Month: June 2020

Student Walk-Ins Allowed With Phase 2 of Back to Campus Plan

June 26, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is preparing for Phase 2 of its Return to Campus plan, which will allow for more on-campus meetings with students while maintaining virtual/remote options.

Beginning July 1, appointments no longer are necessary for current and prospective students to sign up for fall semester classes, meet with advisors or access other student services, according to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.

“Campus buildings will remain closed for public use but drop-in student traffic for advising and registration will be permitted,” he said “Virtual appointments can still be offered if a student prefers to meet with student development staff remotely.”

Other offices, such as financial aid and advising, will also be open for students to visit on campus and remotely. An appointment can be scheduled at

Current and prospective students will be required to wear face masks inside buildings.

Following the closure of ECC to the public in March due to COVID-19, a three-phase plan to reopen before the fall semester was developed.  Phase 2 is scheduled to begin Wednesday, July 1, and end Sunday, Aug. 16.

Library/Learning Center

There will be minor changes to the library schedule. The library will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library’s chat service is available from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. during the week and on weekends.  Library materials will be checked out on request; library staff will retrieve the items from the library shelves, which will remain closed at this time.

The Testing Center will remain open until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through the end of summer courses on July 23, and then operate on interim hours, closing at 4:30 p.m., until the beginning of Fall classes.

Testing by appointment will continue with some slots being available for drop-in testing.

Dr. Bauer noted that a decision on the commencement ceremony will be made in early July.

The first day of 16-week classes for the fall semester is Monday, Aug. 24. This fall, a wide range of courses will be in-person, seated classes on the ECC campuses. There also will be online and remote courses available to students.

Learning Center Offers JumpStart! Program to Community

June 25, 2020 | Campus News

The Learning Center (TLC) at East Central College is offering an opportunity for students who have been out of the classroom setting for several months to brush up on their skills.

TLC is extending enrollment in its free JumpStart! Program to anyone in the service region who has been set back in their studies due to COVOD-19.

According to Lisa Haag, the program is an online, self-paced tool for anyone in the region who need math and English help because they have been out of school for nearly 6 months.

“This is a nice program for students who have been out for too long,” she said, “or academically they are not where they need to be.”

The program is geared toward students who are enrolled in college courses for the fall semester. They do not have to be enrolled at ECC, Haag added.

“This is a great opportunity to brush up on their skills for the spring semester,” she explained.

Many of the students who have been utilizing the JumpStart! Programming are high school students experiencing college for the first time.

It is designed to close the skills gap between the end of traditional high school curriculum to the beginning of college, giving students a refresher and jumpstart to college at the same time.

In addition, the program is for students returning to college after they have been in the workforce for an extended period of time.

The program is also ideal for current ECC students who have not adjusted to the transition to online classes and need to repeat a course.

There are two JumpStart! programs available through the ECC Learning Center — JumpStart! English and JumpStart! Math.

The next session begins July 1 and a second session will begin Aug. 1. There is a weekly meeting with participants and tutors via Zoom.

“It is summer and a little slower, so we can tailor the class to fit individual needs,” Haag added.

According to Haag, the program also offers an introduction to incoming freshman to The Learning Center.

It also is a chance for students to learn about Canvass, a learning management platform using a digital learning environment.

JumpStart! English

The JumpStart! English program is geared toward students who have an Accuplacer score of 250-255 in reading.

The English JumpStart! Program has been designed to give students an even stronger foundation in reading and writing, not just for English classes, but also for other general college courses they may be required to take.  To learn more about JumpStart! English, contact Haag at 636-584-6688, or email Students also can email

JumpStart! Math

The JumpStart! Math program is geared toward students who have an Accuplacer score of 250-255 in Quantitative Reasoning and higher than 250 in reading on the Accuplacer test.

JumpStart! Math is designed to give students a foundation in math and the study skills essential for college-level courses.

