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College of Lake County recognized among 18 Illinois colleges and universities for ‘doubling down’ on efforts to strengthen supports for equitable outcomes

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jun 30, 2022

College of Lake County (CLC) received recognition this week for its ongoing work to eliminate racial and socioeconomic disparities in college completion on their campuses.

The recognition, awarded by the Illinois-based advocacy nonprofit Partnership for College Completion (PCC), was presented to the inaugural graduates of its Equity Academy for Presidents and Cabinets (EAPC) during the EAPC Equity Recognition Luncheon on June 28 at The Metropolitan Chicago. CLC Vice President and Chief of Staff Derrick Harden, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Jesse Morales and Director of Student Success Strategy Nick Branson joined leadership teams from 17 other Illinois colleges and universities to participate in a one to two-year journey to gain additional support in the long-term implementation of their institutional plans for increasing equitable student outcomes.

Through the EAPC, developed in collaboration with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, Institutional presidents and other key leaders have learned about how to improve communication around equity efforts, improve data transparency and data use, and grow their plans for addressing student success disparities to scale.

CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick said, "CLC’s participation in the Equity Academy for Presidents and Cabinets provided an excellent opportunity for the college’s leadership team to examine current inequities in our student outcomes and strategize about how to prioritize success for every student. Each leader used the experience to craft a vision and communication plan for their organizational unit to advance equitable practices and provide opportunities for all CLC students to achieve their goals. We deeply appreciated the academy and the real impact it will have on our college, students and community.”

Presidents and cabinets eligible to participate in the EAPC included members of the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA), of which CLC is a partner. In 2018, CLC joined ILEA, PCC’s signature initiative to partner with two- and four-year public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in analyzing their student achievement outcomes and put long-term plans into motion to eliminate racial and socioeconomic disparities and improve graduation rates overall. CLC is one of 25 colleges and universities engaged in the initiative.

“Our ILEA partners represent the diversity of higher education options in our state and those that are most deeply committed to taking action to address historic inequity on their campuses. We’re pleased to recognize these 18 presidents and their leadership teams today for doubling down on their commitment to equity, and moving from rhetoric to action,” PCC Executive Director Lisa Castillo Richmond said.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.