Month: October 2022


ECC Celebrating International Education Week, Festival on Nov. 19

October 31, 2022 | Art Campus News Film and Lecture Series

International Week (IEW) is Nov. 14-18 this year, and for East Central College, the celebration continues to Saturday, Nov. 19, with International Festival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Café Central.

IEW began in 2000 under President Bill Clinton to celebrate the benefits of cultural and academic exchange programs around the world. IEW promotes how international education programs prepare Americans for a global environment and invite the world’s future leaders to exchange ideas.

Throughout the week, there will be activities, such as a virtual escape room or scavenger hunt, with an international theme. There will be drawings for winners for each of these activities.
Also, photo backdrops will be around campus where students and employees snap photos at locations “around the world.” Students and employees can send photos to Ellen Aramburu at, and Gregg Jones at, to be shared on social media.

Monday, Nov. 14

Flag walk —10:50 a.m., International students invited to display their home country’s flag during a parade. Location to be determined (weather permitting).

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Snack & Stories — 1 p.m. in Café Central. International students will share a little about their experience studying outside their country.

Guest Speaker, artist Ria Unson — She will present on “Filipinos at the 1904 World’s Fair: A Legacy of Race and Empire” at 3 p.m. In Hansen Hall 286 lecture hall. This presentation is open to the public.
*See more information below about speaker and topic.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

Snack & Stories — 1 p.m. in Café Central. International students will share a little about their experience studying outside their country.

Film & Lecture Series — 6 p.m., ECC Theatre showing of “¡Viva Maestro!”

Thursday, Nov. 17

International Candy Bar — 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., (or while supplies last) candy from around the world will be available in the Buescher Hall Lobby.

Saturday, Nov. 19

International Festival — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Café Central. Performances by Grupo Atlántico and Chinese Dance Group. There will be country booths, origami, landmark backdrops, international dress display, map puzzles, international story time, and more.

*About the Speaker, Ria Unson

Ria Unson is a Filipino American artist in St. Louis. She was born in the Philippines and emigrated to the U.S. at age 13. Unbeknownst to her, Ria’s great grandfather was brought to the 1904 World’s Fair after the American colonization of the Philippines. By sheer coincidence (or destiny) she moved to the historic neighborhood that once housed the Philippine Exhibit at the fair. Her work explores the continuing legacies of imperialism on identity, migration, and culture. Unson’s art will be in the permanent collection of the History Museum for the 120th anniversary of the Fair.

“Filipinos at the 1904 World’s Fair: A Legacy of Race and Empire”

One of the most popular attractions at the 1904 World’s Fair was the Philippine Exhibit, a 47-acre site that for nine months became home to over 1,000 people on display.

Unson traces the legacy of the fair as a descendant of one of those people.

Learn about how the image of Filipinos constructed at the fair was a method used to gain support for American imperialism and to domesticate the immigrant workers of St. Louis.


High School Students Invited to Learn About STEM Careers

October 28, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College and Missouri S&T faculty members are gearing up for the Math & Science Career Night.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, high school students from the area are invited to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ECC and S&T degrees and pathways to careers. The event is in the ECC Theatre in Hansen Hall from 6-8:30 p.m.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Alison Tucker, STEM recruitment and success coordinator at or 636-584-6677.

Students will hear first-hand accounts of what it’s like to work in the STEM field and hear about the careers of tomorrow. They also will get advice on what classes to take in high school to best prepare them for STEM degrees in college. Parents also are invited to attend.

Students will receive a free Math & Science Career Night T-shirt and there will be several door prizes, including a Texas Instruments TI-84 calculator.

ECC and Missouri S&T faculty in STEM fields — ranging from engineering to biology, and much more — will be on hand to talk with students about their interests and potential career fields.

“STEM Career Night gives students an opportunity to mingle with faculty and students in a variety of STEM programs,” said Alison Tucker, STEM recruitment and success coordinator. “ECC and S&T have had a strong relationship for over 40 years including hosting this event for over 23 years.

