Month: December 2018

#InspiringExcellence – Jennifer Higerd Honored with Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award

December 19, 2018 | Campus News Inspiring Excellence

She has taught in West Africa. She spent several years tutoring hearing-impaired high school students. She even spent a year as a Spanish instructor. No matter the setting, Jennifer Higerd loves to teach.

“I’ve really been teaching for most of my adult life,” she said. “I love watching and guiding the transformations and growth in students – the look on their faces when they ‘get it.’”

For the last eight years, Higerd has been educating East Central College students in design and ceramics. She also is the curator for the East Central College Art Gallery.

“I really enjoy getting to know students – helping them to find their voice and then to find the medium to share their story,” she explained. “I love to see the new and innovative things they come up with.”

Her passion for teaching hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2018, she was awarded the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award! Sponsored by Emerson, the award program annually recognizes more than 100 educators in the St. Louis area who are examples of excellence in their field.

“It is so nice to be appreciated! I am thankful for wonderful colleagues who’ve helped me to grow and improve as a teacher and mentor,” she said. “I’m so thankful to work with so many talented and inspiring colleagues doing such great things on our campus.”

Walk-In Weekend – January 5

December 18, 2018 | Campus News

East Central College will host Walk-In Weekend on Saturday, January 5 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at its Union campus. This is an opportunity for current and prospective students to get ready for the Spring 2019 semester.

At the event, students will be able to apply to East Central College, register for classes, take a placement test, receive assistance with financial aid and meet with an advisor. The Bookstore and Learning Center will also be open during the event.

No appointment is needed. Students can walk in at any time during the event.

On Wednesday, January 9, East Central College in Rolla will extend its hours until 7 p.m. to help students prepare for the Spring 2019 semester.

Students Affected by the Vatterott/L’Ecole Culinaire Closing

East Central College is ready to help Vatterott College students in the area who have been affected by the closure of all Vatterott and L’Ecole Culinaire locations.

East Central College has created a resource team to help displaced students continue their education. They will be available at the Walk-In Weekend event.

East Central College Reaches Out to Displaced Vatterott Students

December 18, 2018 | Campus News

East Central College is ready to help former Vatterott College students in the St. Louis area. The college sent a letter to students Monday to inform them of the decision to close all Vatterott and L’Ecole Culinaire locations suddenly and permanently.

“We understand the impact this decision has on students and the uncertainty they now face,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. “In this anxious time, East Central is ready to help these students transition and continue their pursuit of their degree and career.”

East Central College has created a resource team to help displaced students continue their education. Students interested in transferring can contact or call 636-584-6500.

ECC Foundation Scholarships Continue to Change Lives at East Central College

December 5, 2018 | Campus News

When Madison Caldwell received the Jeff Maune scholarship at East Central College, she was thrilled.

“I was honored to be chosen,” said the Pacific native. “The scholarship helped me financially but also mentally. It made me feel like there is someone out there cheering me on – someone who wants to see me succeed.”

Open to all students from Franklin County, the scholarship is helping Madison achieve her dream – becoming a teacher.

“I am going into education because I love children,” she said. “I want to be someone a child feels comfortable going to in a time of need.”

While most college students don’t often get to meet their scholarship benefactors, East Central College makes it a priority.

“We believe it is important to bring our scholarship supporters together with the students they are directly impacting,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. “Through the annual East Central College Foundation Scholarship Breakfast, we make it possible.”

For Madison, it was a chance to thank her benefactor in person.

“I loved getting to meet Jeff and his wife Beth,” she said. “They made me feel like I had known them my entire life. It was such an honor to be able to express my gratitude to them in person, rather than through a letter or thank you card.”

“We were both so impressed with Madison,” said Jeff. “She is a well-rounded, down-to-earth person. She has a plan in place for her future, and I just hope the scholarship helped her in at least a small way.”

The scholarship is in dedication to Jeff’s late wife, Patsy, who passed away in 2012.

“There is a need for caring, dedicated teachers,” Jeff explained. “Patsy couldn’t have become a teacher without financial help. When the East Central College Foundation Board approached me about setting up a scholarship, I wanted to help.”

