Laker Nation News


Posted on September 6, 2018

Lake Land College has been ranked the fourth best community college in the state of Illinois according to a recent independent study by the financial website WalletHub. The study examined 17 key factors, ranging from cost and finances to educational and career outcomes.

The ranking, published August 20, 2018, compares 715 community colleges from across the country, and 40 community colleges in Illinois.

Lake Land College also ranks 20th nationally in the same study for educational outcomes. Metrics used when comparing educational outcomes include first-year retention rate, graduation rate, transfer-out rate, credentials (degrees and certificates) awarded per 100 full-time equivalency students, share of full-time faculty, and student-faculty ratio.

Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said Lake Land College’s standard of excellence is reflected in the college’s ranking.

“The findings demonstrate the commitment of our board, faculty and staff to offer a quality academic environment that provides a local pathway for students to reach their career goals and seek gainful employment,” Bullock said. “We offer this opportunity to students at a price point that allows them to begin a future on solid financial footing. We are pleased to receive this endorsement from WalletHub, an organization that promotes financial literacy.”

At about $4,000 per year, Lake Land College’s tuition and fees are among the lowest in the state. Students who begin a bachelor’s degree at Lake Land College will save about $40,000 in room and board, tuition and fees compared to a state university. Plus, students do not have to pay for books with the college’s textbook rental program. These savings significantly reduce the potential for crippling student loan debt upon graduation. Students who complete a Workforce Ready program gain valuable hands-on training and workforce connections that open doors for employment upon graduation.

This affordability and academic quality are the top reasons students choose to begin their educational journey at Lake Land College, according to the Spring 2018 Novel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory Survey. The same study indicated Lake Land College was the first choice of more than 80 percent of its students.

Throughout the district, high school graduates also put Lake Land College at the top. Of those students attending college, students choose Lake Land over other higher education options by a margin of 10:1.

According to WalletHub, the information and data included in the ranking was gathered from the National Center for Educational Statistics, US News, U.S. Department of Education, Council for Community & Economic Research, and College Measures. To view the WalletHub ranking, visit

Visit for more information on how to get started at Lake Land College.

Lake Land College Athletes Achieve Honors

Posted on August 31, 2018

Across Lake Land College’s sports teams, 25 students achieved athletic honors, and 16 students achieved academic honors.

Three teams earned the 2018 NJCAA Academic Team honors for GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
Women’s basketball’s GPA was as high as 3.45.

Softball players Addison Baele of Mattoon and Molly McElwee of St. Joseph, both received 2018 NJCAA All-Academic First Team honors for 4.00 GPAs. Baseball players Sam Gubbins, Charleston, and Mitchell Shaw, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and volleyball player Emily Watson, Mattoon, were among athletes honored with the 2018 NJCAA All-Academic Second Team for 3.80-3.99 GPAs.

Of the Athletic Sports Honors, Avery Jackson, Mattoon, achieved the NJCAA 3rd Team Academic All American, Division Two All-Region 24 Team, Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team, and Freshman of the Year honors. Both men’s basketball players Josh Jefferson, New Albany, Indiana, and Amel Kuljuhovic, Waterloo, Iowa, received the NJCAA Division One All-Region 24 and Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team honors.

The NJCAA is the National Junior College Athletic Association dedicated to promoting and fostering two-year college athletics and ensuring equality among sports practices. The Great Rivers Athletic Conference is the section of the NJCAA that primarily encompasses Southern Illinois and contains nine colleges. Learn more about the association at and the conference at

This year the following Laker student athletes and teams were honored:


Lake Land College


Academic Report

2018 NJCAA Academic Team (must have a team GPA of 3.00 or higher):

Softball, Volleyball, Women’s Basketball


2018 NJCAA All-Academic First Team (athlete with 24 credit hours with 4.00 GPA):

Addison Baele (Softball), Mattoon

Molly McElwee (Softball), St. Joseph


2018 NJCAA All-Academic Second Team (athlete with 24 credit hours with 3.80-3.99 GPA):

Madison Bostick (Softball), Stillwater, Utah

Abigail Bush (Women Basketball), Brocton

Jamie Sandschafer (Women Basketball), Teutopolis

Callie Williams (Women Basketball), Fairbury

Emily Watson (Volleyball), Mattoon

Taylor Williams (Volleyball), Casey

Deidra Schaal (Volleyball), Saint Peter

Mitchell Shaw (Baseball), Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sam Gubbins (Baseball), Charleston


