Month: June 2023

Trustees Approve $22.6 Million Balanced Budget

June 29, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

The East Central College Board of Trustees Monday, June 26, approved a $22.6 million spending plan, that includes a salary increase for employees.

The 2024 fiscal year balanced budget projects $22,617,484 in both revenue and expenditures. The college’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

In the 2023 fiscal year, there was $21,251,200 in both actual revenue and in expenditures.

Included in the budget is a 4 percent increase in employee compensation, an area that the college has been addressing, according to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.

He said that the budget development process requires a lot of communication across all areas of the College.

“This budget process was a team effort by all divisions and departments,” Bauer added. “While we could not fund all requests, the priority continued to be on employee compensation and other expenses related directly to students.

“As always, we will continue throughout the fiscal year to ensure a balance between actual revenues and expenses,” he said.

Local, state, and tuition and fees revenues are projected to make up 95.49 percent of our total college revenues this year. The percentage breakdown of those revenues is:

Local — 37.27 percent
State — 23.70 percent
Tuition and Fees — 34.52 percent

Anticipated revenue for tuition and fees this fiscal year is $7,808,233, an increase of $398,485 over last year’s budgeted tuition and fees revenue of $7,409,748.

Locally, budgeted revenue is expected to increase $367,716 from the previous budgeted amount of $8,428,974 last year to $8,061,258.

State aid is projected to increase slightly to $5,360,734 from the previous year’s budgeted amount of $5,290,485, a total increase of $70,249.

Welding Students Complete Internship at G.H. Tool & Mold

June 20, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Four East Central College welding graduates completed an internship during their final semester, where they thrived while practicing hands-on skills and learning from professionals.

James Baxter, Macey Hargrove, Joelle Phillips and Erica Stockell were welcomed into the G. H. Tool & Mold plant in Washington for four weeks during the spring as part of their Certificate of Achievement in Welding. Each of the four students graduated from ECC in May, and they all received scholarships through the Metallica Scholars Initiative.

According to Bobby Bland, welding program coordinator, the goal of the internship was to learn and experience welding in a practical setting, and witness how a manufacturing plant operates.

“I am very thankful that a company like G.H. Tool has partnered with us to provide our students experience with working on real-world projects and getting the feel of working in a plant with skilled welders,” he said. “As instructors, we can talk about the experience all we want in class, but for students to be in that production environment it is higher education at its finest.”

Employees of G.H. Tool were impressed with the skills the students already had when they walked into the plant, and their enthusiasm for the trade. From the first day of the internship, G.H.’s experienced tradesmen were eager to teach the students even more techniques necessary in a manufacturing setting.

“It was wonderful to see that kind of work ethic from these young people,” said toolmaker Kent Turnbough. “They gave me a real boost, and we all enjoyed working with them.”

“This has been a great experience for everyone involved, and these students have a very bright future,” added Julie Scannell, G.H. Tool human resources director. “We really value our ongoing partnership with ECC, and everything the College has done to respond to the needs of our local manufacturers.”

Student Experience

Phillips, Rolla, worked in several areas of the G. H. Tool plant and learned from every employee she worked with.

“The people have been wonderful, the work enjoyable and the availability of new things to learn has been never ending,” she said. “The number of skills I’ve been able to add to my belt, and words of advice I’ve received from these wonderful people, has been astounding.”

The skills the students experienced during the four-week internship include working with blueprints, sandblasting, using a laser welder; and learning to use tools like micrometers, edge finders, calipers and profilometers.

“Any area I wanted to learn more about, I was allowed and encouraged to go,” Phillips commented. “This internship is something I will always remember and will now be a major part of how I will function as a worker in the future.”

In addition to picking up new skills, the students expanded upon what they already learned about in the welding program through hands-on practice and by watching professionals.

“I observed more comfortable and efficient ways to weld, more specifically different ways to hold the torch, how to rest my hands, or ways to hold the filler metal,” Phillips said. “These simple tips have helped me tremendously and have made me a more efficient welder.

“There was always a way to improve or learn something new and even coming to the end of it I was still learning new things,” she added.

ECC’s Welding Program

ECC offers several affordable options to train for a career in welding, including a Certificate of Achievement and a Certificate of Specialization, both two semesters and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding.

The College also offers a 16-week Fast Track Welding program, in which students meet four days or evenings every week for four months and can earn a Certificate of Specialization.

All ECC’s welding courses are taught in the state-of-the-art welding lab in our Business and Industry Center on the Union campus. There are scholarships and financial aid available.

For more information about the ECC welding program, visit, or contact Bland at 636-649-5810 or

ECC Alumna Recognized for Creative Writing Pieces

June 15, 2023 | Campus News

Eliana Plumb began writing consistently as a student when she began at East Central College less than three years ago.

