Laker Nation News

New Lake Land College IT-LaunchCode program to be offered in Effingham

Posted on March 15, 2018

The new Lake Land College IT-LaunchCode certificate program offers students an opportunity to train for a career in the fast growing field of web application development in just 20 weeks.

The program will begin June 5 and run through Oct. 18. Courses will meet in the evenings at the Lake Land Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham.

Students will gain skills in Python, Java, SQL and front-end web development. Those who complete the program will earn a Lake Land College certificate as well the opportunity to test for eight industry-leading Microsoft certifications. The course curriculum is developed to give students the skills that are in high-demand in the tech industry.

The program is offered through a collaborative agreement between the college and LaunchCode, an innovative non-profit providing job seekers opportunities to enter the technology field. Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square, the payments processing company, founded LaunchCode to create pathways for people seeking careers in technology.

Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said the college is pleased to have the support of The Effingham Regional Growth Alliance, the countywide economic development organization. The Alliance will be seeking local companies and individuals who are interested in supporting students with scholarships or internship opportunities.

Web programmers and coders are in high demand. The US Department of Labor estimates that 1 million coding jobs will go unfilled by 2020 and that employment of web developers is projected to grow 32 percent through 2026 (

All courses in the IT-LaunchCode program count toward the associate degree in IT-Web Programming. Those who complete the certificate will have about one-fourth of the degree completed.

Enrollment in the program is limited. The deadline to apply is May 1 and an aptitude test is required. A practice test, FAQ and list of steps to get started can be found on the High Demand Programs page at

The Nelnet payment plan allows students to spread tuition and fee payments out over the course of the program. Additional funding may also be available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

For more information visit or contact Counseling Services at 217-234-5232.

Lake Land College celebrates agriculture students at annual awards banquet

Posted on

Agriculture students at Lake Land College
Group: Lake Land College recognized its agriculture division students at the 47th Annual Agricultural Banquet. Awards are given to the students who display excellence and scholastic achievement within the agriculture programs. Pictured are award recipients from left to right: Brandon Knowles, Marshall, High GPA in Ag Power; Riley Reynolds, Mount Zion, High GPA in John Deere Tech; Emma Repking, Effingham, Outstanding Student in Ag Business; Zackery Schumaker, Sweet Springs, W. Va, Outstanding Student in Ag Production; Maddie Caldwell, Elmwood, Overall Outstanding Student; Jackson Utsler, Mattoon, Outstanding Student in Ag Power; Kacie Haag, Emington, Outstanding Student in Ag Transfer; Brandon Brinkley, Chrisman, High GPA and Outstanding Student in Horticulture; Stacey Smithenry, Newton, High GPA in Ag Transfer; Jordan Stewart, Williamsfield, Outstanding Student in John Deere Tech. Not pictured: Alex Flach, Montrose, High GPA in Ag Business; Hunter Flach, Montrose, High GPA in Ag Production.

Lake Land College recently honored students in its agriculture programs at the 47th Annual Agriculture Banquet.

An excited crowd of friends, family, faculty and staff filled the Lake Land College Field House for the banquet, which honored outstanding agriculture students and alumni.

“The agriculture division could not be the nationally recognized program it is without the great support of everyone in this room. The college board of trustees, our administration team, supportive alumni, industry partners, or the 284 amazing students we have the privilege to interact with every day,” said Ryan Orrick, division chair agriculture/agriculture instructor, as he welcomed families and friends of agriculture students.

“I want to say, we, the Laker family, are thankful to have been a small part of their journey and look forward to their future success,” he said.

Throughout the evening, various groups were recognized for their outstanding efforts including: the Agriculture Transfer Club, the Agriculture Business Club, the Horticulture Club, student leaders in the agriculture division, the Livestock Judging Team and members of the Post-Secondary Agriculture Students group.

Carey Wilson, Melvin, Ill., received the 2018 Honored Alumnus Award. Wilson graduated from the John Deere Tech program in 1995 and continued to be a strong supporter of Lake Land by employing multiple students each year. Wilson served on the John Deere advisory council for eight years and provided valuable insight into the success of the program.

“On my very first day of class, my instructor Ken Drollinger told me that I was going to be a professionally trained John Deere technician after this and that I should be treated as such. For a young man who thought all he would ever be was a mechanic, it made me feel special, like I could do anything,” Wilson said during his speech.