2018 NJCAA All-Academic Third Team (athlete with 24 credit hours with 3.60-3.79 GPA):

Kendall Hastings (Softball), Riverside

Holly Marousek (Softball), Chicago

Dakota Crowder (Women Basketball), Charleston

Avery Jackson (Women Basketball), Mattoon

Kelcie Darnell (Volleyball), Shelbyville


Accumulative GPA of all of our athletes (102) for the 2017-2018 academic year:  3.09

By Sport:            Women’s Basketball – 3.45

Softball – 3.31

Volleyball – 3.26

Men’s Basketball – 2.58

Baseball – 2.8

Cheer – 2.8


Total number of athletes achieving a 3.0 or higher GPA for the 2017-2018 academic year: 60 of 102

By sport:            Softball (18 of 21)

Baseball (8 of 24)

Women’s Basketball (13 of 13)

Volleyball (10 of 14)

Men’s Basketball (4 of 17)

Cheer (7 of 13)


Athletic Sports Honors


Season Records

By Sport:            Softball – 48/18

Women’s Basketball – 22/11

Men’s Basketball – 17/14

Volleyball – 15/24

Baseball – 13/33



Team Honors

NJCAA Academic Team


Individual Honors and Awards

NJCAA 2nd Team Academic All American: Emily Watson – Mattoon, Taylor Williams – Casey, Deidra Schaal – Saint Peter

NJCAA 3rd Team academic All American: Kelcie Darnell – Shelbyville

NJCAA Division One All-Region 24: Ryann Ambrose – Shelbyville, Alexandra Beckers – Mattoon

Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team: Ryann Ambrose – Shelbyville, Alexandra Beckers – Mattoon

Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 2nd Team: Brooklynn Elsas – Lincoln

Great Rivers Athletic Conference Sportsmanship Award: Kristy Burford – Bethany


Women’s Basketball

Team Honors

NJCAA Academic Team

NJCAA Division Two Region 24 Runner-Up


Individual Honors and Awards

NJCAA 2nd Team Academic All American: Abigail Bush – Brocton, Jamie Sandschafer – Teutopolis, Callie Williams – Fairbury

NJCAA 3rd Team Academic All American: Dakota Crowder – Charleston, Avery Jackson – Mattoon

NJCAA Division Two All-Region 24 Team: Avery Jackson – Mattoon

Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team: Avery Jackson – Mattoon

Great Rivers Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year: Avery Jackson – Mattoon


Men’s Basketball

Individual Honors and Awards

NJCAA Division One All-Region 24: Josh Jefferson – New Albany, Indiana, Amel Kuljuhovic – Waterloo, Iowa

Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team: Josh Jefferson – New Albany, Indiana, Amel Kuljuhovic – Waterloo, Iowa



Team Honors

NJCAA Academic Team

NJCAA Division One National Tournament – 12th Place

NJCAA Division One Region 24 Champions


Individual Honors and Awards

NJCAA Division One Region 24 Player of the Year: Holly Marousek – Chicago

NJCAA Division One All-Region 24: Braylyn Burdick – Boonville, IN, Allison Helton – Colorado Springs, Colorado, Madeline Adams – Hobart, Indiana, Kendall Hastings – Riverside, Alina Lance – New Athens, Addison Baele – Mattoon

Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Conference: Alina Lance – New Athens, Addison Baele – Mattoon, Madeline Adams – Hobart, Indiana



Individual Honors and Awards

Great Rivers Athletic All Conference: Garrett Brachbill – Shelbyville


Lakers Moving On


Parker Nolan – Schaumburg – University of Indianapolis

Brady Cappe – Brantford, Ontario, Canada – University of Pikeville

Devon Still – Camby, Indiana – Columbia College

Jake McClellan – Beloit, Wisconsin – University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Bryan Melendez – Caguas, PR – Benedictine University

Alex Moore – Lakeside, California – Central Methodist University

Garrett Brachbill – Shelbyville – Eastern Illinois (Academic)

Ben Sweeny – Charleston – Lincoln College



Kelcie Darnell – Shelbyville – Culver Stockton College

Deidra Schaal – Saint Peter – Indiana State University (Academic)

Hannah Koonce – Shelbyville – University of Illinois (Academic)

Adora Gowin – Martinsville – Eastern Illinois (Academic)

Claudia Watson – Shelbyville – Indiana State University (Academic)

