Happy 50th Anniversary Illinois Community Colleges Act!

by Eboni Zamani Gallaher / Jul 16, 2015

If one looks at the history of community college education, it is obvious that the State of Illinois has played a significant role in shaping the postsecondary landscape.The State of Illinois is a forerunner in the public junior college movement as it is the home of Joliet Junior College, the first public two-year institution established in 1901. Hence, the junior college movement took root and spread across the country from Illinois. July 15, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Illinois Public Community College Act (IPCA). The Illinois Public Community College Act is a case in point of how the state continues extending postsecondary opportunities. Five decades following the enactment of the IPCA, the Illinois community college system is the state’s largest provider of higher education serving close to one million students annually.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, several key community college groups are partnering to co-sponsor and coordinate a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary (i.e., the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), ICCB Student Advisory Committee, Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA), Illinois Council of Community College Administrators (ICCCA), Illinois Council of Community College Presidents (ICCCP), Illinois Community College Faculty Association (ICCFA), and the National Council on Marketing and Public Relations). The coalition of community college groups unveiled a new 50th Anniversary Logo, designed by Christina Diaz of Carl Sandburg College. According to Amanda Corso, ICCB Director for Career and Technical Education, upcoming 50th anniversary events include but are not limited to the announcement of the official gubernatorial proclamation declaring 2015-2016 as “The Year of the Community College” in Illinois. Additionally, a news conference is planned with Gov. Bruce Rauner (August 2015), National Community College Month in April 2016 as well as various anniversary festivities hosted at coalition member meetings and conferences.

Read the Illinois Public Community College Act.
Learn more about the history of the Illinois Community College System.

Eboni Zamani-Gallaher is a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in the College of Education at Illinois and the Director of OCCRL. Her research centers on access and collegiate experiences of marginalized students at two- and four-year institutions of higher education.