As the Illinois community college system marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Illinois Community Public College Act with a celebration on August 13, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a proclamation declaring July 15, 2015 to July 15, 2016 the “Year of the Community College”.
“The Illinois community college system is not the education of yesterday, but it’s the education of tomorrow,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Community College Board. “The system is one of the largest community college system in the country and without question the best system in the world.”
“We don’t offer shop classes or teach key punch anymore. We teach nanotechnology and photon therapy,” she said. “We partner with local business and industry to develop skills that will be necessary for jobs of the future.”
The system has expanded to 39 college districts and 48 campuses since July 15, 1965, when the Illinois Public Community College Act was signed into law.
Illinois community colleges now serve approximately one million people each year.