Lt. Gov. Simon visits Shawnee Community College

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon at her inauguration on Jan. 10, 2011.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon at her inauguration on Jan. 10, 2011.

Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon visited Shawnee Community College Monday as the sixth stop on her statewide tour to increase college completion rates.

The tour of the state's 48 community colleges offers Simon an opportunity to see how each school is working to improve completion rates and workforce development, while gathering ideas on how the state can help schools overcome barriers to goal completion.

"I applaud community colleges for being the most accessible and affordable higher education options for students throughout our state," Simon said. "Now I also want to work with them on fostering student success so our state can produce the best educated workforce in the nation."

Simon's visit highlighted the tutoring program that Shawnee Community college offers to its nursing students.

Shawnee Community College President Larry Peterson said the college hired a Registered Nurse to assist students in labs and run small group and individual tutoring sessions.

New students in the nursing program are required to take a summer orientation class to familiarize themselves with health care topics and learning strategies, as well as program and campus services.

One challenge Shawnee faces in increasing completion rates is the difficulty in providing consistent support services such as tutoring to all students due to lack of funding, according to the Simon's office.

Simon has supported the Governor's debt restructuring bill and proposed increase in MAP grants, and recently testified in favor of performance-based funding.

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