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East St. Louis Higher Education Center Gives Progress Report at L&C Board Meeting

Article by: Dylan Suttles, the Telegraph, Dylan.Suttles@thetelegraph.com

GODFREY — Education was the main focus of the Lewis and Clark Community College Board meeting on Tuesday.

During public comment, Dr. Ed Ragsdale of Godfrey said he would like to see more emphasis on agricultural education at LCCC, adding it would not “involve very much money.”

“Farming is very difficult,” Ragsdale said. “It’s becoming more and more technological, and the more you know, the better you will do.”

Dobbie Herrion, Director of Academic Affairs for the East St. Louis Higher Education Center, also provided board members with an update on the center’s progress. Since the Fall 2018, enrollment has reached 251 students with its most popular program being Connections to Success with 131 students.

“We started with no students, no offices and people who didn’t want to work with us,” Herrion said. “We’ve shifted the culture slightly.”

He said East St. Louis has a history of “coming and going” and that trust needs to be implemented within the community. He said the center has been involved with seating events and church events. Herrion has played basketball with the local kids and is involved with other local non-profits.

“Trust is a huge factor,” he said. He added that working relationships with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southwest Illinois College have improved since 2018.

“We’re not exactly were we want to be, but the progress we’ve made is certainly measurable and one that I know I and the staff are very proud of,” Herrion said.

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