Month: April 2022

ECC Highest Transfer GPA in State Among Community Colleges

April 27, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College students transferring to four-year colleges and universities in Missouri have the highest Grade Point Average among all community college in the state.

According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD), students who began taking courses at ECC in the 2019-20 school year, and then transferred to four-year schools, have a median cumulative GPA of 3.44, higher than any other community college in Missouri.

The 3.44 GPA is based only on full-time students who earned 12 or more credit hours at ECC. There are 265 students who fit the criteria.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said that is a strong indicator that ECC is preparing students well for the next step in their educational path.

“This is a testament to our exemplary faculty who, year after year, set our students up for success,” he said. “To see how well our students are performing after transferring to the many other colleges and universities in Missouri also proves the high-quality programming we offer at ECC.”

The DHEWD studies furthers shows that 81.5 percent, or 216, of those transfer students were still enrolled at a four-year as of fall 2021 — also a very strong metric for ECC.

The continued enrollment percentage is the third highest among all two-year colleges in Missouri.

PTK Collects Snacks for Military Units Overseas

April 27, 2022 | Campus News

The Chi Delta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at East Central College in Union collected snacks and donations to purchase items for U.S. troops serving overseas.

ECC students, employees and community members all generously chipped in to provide snacks, card games, word puzzles and more to the military members. United States. Packages will be sent to three different locations. The packages go to a unit, not just a troop.

“PTK is humbled to be part of this experience and proud of our ECC community for the support that it has shown for our troops,” said Sarah Mier, PTK Chapter president. “This is a small way we can say thank you for the sacrifice that they give for us.

“Thank you to all our service members and veterans,” she added.

In the photo commemorating the collection, PTK members and advisors wore “#22” shirts to raise awareness for veterans, Mier said.

“On average, 22 veterans a day sadly make the decision to take their own life,” Mier commented. “We are wearing these shirts to bring awareness to this devastating issue and let the veterans at ECC know that they are not alone, if they are struggling there is hope and help.”

Any veteran who is struggling can call the veterans crisis line at 800-273-8255 and press 1.

Learn more about PTK and to find contact information for advisors.

Work of ECC Art and Design Students on Display in Gallery

April 25, 2022 | Art Campus News

The work of East Central College art and design students is on display now in the ECC Art Gallery.

The annual showcase is an opportunity for the college staff, faculty, students and the community to see the works of ECC art students, according to Jennifer Higerd, assistant professor of art and gallery curator.

The show began April 20 and will run through May 4. A reception will be held April 28 from 5-7 p.m. in the Gallery.

“The works in the show are chosen from numerous entries and they were selected because of the quality of the works and the ideas engaged in the work,” Higerd said. “We invite everyone to come join us to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our students.”

She added that the art faculty selected the works to be on display, and an outside judge – Michael Behle, artist and art professor at the university of Missouri-St. Louis – chose the best works in each category, as well as the Best in Show award.

The awards will be presented during the reception Thursday.

Students with work in the show are:

Abby Stanfield, Ash Dodson, Blake Rodgers, Bobby Claspill, Caleb Brinker, Carolyn Horst, Carter Hanse, Charity Reynolds, Chloe Eades, Emily Knoppe, Emma Brown, Emma Lombardino;

Joe McCary, Kimberlee Clements-Thompson, Kylee Perriman, Kylee Vawter, Lacy Buchanan, Madison Barbarick, Manny McQueen, Mary Bequette;

Megan Pritchard, Milo Guile, Miriam Bondor, Paige Pelster, Parker Williamson, Sage Sparkman, Sara Carter and Travis Gatlin.

Trustees Approve ECC Faculty Promotions

April 20, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Five East Central College faculty members have been promoted in rank.

The ECC Board of Trustees approved recommendations by the college’s rank and promotion committee. The new rank goes into effect in the Fall 2022 semester.

