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LLCC awarded grant to expand career and technical training

Will create design lab near downtown Springfield and develop competency-based program in IT helpdesk

Press contact: Lynn Whalen

SPRINGFIELD — Lincoln Land Community College has been awarded a $540,000 grant as part of nearly $5 million designated for seven Illinois community colleges by the U.S. Department of Labor to expand career and technical training. LLCC will use the funds to expand its integrated media design and helpdesk programs. 

LLCC will develop an integrated media design lab at the college’s Medical District location, 130 W. Mason St. near downtown Springfield. This will provide a convenient location to those who live or work in that area to earn an associate in applied science degree in the subject. 

“The lab will contain Mac computers which are the standard in the design industry,” said Adam Watkins, LLCC dean of arts and communication. “Students earning the integrated media design degree will be qualified for local jobs in graphic design, application design and web design. Wrap-around supports will also be offered to encourage members of marginalized communities to enroll in the degree program. We are working with local employers who are looking to diversify their workforce and are interested in offering jobs to graduates of this program.”

The grant will also help LLCC develop a competency-based program leading to a helpdesk certificate. Students will be able to demonstrate the skills they have in the subject and accelerate through courses based on their prior knowledge and experience, saving them time and money.  

“This program gives students the skills and knowledge required for an entry-level IT helpdesk position. We know there is a great need for these positions across all industries locally and nationally,” said Dr. Carmen Allen, LLCC professor of computer science. “We will develop this program to emulate another competency-based program LLCC offers in cybersecurity. The helpdesk program is offered online and can be a game-changer for adults looking for a new career as well as students right out of high school.”  

Both program expansions are expected to kick off in fall 2023.