Emily Watson – Mattoon – Lake Land College Nursing (Academic)

Ryann Ambrose – Shelbyville – Loyola Chicago (Academic)


Men’s Basketball

Josh Robinson – Normal – Central Methodist University

Amel Kuljuhovic – Waterloo, Iowa – Cal State Fullerton

Josh Jefferson – New Albany, Indiana – Illinois State University

Sean Kromah – Smyrna, Tennessee – TBA



Maddy Adams – Hobart, Indiana – University of Illinois

Haylee Short – Hillsboro, Missouri – University of Tennessee Martin

Addison Baele – Mattoon – Liberty University

Alina Lance – New Athens – Stoney brook University

Holly Marouske – Chicago – Southern Illinois University

Molly McElwee – St. Joseph – Police Academy (Academic)

Kendall Hastings – Riverside – University of Illinois Chicago (Academic)

Hope Collier – Effingham – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Academic)


Lake Land College Hosts Athletic Reunion for Homecoming

Posted on

Lake Land College is inviting all former athletes to a Laker Athletic Reunion during Laker Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. The reunion will be held in the Field House’s Walden Room.

Attendees can visit with former teammates, coaches and fellow athletes and enjoy a taco bar before cheering on the Laker Volleyball team at 6 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome back our alumni.  The Laker athletic programs have a long-standing tradition of success both on the field and in the classroom,” Bill Jackson, athletic director and head baseball coach, said. “Our alumni are the ones who have paved the way for our current Laker student athletes and have set the standards high. We truly enjoy the opportunity to welcome our former student athletes back to campus.”

All former Laker athletes and coaches in attendance will be recognized at the intermission of the match (between second and third set).

Throughout the college’s history, there have been many athletic programs. Looking back through The Anchor yearbooks from 1968-1972, Lake Land College had the following programs: golf, cross country, baseball, women’s recreation association, pom-pon girls, cheerleading, basketball and wrestling. Today, Laker athletics consists of volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, baseball and cheerleading.

To RSVP to the reunion contact Ashli Wicker at or 217-234-5260.

Lake Land College Agriculture Graduates Receive National Scholarship

Posted on August 29, 2018

Three of five students in the nation to receive a prestigious scholarship from the AJSA were students that recently graduated from Lake Land College’s agriculture program.

Emily Ivey, Loudon, Tennessee; Leslie Walker, Bloomington-Normal; and Kaylie Huizenga, Morrison; all received the Gold Merit Scholarship from the American Junior Simmental Association for exceptional work with the Simmental and Simbrah breed of cattle. The $3,000 scholarship goes to students who have demonstrated exceptional work with the breed both academically and in their community and who have previously been awarded the bronze and silver merit scholarships. Only five scholarships are awarded each year.

“My favorite thing to do in the community is to take what I know and introduce kids to the cattle. I found my passion and it would be cool to help them discover theirs,” Ivey said.

“It was a really proud moment for me because it is something I have worked for in the past 11-12 years and my dad has been in the Simmental industry for over 30 years and it made him happy too,” Walker said. “I am transferring to the University of Illinois for my last two years and my major is agriculture economics, so I plan to work in an economics division of an agricultural company.”

Lake Land College Division Chair Agriculture/Agriculture Instructor Ryan Orrick said that these students stood out in their time on campus. “Work ethic, drive, leadership and professionalism of these three students was remarkable. They were always willing to get involved and accomplish the task set in front of them,” Orrick said.  “I am proud of their accomplishment. All three of them, along with their families have a strong and sincere passion for the Simmental breed.”

To learn more about the agriculture programs at Lake Land College visit and under “Academics” go to “Academic, Majors, Degrees, and Certifications.”

Lake Land College Announces Local Financial Aid Nights

Posted on

Lake Land College will soon hold Financial Aid Nights throughout the various communities in the Lake Land College district.

At the event, Lake Land’s Financial Aid staff will present information on important changes to the 2018-2019 application process, including information on state, federal, institutional and local financial aid programs. The FAFSA is available Oct. 1 for the following fall.

Parents, high school seniors or anyone planning to attend Lake Land or any two- or four-year college during the 2019-2020 school year are encouraged to attend.

“It is essential that students complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Many states and schools award financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Completing the FAFSA early will ensure students are in the applicant pool for any awards for which they qualify,” Paula Carpenter, director of financial aid and veteran services, said.

To complete the FAFSA parents and students can use tax information they already have handy.