To learn more about JumpStart! Math, contact Alison Tucker at 636-584-6660, or email Students also can email

Roster Spots, Scholarships Available for Women’s Soccer Team

June 25, 2020 | Campus News

There are still roster spots and scholarships available for the first East Central College women’s soccer team.

The ECC Falcons women’s soccer inaugural season kicks off this fall under Coach Martin Clayes.

ECC Athletic Director Dr. Jay Mehrhoff said recruiting for fall sports was stalled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

To join the team, student athletes must have graduated from high school as an incoming freshman. Sophomore players must have 24 college credit hours over a 2.0 GPA to be eligible.

“The East Central College women’s soccer team plans to compete with a full roster this fall semester,” Mehrhoff said. “As recruiting was slowed due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the team is still looking for players to finish out the roster.”

He noted that all incoming athletes will also need to have a physical examination completed by a doctor and be ready to start meetings on Aug. 4-5 with a start for practices on Aug. 11. Scholarship possibilities still exist for qualified individuals.

Women soccer players can contact Coach Clayes at to discuss the opportunity of becoming a Falcon this fall.

In December 2019, the ECC Board of Trustees voted to add women’s soccer and bring back men’s baseball to ECC’s athletic offerings.

Clayes was named the new, full-time combined men’s and women’s head soccer coach at ECC in February.

He moved from his previous position as head men’s soccer coach at St. Louis Community College, where he won the 2019 NJCAA Region 16 Men’s DI Soccer Tournament in his first year in the position.

A native of Scotland, Clayes came to the United States on a soccer scholarship to Truman State University where he was a member of the Bulldogs soccer squad during their most successful run in school history.

For more information about ECC or to apply, visit

Click below for a physical exam form.


ECC Earns MCCAC Academic Top Spot for 11th Straight Year

June 23, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College remains the top performing academic athletic department in the conference for an 11th straight year.

The Missouri Community College Athletic Conference (MCCAC) honors the highest overall grade point average from the conference with the Harold Oetting Award. ECC’s GPA was 3.18.

The recognition comes on the heels of an unprecedented transition to all on-line classwork and spring seasons that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This marks 11 straight years, 2010-2020, the ECC Athletic Department has posted the highest overall GPA in the conference.

According to ECC Athletic Director Dr. Jay Mehrhoff, the cornerstone to the academic success is the tradition set by the sophomores leading the way for the freshmen to see the path to academic success.

“Our athletic department achievements may not have had some of the championship results this past year, but our student athletes will be winners in the future, he said. “Our student athletes transfer to four year schools, graduate and successfully enter the workforce.

“Athletics are important for teaching life lessons and our student athletes gain an extra step to college completion after attending ECC,” Mehrhoff added.

True dedication to academics by the student athletes along with support provided from numerous areas on campus have been key factors to this success.  A number of student athletes have received NJCAA Academic honors with 17 student athletes receiving awards from the NJCAA with a 3.6 grade point average or higher for the 2019-2020 academic year.

All- American Honors

Listed below are the student athletes and sports they played who were named to the NJCAA Academic All-American Team.

First Team (4.0 GPA)

Kaylee Abney, softball

Makayla Bevfoden, volleyball

Gary Dunne, soccer

Mallory Feldewerth, softball

Arman Kovac, Soccer

Donald Meyer, soccer

Nicole Roper, volleyball

Leonard Sowa, soccer

Second Team (3.8 to 3.99 GPA)

Katie Gaus, softball

Danielle Kimminau, softball

Lily Warrick, volleyball

Guy Baskerville, soccer

Kaylyn McKee, softball

Third Team (3.6 to 3.79 GPA)

Stephen Akot, soccer

Flavio Santi, soccer

Maya Street, softball

Leslee Weddle, softball

Academic All-Region/Conference (3.25 GPA or higher)

Soccer — Jacob Buhr and Tanner Graef

Volleyball —Sophie Parsons, Kaley Roper, Samantha Staab and Mariah Vahlkamp

Softball — Mackenzie Altenthal, Jenna Crider, Kaili Edler, Kristyn England and Jordan Owens

Academic All-Conference (3.0 GPA or higher)

Softball — Sierra Voiles, Madelyn Webb

Volleyball — Macey Morehead

Soccer — Gabriel Pires

Trustees Extend President’s Contract

June 19, 2020 | Campus News

The East Central College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend the contract of president Dr. Jon Bauer to run through June 2023.