That’s led the ECC alumna to be recognized recently for two short stories she submitted for review as a student at College of the Ozarks this past spring.

Plumb, of Hermann, submitted her short story, “Mortem Obire,” to the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta, and it was presented at the organization’s annual conference.

She attended the conference held in Denver, Colo. in April where she read her piece to a small audience.

Plumb earned an associate degree from ECC in 2022 and plans to graduate from the College of the Ozarks in the Fall 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her minor is in writing and rhetoric.

She said “Mortem Obire” is a story she wrote in Josh Stroup’s, English instructor and department chair, creative fiction class at ECC.

“I took inspiration from my own father’s embalming profession to ponder the question of how a person with a different perspective on death might face grief,” Plumb said.

She also submitted “Mortem Obire” to the Sigma Tau Delta Review for publishing. She will learn later this summer if the piece will be included in the journal.

Second Writing 

Another short story, “Song of the Wind,” won second place in the College of the Ozarks’ short story competition.

“’Song of the Wind’ is a project that I plan on extending to become a novel,” Plumb commented. “I was inspired by my British literature class and my classical and Christian epics class.

“I wanted to merge epic conventions with different poetry conventions across the world during different time periods,” she added. “My epics professor asked at the beginning of class why we thought no one was really writing epics anymore, and I decided I wanted to do just that.”

Plumb noted that being acknowledged for her writing has helped build confidence.

“Receiving recognition for my creative work has really settled in my mind that I can be successful doing what I’m inspired to do,” she said.

Inspiration at ECC

Plumb, who was homeschooled, said she didn’t recognize her talent for writing until taking English courses at ECC.

“I had no metric for my abilities until I came to ECC. With the classes provided, I was able to see my talent in the English field,” she said. “I was inspired to attempt things I never would have on my own, and I’ve taken that mentality with me to College of the Ozarks.”

Plumb was inspired and encouraged by Stroup and Raphael Maurice, former adjunct instructor at ECC.

“Both of them cemented in my mind that studying English is the only thing I want to do,” she added. “I cannot thank them enough for encouraging me to expand my knowledge and my abilities.”

Outside of her former instructors, Plumb has been inspired by many authors.

“I have innumerable influences, but I can name Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Donna Tartt, and J.R.R. Tolkien as authors who formed what I enjoy reading and writing.”

Career Goal

Although she has only been writing creatively for a short time, Plumb plans for a career in the field.

“I only began writing consistently a few years ago, but since then I have written several short stories, poems, and a full-length novel that I would like to publish,” she said. “I would love to continue my education, but I really have a passion for writing. If I could build a career off writing and editing creative works, I couldn’t ask for much more.”

ECC offers creative writing and English emphases through its Arts and Humanities Pathway, which introduces students to the history of ideas that have defined cultures through a study of the visual arts, literature, theatre, music and media.

To find out more about ECC and the Arts and Humanities pathway, visit

ECC Instructors Earn Inaugural Means Innovation Award

June 9, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

The team of Accounting and Business instructors at East Central College piloted a course delivery method that removes barriers for their students and allows them to choose how they learn.

The HyFlex delivery model earned Lisa Hanneken and Tanner French the inaugural Donald R. and Barbara D. Means Faculty Innovation Award for their use of technology and flexibility to improve education at ECC.

This method, fully implemented in the two programs in the 2022-23 academic year, gives students three options to learn — in person, remotely via live video stream at the regular class time, or online watching recorded video when it is convenient to them, also called “asynchronously.”

Students can use any combination of class deliveries at any time — that means they can attend any class in person, attend any class remotely during class time, or attend any online outside the normal class time.

Hanneken, who also serves as the director of the programs, and French have been developing and practicing the HyFlex model before fully implemented it into their curriculum this past academic year, according to Dr. Robyn Walter, vice president of academic affairs.

“The development and pilot of the HyFlex model demonstrates innovation and flexibility in the true spirit of meeting students where they are in their educational and personal life journey,” Walter said.

Hanneken added that the HyFlex removes barriers for learners with nontraditional schedules. The goal is to serve both traditional daytime students and students who typically have full-time jobs during the day.

“Originally, we had a general idea of a ‘multi-mode’ course but quickly learned through research that other colleges were also struggling with this problem and that some four-year schools were adopting a HyFlex option,” she said. “Gathering additional information about the various methods used, we came up with something we thought would be the best fit for ECC students.”

That led the instructors to pilot the delivery method during accounting and business courses during the 2022-23 academic year.

“The students loved this option, and many would not yet have graduated if the option was not available,” Hanneken said. “Also, the pilot program showed increased enrollment, retention and success rates.”

She added that students already have benefited from the new course delivery method.

“Personally, I found the HyFlex pilot program extremely helpful,” one student said. “It enabled me to better balance my daily schedule with my classes. It came in handy when I was going to be out of town and was able to just do the videos later instead of missing the meetings.”

