January 24, 2018

CARTERVILLE — John A. Logan College is enrolling more than half of in-district high school graduates, an impressive increase of over 10 percent from a decade ago.

Melanie Pecord, acting vice-president of instructional services at JALC, announced the in-district enrollment jump during the January meeting of the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees held Tuesday evening.

In 2007, the College enrolled 40 percent high school graduates from the 11 high schools in the College’s district. In 2017, that number rose to 52.8 percent. Pecord credited strong relationships between the College and high school officials and outreach from College recruitment personnel to the students themselves.

An impressive number, Pecord explained, not only because of the increase but because so many high school seniors are currently leaving the state for higher education.

“We want our in-district high school students to know that John A. Logan College is ‘their community college,’” Pecord said. “We believe it is very important that each student understand all the opportunities that the College offers them.”

And, Pecord explained, opportunities at John A. Logan College will be expanding, including plans in motion to implement agriculture, recreation management, and sports management programs among others.

Pecord’s good news was followed by good news from Brad McCormick, vice-president for business services and college facilities. McCormick announced that due to strong financial planning on the College’s part — guiding the institution soundly through the state’s continued budget mess — the College received word from Moody’s Investor Services that its A3 rating on previously issued general obligation bonds had been affirmed and the “negative outlook” placed on the rating during the State of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse had been removed.

“Although the College has no immediate plans for additional debt issuance, the improved outlook on its existing credit instruments communicates the College’s financial stability to the investment community,” McCormick said. “The Moody’s Investor Services rating update will be shared on the public website published by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s EMMA (Electronic Municipal Market Access) website. Information like this is often considered by outside accrediting bodies, like the Higher Learning Commission, which will be conducting a planned financial review of the college in 2019.”

In addition to sharing the good news from Moody’s, McCormick reported to the board that the 2018 finances were “right on target.” Given the current percentage of the fiscal year that has elapsed, total college-wide spending is under budget and the balanced budget that was presented to the board earlier in the year will materialize as planned, he explained.

Every category of the budget is underspent in relation to the amount of the year that has passed, McCormick noted.