Listed below are the faculty members approved for promotion, their current rank and the rank when the promotion goes into effect:

  • Ellen Aramburu — instructor, assistant professor
  • Nathan Esbeck— instructor, assistant professor
  • Lisa Hanneken — instructor, assistant professor
  • Dr. Rachel Howard — instructor, assistant professor
  • Leigh Kolb — assistant professor, associate professor

Faculty members must follow a process to be promoted in rank, including the submission of an application to seek promotion. The application is then reviewed by the ECC Rank and Promotion Committee.

The committee reviews all submitted portfolios and makes a recommendation to the college vice president of academic affairs and the college president for a final decision. The process is rigorous, and promotion is not automatic.

“Community Colleges May Be Our Best Idea”

April 16, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

By Jon Bauer, Ph.D., President, East Central College

Our national parks have been called America’s best idea. Others would argue that idea best belongs to the Declaration of Independence. Nope, has to be jazz. Wrong again…. definitely baseball.

Might I add another to the list? Community colleges may be our best idea.

Who has done more than the American community college to level the playing field and change lives? What has impacted our communities and country more than broad access to the best system of higher education in the world?

Our roots stretch back over 100 years, but it was in the last half of the 20th Century that community colleges truly exploded on the scene.

We can thank a Missourian. President Harry Truman did not invent the community college. But in 1947 he called for a system of community colleges that would serve students across the country. States like Missouri took up the challenge and the movement exploded. We opened a new community college at a pace of once a week—including East Central Junior College in 1968.

Today, we serve students ranging from the traditional high school graduate to the adult learning to reenter the workforce. Our doors are open for everyone.

Certainly, we continue to serve the recent high school graduate, many of whom are planning to start with a community college and transfer to a baccalaureate institution.

But we also remain the college of choice for adult learners. At East Central College, 43 percent of our students are 20 or older, including students in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. Often, we are the only choice, a role we embrace.

Today we are serving more students who are younger than the college student of the past. One out of five students at ECC is under 18. Who needs to wait for high school graduation? Not only do we serve students in traditional dual credit classes offered in high school, but today we have students from four high schools on our campus in the Early College Academy.

These students are full-time Falcons, and still involved with high school activities. This spring we will see the first of the ECA students graduate from ECC. By the fate of the calendar, they will actually cross our stage as graduates before earning their high school diploma a few weeks later.

For some students, college is even more unique. Students in our Campus Connections program are enrolled both at East Central and Missouri S&T in Rolla. Many are using their A+ benefit for most of their courses while taking others from S&T in preparation for eventual transfer as a full-time Miner. As freshmen and sophomores, these students benefit from both institutions at the same time.

Our students cover the socioeconomic spectrum. Many are the first in their family to go to college, others are the latest in their family to attend East Central. Most of our students are working, many are parents, all have a dream.

Community colleges serve more and more students in Missouri. For the first time ever, more first-time, full-time undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges than four-year institutions in the state. That’s smart. Our students learn from highly experienced faculty who are devoted to teaching. Students save money—those with the most need have no cost—and move on well prepared for what comes next.

And there’s more. Many in our community are enrolled at East Central in non-credit programs. Across the United States there are over 1 million unique postsecondary credentials. Obviously, this includes traditional college degrees. But these credentials also include certificates, badges, licenses, and more. Community colleges work closely with employers to train, retrain, upskill, retool, and otherwise enhance the workforce in our region. Last year, approximately 800 individuals participated in customized training, incumbent worker, or apprenticeship programs at East Central. This is yet another dimension of the community college mission.

That’s a lot. But I’ve only touched on a portion of our story. Community college means athletics, the arts, student clubs, films and lectures, and more. Our campus is used primarily for teaching and learning, but also for voting, vaccinations, music contests, community meetings, concerts, theatre, even a farmers market.