Means Innovation Award

Walter explained that the Donald R. and Barbara D. Means Faculty Innovation Award recognizes faculty who improve the quality of education at ECC.

Donald Means, with the support of Barbara Means, was a charter trustee, and his service goes back even further when he and others worked diligently to bring the college into existence in the 1960s. Donald Means was an ECC charter trustee and served 24 years as an ECC Trustee from 1968 to 1992. He was Board secretary from 1968 until 1984, and then served four years as president of the board.­

“The Means family values higher education, student achievement, and are true partners in this process. I am grateful for their generosity,” Walter added.

The ECC Faculty Development Committee evaluates Means Faculty Innovation Award nominees and makes a recommendation to the vice president of academic affairs.

The committee examines the creativity of the innovation, impact on the quality of teaching and learning at ECC, transferability and potential for adoption in other courses, the ability of the innovation to engage more students in the learning process, and the impact it has on learning and on the student experience.

“The development and pilot of the HyFlex model demonstrates innovation and flexibility in the true spirit of meeting students where they are in their educational and personal life journey,” Walter said.

Hanneken said the Means Faculty Innovation Award was unexpected.

“We were simply doing what makes sense to ensure our students are able to acquire the best education possible, without negatively impacting the other aspects of their lives such as work and family responsibilities,” she said.

“The Means family has been very generous in providing this award to ECC in order to promote innovation for our students,” Hanneken added. “It will be exciting to see what new and creative things this award brings to ECC.”

ECC and Logan University Agreement Provides Path to Doctorate

June 7, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College and Logan University signed an agreement that streamlines students’ path toward a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

ECC and Logan, in Chesterfield, entered into a 2+4 agreement for students who earn their Associate of Arts degree in the STEM Pathway from ECC, and then transfer seamlessly to Logan’s Bachelor of Science degree program. This is the first 2+4 agreement entered into by ECC.

Under the agreement, ECC students complete their STEM AA degree, with an emphasis in biology, and then enter Logan’s BS in Life Science (BSLS) program. Students then work toward a BS degree and the admissions requirements for the Doctor of Chiropractic program.

“This transfer agreement represents a significant opportunity for ECC students who are interested in pursuing a career in chiropractic medicine,” said Dr. Robyn Walter, ECC vice president of academic affairs.

“By providing a clear and efficient pathway to advanced study at Logan University, this agreement will help students achieve their career goals and contribute to the growing demand for qualified healthcare professionals.”

Dr. Kristina Petrocco-Napuli, dean of the college of chiropractic at Logan University, said Logan is, “honored to partner with another top-notch institution to provide students with high-quality educational opportunities.”

“The ability to fast track education is extremely beneficial in today’s competitive workforce landscape,” she added. “This partnership benefits both schools and provides a direct career path into chiropractic or another health sciences field.”

Logan University has offered chiropractic education since 1935, including the Doctor of Chiropractic. It also offers masters and bachelor’s degrees online and on campus. To learn more, visit

To learn more about ECC, visit, or call 636-584-6588.

Students Named to the Spring 2023 Dean’s List

June 6, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement each semester.

Upon completion of between six and 11 spring semester credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.5 or greater, students are acknowledged on the Dean’s List.

There were 212 students named to the Dean’s List from the Spring 2023 semester.

Students Named to the Spring 2023 Vice President’s List

June 6, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Each semester, East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement.

Upon completion of at least 12 semester credit hours with a Spring semester grade point average between 3.50 and 3.84, students are acknowledged by placement on the Vice President’s List.

For the Spring 2023 semester, there were 197 students on the list.

President’s List for Spring 2023 Semester

June 6, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement each semester.

Upon completion of at least 12 Spring semester credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.85 or greater, students are acknowledged on the President’s List.

There were 130 students named to the list from the Spring 2023 semester.

Finish Line Grant Program Helps Reduce College Debt

June 2, 2023 | Campus News ECC Rolla

A state grant is now available to help Missouri residents pay off college debt and return to the classroom.

The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation’s (MSLF) Finish Line Degree Completion Grant is designed to assist former students who have an unpaid balance at East Central College and other Missouri colleges and universities, making them unable to register for classes.

The MSLF will pay up to $3,000 toward a past due balance to provide former students with the ability to complete a degree or program. The application deadline is June 30.

To be eligible, Missouri residents must have a past due balance that is approximately six months or older and is preventing them from completing a degree program.

Additionally, Finish Line candidates must re-enroll, or transfer, to ECC or another eligible Missouri school; they must have completed half their program of study and have a last previously known estimated family income (EFC) of $12,000 or less.

Visit to apply for the Finish Line Degree Completion Grant. For more information, contact MSLF at or 636-787-2677.