Other students recognized at the banquet were as follows:


The Outstanding Agriculture Division Student Award for 2017-2018

Maddison Taylor Caldwell, Elmwood, Illinois


Recognized for Agriculture Business and Supply were:

Alex Flach, Montrose, High GPA

Emma Repking, Effingham, Outstanding Student


Recognized for Agriculture Production and Management were:

Hunter Flach, Montrose, High GPA

Zackery Schumaker, Sweet Springs, West Virginia, Outstanding Student


Recognized for Agriculture Power Technology were:

Brandon Knowles, Marshall, High GPA

Jackson Utsler, Mattoon, Outstanding Student


Recognized for the John Deere Tech program were:

Riley Reynolds, Mount Zion, High GPA

Jordan Stewart, Williamsfield, Outstanding Student


Recognized for the Horticulture program were:

Brandon Brinkley, Chrisman, High GPA and Outstanding Student


Recognized in the Agriculture Transfer program were:

Stacey Smithenry, Newton, High GPA

Kacie Haag, Emington, Outstanding Student

Lake Land College’s Community Choir to hold Spring Concert

Posted on March 8, 2018

Lake Land College’s Community Choir invites the community to attend its annual spring concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 in the Lake Land College Theater.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the choir will perform an arrangement of “Danny Boy” as well as two lesser known Irish folk songs, with Gerald Stanford of Mattoon on pennywhistle. The choir will honor America with “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs in commemoration of anniversaries of World War I and the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.

The program also includes a set of black spirituals, with the dramatic “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” and the plaintive “All My Trials,” as well as “The Drinking Gourd,” recalling travelers on the Underground Railroad. The concert wraps up with classic pop favorites: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Imagine” by John Lennon and “Take a Chance on Me,” most recently heard in the movie-musical “Mamma Mia!”

A reception in Laker Point will follow.

Under the direction of Nancy Caldwell, music instructor, the Community Choir is a choir of mixed voices including students from the college as well as members of surrounding communities including Arthur, Arcola, Effingham, Charleston, Mattoon, Neoga and Sigel. Randy Imig of St. Elmo accompanies the choir. The Community Choir was formed in January of 1998 and performs two concerts annually.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Lake Land College to host Summer College for Youth

Posted on March 7, 2018

School will be out before you know it. Do your children have any summer plans? Make their summer great with some educational fun at Lake Land College’s Summer College for Youth program.

Summer College for Youth is now offered in Mattoon and Effingham locations throughout the months of June, July and August.

Black Rocket courses include mobile app design, basic coding language, Minecraft and virtual reality. In these classes students will work in pairs or teams. VR projects, Minecraft creations and 3-D designs will be available on a password-protected Black Rocket website for students to share with their family and friends.

The dates for Black Rocket courses are as follows:

  • App Attack, June 11-14
  • Code Breakers and Python Programmers, June 25-28
  • Minecraft Designers, July 9-12
  • Minecraft Modders, July 16-19
  • Maker Labs: Make Your First 3-D Creation, July 23-26
  • Virtual Reality: The Future is Now, July 30- Aug. 2

The Little House on the Prairie class, based on the rugged world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, will be held June 25-28 in Mattoon and Effingham. In this course, students will learn how to make butter, bread and yarn dolls.

All children are invited to Camp Invention, a program offered through a partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This non-profit organization is dedicated to piquing curiosity and advancing the future of innovation and STEM. Program activities are led by experienced, local educators and inspired by the world-changing inventors that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Opportunities are available for students entering kindergarten through high school.

Camp Invention will be held on campus in Mattoon, June 18-21 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Camp Invention in Effingham will take place at the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology, July 9-12 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

To register, visit and select “Summer College for Youth.”

To register for Camp Invention, visit and click on “Register for Camp Invention!” in the top right corner.

For more information, contact Bonnie Moore, director to Center for Business and Industry, at 217-238-8260 or

Lake Land College to host Laker Family Movie Night

Posted on March 2, 2018

Lake Land College is excited to invite everyone to the college’s Laker Movie Night. Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” will be screened on Friday, March 23 at 6 p.m. in the Field House.

Free hot dogs and popcorn will be provided while supplies last.

Laker Louie is even scheduled to fly-in for an appearance!

This event is sponsored by the college’s Student Life clubs and organizations and is free and open to the public.

For more information about this event, contact Director of Student Life Valerie Lynch at 217-234-5270 or

For more information about Lake Land College, visit

Prospective students invited to Laker Visit Day

Posted on March 1, 2018

Visit Lake Land College and find out all the college offers at Laker Visit Day. The event will be held Friday, March 23 in the Luther Student Center starting at 9 a.m. and will run until noon.

The event is for potential students who are interested in learning more about Lake Land College. Parents/guardians and spouses are welcome to come along and attend the Parent and Spouse Session.

Representatives from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid & Veteran Services, Counseling Services, Career Services and Student Life will provide information and answer questions. The event includes campus tours and informational sessions by Lake Land College Student Ambassadors. Participants will also meet with faculty members in their academic area of interest to learn more about program offerings at Lake Land.

“Laker Visit Day is a great way for prospective students and parents to talk to faculty and staff about academic options and programs of study, to talk to current students about student life and to learn about financial aid options and opportunities,” said Lisa Shumard-Shelton, director of new student admissions.

Another Laker Visit Day is scheduled for June 21.

Register online at or call 217-234-5254.

