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#CCmonth shines a light on community colleges

by Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., President, Lincoln Land Community College
Dr. Charlotte Warren, LLCC president

April is Community College Month and brings our institutions to the limelight. #CCmonth seeks to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges.

Community colleges are unique in higher education.

  • We offer the most affordable, high-quality college experience.
  • On our campuses, everyone belongs.
  • We serve the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse group of students.
  • We guarantee fair admissions for all.
  • We are the primary educators of nursing and other healthcare professionals.
  • We provide an onramp to bachelor’s and higher-level degrees.   
  • We are the largest provider of public workforce training in the state.
  • We work with employers to fill their hiring needs and improve economic development of communities.
  • Our state is #1 in the nation in terms of community college students who go on to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Community colleges originated in the U.S. to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all. We attract top-notch faculty who want to teach and mentor students. Without community colleges, many more students would incur debt or be unable to afford a post-secondary degree or certificate.

Community colleges partner with area businesses to create programs designed specifically to meet their needs while providing graduates with family-sustaining wages. One example is our new agreement with SIU School of Medicine to help fill their critical need for medical assistants. Our students will be offered paid apprenticeships as they learn to become medical assistants, with a job waiting for them when they graduate.

Community colleges were created to serve the needs of their communities. When students are just starting out on a college degree, want to know their professors and fellow students, and don’t want a mountain of debt, they come to us. When adults need to acquire new skills to better support their families, they come to us. When employers need training programs to upskill their workers, they come to us.

At LLCC, our newly energized mission says it all: “to transform lives and strengthen our communities through learning.” Our updated core values are “diversity and equity, affordability, collaboration, teaching and learning, agility and integrity.”

We invite you to help us celebrate Community College Month by spreading the word about the many advantages of a community college education. We work to ensure college success for every student, regardless of age, background or socioeconomic status. As you can see, “LLCC” is at the very core of COLLEGE SUCCESS.