Trustees conducted Dr. Bauer’s evaluation, which was followed by the decision to extend his contract for an additional three years. The extension was voted on after the board’s monthly meeting Monday, June 8, during an executive session.

His previous contract was awarded in 2019 and was slated to end June 30, 2022. Dr. Bauer’s contract coincides with ECC’s fiscal year that ends June 30.

ECC Board of Trustees President Ann Hartley said the six-member board voted unanimously and “enthusiastically” in favor of Dr. Bauer’s contract extension.

“Dr. Bauer has done an outstanding job of leading ECC through the process of creating a new strategic plan and fulfilling all of the requirements for full HLC (Higher Learning Commission) accreditation,” she said.

“He has also developed and led a team of dedicated faculty and staff to create a positive and effective learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hartley added. “Dr. Bauer has demonstrated his dedication and commitment to East Central College and we feel extremely fortunate to be able to offer him this extended contract.”

Dr. Bauer completed his eighth year as ECC president this spring. He is the college’s sixth president, succeeding Donald Shook, Charles Novak, Dale Gibson, Karen Herzog and Ed Jackson.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue leading the college that I love,” he said. “Despite challenging times right in front of us, I would not want to face those challenges with anyone other than the faculty, staff, and trustees of East Central College.”

SOAR to 2024

A primary focus of Dr. Bauer over the past two years has been the SOAR to 2024 strategic plan.

In 2018, East Central College partnered with CampusWorks to help design a strategic plan. The plan was adopted by ECC Trustees in August 2019.

SOAR to 2024 sets forth five action statements: partnerships, pathways, employees, financial strength and Rolla.

  • The “Pathways” strategy focuses on developing clear academic and career pathways with personalized • support to increase enrollment and promote student success.
  • The “Partnerships” strategy focuses on strengthening partnerships with local high schools, higher education institutions and employers to drive intellectual and economic development in the region.
  • The “Employees” strategy concentrates on creating a culture of collaboration and learning to attract, retain and develop diverse and talented employees at the college.
  • The “Financial Strength” strategy puts attention on securing financial strength in order to sustain institutional viability, retain and develop diverse and talented employees.
  • Finally, expanding ECC’s presence and offerings in Rolla to enhance the college’s impact throughout the region is the mission of the “Rolla” strategy.


ECC to Receive Grant to Digitize Materials

June 16, 2020 | Campus News

In the year 2020, college libraries have become much more than just a place to borrow books. And for East Central College Library Director Lisa Farrell, her job consists of much more than just loaning books to students.

Backed by a new federal grant, Farrell will lead the charge in digitizing ECC documents, yearbooks, newspapers and other media to preserve publications and make them more accessible.

The ECC Library is among nearly 30 in the state to participate in a project to digitize publications using an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The grant was awarded to MOBIUS (Missouri Bibliographic Information User System), a consortium of libraries that share information resources, services and expertise.

“We are really excited about this,” she added. “Digitization is something we have talked about often.”

Farrell applied for the grant in February and it was awarded in May. She said ECC will be notified when the funds become available and she can begin moving forward with the project.

According to Farrell, a primary piece in the digitization plan is past editions of Cornerstone, the ECC student newspaper.

She added that she and Leigh Kellmann Kolb, assistant professor and student media advisor, have discussed many times the digitization of the student publications.

“We’ve always tossed around the idea of digitation of Cornerstone because newspaper quality doesn’t hold up,” she said. “Anytime we hear about opportunities to digitize, Cornerstone is always part of the discussion.”

