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Board of Trustees news: With state funding uncertain, trustees vote to increase tuition

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 02, 2017

Citing continued uncertainty around the state’s financial issues and state funding, the College of Lake County Board of Trustees voted at its Feb. 28 meeting to raise tuition by $3 per credit hour, effective Fall Semester 2017.

In February 2016, the board approved implementing a $6 tuition increase for Fiscal Year 2018, but that decision was contingent upon re-visiting the matter in December 2016.

Board Chair Dr. William M. Griffin said the trustees deliberated options at length beginning at a planning retreat Oct. 23 and up until the Feb. 28 meeting. “We regret having to raise tuition for our students, but the lack of state funding has forced us into this difficult decision. To avoid program interruptions or unnecessary layoffs, the board encouraged staff to continue work to increase efficiencies and reduce costs and to allow the administration to use college reserves in order to keep the budget balanced for next year.”

For the fiscal year that begins July 1, CLC in-district tuition will increase from $112 to $115, and comprehensive fees will remain unchanged at $23 per credit hour. The combined in-district tuition and fees for 2017-18 were raised from $135 to $138 per credit hour.

The board also approved removing the additional $142 per credit hour fee for an introductory massage therapy course in order to increase the number of students exploring the career. The fee for taking an online course will be $8 per credit hour.

Graduation and transfer rates increase

Dr. Sean Hogan, executive director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research, reported on the college’s improving graduation and transfer rates. The college set a goal of having 49 percent of students who entered CLC in 2013 either graduate or transfer to a four-year institution within three years.

“We surpassed that goal by achieving a 50.2 percent graduation and transfer rate. We didn’t expect to hit that mark until next year,” Hogan said. “Even more significant is the upward trend. In just three years, CLC has raised its student success rate by 21.8 percent.”

Hogan explained that success in math courses is a leading indicator of graduation and transfer success. CLC students have made great progress in math completion, going from just under 42 percent to 52 percent between the 2010 and 2013 cohorts. Students who enroll in the college’s Summer Jump Start program and dual credit courses are completing math courses at a higher level than other students because of the extra support they receive, he said. 

In an email to CLC faculty and staff announcing the achievement Feb. 28, President Jerry Weber noted that the increased rates are due to investments and improvements in areas such as New Student Orientation, tutoring and bridge programs that are showing promise in putting students on the path to success.

The college is also working more closely with high schools to better prepare students for college and to offer dual credit opportunities, and this bolsters student success initiatives. CLC has also been building stronger relationships with transfer institutions and employers.

“All these efforts cumulatively help students reach their goals. This should lead to continued increases in student success and completion,” Weber said.


A new Yoga Teacher certificate was approved, effective with Fall Semester 2017. The 14 credit hour certificate includes instruction in the technique, pedagogy, history, culture and theory involved in yoga studies and practice and will prepare instructors to teach Level I and Level II Hatha Yoga. The program is intended to fulfill the requirements of the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Registration offered by Yoga Alliance, the nationally recognized organization regulating yoga teaching standards. The program’s courses provide transferable college credit.

Agreements with Gateway Technical College and Triton College were approved to allow students to enroll in selected programs and courses not offered at their own institutions, paying in-district rates.

Effective Fall Semester 2017, course fees for 438 credit courses will remain unchanged. Fees for three new courses, a chemistry lab-only course and two culinary courses were established. In addition, a facility fee of $2 per ticket for events held in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts in Fiscal Year 2018 will continue. The revenue is used to help fund equipment and facility replacement costs.

The academic calendar for the 2018-19 year was approved. Fall Semester classes will begin Aug. 20, 2018; Spring Semester, Jan. 22, 2019; Intersession May 21, 2019; and Summer Session, June 10, 2019.

Contracts and grants

The trustees adopted the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission’s Mill Creek Watershed and Flood Mitigation Plan, established in in 2014. CLC is joining with local municipalities, park districts and homeowner associations to improve the health of lakes, streams and wetlands, while reducing water pollution and flood damage in the Mill Creek Watershed. CLC received $140,750.00 in grant funds to install bioswales in parking lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, which help reduce stormwater runoff from parking lots and improve water entering nearby lakes and streams. The effort is part of CLC’s award-winning sustainability initiatives.

Board policies and objectives

In a continuing effort to update board policies and objectives, the trustees approved 12 board policies that covered topics such as travel reimbursement, ethics, quorums, remote meeting attendance, preparation for meetings, order of business. Revisions to Policy 960, travel reimbursement, puts CLC in compliance with the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, which became effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Human resources

The board granted tenure, effective Fall Semester 2017, to the following five faculty members: Javier Alonso and Patricia Clark (Business and Social Sciences); Shanti Chu (Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts); and Saehan Hwang and Jonathan Sprague (Engineering, Math and Physical Sciences).

The following faculty members were granted sabbatical leaves during the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Mark Beintema, mathematics, will co-author an Open Educational Resource (OER) text for Quantitative Literacy, a general education math course.
  • Mark Coykendall, biology, will complete research for a Ph.D. in higher education leadership and collect and analyze data on community college chief academic officers and their career pathways and functions.
  • David Groeninger, history, will research the Reacting to the Past curriculum, adding its approaches to several history courses and teaching other faculty to implement the method.
  • Christopher Utecht, criminal justice, will complete four sociology graduate courses and an institutional corrections internship to gain insight into the institutional corrections workplace.

Continuing previous practices, the board approved a summer work schedule for 2017. The college will be open Monday through Thursday and closed for nine Fridays, June 9 to Aug. 4.

The holiday calendar for Fiscal Year 2018, from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, was approved, granting 13 paid holidays to administrative, professional, specialist and non-bargaining unit classified staff.