April is Community College month. It’s been another extraordinary year for Clinton Community College. We have continued to help our students succeed and move on to four year institutions and enter the workforce with the skills necessary to participate in an emerging economy.

Our staff and faculty continue to amaze me with their dedication, commitment, and exceptional results. We recently received our numbers from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) related to graduation rates for one of our cohorts. Our graduation rates for this cohort posted at 55.8%. This is the highest rate for an Eastern Iowa Community College in history, and is well above the national average of 36%! Truly an outstanding accomplishment for our students, staff, and faculty.

The economic development and future of our region depends on a skilled workforce. Sixty five percent of the jobs in our region require education and training beyond high school. Expanding career and technical education throughout the region, especially in our rural communities, increases access and opportunities for our community members to build the skills necessary for today's competitive markets.

We have made some amazing progress on our Career Academy building in Clinton. I hope you will have an opportunity to drive by soon and see our progress. Our construction partners have worked throughout the winter in an effort to facilitate the opening of this facility by the fall term of this year. This initiative is a major project and involves many contributors.  As always, I recognize the commitment of our K-12 partners, Clinton and Jackson County Superintendents, Principals, and Counselors who are hard at work making preparations for our first year. Collectively, we realize this is a once in a generation opportunity to make a difference in our communities.

The opportunities in our service area will be incredible. High School students and community members will be able to participate in proposed programs including: Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics, Agriculture, Agriculture Mechanics and Diesel Technology, Allied Health and Nursing, Automotive Technology, Business, Construction Technology, Education, Engineering Technology, Information Technology, and Welding.

Thank you for your support these past few years. Together we are making a difference.

Happy Community College Month!

We hope to see you soon.

Dr. Brian Kelly