Nearly 80 people attended the ribbon cutting event for the new Joliet Junior College Morris Education Center on Oct. 26, 2016.
The college moved into the former Shabbona Middle School facility at 725 School Street over the summer, and began offering classes for the Fall 2016 semester. The college has had a presence in Grundy County since 2001, but moved to the new location to double the number of students served to 600 with the expansion in space.
Guests at the event had the chance to tour the 5,000 square feet of space the college occupies, which includes a resource area for job seekers, tutoring/testing space, six classrooms, two computer labs, and space for Grundy Workforce Services, a long-time partner of the college.
Several elected officials came out to support the event, including JJC Trustee Mike O’Connell; State Rep. David Welter; Greg Ridenour on behalf of Congressman Kinzinger’s office; Harold Vota, Grundy County Board member; Chris Balkema, Grundy County Board president; Mayor Dick Kopczick, City of Morris; Dennis Best, Morris High School District president; and Pat Stevens, Jerry White, and Bonnie Cap, board members of Morris School District 54. Shannon McNeil of the Illinois Office of the Comptroller presented the college with a proclamation recognizing the new facility and supporting its continued success.
“It is our intention to serve all kinds of students here—traditional and non-traditional, high school dual credit, and more,” JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell said. “We have such a valuable partnership with Grundy Workforce Services and I’d like to also recognize a few additional partners: the Grundy Area Vocational Center, the Grundy Economic Development Council, Morris High School, the City of Morris, Grundy County and so many more. Let me be clear: we are grateful for your input, your support, and continued partnerships. This couldn’t have happened without these valuable relationships.”
Dr. Mitchell also shared that the college’s close proximity to Morris High School and to the Grundy Area Vocational Center is a significant benefit as well.
“Our partnership with their teams serves something even greater—access to higher education, careers, and student success for all,” she said. “We are committed to being your first choice for education, and access to quality and affordable education is critical to that choice.”
Looking ahead to next year, the college will offer new opportunities at the Morris location, including:
- a CADD 101 class at Morris High School (using their lab/equipment) next year, with plans to offer supporting classes at the Morris Education Center so that students can obtain a Certificate of Achievement in Computer Aided Design and Drafting Mechanical Design Technology.
- an increase in course offerings in the general education area to satisfy core and elective requirements for any Career and Technical Education certificate offerings and to provide a core of general education offerings that students can use to satisfy in part the requirements of an A.S. or A.A. transfer degree.
The college is also exploring an Early College option at the Morris Education Center, so that students (high school seniors) can come to the center to complete 14-16 credit hours within a career or technical education discipline.
Spring registration starts on Oct. 31! Courses offered at the Morris location are scheduled for Spring 2017 in the following disciplines: Accounting, Business/Business Law, Computer Information Systems, Management, English, History, Math, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech.
For more information about the Morris Education Center, call (815) 942-1552 or visit www.jjc.edu/morris-education-center/Pages/default1.aspx.