College of Lake County co-hosts international gathering of higher ed administrators
Twenty-nine college presidents, trustees and higher education administrators, some coming from as far away as South Korea and Australia, visited the College of Lake County on June 10, 2013 as part of an annual conference for the Post-secondary International Network (PIN). CLC and Roosevelt University in Chicago co-hosted the weeklong conference, which had the theme of sustainability and technology.
PIN (www.pinnet.org) is an organization focused on bringing higher educational leaders together from around the world to share ideas that can enhance students’ educational experience.
The conference group’s visit to CLC’s Grayslake campus began with opening greetings from Dr. Jerry Weber, CLC president. He explained that the college’s student body reflects the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of Lake County, which has 780,000 residents and serves as the headquarters of at least a dozen national and multi-national corporations.
Building on the theme of sustainability and technology, David Agazzi, vice president of administrative affairs, provided a brief overview of the college’s sustainable master plan. The five-year, $145 million plan calls for upgrades and expansions of the Grayslake and Lakeshore campuses. Included in the plan for Grayslake are a new science building, classroom technology upgrades and student support improvements such as renovating the B and C Wings to create a student services center, Agazzi said. A major expansion of the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan is also included.
“The new construction will be certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum,” said Agazzi, referring to the rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council. He added that the college will be one of the first colleges to have a geothermal plant. Geothermal is a renewable energy technology that uses liquid circulating in a loop of pipes buried underground and connected to a heat pump inside a building.
Amanda D. Howland, chairman of the CLC Board of Trustees, and Jeanne Goshgarian, vice chairman, participated in the conference and found it a valuable learning experience.
“The college was honored to be asked to co-host the conference,” Howland said. “PIN is a wonderful source of ideas and best practices in higher education, not just in the U.S. but also globally. It was great to attend because we met with leaders from other countries and found out what they’re doing to increase student success and improve the sustainability of programs. We saw some really innovative things, and it was good for us to showcase some of the programs we have at CLC. The delegates were especially impressed with the laser and photonics classroom, and people left feeling very positively about CLC and the conference,” she said.
“The small size of the organization helps create a feeling of trust and willingness to share ideas and programs among members,” Goshgarian said. “At the conferences, we learn about exciting creative programs, and we can’t wait to bring ideas back to our campuses to benefit our students.”
The attendees also learned about CLC’s role as the administrative agent of a $19.3 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) grant. Involving CLC and 16 other Illinois colleges, the grant is focused on creating new online curricula for green economy jobs and providing job assistance services for displaced workers, according to Dr. Terri Berryman, project director of the TAA grant.
Following lunch, the attendees toured the college’s laser/photonics/optics lab, located at the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, adjacent to the CLC Grayslake campus.
Photonics studies the science of light and its practical uses. From mapping the Earth to conducting blood tests without using a pin prick, light and lasers have hundreds of applications in daily life, according to Steve Dulmes, CAD/CAM instructor and chair of the laser/photonics/optics program. CLC’s program, with assistance from a National Science Foundation grant, offers both a certificate and an A.A.S degree. “At least 150 employers in the Chicago area use light or laser technology,” Dulmes said.
In addition to touring Roosevelt University, the attendees went on a historical tour of Chicago led by Dr. David Groeninger, CLC history professor.
Attendees were impressed by what they saw on the Grayslake campus. “CLC is a very good, progressive institution,” observed Greg Smith, president of Grand Island, Neb.-based Central Community College.