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March 2021
Responding To Industry Needs With New Career Pathways

April is Community College Month and a time for community colleges across the nation to showcase the value they bring to their respective communities. At Lake Land College, the past year certainly tested our core value of innovation as we navigated the pandemic and learned new modes of providing high quality education and services to our students. Our faculty and staff rose to the challenge and continued innovating to meet area workforce demands and create new opportunities for community residents.

One way in which the college ensures curriculum is relevant is by hosting a DACUM, Developing a Curriculum. In these workshops, industry professionals share their expertise with the goal of identifying the skills needed to be successful in a given career path. As a result of a DACUM held in March 2019, the Emergency Medical Services faculty and staff have created a new Fire Science major. The program provides an educational pathway for current firefighting professionals to advance in their careers. As the only program south of Chicago, this new opportunity has the potential to positively impact first-responders in our communities.

Medical Assistant faculty are also paving the way for career advancement as the only program in the region to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Faculty have also created a Medical Assistant Associate Degree Completion program that allows current certified medical assistants to receive credit for professional certification and accelerate the time to complete a degree.

Earlier this year, Abbott Ambulance Services in Effingham approached the college about hosting an on-site training program to fill a need for emergency medical technicians. EMS faculty and staff worked with Sarah Bush Lincoln instructors and Abbott Ambulance Services to host an 8-week fast track EMT training curriculum beginning this month. Abbott is paying 10 students a wage, covering their tuition and fees, and guaranteeing them a position upon successful program completion and licensure exam.

This fall, the Business Division will welcome the first class of students to the new Court Reporting Technology program. Business faculty have worked closely with area court reporting professionals to create this major in response to a regional and national shortage of court reporters. According to the Occupational Profile on the Illinois virtual labor market information website, there will be a projected 80 job openings in this field each year through 2026.
A few years ago, Heartland Dental invested in future dental hygienists by donating state-of-the-art equipment for the Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene Lab. This year, the company selected Lake Land College to pilot a new educational partnership that provides support and opportunities, both financially and academically, to students preparing to enter the field of dentistry.

Dental Hygiene faculty have also expanded opportunities for students by working with Eastern Illinois University to establish a transfer pathway. All Dental Hygiene Alumni now have an opportunity to transfer to Eastern Illinois to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public health.

Several programs recently updated curriculum to arm students with the skills needed for success today and into the future. The Humanities and Communications faculty enhanced speech and radio-TV courses by creating a new Broadcast Communications department that ensures students are trained in a multitude of skill sets from creating videos, to presenting online to writing advertisements. The Information Technology and IT-Graphic Design programs recently aligned course offerings and programs to maximize opportunities for students interested in design, programming, web creation and gaming careers. The newly revised Diesel & Ag Power provides students hands-on experience working on diesel machinery and a variety of brands, preparing them for future careers in the field or on their family farm.

In addition to these program enhancements, the college continues to work with the Effingham Regional Career Academy to secure funding for a new building and to develop training programs for both high school students and adults or incumbent workers that meet the needs of our area business partners. To date, 14 schools have signed intergovernmental agreements to participate in this initiative.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus to tour the new Workforce Development Center and the opportunities it presents for customized training. The center houses Adult Education, Center for Business and Industry, the Manufacturing Skills Lab, WIOA and Department of Corrections.

As we enter the spring season and look forward to warmer weather, please let us know how we can assist you in fulfilling unmet workforce or training needs. As you can see, we are committed to partnering with area businesses and creating new opportunities for district residents to gain the education they need to advance in their careers.

Josh Bullock
Lake Land College President