The Lake Land College Board of Trustees approved a new financial assistance program that guarantees full tuition and fees for students enrolling in a specialized workforce training partnership.
The proposal was approved August 13 during the regular board meeting held at the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham.
During the two-year pilot, if a local business collaborates with the college to identify a training opportunity through which participants will earn a college certificate, and the business guarantees that all students who complete the program will be hired, the college will guarantee tuition and fees will be covered for the students.
The idea originated through the college’s work with LSC Communications. Under this initiative, students who complete an eight-week training program and earn a college certificate are guaranteed a job at LSC at $16 to $18 per hour. Members of the first cohort completed training in July and are now employed at the printing company in Mattoon. A second cohort is scheduled to begin classes this fall.
“Through our initial work with LSC, we have come to believe that many local residents are hesitant to enroll in a college program without the assurance that they have sufficient financial support to cover their cost of the program or that they will be employed at the end,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.
“As we continue to collaborate with community partners to prepare local residents for local employment, we want to ensure students have the opportunity to take advantage of these unique opportunities to create a pathway for a successful career.”
Under the guaranteed financial assistance program, students will first apply for state and federal financial assistance. Should those sources not cover the costs, Lake Land College will waive any tuition and mandatory fees that remain. Tuition and fees for the 16-hour LSC Fast Track program are estimated at $2,300 per student.
“By investing in our students, we are assisting our local employers’ in developing a valuable, trained workforce that will take their companies to the next level,” Bullock added.
The board will review the outcome of the pilot at the end of each year to determine future implementation.
For additional information, contact Jim Hull, vice president for workforce solutions and community education, at 217-234-5225.