SIC Enrollment and Tuition Go Up as State Funding Goes Down
The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees learned in their February meeting that current enrollment figures represent an increase of 10 percent in full-time equivalency (FTE) over the 2012 spring semester. FTE is the total number of credit hours generated by student enrollment.
In addition, student head count, including part-time and full-time, is up 2 percent from last spring, with 2097 students currently attending Southeastern. Full-time enrollment numbers show an increase of more than 150 students.
The board also learned that the new National Scorecard data for community colleges shows Southeastern as tops among peer cohorts. SIC ranks first in graduation rates, first in terms of less student borrowing for college expenses, and second in terms of being most affordable.
Additionally, Illinois Community College Board Data and Characteristics Report shows that SIC ranks first among peers in terms of full-time faculty to student population.
“Individual attention in all our classes is a real benefit,” said Dr. Dana Keating, vice president for academic and student affairs.
The board also received an update on state payments. At the end of February, the state will owe more than $3 million to the college. Colleges and universities in Illinois have been told that they may have to carry themselves for up to and perhaps over 12 months with no state funding. SIC is 45 percent state funded.
In light of these funding conditions and Southeastern’s desire to maintain non-deficit spending, the board voted to raise tuition by $3 next year. That will make tuition $91 per credit hour for in-district students, $142 for out-of district students and $150 for out-of-state students.
“Our tuition still remains one of the lowest in the state and the region,” said Dr. Pat York, SIC board chair.
The board also learned that the state expects a 4.62 percent reduced budget submission from Illinois higher education institutions and additional cuts are expected in the next two years. Educational institutions in Illinois are facing up to a 20 percent or more total funding reduction in the next 36 months.
“Such drastic reductions in funding from the state could result in draconian measures,” said SIC president, Dr. Jonah Rice of the bleak budgeting outlook. “SIC prides itself on accountability, accessibility and affordability for our students, and we will continue to strive for those objectives; however, the state’s fiscal crisis will require the board to make very challenging decisions in the coming months.”
It was noted that a special regional trustees meeting will be held at the end of March at Shawnee Community College for Southern Illinois community college boards to hear from state officials on the dismal fiscal outlook.
The board of trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement between the college and Harrisburg Community Unit School District No. 3. The agreement states that SIC’s basic carpentry class will provide labor at no charge for assistance with the construction of a structure to house weightlifting and strength condition equipment for the school’s physical education program and extracurricular athletic program.
Personnel and Advisory Boards
The board approved the following individuals for the Cosmetology Business Advisory Council: Stephanie Hayes of Expressions Salon in Harrisburg; Sarah Harrelson of Unique Boutique in Harrisburg; David Travelstead of State Farm in Marion; Grace Koehler, licensed esthetician from Vienna; Claudette Harris, retired cosmetology and nail technology instructor from Carterville; and Kelsie Neal of Cheveux Salon in Marion.
New adjunct faculty approved by the board includes Courtney Spivey to teach a certified nursing course, Maria Delsing and Terri Absher as GED instructors, and Kelly Smith as a GED substitute.
The next board meeting will be March 19 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room at SIC.