“We understand students and parents appreciate the chance to ask questions and learn how to be best prepared for a STEM career path no matter where they transfer.”

Following is the schedule for Math and Science Career Night:

Meet and explore fields
6- 7 p.m.

7-7:10 p.m.

ECC admissions
7:10 to 7:20 p.m.

ECC STEM programs and transfer
7:20 to 7:30 p.m.

Missouri S&T admissions
7:30 to 7:45 p.m.



ECC President Calls for Leadership Council

October 27, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer is calling for local government, school and industry leaders to come to the table to carve out a vision of the future of Franklin County and the region.

Specifically, Bauer called for the formation of a Leadership Council in his address to officials of local cities during the Franklin Count Municipal League (FCML) dinner Oct. 19 in Union.

“We have a generational opportunity to shape our future and East Central College is all in with you to ensure that future is the one we want for our stakeholders and our community,” he said.

Bauer noted that the college was formed 50 years ago to meet many community needs. Over the past five decades, ECC has fulfilled its obligation to the community, and much more — and now is the time to look ahead to the next 50 years.

“I believe this is as pivotal and impactful a time, as it was over 50 years ago when we decided as a community that we wanted a college here,” he said. “Decisions that the college and our communities make today will chart the course for the next 50 years — I have no doubt about that. Our actions or inactions will determine our future.”

Bauer explained that many areas in the region can be positively impacted today, and in the future, by the actions community leaders take now.

“We are working every day to identify and demolish barriers to the college dream. These are barriers of cost, food insecurity, childcare, housing,” he said. “In some cases, the solution rests with us at East Central. In some cases, we need public-private partnerships. In still others, we need the collaboration of our schools and public sector partners, including the county and cities.

“Public, private, city, county, school, college,” Bauer continued. “We are one community. We are leaders with a responsibility to serve.”

Bauer’s proposition includes business leaders and the largest employers in the area, like Ameren Missouri and Mercy.

“We have industries crying out to fill jobs. We have hospitals in critical need of more nurses and other licensed professionals. We have students who want to attend college but can’t afford childcare,” he said.

“Until every job is filled, until we can turn out as many graduates as we need, until we can serve every student who has their dream of going to college fulfilled, our work is not done and we are not doing enough.

“This is a competitive environment. If we only stand still, we will get passed by,” he said.


Former Student Returns to ECC to Follow His Dream

October 18, 2022 | Alumni Spotlight Campus News

Austin Gildehaus knew as a student at St. Francis Borgia High School that he wanted to be a teacher one day.

He enrolled in classes at East Central College shortly after high school graduation in 2014, dual credit hours in tow, Gildehaus started on his path toward a degree in education.

“My journey through ECC was not a traditional one,” Gildehaus said. “I started right out of high school as many students do. But after a few semesters, life took me on a different route, and I dropped out.”

But that wasn’t the last time that he would attend classes at ECC. Gildehaus learned, through the help of ECC employees, that a degree wasn’t far off.

Returning to Class

Gildehaus was posed with a difficult family situation, and he left college after three semesters to take a full-time job at a local factory.

He was in the workforce for several years, but he wasn’t satisfied with the work he was doing.

About one year ago, Gildehaus mentioned to his friend, Phillip Giacomelli, that he wasn’t working his dream job and wanted to see what else was out there for him.

Giacomelli, an early college and admissions advisor at ECC, introduced Gildehaus to Sarah Haines, who had just been named the Occupational Navigator at ECC’s new Falcon Career Center. Gildehaus was the first student that Haines worked with in the new position at ECC.

She examined Gildehaus’ records and saw that he was six credit hours shy of an associate degree.

“I knew I wanted to eventually finish my degree. When I found out I was that close to graduating, I was beyond ecstatic,” Gildehaus said. “That’s when I learned, it is never too late to finish your degree!”

Giacomelli, who has held several roles in education, helped his friend find a job in the classroom, and encouraged Gildehaus to continue his journey in higher education.

“He decided to pursue a career in classroom teaching and fulfill his dream that he’d thought was so far out of reach,” Giacomelli said. “Little did he know, it wasn’t far. He’d already taken so many steps to help pave the way.”

