Date: September 30, 2006
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, September 30, 2006 - Originally built in 1883, Kankakee’s Clock Tower Centre, formerly known as the Arcade Building, has served many different purposes in its history. Hidden within its newest guise as a multi-use office center, is an important development in the economic and educational growth of the Kankakee region.
In May, Governors State University opened the Kankakee Education Center (KEC) in the building. The KEC is a natural extension of the university. GSU draws students from a large radius, which includes Kankakee, Chicago and its suburbs, Northwest Indiana, and the Joliet region. Students are attracted to the university’s 47 professional, accredited degree programs and affordable tuition.
“We have a commitment to be accessible,” said Dr. Stuart Fagan, president of Governors State University. “That’s why we offer classes at the times we do. That’s why we have the lowest tuition of any public university in the state – and arguably, the lowest tuition of any university in Illinois. That’s why we actively seek new and convenient off-campus locations, like the Clock Tower Centre, to expand the reach of education.”
Because GSU is an upper-division (junior and senior level) baccalaureate and graduate level university, it is a natural partner of the many area community colleges including Kankakee Community College (KCC). This allows students in the Kankakee area to experience a seamless transition between their first two years at community college and the remaining two at GSU.
“Our partnership with KCC will continue to help drive the economic growth of the Kankakee area,” Fagan said. “We know there is a market for our programs here in Kankakee.”
Angela Kinster of Manteno agrees with Dr. Fagan’s assessment. As a Governors State University student taking classes at the Kankakee Education Center, Kinster finds it so convenient she would not consider taking classes elsewhere.
“I live and work in Kankakee County. I drop my daughter off at her class and go to mine. It makes getting to class so easy and it is a lot less expensive.”
While KEC does not yet offer the full array of GSU program options, it is building its schedule with courses in Criminal Justice, Communications, Business, Education, and the Health Professions. Special interest workshops, such as Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab Awareness and Building a Career in Voiceovers, enhance the course offerings.
“We want to offer as many different types of programs as possible to serve our students in the Kankakee area,” explains Julie Anderson-Muniz, external programs manager of KEC. “Between the classes offered here and our telecourses and media courses, students can complete most if not all of their degree requirements. They only need to go to our main campus receive their diplomas.”
According to Melvin Cornelius of Joliet, “This was a very good opportunity for me. The drive to KEC is so easy, finding the school was simple, and it is a very relaxed environment. I attended Joliet Junior College and we have a joint agreement with GSU so transferring in was easy. Their program is flexible and fits my works schedule.”
“As the demand increases, as more students become aware of Governors State University’s presence at the Kankakee Education Center, we hope to expand our programs,” adds Anderson-Muniz. “With the new Kankakee Education Center, there are no other local public institutions that can compare to GSU in professionalism, affordability, and accessibility.”
Barbara Sharp of Kankakee enjoys her classes at the KEC. “KEC is five minutes from my home. I can even take the bus. With gas prices so high, this is a great help. I can go to class after work and still get home in time to be with my family.”
The Kankakee Education Center is located at 187 S. Schuyler Avenue in the Clock tower Centre. For more information, call (815) 935-2766 or visit www.govst.edu/kec.