April is Community College Month. I will spend each day—30 in all—touting on social media the reasons I love community colleges.  My challenge is not finding 30 reasons to love community colleges. The challenge is deciding what I’ll need to leave out until next year.  As I reflect daily on another reason I love East Central specifically, and community colleges in general, I’m increasingly convinced we are more vital today than we were even two years ago. Our students and communities need us.

Community colleges are indeed our best idea.

ECC’s Marketing Team Receives Gold Award at National Conference

April 14, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

The East Central College Marketing team was recognized nationally with the 2021 Gold Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) at the council’s conference in Denver in March.

The award, for “Successful Recruitment or Marketing Program,” celebrates the marketing team’s efforts on the Finish Your Investment (FYI) recruitment program.

ECC’s FYI initiative provided a step-by-step guide for former students to finish what they started and earn a college degree.

There were 742 former students targeted during the initiative through postcards, social media and digital ad campaigns, print advertising and through the ECC website.

Director of Communications and Marketing Gregg Jones said the marketing campaign was multi-faceted and involved everyone on the communications team.

“That is what makes this award meaningful and noteworthy,” he said. “Through traditional advertising, digital ad creation, writing and our website, our entire team created a marketing campaign that resonated with people in the community.”Finish Your Investment

Jones added that a key element to the FYI initiative is that it was successful in its goal to reach former students who returned to finish their investment.

Under the degree reclamation program, 39 students “auto graduated” due to the number of credit hours they already had obtained. Another 31 students applied for admission; 20 enrolled in courses, five of whom earned a degree.

Jones attributed the success of FYI to the hard work of many ECC employees who contributed to the planning and implementation of the initiative.

Marketing Team/NCMPR

ECC’s communication and marketing team is comprised of Vice President of External Relations Joel Doepker, former External Relations Executive Administrative Assistant Hannah Masek, Coordinator of Web Services Andy Kolb, Multimedia Specialist Amanda Studdard, and Jones.

The team has grown in the past 6 months to include graphic designer Cole LaPlant, and student worker Abby Stanfield. Former staff member Sara Padgett also contributed to team projects over the past year.

The NCMPR is the leading professional development association exclusively serving those working in communication at two-year community and technical colleges.

Gold, silver, and bronze Paragon Awards are presented to two-year colleges across the nation by the NCMPR.

The 2021 Paragon Awards drew 1,719 entries from 232 colleges across the country and was judged by nearly 70 professionals from the marketing and public relations industry. Entries stretched from coast to coast and from Vancouver, Canada, to Florida.

NCMPR provides professional development opportunities, advocates on behalf of the profession and the institutions it serves, and recognizes professional excellence. NCMPR has more than 1,700 members from nearly 650 colleges across the United States and Canada.

Finish Your Investment

PTK at ECC in Union Inducts 57 Members this Spring

April 12, 2022 | Campus News

This spring, 57 members have been inducted into the Chi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at East Central College in Union.

The chapter held its annual Spring New Member Induction Ceremony in March, with guest speaker Amber Dietrich, the chapter president in 2019-2020.

Dietrich was a Distinguished Chapter Officer for the Missouri Region in 2020. In 2019, she was a Distinguished Chapter Member at both the Regional (state) and international levels.

There were 16 new members, with guests, who attended the induction ceremony, making the total number of attendees about 100, according to Kevin Dixon, PTK advisor of the Chi Delta Chapter.

Students must have at least a 3.4 GPA and be a full-time student for one semester to be invited into PTK. Members must then maintain an overall GPA of 3.2 once they are inducted into the honor society.

There are more students who have been invited to join but haven’t yet, Dixon said. Those students can still do so through the end of the year.

Membership is open to all majors throughout the college, including anyone working toward a degree or certificate.

To learn more about PTK and to find contact information for advisors, visit

Listed below are the new members followed by their hometown:

Katherine Angell, Gerald; Cooper Beckett, Sullivan; Cheyenna Birkmann, Union; Miriam Bondor, Labadie; Blair Bowers, New Haven; Chelsey Bray, Belle; Brayden Brown, Berger; Jillian Brown, Cuba; Annika Brunner, Washington; Michael Buhr, Washington; Hannah Campbell, Sullivan.