Dream Restored

Gildehaus, with his dream resurrected, graduated with an Associate in Liberal Studies Degree in the Summer of 2022, about eight years after starting at the College.

Today he is working as a paraprofessional in Wright City with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Gildehaus’ journey shows that education, determination and never giving up can help one reach their dreams — even if it takes longer than expected.

“My goal when I graduated high school was to become a high school Algebra teacher,” he said. “I started ECC with a few credit hours through dual credit options in high school…  and over the course of eight years, off and on, I was able to graduate!”

Learn more about ECC’s Falcon Career Center and find contact information for our Academic Advising team.


ECC Nursing Students Hold Clinical Orientation Day

October 17, 2022 | Campus News

For the first-year East Central College nursing students, last week’s Clinical Orientation Day was a major step in their journey into the health care field.

The students were in full uniform Tuesday, Oct. 11, to start clinicals — a vital, hands-on portion of the nursing program curriculum.

This is the first semester in the ECC Nursing program for these students, who were photographed during their Fundamentals of Nursing course.

The classroom and clinical components of the curriculum are interrelated to provide a strong background for students to become safe and competent practitioners.

ECC offers two programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing, which prepare students to become registered nurses.

To learn more about the ECC Nursing program, visit, or email Nancy Mitchell, Director of Nursing and Dean of Health Science, at


ECC Welding Students Earn AWS Certificates

October 17, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Fourteen East Central College welding students recently earned their American Welding Society (AWS) certificates for receiving high marks on unit assessments.

The college’s welding program uses online AWS learning platform for lecture and lab classes. The students who score a 90 percent or higher on their unit assessments earn a certificate. They can earn certificates for each of the unit assessments, which are Welding Safety, Oxy-Fuel Cutting, Plasma Cutting and Carbon Arc Cutting.

Listed below are the type of certificate, followed by the students who received them:

Safety in Welding — James Baxter, Holly Downey, Seth Fennessey, Justin Medlock, Brady Neely, Eli Radcliff, Zachary Regot and Cole Vance.

Oxy-Fuel Cutting — Sadie Miller and James Baxter.

Plasma Arc Cutting — Sadie Miller and Brady Neely.

Carbon Arc Cutting — James Baxter, Holly Downey, Seth Fennessey, Macey Hargrove, Justin Medlock, Sadie Miller, Brady Neely, Eli Radcliff, Zachary Regot, Erica Stockell and Cole Vance.

“These students have worked extremely hard to earn these certificates,” said Bobby Bland, welding program coordinator. “Most of our students have full-time jobs working 8-10 hours a day, and then come to class for 5 1/2 hours. They still show up every single evening, on time and with a smile, excited to learn.”

The students each recently completed the Welding I course as they work toward an ECC Certificate of Specialization.

“I cannot tell our community how much dedication, sacrifice, hard work and concentration these welding students have,” Bland added. “I would hire every single student that completes the welding program just for that reason alone.”

He further added that during the 16-week Fast Track Welding program, students experience rigorous training through lecture and real-world experience in the welding labs.

“Our students are ready for any task that comes their way and the unit certificates earned through AWS brings value to the students making them more marketable in the industry,” Bland commented.

For more information about the ECC welding program, visit


ECC Grads Receive rootEd Alliance Transfer Scholarships

October 11, 2022 | Alumni Spotlight Campus News ECC Rolla

Two East Central College Class of 2022 graduates are recipients of a rootEd Alliance Transfer Scholarship that is helping them fund their four-year degrees.

The rootEd Alliance partners with the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis to award new scholarships to undergraduate and transfer students from rural Missouri, filling critical gaps in students’ financial aid packages to help ensure they graduate debt-free. The rootEd Undergraduate Scholarship is a renewable grant of up to $12,000 per academic year.

David Wysong, Sullivan, received the maximum grant available for this academic year.

Wysong graduated from ECC with an Associate of Arts degree with a Business emphasis. He received $12,000 — $6,000 each semester — to help pay for classes at the University of Missouri. Columbia.