“We will provide information about scholarships and grants that are available,” said Danielle Downs, advisor for Lake Land College financial aid and veteran services. “We will also walk them through the steps of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.”

The list of Financial Aid Nights is as follows:

Date                                                 High School                            Time

Monday, Aug. 27, 2018                   Casey-Westfield High School  6 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018                   Cumberland High School        6 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018             Martinsville High School          6 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018                  Mattoon High School               6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 04, 2018                  Stew-Stras High School           6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 05, 2018            Brownstone High School         6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 06, 2018                 Effingham High School            6 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 10, 2018                  Kansas High School                 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018                  Oakland High School               6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018            Dieterich High School              6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018                 Cowden-Herrick High School  6 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 17, 2018                  St. Anthony High School         6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018                  Ramsey High School                6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept.19, 2018             South Central High School      6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018                 Charleston High School           6 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 24, 2018                  Sullivan High School                6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018                  Newton High School                6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018            Shelbyville High School           6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018                 Neoga High School                 6 p.m.

Monday, October 01, 2018             Windsor High School               6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018             Teutopolis High School           6 p.m.

Thursday, October 04, 2018            Okaw-Valley High School        6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018               Altamont High School             5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018               Paris High School                     6 p.m.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018       Arthur-Lovington High School 6/ 7 p.m.

Thursday, October 11, 2018            Marshall High School               6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018             St. Elmo High School               6 p.m.

For more information, contact the Lake Land College Financial Aid office at 217-234-5231. To see a complete list of the regional Financial Aid Nights visit

Lake Land College Offers Grant Writing Course

Posted on August 24, 2018

Lake Land College is offering a Grant Writing 101 course that will cover all aspects of the grant writing process.

The course will be a practical and humor-filled approach to grant writing and will explain how to begin composing grants of all sizes. Participants can expect to learn proposal design, the funder search and more. The class will work through various grant documents and will have time to ask as many questions as needed. By the end of the course, participants will have a much better idea of whether grants are a good fit for their school, nonprofit or agency.

The class will be taught by Fielding Jezreel who has worked in the grants field since 2013 and has raised more than $15 million for nonprofits.

The Grant Writing 101 course will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 from 9 a.m. – noon.

Class will be held at the Workforce Development Center, room 105 located at 305 Richmond Ave. East, Mattoon. The cost is $99.

Register at

For more information, contact Jackie Wake at or at 217-234-5087.


Lake Land College offers UAS Certification Exam Preparation Course for Drone Operators

Posted on

Lake Land College is offering a 12-hour course that will prepare students for the Part 107 sUAV Commercial Certification Exam, taught by a certified flight instructor. The Federal Aviation Administration requires drone operators to complete and pass an Unmanned Aerial System aeronautical knowledge test as one of the requirements for flying commercial drones legally.

Students will receive basic ground school training, instruction and practice. The certified flight instructor will present lectures and materials explaining FAA regulations, the National Airspace System, weather, loading and performance, operations and safety procedures.

The 12-hour course will span 2 dates:

  • September 8, 2018 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • September 9, 2018 8 a.m. – noon

Class will be held at the Workforce Development Center, 305 Richmond Ave. East, Mattoon.  The cost is $349.00.

Register at

For more information, contact Jackie Wake, professional development support, at 217-234-5087 or email

Lake Land College Agriculture Program Receives National Recognition

Posted on August 23, 2018

Lake Land College Agriculture Program Receives National Recognition

Lake Land College was one of six colleges in the nation to receive the NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award for 2018. Lake Land College was one of only three community colleges to receive the award.

The award recognizes exemplary postsecondary institutions and full-time young farmer and adult ag ed programs.

Geographically divided into six regions, the National Association of Agriculture Educators is a federation of state agricultural educators’ associations with more than 7,800 members. The organization provides professional development for agricultural educators and works to recruit and retain agricultural educators in the profession.

“This award is a celebration of past and current contributors of the ag division,” Division Chair Agriculture/Agriculture Instructor Ryan Orrick said.

The association selected the award recipients based on colleges’ program mission, experiential learning and examples of how students have gotten involved in work-based learning such as cooperative education and internships, and partnerships with schools, community and industry leaders. The award comes with an invitation to the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The division encompasses nine instructors who specialize in targeted instruction based on their areas of agriculture industry expertise, and lower student to teacher ratios promote an individualized learning experience and family atmosphere.