Madison was one of 201 students who received more than $100,000 in scholarships through the ECC Foundation this fall.

“Our community is very supportive of the ECC Foundation,” said Dr. Bauer. “Every dollar donated helps enhance the lives of our students forever and strengthens our community. It is an economic and a human investment.”

The East Central College Foundation solicits and receives tax-deductible gifts which are managed for the benefit of the college and its students. It is chartered as a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization for educational purposes. It currently supports more than 200 scholarships for students.

Those interested in donating to the ECC Foundation or establishing a scholarship can visit or email

East Central College Hosts Event to Assist Food Stamp Recipients

December 5, 2018 | Campus News

East Central College is hosting an event to help food stamp recipients find out more about the state of Missouri’s SkillUp program, which provides additional access to childcare, housing assistance, job skills training, job placement, and more.

SkillUp services are offered at no cost to eligible participants and are designed to promote employability and self-sufficiency. The program is offered through East Central College and area Job Centers at no cost and offers food stamp recipients the opportunity to gain skills, training, or work experience.

“The college provides short-term training programs in health care, computer science, and welding, to provide food stamp recipients with unique job skills,” says Joel Doepker, Vice President of External Relations at East Central College. “We purposely schedule programs that can be completed in less than 16 weeks, so the food stamp recipient can quickly secure a job and begin a career.”

The event, named “SkillUPalooza”, will be held Thursday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the East Central College Training Center.  East Central College will have staff on hand to help participants decide what job training program is the best fit for them. Other agencies, such as the Missouri Job Center, Goodwill, Missouri Community Action Network, and Better Family Life, are also participating.

Questions? Contact Melissa Willmore at 636.584.6530 or


Moving in the Right Direction – HLC Accreditation Update

December 4, 2018 | Campus News

East Central College is making noticeable progress towards its reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Committee (HLC). That was the message laid out for the Board of Trustees at its December 3 meeting.

Robyn Walter, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Michelle Smith, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, updated the Board regarding the efforts by the college to improve certain criteria designated by the HLC.

“One of the areas we needed to improve was assessment of student learning outcomes,” said Walter. “Through the hard work and dedication of our Assessment Committee, we are successfully tightening our processes on campus and drawing meaningful connections between our programs.”

East Central College has also committed to a new initiative that will help drive assessment innovation in the future – The HLC Assessment Academy, a four-year commitment to ongoing professional learning and growth centered on student learning.

“We will receive regular support and feedback from a mentor,” said Walter, “who is assigned specifically to the college. In January, we will begin to develop a common language around assessment and examine our common learning outcomes to make sure they are measurable and actionable.”

Retention, persistence and completion rates are other areas of focus for the college.

“Each strategy is being supported by data,” said Smith. “As we continue to move forward, it will allow the college to make informed decisions for continuous improvement.”

Additionally, the Board heard updates about the recently-formed Shared Governance Committee.

“Through recommendations from the HLC, our Shared Governance Committee has been in operation for several months,” said Walter. “The college now has a formalized process which enables any employee to present an issue. It also creates a feedback loop to employee organizations, as each organization has representation on the committee.”

The process of designing a new strategic plan is also underway. The initiative, SOAR to 2024, will help the college identify and define the experience provided to our students.

East Central College currently holds a Higher Learning Commission designation of “Accreditation- On Notice.” During this two-year process, the College remains fully accredited; college credits transfer, financial aid will be dispersed and the high quality of academic programs remain.

East Central College Receives Positive Independent Audit Report

December 4, 2018 | Campus News

East Central College has received a clean audit report during its recent independent financial statement audit conducted by the certified public accounting firm KPM of Springfield, Mo.

The 2017-2018 fiscal year results were presented at the December 3 Board of Trustees meeting. According to the report, East Central College’s financial statement disclosures were “neutral, consistent and clear.” KPM also commended the college for its cooperation with the audit.

ECC board policy dictates that college financial records be audited annually by a certified public accountant licensed to practice public accounting in the State of Missouri and with documented experience in federal and state funds auditing. A copy of the audit is sent to the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the U.S. Department of Education and other regulatory agencies as required.