Wesley Corum, Leslie; Samuel Duncan, Washington; Alexis Emily, Potosi; Julio Gonzalez, Union; Morgan Green, Herculaneum; Alexis Ham, Bourbon; Carly Hamlyn, Labadie; Madison Hawkins, Washington; Tyler Heidbrink, Owensville; Alyssa Helms, Union; Zachary Hoelscher, Warrenton; Allison Huddleston, Marthasville; Brooklyn Hyatt, St. Clair; Casey Klein, Washington.

Riley Klekamp, New Haven; Zachary McCabe, Wildwood; Kelsey McPherson, Union; Ian Meyer, Union; Madison Meyer, Marthasville; Raeleigh Miller, Sullivan; Brandon Mitchell, Villa Ridge; Ruby Mitchell, Union; Austin Moore, Grubville; Cheyenne Moore, St. Clair; Kalie Mullings, Warrenton; Kaitlynn Myers, Leslie; Benjamin Oberlies, Washington; Josie Obermark, Washington.

Paige Pelster, Union; Gavin Pickard, Union; Victoria Plocinski, New Haven; Jayde Roettgers, Washington; Katie Rushing, Washington; Madelyn Ruszala, Pacific; Kiley Sanders, St. Clair; Tony Schwartz, Washington; Dylan Smith, Robertsville; Macie Steffens, Washington; Emma Thomas, Union; Justin Todd, Pacific; Adam Vancil, Union; Elijah Waters, Rosebud; Alysha Willis, St. Clair; Allison Wilson, Berger; Melissa Winters, Warrenton; and David Wysong, Sullivan.

‘Beyond Boundaries’ Opens Door to More Degree Options for ECC, JeffCo, MAC

April 11, 2022 | Campus News

Students in the Mineral Area College, Jefferson College and East Central College districts now have access to more degree options without additional costs.

That’s thanks to a new “Beyond Boundaries” partnership which allows for students in those neighboring districts to work toward a degree in select programs at in-district tuition costs.

The agreement — signed during Community College Month — is a partnership through the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA). Beyond Boundaries will go into effect this fall.

The presidents of East Central College, Dr. Jon Bauer; Jefferson College, Dr. Dena McCaffrey; and Mineral Area College, Dr. Joe Gilgour, inked the agreement Wednesday, April 6, at the MCCA office in Jefferson City.

“I’m very excited to clear more paths for students,” Bauer said. “By collaborating in this way, we continue to show how community colleges are the best value in higher education.”

He added that he appreciates the amount of work put into the Beyond Boundaries partnership.

“We are indebted to our chief academic officers for developing this landmark agreement,” Bauer said.

The new partnership benefits residents in each of the districts by boosting access to higher education and increasing degree options, according to Gilgour.

“This collaborative program between these community colleges will improve access, affordability and opportunities for students seeking career pathways that are not currently offered by their in-district college,” he said.

Some of degree options that will become available under the Beyond Boundaries partnership are ECC’s culinary arts program, MAC’s law enforcement program and the veterinarian technician program at Jefferson College.

According to McCaffrey, graduates of those programs help lead to a more robust workforce in the region.

“This is an exciting initiative that will provide quality-learning experiences to prepare students for jobs that are in demand,” she said.

“The heart of this initiative is about harnessing the collective expertise and capacity of community colleges to improve access, affordability, and flexibility for those seeking one of several career pathways not currently offered by their in-district college,” McCaffrey added.

Beyond Boundaries Programs

When the program launches this fall, students in the MAC district will pay in-district tuition rates for music, culinary arts, radiologic technology and veterinarian technology programs at Jefferson College; and music and culinary arts at ECC.