The Lake Land College Agriculture Division offers 12 programs designed to prepare students for workforce and transfer opportunities such as the John Deere Tech program, one of few programs in the country that offers students first-hand experience working at a John Deere dealership.

To learn more about the award visit, click on “Members,” and find “Awards and Grants.” To learn more about Lake Land College’s Agricultural Division visit and under “Academics” go to “Academic Division Information.”  

Lake Land College was one of six colleges in the nation to receive the NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award for 2018. Lake Land College was one of only three community colleges to receive the award. Pictured left to right: Agriculture Instructor/Judging Team Coach Jordan Rauch, retired John Deere Technology Instructor Allen Drake, John Deere Technology Instructor Russell Neu, Ag Power Technology Instructor Anthony Reinhart, Agronomy Instructor/Farm manager Mark Niemerg, John Deere Technology Instructor Robert Miller, Division Chair Agriculture/Agriculture Instructor Ryan Orrick, Agriculture Business Instructor Ryan Wildman, Horticulture Instructor Dyke Barkley.


Posted on August 15, 2018


Lake Land College is proud to share this news release from the Effingham Regional Career Academy.

The Effingham Regional Career Academy (ERCA) was recently named one of the top 20 examples of Shared Services Best Practices across the State of Illinois. Gov. Bruce Rauner and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti unveiled a report highlighting examples of local governments banding together to share services, equipment and expertise to increase government efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.

ERCA President, Effingham Unit #40 Superintendent Mark Doan, commented, “The ERCA is a cooperative effort between Lake Land College, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, and Effingham County schools that works to develop learning opportunities for citizens in the region. A lot of hard work has gone into developing partnerships to provide potential employees with the skills our area businesses are seeking. The ERCA is targeting both incumbent workers as well as high school level students while maximizing the resources available in an efficient manner. We are very proud of this recognition and look forward to continuing to expand this work.”

The Lake Land College Board of Trustees has demonstrated support for an 8-year master facilities plan calling for the construction of the Rural Development Technology Center in Effingham. The anticipated 36,000 square-foot facility will serve as a permanent home for the Effingham Regional Career Academy. The facility is projected to be finished by 2023 with five ERCA career pathways and associated courses shared across Effingham County school districts, in addition to available incumbent worker and adult student programs.

Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said, “I commend these local leaders for finding innovative ways to deliver more efficient, effective, streamlined services for our taxpayers, and I encourage other local governments to follow their lead.” Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti will be presenting the award to the ERCA at the Kickoff to Education Breakfast to be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

In total, 262 shared service examples were provided for best practice consideration. Out of those responses, 20 were selected to be published in the Journal.  The report can be found at the following link:

To find more news about the Effingham Regional Career Academy, go to or like us on Facebook “Effingham Regional Career Academy.”


Students Indicate Lake Land College is Their First Choice

Posted on August 13, 2018

Most Lake Land College students reported Lake Land was their first choice of institution when deciding where to go to college, a recent study indicates.

According to the Spring 2018 Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory Survey, 81 percent of students listed Lake Land College as their first choice, up from 73 percent in 2015.  

Survey results support the college’s enrollment reports that annually indicate Lake Land College is the top choice among the in-district seniors seeking a higher education.  

In addition, students ranked affordability and academic reputation as top reasons for choosing Lake Land. Specific rankings include 1. Cost, 2. Financial aid, 3. Academic reputation, 4. Personalized attention prior to enrollment and 5. Geographic setting.

“The fact that geographic setting was listed as the fifth top reason, rather than first, second or third, defies the misconception that students mostly choose Lake Land simply due to geographic location,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said. “Our affordability and academic reputation continue to be reported by our students as most important to them.”

The survey results also indicated Lake Land College was meeting or exceeding expectations of its students in every area measured by the national study. A majority, or 77 percent, of Lake Land students were more satisfied than their peers at community colleges nationwide.

“Our spring 2018 student satisfaction survey results support the fact that the Lake Land family strives to exceed our students’ expectations,” Bullock said.

Some of the areas where Lake Land College exceeded the expectations of its students were in academic advising/counseling, instructional effectiveness, academic services, and responsiveness to diverse populations.

The Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory Survey was administered every year between 2002 through 2009 and once every three years since 2012. Survey responses were based off of 761 students enrolled in day and evening courses, on and off campus courses and online courses.

Survey results can be found at Under the “About Us” drop-down, click on “Institutional Research.”

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