"The Fast Path program has helped me make a smooth transition from high school to college," said Dioselin Andrade, KCC sophomore and Fast Path student. "The support I receive from the mentors in the program has assisted me in developing the skills I need to be successful in my college classes. I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people and explore career options while staying on track for my degree. Whether you are undecided or have a major in mind, I would recommend Fast Path as a great option to earn your transfer degree from KCC.”
“Students are in class for about three hours a day, two days a week,” said Rexann McKinley, KCC professor and program mentor. “The course sequence, dates and times are all preplanned to make it easy on the students.”
The program admits a maximum of 20 students each fall.
“Fast Path students have a support system they can rely on,” said McKinley. “We mentor, guide and coach each student. We want them to be successful. Our graduates will be ready to transfer as juniors to a four-year college or university.”
Applications are now being accepted, and classes will begin in Aug. 2021. More information about the program and application materials are at fastpath.kcc.edu.
For questions or to reserve a seat at the information session, contact McKinley at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 815-802-8780.
Kankakee Community College’s Department of Adult and Community Education offers classes for area adults who are ready to complete grade school or high school requirements.
KCC is the largest provider of precollege and remedial services in the Kankakee and Iroquois county area.
“There are no costs to enroll, or for books,” said Margaret Wolf, director of adult and community education at KCC. “These programs are open to anyone age 17 and older who is no longer attending high school. They also are for adults who do not speak English as their first language and want to improve their English to obtain employment, or improve employment opportunities.”
“Most jobs require a high school diploma or GED,” said Gregg Beglau, coordinator of GED programs at KCC. “The pay bump for those with a GED is significant, because people with a high school equivalency earn about 30 percent more than those without a high school diploma. Plus, it opens doors to further education and even more opportunities.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma or equivalent is also lower than it is for people with no high school degree.
Basic literacy and English as a Second Language courses are also offered at KCC. Literacy programs are held at numerous sites where a tutor and student meet at times convenient to both.
For information on all Adult Education programs at KCC, visit adulted.kcc.edu or phone 815-802-8300.
Another Kankakee Community College scholarship has been established to ease students’ college costs.
The Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club donated $10,000 to the KCC Foundation. The gift creates $1,250 scholarships for up to two students per year who are pursuing careers in law enforcement or business law.
The award is named the Larry Walters, Michael Lindgren and Steve Barney Scholarship after three local police officers. Lindgren and Walters died while serving the community. Barney, who passed away in 2018, was a founding member of The Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club.
“This gift is powerful,” said Jennifer Zimmerman, coordinator of the KCC Foundation. “It honors these officers, and it will help students afford college, complete their degrees and change the trajectory of their lives.”
Applications for awards to use during the 2021-22 school year will be accepted through March 1, 2021. Only one application is needed to be considered for all of the available awards offered through the KCC Foundation.
The Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club was formed in 2000, and has chapters nationwide. Membership includes federal agents, U.S. marshals, military personnel; and state, county, and local firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
Since 1969, the KCC Foundation has worked to advance the mission of KCC by raising funds that support the college’s students, faculty, staff and programs.
Renovations to the Technology Building at Kankakee Community College are moving forward after funding has been secured by state legislators and a local employer.
State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) secured $1,250,000 and former State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) secured $500,000 which will be used to renovate some of the Technology Building classrooms on the KCC Riverfront Campus.
“Colleges and universities, like Kankakee Community College, not only provide students with a top-notch education, but also contribute to economic development in our communities,” Joyce said. “Despite all the challenges we have faced this year, this funding shows the state’s commitment to accelerating higher education in Kankakee.”
“Kankakee Community College is a vital part of our local economy and workforce development," Parkhurst said. "KCC was number one on my list to receive state funds to improve outdated infrastructure and assist KCC in its aim of providing all-aged learners the education and tools they need to enrich and improve their lives and careers. Thank you to KCC for always putting community first!”
The funds will be used to begin Phase 1 of the two-phase project. In total, the work will expand and modernize instruction areas, upgrade equipment, and renovate student training and workspaces.
Phase 1 includes renovating lab space that will enhance the Electrical Engineering Technology program. The total project will benefit all of KCC’s Technology Division programs: Electrical Engineering Technology; Computer Graphic Technology; Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice; and Automotive Technology.
“Training qualified workers is our mission, and these programs are a big part of it,” said KCC’s president, Michael Boyd. “Strengthening our programs now helps our residents find family-sustaining jobs in the future. KCC looks forward to training the next generation of technology workers with the help of new teaching and learning spaces. We certainly appreciate the support from the state in making it possible.”
Nucor Steel of Kankakee has also pledged $250,000 over five years toward helping students through this project.
“We are proud to partner with KCC with this investment to better serve the needs of our community," said J.T. Thomas, maintenance manager for Nucor. "We view this as a joint effort to ensure students continue to find top-notch facilities paired with strong instruction and career training. We also appreciate that KCC is investing in resources to attract a more diverse student body with unique talents. We are proud to make a difference for students who are forging bright futures for themselves, and we are honored to be difference-makers in this community where we live and serve.”
The Technology Building upgrades follow two other programs which were modernized and moved within the last year. KCC’s Early Childhood Education programs and transfer-level Education programs entered a new space in August. Also, in August, the Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration program began offering classes at the KCC Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center, 2580 S. Route 45/52 in Kankakee.
This phase of KCC’s technology renovations is budgeted at $1.75 million dollars and will begin in February 2021. It is expected to be completed by June, with the first classes in the newly renovated spaces in Fall 2021.
“KCC’s board of trustees are committed to workforce training, and to our area residents,” said Pat Martin, chair of KCC's board of trustees. “With bipartisan and business/industry support, we are able to close the funding gap so that residents have access to modern training facilities.”
“It’s essential that KCC is there for community members while they rebuild after the pandemic,” said Boyd. “Because of the board’s commitment, KCC can drive regional economic recovery, and get people ready to take high-demand skills to the local workforce.
“The update to the Technology hallway at KCC will allow expansion and upgrading of current programming that has been needed for some time,” said Paul Carlson, KCC’s dean of Business, Technology and Human Services programs. “This most current renovation is a credit to the program faculty, as well as senior leadership at KCC supporting the changing needs of the students within these programs.”