ECC has previously digitized material for the 50th Anniversary celebrated in 2019, as well as yearbooks.

Farrell explained that materials, such as playbills, commencement programs and other items printed for and by ECC will be digitized for future audiences to view.  Digitization would include only the items in which ECC owns the property rights.

“I see this as a great effort to get materials beyond ECC’s doors,” Farrell said. “We will digitize items specifically with local interest.”

Grant Funds

ECC will receive funding for subscription fees to Vital, a digital repository and management system designed for universities, libraries and other institutions, with the intent to assist colleges that have not been able to digitize materials and make them available to the public.

The exact amount of the grant has not yet been determined, Farrell said.

Farrell explained that the grant will fund digitization equipment, training for staff on how to handle materials and the process to use the equipment. The training will include creating metadata so digitized material can be located online.

She added that a Digital Production Lab mentoring program will be developed to pass the skills and processes onto more ECC staff members.

Three for Free Enrollment Up 22 Percent

June 15, 2020 | Campus News

Despite a rough end to the 2019-2020 academic year for area high school students, there was still no shortage in their desire to complete college credits this summer.

East Central College again offered the Summer Three for Free Scholarship program, which this year allows students graduating in 2021 and 2022 the ability to take one course tuition-free.

There was a 22 percent increase in enrollment this year compared to the 2019 session, according to Megen Strubberg, director of early college programs.

There were 122 students enrolled this year, which is 22 more than the 100 enrolled last year.

“I am thrilled to say that we were able to increase our headcount this summer,” Strubberg said. “The promotion and success of this program is due in a large part to our area high school counselors encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity. Word of mouth among high school and homeschool parents also contributed significantly to this number.”

The intent of the program is to encourage students to continue taking dual credit classes during the summer. The program is part of an ECC strategic plan goal to increase opportunities for college credit for students in the community.

The Three for Free program provides students with a chance to take one tuition-free summer course. The name of the program suggests only classes worth three credit hours are available, but the program applies up to a five credit hour course, Strubberg added.

Students are encouraged by the Early College Programs office to take CORE 42 courses, which are state-approved general education courses that will transfer to any public institution in Missouri.

This is the second year of the program that provides an additional opportunity for students who do not have access to traditional financial aid.

Students were only responsible for general fees, which were $22 per credit hour, plus books.

Free Digital Books

ECC is also continuing its initiative to offer additional open educational resources for students by way of free digital textbooks, so many of these students in the Three For Free program had an added bonus of free course materials and only paid $66  total.

Free digital textbooks are only offered for select courses at this time, but the plan is to increase this effort. Additionally, students who are still in high school qualify for the dual enrollment rate of $51 per credit hour, which is half of the regular in-district tuition of $102. That rate does increase to $53.00, beginning with the fall 2020 term.

In addition to offering the Three for Free program to reduce the financial burden on students, the college also waived online fees for students this summer.

Enrollment for the summer program is now closed. However, students interested in taking dual enrollment courses during the school year, around their current high school and home school schedules, are always welcome.

Fall registration is already underway. For more information, please contact Strubberg at or 636-584-6723.

ECC Distributes CARES Act Funds to Students

June 11, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College has been facilitating the disbursement of federal funds for ECC students impacted economically by the Covid-19 pandemic.

An emergency grant program has been created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The college received $825,661 for students, a portion of which already has been distributed.

The federal legislation was approved in April to aid students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Many students have encountered financial challenges due to COVID-19, and CARES Act funding assists with food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses.

The ECC financial aid office has sent text messages and emails to eligible students and also started a phone call campaign to reach students.

The number of students eligible for the CARES Act funding is 1,323, which is determined by the federal government, however, that number could change.

For eligible students, the awards will appear in the student self-service portal at

The funds will be disbursed to students through direct deposit into bank accounts and students are urged to check their address and banking information on file at ECC.

Students who have not signed up for direct deposit can do so by going to and clicking on “eCentral” and then “Financial Information.” The funds will not be available to pick up in person.

