Archive for the ‘Harper College’ Category

U of Illinois Tuition

Illinois spends 23% less on higher education than it did in 2007. University pension spending grew by 510% in that time. It doesn’t take a math major to see why tuition has increased 46%.

As the oldest of seven siblings, Ethan Fazio said tuition prices and financial aid were top factors when considering higher education and whether to stay in Illinois.

“I got a whole lot of other kids behind me for my parents to get through college, so I wanted to make the most financially responsible decision for myself and for my family,” said Fazio, a junior at the University of Illinois and a Mokena native. “I am fortunate to be an Illinois commitment recipient. But it’s daunting to think about tuition continuing to increase for the next generation of students.”

Fazio said without scholarships, he’s not sure he would be in school. He thinks tuition at Illinois’ public universities has grown too fast in recent years.

An Illinois Policy Institute analysis supports that view. Tuition has increased an average 46% at Illinois largest public universities in the past 15 years.

Average in-state tuition in Illinois is the fifth-most expensive in the nation, and the highest in the Midwest. Why? Public pensions are eating university resources.

State Universities Retirement System pension payments made up just 9% of state higher education spending in 2007. Now they take 44% of those dollars.

Read more here.

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Harper College will host a Law Enforcement Career Fair at its Palatine campus Thursday. Representatives of about 30 suburban police agencies are expected to attend.

Harper College will host a Law Enforcement Career Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at its Palatine campus. The event, which is open to all but partly is focused on attracting more minority recruits, will offer candidates a chance to network with 30 suburban law enforcement agencies.

“There isn’t one agency that isn’t looking for diverse candidates,” said Brad Grossman, coordinator of Harper’s Law Enforcement and Justice Program.

Last year, Harper conducted a police training workshop in partnership with the Northwest Suburban Law Enforcement Recruitment Taskforce comprising seven police departments — Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Schaumburg. It drew 55 candidates of diverse backgrounds.

Grossman has been reaching out to minority groups to invite applicants. Among the challenges is few people of color apply for law enforcement jobs, he said.

“If you are a qualified minority candidate, you have a phenomenal opportunity,” said Grossman, a retired former deputy chief with the Palatine Police Department. “We need minority groups to promote this, as well.”

Registration is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcomed. Register at bit.ly/3JY9R45.

More here.

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Town Hall

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to a virtual town hall forum to hear updates from many local taxing bodies. Participants include representatives from Barrington 220, Barrington Area Library, Barrington Park District, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, Barrington Hills Park District, South Barrington Park District and Harper College.

The event will be held on Wednesday, April 20 from 9am to 10:30amClick here to register.

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Press Release:

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the unions representing teachers and support staff in 52 school districts across Illinois will file a motion to intervene in a Sangamon County lawsuit in an effort to protect the safety of the workplaces and the health and lives of students and employees by keeping the governor’s student mask mandate in place.

In October, attorney Tom DeVore filed a lawsuit against 145 school districts across the state on behalf of parents and their children at a price of $5,000 per district, plus filing fees. Those cases have all been consolidated into one in Sangamon County in front of Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow.

The suit asks that the students not be required to wear a mask or be excluded from campus, and that students not be excluded from campus if they were “close contacts” with a COVID positive person, without the local health department weighing in on each individual case.

The court filings today were made on behalf of 75 IEA-affiliated locals, which represent more than 29,000 members of the Illinois Education Association who serve more than 214,000 students. Each of those locals made the independent decision to intervene in the lawsuit.

“Almost all of our members are vaccinated or complying with the vaccinate-or-test order. We are all wearing masks. We want students to wear their masks and stay home if they were close contacts of someone with COVID. We believe in keeping staff, students, all of the families of our staff and students and all of our communities safe,” said Andrew Frey, president of the Triad Education Association. “Things were looking good for a while, but here we are again. This is a worldwide pandemic. We are not immune in Illinois just because we want to turn our heads. So, we won’t. And, we’ll work to keep our schools safe.”

A status hearing is set in the case for next week. Should the judge grant the IEA locals’ motion, they would be able to take part in that hearing and in court proceedings going forward.

“We have been saying all along that it is our goal to keep students and staff in buildings as long as it is safe,” said Kathi Griffin, president of the IEA. “Our locals are respectfully asking the court to respect the educators’ wishes who have asked their local to intervene on their behalf, to ensure that we can continue in-person instruction in a safe and healthy environment. We believe the governor has worked hard to provide a safe educational environment for students and that districts have been following his executive orders because they are guided by science and are focused on keeping our students and staff safe. That’s the best we can ask under these circumstances.”

As of Dec. 9, nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, of which nearly 400,000 are under the age of 20. There have been 30,000 confirmed or probable COVID deaths. At least four Illinois public school employees died of COVID during the 2019-20 school year, at least eight in the 2020-21 school and at least one this school year. Currently, there are 163 active “youth outbreaks” in the state. Between June and August of this year, the Delta variant resulted in a five-fold increase of child hospitalizations, and between July 3 and Oct. 30, the case rate for those under age 20 increase from 17 per 100,000 to 142 per 100,000.

As of Dec. 9, all 102 counties in Illinois are coded red for high transmission on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Community Transmission Map – the most critical rating.


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Please visit suburbanactionpac.com to learn more.

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Harper College announced Tuesday the largest gift in the Palatine community college’s history: $18 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Harper College officials Tuesday announced receipt of an $18 million donation from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, in what is the largest gift in the Palatine community college’s 54-year history.

