Community colleges serve the needs of the community. That sense of service is expressed in ICC’s official purpose: “To enable students to reach their educational potential, and to serve as a resource for the educational and cultural needs of the community.” It’s the reason ICC does what it does, and it’s the impetus that led the college to expand its offerings to include its two newest campus locations—ICC North, located at 5407 N. University in Peoria, and ICC South, located at 225 Hanna Drive in Pekin.
ICC North Enjoys Growth, Remodeled Facilities
The opportunity at ICC North presented itself in 2001, and the ICC Board of Trustees and President John Erwin saw the location and facility merging favorably with the college’s strategic plan. The benefits the campus brought to ICC included improved access to residents in our district, opportunities to expand partnerships with Peoria District 150, a permanent home for a fledgling culinary arts program, and opportunities for new programs and expanded courses. Nine years later, the vision for ICC North is being realized with fall 2009 enrollment surpassing 3,400 students.
Students, faculty and employees alike enjoy the park-like setting of the 63-acre campus, the friendly feel, the small class sizes and convenient parking. Year after year, those attributes are applauded on student surveys with comments like, “The North Campus is a nice environment and not so crowded…everyone is kind here,” and “The North Campus will always be my number-one ICC choice because it’s close to home, parking is better, and class sizes are smaller.”
ICC North students enjoy the feel of the campus, and several programs call it “home.” One of the most popular is the ICC Culinary Arts Institute, which enjoyed a total facelift in the last year that allowed program enrollment to climb from 80 students to more than 120—and that number is expected to continue the climb this fall. The remodeling created a state-of-the-art facility with two teaching kitchens, a bake shop, meat cutting area, the latest commercial culinary equipment, a demonstration and restaurant-style dining area, and a classroom.
The Culinary Arts program prepares students for careers as professional chefs and foodservice managers. During the two-year associate’s degree program, students learn culinary skills as well as the business side of restaurant management.
While the culinary program has flourished with a permanent home at ICC North, the Massage Therapist program was born there. College officials identified a community need for the program, but did not have space for it. A large component of the curriculum is lab clinicals, which provide students hands-on experience, literally. ICC North provided space for classes as well as a clinical setting to allow students to practice their skills and community members to enjoy the benefits of therapeutic massage.
About 20 students enroll each spring semester in the 37.5 credit hour program that leads to a certificate and allows students to sit for the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Cost for the program is about $5,000, which includes tuition, books, uniforms, fees, supplies, background check and massage table.
When ICC first moved in to ICC North, the campus buildings totaled 211,000 square feet throughout eight different buildings and required extensive repairs and maintenance. Early remodeling focused on classrooms and a student service center in Cedar Hall. Subsequent remodeling has transformed Birch Hall and Poplar Hall, and continues as the student enrollment and program needs demand.
Most recently, Hickory Hall was gutted and remodeled to create a home for ICC’s Corporate and Community Education. The program is moving north from the ICC Perley Building in downtown Peoria and includes the Professional Development Institute (PDI) and a wide variety of non-credit programs and courses offered by Adult Community Programs.
Hickory Hall will bring ICC’s Corporate and Community Education participants the chance to learn in a cutting-edge facility with modern, fully equipped computer labs, a coffee bar, lounge and wi-fi access. A new “Collab Lab” will allow individuals and groups to work using the latest technology, and PDI can coordinate and deliver training for organizations that want to use the new learning space. Or, organizations can rent the space for their own meetings and events.
A total renovation of Maple Hall has created four science labs to accommodate chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and general science courses, as well as six general classrooms, faculty offices, a beautifully decorated student lounge and study areas.
The campus is located on a public bus route, making it easily accessible to Peoria residents, and the North University location is also convenient for District 150 students who are involved in the Upward Bound program or participate in dual credit classes through the Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) program or Project Lead the Way (a pre-engineering program).
Just as ICC North provided access to those residents in the northern and western portions of our district, the newest campus, ICC South, provides added convenience for those to the South.
ICC South in its Third Year
ICC first offered classes at ICC South in January 2008 in a renovated building at 225 Hanna Drive in Pekin’s Riverway Business Park. Welding courses have experienced steady enrollment at the site, and CNA courses will be offered there for the first time this fall.
The campus offers a number of foundational courses in math, English and reading that focus on readying students for college-level work, and a daytime GED preparation course is offered there. Students can take the academic placement test, register for classes, and pick up general information about the college. For more information on ICC South, contact (309) 642-6601. iBi