He is a business major with plans to seek a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

“I was surprised to be selected,” Wysong said. “This is a great opportunity and one less thing to stress about for me and my family.

“I will get a bachelor’s degree for almost no cost,” he added.

Michael Adkison, of the Labadie area, received $10,000, split evenly between the Fall and Spring semesters, to help him pay for tuition at Missouri State University in Springfield where he is studying sports medicine.

Adkison graduated from ECC with an Associate of Arts degree with a STEM emphasis. He aspires to be a physical therapist.

“I am very grateful for this award and that it will make it easier for me to strive to be the best physical therapist in the future,” he said. “I am forever thankful for the rootEd Alliance.”

Over the past four years, rootEd Alliance has provided dedicated support to students from rural areas and small towns across Missouri as they pursue their education beyond high school.

The organization does so, in part, through providing funding and resources for student success advisors in high schools and community colleges, and through creating opportunities, like the rootEd Alliance Transfer Scholarships.

Students transferring from any community college in Missouri, who also graduated from a rural high school in Missouri over the past five years, are eligible for the rootEd Scholarship.

Class or 2023 graduates can begin applying for the scholarship in the spring.

For more information, visit, or call ECC at 636-584-6588.


College President to Chair State Higher Ed Advisory Committee

October 7, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer recently was named the chairperson of the state’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) Presidential Advisory Committee.

In that role, Bauer will be the voice of presidents and chancellors of community colleges and four-year institutions to the CBHE. The CBHE oversees the state’s Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development.

“This is an opportunity to advise the state board on matters that directly impact East Central, community colleges, and high education in general across the state,” Bauer said. “I am thankful for this opportunity to serve.”

Bauer will be Advisory Committee chair for two years. Kristin Sobolik, chancellor of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was appointed as vice chair of the committee.

The Presidential Advisory Committee consists of 32 members – the president, chancellor or chief administrative officer of each of the community colleges, and the public four-year colleges and universities in Missouri.

Also on the committee is the president of State Technical College, as well as representatives from privately supported college and universities, according to state statute.


ECC Enrollment Up for Third Consecutive Semester

October 6, 2022 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Enrollment at East Central College is up this fall, bucking the national trend of declining enrollment among public colleges and universities.

The number of credit hours taken by ECC students is 3 percent higher this semester compared to the Fall 2021 semester — students this semester are taking 26,640 credit hours, 772 more than the 25,868 credit hours taken last fall.

In addition, there are 35 more students this year, 2,692, compared to last fall when there were 2,657 students enrolled. That is a 1.3 percent increase in total students enrolled (headcount).

Increasing enrollment has been a challenge for colleges throughout the country, according to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.

“For the second year in a row — and going against the trend across the country — we have seen enrollment gains in both credit hours and headcount,” he said. “Everyone at East Central has a part in this work, and everyone should be thrilled with these results.”

ECC’s enrollment over the past two years has challenged the shift toward decreasing populations.

“Although the general trend nationwide is continued declines in enrollment,” Bauer added, “around Missouri, the results at community colleges are mixed.

“Some have seen gains this fall, while others are experiencing declines, while some are flat.”

ECC can attribute some of the enrollment increase to strong gains in dual credit enrollment, employee focus on retention and growth at ECC in Rolla.

Bauer noted that the college’s Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) is 1,776, up from 1,725 last fall. FTE is a calculation based on total credit hours that shows how many students would be attending college if they all were full time. This year’s FTE also is higher than in 2020 when it was 1,642.

A majority of ECC students are planning to complete their Associate of Arts degree, while others are looking to directly begin their career upon completion of their program’s certificate and/or degree.

Below is a list of the top 10 programs for the fall 2022 semester:

  • Associate of Arts — 1186
  • Nursing — 94
  • Education — 81
  • Industrial Engineering Tech — 50
  • Computer Information System — 49
  • Transfer Engineering — 48
  • Fine Arts — 40
  • Culinary Arts — 36
  • Radiological Technology — 29.