Grant assists with First Year Experience

Grant assists with First Year Experience

Funds are from Iroquois Federal Foundation

Grant assists with First Year Experience

Posted On: 02/01/21

The Iroquois Federal Foundation has donated $10,000 to Kankakee Community College for supplies to assist students enrolled in the college’s First Year Experience orientation class.

The First Year Experience course not only helps students with active learning strategies, study skills, information literacy and financial awareness, but it also fosters a sense of belonging on KCC’s campus and builds community with faculty and peers. In the Fall 2020 semester, more than 300 students enrolled in the course.

“Our FYE program is unique in that it asks students to really reflect on their purpose and goals at KCC, their learning habits and preferences, along with identifying any obstacles that might hinder their success,” said Linsey Cuti, one of the professors who teaches the course. “They are then given tools to overcome such obstacles and support to achieve their goals.”

“KCC plays a vital role providing development opportunities for both individuals and our community as a whole through their many educational resources,” said Walter “Chip” Hasselbring, chief executive officer/president of Iroquois Federal and IF Bancorp, Inc. and president of the Iroquois Federal Foundation, Inc. “We are glad to be a supporting partner of those efforts.” 

Hasselbring is also a member of the KCC Foundation board of directors. The grant was made to the KCC Foundation, which uses the funds as designated.

“Students have no primer for understanding the complexities of the college experience,” said Jennifer Hays Huggins, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at KCC. “The FYE course offers insight to things like the need to consult an advisor; how to apply for financial aid; the cost of books; developing study skills, having needed supplies; having access to Internet/WiFi; using the library as a resource; using tutoring and skill labs; arranging accommodations for special needs; understanding the variety of services available to students and staying on track to degree completion.”

KCC student Emily Lotz, who completed the course in October, said the course prepared her to succeed in college by helping her learn how to study. It also helped KCC student Frankie Swanson learn to navigate in online classes, a necessary skill in the current environment. “The KCC First Year Experience (course) was very helpful for me,” Swanson said. 

The Iroquois Federal grant will provide materials so students can assess their own strengths and abilities to succeed. It will also pay for some textbooks; class supplies; resources for equity, diversity and inclusion programming; and supplies to address financial literacy, career and life skills. In addition, three laptops will be purchased to loan to students. The $10,000 donation covers about 20% of the cost to offer the First Year Experience course.

“This generous donation is an investment in the future of our students,” Hays Huggins said. “We are fortunate to have a partner like Iroquois Federal who understands the value of our mission at KCC to help students to become lifelong learners and achieve their academic and life goals.”

The KCC Foundation is an institutionally related foundation governed by a 20-member board of directors. The KCC Foundation gained non-profit status and became incorporated in 2007. It provides resources to ensure that KCC can uphold its mission: Enhancing quality of life through learning. 

The mission of Iroquois Federal Foundation, Inc. (the “Foundation”) is to provide financial support to charitable and community service organizations in the communities in which Iroquois Federal (the “Bank”) operates. The Foundation is dedicated completely to community activities and the promotion of charitable causes.