Jefferson College students will pay in-district tuition for building construction, industrial engineering technology and agricultural pathway programs at ECC; and engineering technology-Design/drafting and industrial maintenance programs at MAC.

Students at ECC will benefit from Beyond Boundaries by paying in-district tuition for law enforcement program at both MAC and Jefferson College.; as well as physical therapy assistant and veterinary technology programs at Jefferson College.

To contact the colleges, call or email: Mineral Area College at 573-518-2228, or; Jefferson College at 636-481-3235, or; East Central at 636-584-6588, or

From left are presidents of Dr. Jon Bauer, East Central College president; Dr. Dena McCaffrey, Jefferson College president; and Dr. Joe Gilgour, Mineral Area College president, who signed the Beyond Boundaries Partnership April 6 at the Missouri Community College Association office in Jefferson City. Through the partnership, signed during Community College Month, students will pay in-district tuition at the partnership districts for courses in degree programs not available at their home college.

ECC Recognizes Employees for Years of Service

April 5, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Each year, East Central College recognizes the hard work and commitment of its employees during the Annual Service Awards Recognition banquet.

The banquet, held on March 31, is an opportunity to show that the college values the employee’s dedication to students’ needs and educational goals, and to the community ECC serves.

The service award banquet also is an opportunity for administrators ­to individually recognize each employee and the work that they do for the college and students.

This year’s annual banquet honored those who have been with ECC for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 45 years.

“The ECC board of trustees and I are deeply appreciative of the dedicated faculty and staff at the College,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president.

The ECC Culinary Department provided dinner and service for award winners and their guests.

Service Award Winners:

45 Years — Dr. Robert Mahon.


30 Years — Sharon Hays.

20 Years — Pictured, from left, are Karen KlosMiguel De Aguero, Debra Simily, Russell Henderson, and Melissa Popp.

15 Years — Pictured, from left, are Alice Whalen,  Melanie Dixon, Anne Lause, Ellen Aramburu, Christina Ayres, Wendy Hartman and Dr. Elizabeth Winters-Rozema. Not pictured area Sheila Flynn and Cynthia Maune.

10 Years — Front row, from left, are Gail Witt and Dr. Isaiah Kellogg.

Back row, from left, are Nathan Esbeck, Megen Strubberg and Lisa Mathes-Peters. Not pictured are Julie Apperson, Timothy Gray and Donna Kennedy.

5 Years — Front row, from left, are Cynthia Brinker, Naomi Joyce, Jenifer Goodson, Pamela Kaiser and Lisa Hanneken.

Back row, from left, Amanda Studdard, Amy DeMiere, Annette Moore, Brenda Driemeyer, Laura Hemker and Jon Noelker. Not pictured are Kimberly Aguilar, Susan Altemeyer, David DeArmond,  Sarah Haines, Raphael Maurice and Kirby Moreland.

ECC Graduation Rate Continues to Rise

April 1, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

In the past 10 years, East Central College has more than doubled its graduation rate, from 19 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2021.

“I’m very proud of our continued efforts to graduate more students every year,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, president of East Central College. “Students are receiving a quality education in a timely manner that enables them to transfer to a four-year institution, or immediately enter the workforce.”

The graduation rate has steadily improved since 2014 — with an 18 percent graduation rate — to a 29 percent graduation rate in 2018, to the current graduation rate of 40 percent.

The 2021 graduation rate is based on the first-time, full-time cohort of students who began in the 2018 fall semester.

There have been multiple factors contributing to the increased graduation rate, including the implementation of a guided pathways model, which outlines specific courses students should take based on their degree plan.

In addition, the guided pathway model ensures students understand that there is a clear pathway to their educational goals. That is accomplished through a stronger connection with local school districts regarding dual credit options, and placement into the correct and appropriate classes.

The ECC advisement team develops a report weekly to identify when students register for courses that are outside of their academic programs, helping to keep students on target.