ECC is required to report information about distributions on its website at

Any questions from students should be directed to the ECC Financial Aid Office at 636- 584-6588 or

ECC Adjunct’s Performance Featured on CBS Morning Show

June 11, 2020 | Campus News

Kelly Austermann, D.M.A., wasn’t sure what to expect when she submitted a video of herself performing “Abblasen,” the theme song of CBS Sunday Morning, to the television program staff.

Austermann, an East Central College music adjunct instructor and professional musician, said a friend from grad school shared with her a video of himself being featured playing the song on a French horn.

The video of her friend was on the CBS Sunday Morning Facebook page about a month ago, she said.

“I saw it and realized that CBS Sunday Morning was asking viewers to submit videos of themselves performing the opening ‘Abblasen’ theme,” Austermann added. “They were featuring one new video every single morning on their Facebook and Twitter pages.”

Because she is a fan of the show, Austermann made the video of herself performing “Abblasen” on the clarinet.

View the video of Kelly Austermann performing “Abblasen”

“I’ve always been a fan of the show because it’s not your typical news show.  It focuses on human interest stories like the arts, science, nature, unique attractions, and the list goes on,” she said.

“I decided to make a video because of my love for the show and because I had suddenly found myself with a ton of extra free time while sheltering-in-place.”

Austermann emailed the program a video she made with her cell phone but she did not get a response for about one month.

She noted that she expected the video to appear on a CBS Sunday Morning Facebook or Twitter feed.

“I kept checking the Facebook page each morning to see if they had posted my video,” Austermann said.

On May 28, Austermann received a phone call from a CBS Sunday Morning producer asking her how to pronounce her last name because they were going to air her video on the actual televised broadcast, May 31.

The producer told Austermann that Jane Pauley, CBS Sunday Morning host, was recording at that moment and she needed to know the pronunciation immediately.

“I was in a state of disbelief that they had selected me for national television,” Austermann said. “I had sent the video hoping that I might make just the online platforms of Facebook and Twitter.  I never imagined they would select my video to be aired nationally on the actual show!”

About Austermann

Austermann teaches Music Appreciation, Fundamentals of Music, and History of Jazz at ECC, as well as, St. Louis Community College and Jefferson College.

In addition to being a music educator, Austermann is a performing clarinetist and scholar.

She has performed with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, the Gateway Festival Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Fountain Hills Chamber Players, the AKME Clarinet Duo, Casella Sinfonietta, the Saint Louis Wind Symphony, the Vintage Brass Band, the Queens of Swing, El Monstero, and the Lettermen.

She can be heard in solo clarinet passages on the Grammy-nominated CD, Fireworks! released under the Equilibrium label and on In This Hid Clearing released under the Naxos label.

Austermann has extensive teaching experience with students of all ages and ability levels.  She currently maintains a private studio of clarinet and saxophone students.  She is professor of clarinet and saxophone at ECC and teaches clarinet at Jefferson College.

Austermann is also the clarinet instructor for the band programs of the Mehlville, Fox, and Parkway West school districts where she teaches private lessons, coaches chamber music, and provides sectional instruction.

She received her Bachelors of Music from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her Masters of Music from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University.

ECC Cancels Summer Musical ‘GRITS’

June 8, 2020 | Campus News Performing Arts

This summer’s performance of “Grits: The Musical” at East Central College has been canceled.

The musical was scheduled for July 23-26 in the John Anglin Performing Arts Center.

According to Robyn Walter, ECC vice president of academic affairs, several factors led to the decision, including the health and safety of audience members, performers and staff due to COVID-19.

“We believe canceling the show is in the best interest to promote public health and safety during our phased-in reopening approach,” she said.

For more information call the box office at 636-584-6693, or email ECC Box Office Manager Shannon Penrod at

“GRITS The Musical” is based on the book “GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) Friends Are Forevah” and it was to be directed by John Anglin.