Lake Land College broadcasting students earn radio marketing professional certificate

Posted on February 28, 2018

Students Radio Station
A group of Lake Land College students recently earned a certificate of completion from the broadcast training company P1 Learning. Seated left to right are: Kobe Brannan, Marshall; Kimo Byars, Chicago; Abigail Ellis, Montrose. Standing left to right are: Laura Harmon, Mattoon; Dalton Kemper, Teutopolis; Cody Borntreger, Oakland; John Maclean Enright, Shelbyville.

Several Lake Land College broadcast sales students recently earned a certificate of completion from the broadcast training company, P1 Learning, in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution to the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Sales Training Program.

Over the course of three weeks, students completed a variety of online video courses, tests and assignments as part of the broadcast sales class in the Radio/TV program at Lake Land.

P1 Learning is a nationally recognized training company that administers training for hundreds of broadcast stations, corporations and state broadcaster associations to provide content in the topics of sales, leadership, management, on-air, compliance and more.

Greg Powers, speech communication/broadcasting instructor and station manager of WLKL 89.9 FM, assisted students in preparing for the certification.

“This certification is a tremendous asset for students entering the broadcast workforce,” Powers said. “Broadcast employers are searching for employees who are multifaceted. The students who have completed this training are very marketable.”

Each of the professionals will be honored on a plaque displayed alongside those of previous years’ students.

The Illinois Broadcasters Association funded the initiative and Powers said he’s extremely grateful for the IBA’s financial support.

For more information about Lake Land College’s radio and TV broadcasting programs, contact Powers at 217-234-5335 or visit or

Lake Land College Economic Instructors develop national newsletter

Posted on February 27, 2018

Lake Land College Economic Instructors Katie Lotz and Brian Lynch recently organized and developed a national, grant-funded newsletter that is distributed to community colleges all over the nation. The newsletter, Teaching Resources for Economics at Community Colleges (TRECC), features classroom activities and resources for instructors. The first edition addresses gender bias in the field of economics.

Lotz, who has been working/teaching at Lake Land for 15 years, developed the newsletter from scratch.

“We wanted the newsletter to be informative, with conference dates and opportunities for teachers, but we also knew that we wanted to include the gender piece because it is such an important topic right now,” Lotz said.

Lynch, who worked with other economic instructors on administering grants in the past, was familiar with the process. TRECC is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

“We have already implemented some of the activities featured in the newsletter in our classrooms,” Lynch said. “It is a great outlet for instructors from all over the country to share their ideas.”

TRECC is scheduled to be distributed quarterly for the next two years.

You can view the newsletter here.

For more information, contact Katie Lotz at or Brian Lynch at For additional information about Lake Land College, visit

Lake Land College invites students to the Radio/TV Open House

Posted on February 26, 2018

The Lake Land College Radio/TV department is hosting an open house on Friday, March 23. Guests are invited to experience the broadcast equipment firsthand and enjoy lunch.

The event will follow the college’s Laker Visit Day which is an open house for potential students that includes campus tours and opportunities to meet with faculty, students, staff and explore the college’s 150 majors.

During the Radio/TV Open House from 12-2 p.m., participants are invited to broadcast LIVE on WLKL 89.9 The Max Alternative, the college’s student-run FM radio station; anchor a newscast in the TV studio; use equipment in the TV production control room and studio; record and listen to their own audio spot using professional audio equipment; operate state-of-the-art camera and video equipment and experiment with industry-standard digital editing software.

“We have professional studios and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as a great radio station. We invite anyone with an interest in this field to come out and have some fun while exploring all of the options,” Greg Powers, speech communication/broadcasting instructor, said.

Students can major in Radio/TV Broadcasting and earn an associate degree that leads to either a Transfer Ready degree or a Workforce Ready degree. Students can also choose among three certificate programs.

Those interested in fulfilling general elective credits can enroll in department classes throughout the year. Opportunities within the curriculum include broadcasting live on WLKL 89.9 The Max Alternative, anchoring a newscast, using equipment in the TV production control room and studio, recording and listening to your own audio spot using professional audio equipment, operating state-of-the-art camera and video equipment and experimenting with industry-standard digital editing software.

WLKL broadcasters also conduct play-by-play coverage of Laker athletic and area high school events.

For more information on the Radio/TV Open House or the Radio/TV Broadcasting program, contact Powers at or call 217-234-5335.

Lake Land College Paramedical Services program receives national accreditation

Posted on February 21, 2018

Lake Land College’s Paramedical Services program recently received national accreditation from the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions.

With this accreditation, Lake Land College’s Paramedical Services meets an established national standard, enabling graduates to take the national registry exam and work anywhere in the country. The program recently underwent enhancements for tracking clinical hours to meet the demands of accreditation.

Students interested in Paramedical Services can choose from an associate degree or a certificate program. Both options have classroom, skills laboratory, hospital and field clinical experiences.

Careers in Paramedical Services are in high demand. Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is projected to grow by 15 percent through 2026, much faster than the average occupation according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information about the program, contact Emergency Services Programs Coordinator Jasmine Ballard at 217-234-5370 or Information can also be found at under the “Academics” drop down. Look for the “High Demand Programs” link.

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