CCC 75th Anniversary Celebration



Clinton Community College will celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Thursday, September 9, 2021. In March of 1946, a public referendum was presented to the citizens of Clinton. The answer was a resounding "yes" and on September 9 of that year, Clinton Junior College officially opened its doors.

The first dean of the college was Paul B. Sharar and the college's foundation bears his name. As his son Paul H. Sharar recalls, his father “had a vision of education as the way people learn to live more useful lives for themselves and for their fellow citizens so they feel the joy of accomplishment above and beyond the common-place that might have been.”

Housed in the Clinton High School building, more than half of the first class of 86 students were World War II veterans having recently returned home from the war. The college continued to grow through the years and eventually outgrew its shared quarters at the high school. It proudly moved into a new building on September 6, 1965,with an enrollment of 555 day students. The college is still located in that building at 1000 Lincoln Boulevard in Clinton but many changes have occurred in the past 51years.

One of those changes came in 1966 when the name was changed to Clinton Community College and it became a part of the Eastern Iowa Community College District, which also includes Scott and Muscatine Community Colleges. The college continues to be a part of that district today.

CCC 75th LogoThe college's main campus has also experienced changes with major structural additions. In 1995 the college opened the Graphic Arts Technology Center of Iowa, now the CCC Technology Center, on Manufacturing Drive in Clinton, approximately one mile from the main campus. The Center was constructed through a unique partnership of education, business and government with funding coming from all three entities. The 22,000 square-foot facility is a unique training facility and technology resource for the graphic arts industry and the Engineering Technology program.

In 2007, the Adult Basic Education and Community Education programs relocated to a new building, the CCC Learning Center, located at 944 Lincoln Boulevard. This space offers flexibility in classroom scheduling and functionality. 2010 welcomed students to the science addition which houses two state-of-the-art labs plus a larger prep room and faculty offices. Today high definition classrooms and lecture halls feature up-to-the-minute technology and configurations that enhances the student’s experience.

In 2014, the family of Bob and Frances Bickelhaupt donated their arboretum, established in 1970, to Clinton Community College. This generous gift – the Bickelhaupt Arboretum - is a living classroom, a community gem, where people to explore nature. Programs such as “No Child Left Inside” introduce area children to the joy of this outdoor treasure.

The Library Enhancement Project was completed in 2016, creating a library that better meets the needs of CCC students and the changing needs of the greater Clinton community. Renovations to the final CCC Lecture Hall were completed in 2018, thanks to grants from the Clinton County Development Association and matches from the CCC B-rrry Scurry. The lecture halls have improved seating for collaborative learning, flexible lighting, sound systems, and state-of-the-art technology. These renovations and enhancements are made to improve teaching and learning at CCC.

Clinton Community College's activities stretch beyond the city limits of Clinton to include most of Clinton and Jackson Counties. Through a cooperative agreement, the college offers credit and non-credit classes to that community at the CCC Maquoketa Center which opened in the summer of 2009. Similar arrangements with other school districts allow the college to offer classes in Camanche, DeWitt, Bellevue, Preston, Goose Lake and many other area communities.

As a comprehensive community college, Clinton Community College offers much more than college credit coursework. The college's various non-credit departments provide Community Education classes, Adult Education classes and Business and Industry training. Thousands of area residents annually take advantage of these educational opportunities.

Dr. Karen Vickers led Clinton Community College for 23 years, becoming President in 1996. Under her leadership, the college added new technologies such as the state-of-the-art Virtual and Nursing Labs, and extended the use of technology. Admissions agreements allow students to make a smooth transition upon completion of their CCC program. Partnerships continue throughout the Clinton and Jackson counties, and include communities such as DeWitt, Calamus/Wheatland and Bellevue.

In 2020, Brian Kelly became the CCC President. Kelly came to EICC from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. He brings a background filled with multiple talents and worldwide experiences which has enhanced the college, our programs, and CCC students. Kelly is committed to lifelong learning which began with Dean Paul B. Sharar in 1946.

On March 2, 2021, the voters of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges approved a $40 million bond referendum to fund new Career & Technical Education facilities and to create Career Academies throughout the district. The bond passed with more than 88% approval. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021. The new CTE facilities will provide training for the area workforce and provide new programs such as automotive and culinary arts. Just as in 1946, CCC will continue to create programs that anticipate and respond to the community needs and expectations.

Clinton Community College is truly THE Community’s College!