“It’s hard to wrap your mind around it, still,” said college President Avis Proctor. “I still get chills thinking about this.”

The unrestricted gift is among more than $2.7 billion awarded to 286 “high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked,” Scott announced in a blog post Tuesday.

Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, gave a combined $6 billion to other groups in two similar surprise disbursements last July and December.

Harper was among more than 30 colleges and universities selected for funding in the latest round, which also included the University of Illinois-Chicago ($40 million) and City Colleges of Chicago’s Kennedy-King College ($5 million).

“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” Scott wrote.

Read more here.

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Big changes could be coming to admissions at public universities in Illinois after two expansive bills cleared the state Senate Higher Education Committee in recent days.

The two pieces of legislation aim to make a degree more accessible: The first would allow residents to apply to any of the state’s 12 public universities without submitting SAT or ACT scores, while the other would guarantee well-performing community college students a spot at the University of Illinois.

Both bills, which already passed in the House, were elevated out of committee and could next proceed to a full Senate floor vote. The governor must also sign the bills before they become law, which is far from certain.

State Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville, presented the test-optional admissions bill, known as the Higher Education Fair Admissions Act, and said it was based on research showing that high school GPAs are a better predictor of college graduation than ACT or SAT scores. The bill calls for all four-year public universities to implement test-optional admissions by January.

“We know children have test anxieties and they don’t do well on these standardized tests, and so to take a snapshot of a person’s high school years and reduce it down to a test … and to put that kind of weight on that test, we just don’t think it’s fair,” Belt said.

Under the bill, students would still be able to submit test scores if they want. Admissions offices also consider GPA, difficulty of high school courses, personal essays and outside activities.

Read more here.

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North Barrington resident Kelly Dittmann has our endorsement for Harper College Board

Late last month, the Daily Herald wrote the following of candidate Kelly Dittmann in their summary of candidates running for Harper College board:

“Newcomer Kelly Dittmann, of North Barrington, does, however, complicate the decision for voters. For, she, too, exhibits a passion for the school and an appealing record of service, ranging from board memberships on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Central Homeless Shelter to leadership roles with the United Way and more. She would fit well into the composition of the Harper board”

Maybe the Herald didn’t endorse Dittmann, but they clearly wanted to. They all but wrote, “Vote for her,” and not to say that influenced our decision, it did reinforce our resolve that Kelly Dittmann deserves to be on the Harper College board.

Our (very) short list of reasons for our endorsement of her include:

  • Dittmann has earned degrees from Purdue University in Organizational Leadership and Management, an MBA in Executive Leaderships and Management from Drake University and studied Advanced Strategy & Economics: Building and Implementing Growth Strategies at The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
  • Her extensive community involvement also speaks to her qualifications including Community Leader, Board Member Make-A-Wish Foundation, Strategic Advisor, Mentor AgriTech Accelerator and iEmergent Technologies Mentored leaders, Cabinet Co-Chair, Board Member United Way Education Leadership Initiative (ELI) National Chapters and Board of Directors Central Iowa Shelter Services (CISS) to name a few.

Kelly’s full profile of qualifications and experience can be explored here, and she can be found with other qualified candidates at Action PAC.

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The following is from the, “ACTION PAC,” website:

“Action PAC is an acronym for Advancing Change Together In Our Neighborhood. The “PAC” is a registered committee with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The PAC was created to provide support for candidates who are interested in running for local offices such as School District Boards, Library Boards, Park District Boards, Community College Boards, and many more local offices.

These offices have been traditionally low-key positions and part of the prolific list of taxing bodies that exist throughout the State of Illinois. Illinois has more taxing bodies than California and many of these taxing bodies have minimal attention focused on them but they are all listed on your tax bill and they have significant budgets and assets. Harper College’s 2019 budget was $106 Million.

The year 2020 has proven to be a catalyst for political engagement on every level and locally the actions and policies of schools, libraries, and park districts are getting much more attention. This newfound attention has resulted in record numbers of candidates for these local offices.

Action PAC exists to support like-minded people who support positive change in local government that focuses on the concerns of taxpayers, citizens, and parents.


To support and elect people to local elective offices that have been traditionally underserved.”

To learn more about these candidates, visit their website here.

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With more and more students signing up for Harper College’s Promise Scholarship, the program that guarantees free tuition for good grades, attendance and community service is slowly becoming financially unsustainable, college officials say.

It’s a reality that has led them to consider tweaks to the program now, and perhaps an overhaul later.

In the short term, the college’s board next month will vote on an advisory committee’s recommendation to include Advanced Placement and dual credit courses taken in high school in the amount of credit hours the college will pay for. The change would apply to high schoolers at three Harper sender districts beginning with the graduating classes of 2025 — current eighth-graders whom Harper officials already plan to start recruiting in January.

It wouldn’t mean students need to arrive at Harper’s Palatine campus with college credits, nor would there be any changes to the existing list of requirements to get the tuition-free scholarship.

Established in 2015 under then-President Ken Ender, the program awards two years of tuition to students from Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 and Barrington Area Unit District 220 who maintain solid grades, have good attendance, don’t repeat classes, graduate on time and provide service in their communities.

The proposed credit hour change, plus a one-time board contribution of $1.4 million, would make the Promise program whole for the next decade, officials said. There’s about $20 million in the fund now, and it costs at least $1 million in tuition for each year’s class — a number that’s expected to grow with the increase in demand.

Read on here.

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