Clinton Community College turns 75 | Local News


CLINTON – Clinton Community College is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the Clinton community this year.

Clinton Community College hosted an event on September 9 to celebrate its 75th birthday. Clinton Community College opened on September 9, 1946, as Clinton Junior College, following a public referendum.

Paul B. Sharar was the college’s first dean, the college foundation now bearing his name.

Housed in the Clinton High School building, more than half of the first class of 86 students were World War II veterans who had just returned from the war. Many early years students were high school graduates considering their options.

The college continued to grow over the years and eventually grew too large for its shared high school quarters. Clinton Junior College has moved to a new building at 1000 Lincoln Blvd. at Clinton in September 1965, with 555 day students enrolled in the college. Today, the college is still located in the same building.

The college has gone through many changes over the past 56 years, including the college’s name change to Clinton Community College. Clinton Community College became part of the Eastern Iowa Community College District, of which it is still a part today. The Eastern Iowa Community College district consists of Clinton Community College, Muscatine, Community College, and Scott Community College.

The main campus of Clinton Community College has undergone changes, with major structural additions being built. In 1995, Clinton Community College opened the Clinton Community College Technology Center on Manufacturing Drive. Formerly known as the Graphic Arts Technology Center of Iowa, the 22,000 square foot facility one mile from campus is a training center and technology resource for the graphic arts industry and engineering technology program .

Adult Basic Education and Community Education programs in 2007 moved to Clinton Community College Learning Center, 944 Lincoln Blvd. The space provides flexibility in the planning and functionality of the classroom. Students were welcomed into the science addition in 2010, which houses two state-of-the-art labs, a larger prep room, and faculty desks. High-definition classrooms and auditoriums now feature cutting-edge technology and configurations that enhance the student experience.

Bob and Frances Bickelhaupt’s family in 2014 donated their arboretum to Clinton Community College. Established in 1970, the arboretum is a living classroom and community gem where people can explore nature. Environmental science and art classes at Clinton Community College are held at the Arboretum. The annual Arts at the Arb exhibition showcases unique works of art and gives visitors the opportunity to explore art and nature. For 51 years, the Bickelhaupt Arboretum has been open to visitors from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.

Completed in 2016, the Clinton Community College Library Improvement Project created a library to better meet the needs of students and the changing needs of the larger Clinton community. Additionally, renovations to Clinton Community College’s last boardroom were completed in 2018. The boardrooms have upgraded seating for collaborative learning, flexible lighting, sound systems, and advanced technology. The renovations and upgrades have been made to improve teaching and learning at Clinton Community College.

Voters at eastern Iowa’s community colleges approved a referendum in March on $ 40 million bonds to fund new vocational and technical education facilities and establish career academies in the district. Last week, Clinton Community College president Brian Kelly confirmed that work has started on the new career academy next to the main campus. There will be activity over the next few months at DeWitt and Maquoketa.

“The economic future of Eastern Iowa depends on a skilled workforce,” Kelly said. “And 65% of jobs today and tomorrow require education and training beyond high school. Expanding vocational and technical education throughout the region, particularly in our rural communities, increases access and opportunities for the people of Eastern Iowa to develop the skills necessary for a prosperous future and productive.

Regarding future growth, Kelly said the college is having collaborative conversations with the industry.

“We look forward to working with local employers to develop programs that reflect the current needs of the industry,” Kelly said. “Partnerships in the community continue to grow and we will work hard to meet current needs. “

Kelly assumed the presidency of Clinton Community College in 2020. Previously at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, Kelly brought a multi-talented and global experience to improve Clinton Community College, its programs and its operations. students.

Dr. Karen Vickers headed Clinton Community College for 23 years after being named president in 1996. Under her leadership, the college added new technologies, such as virtual labs and nursing, extensive use of technology and admissions agreements to allow students to transition upon graduation from Clinton Community College programs.


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