We are committed to a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, focused
on respect and fairness, in all aspects of the College experience.
Kishwaukee College’s values of equity and support are indicative of our commitment to ensuring all learners know they are welcomed and
valued members of the Kish community. We believe everyone deserves an affordable,
quality education, and any barriers or completion gaps must be addressed. For the
College’s efforts, Kish was recognized with the 2022 Equity and Diversity Award by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.
As part of joining the ILEA, the College created an equity statement to reflect its
goals and commitment to all students. In 2022, the statement was updated as part of
Kish's new Strategic Plan. The statement reads:
Kishwaukee College is committed to a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,
focused on respect and fairness, in all aspects of the College experience.
When joining the PCC, Kish broke down achievement data and realized there was work
At the time, State of Illinois data showed only 13.4% of African-American students
completed their program. Of Latinx students, only 21.7% completed. Comparatively,
white students in Illinois completed at a rate of 42.3%. Furthermore, 36.6% of students
not receiving Pell grants completed, but only 24.8% of Pell grant recipients completed.
Kish’s data shows a similar story:
Additional data showed that while Kish’s overall graduation rate increased from Fall
2011 to Fall 2015, a disparity existed between African-American and Latinx students
and their white peers.
The 2019-2020 academic year saw the implementation of new strategies to move us toward
the goal of closing achievement gaps.
Equity in higher education ensures all learners have what they need to complete their
program. For some, financial assistance is needed. For others, it’s fulfilling basic
needs like food or transportation support. Whatever the barrier, Kish has a host of
resources to help students facing obstacles to completion. These include:
TRIO Upward Bound — serves qualifying DeKalb High School students with academic college preparation.
Kishwaukee College serves all learners and continues the great work to reduce barriers
and to close the gap. We continue to execute our Equity Plan and implement the best
strategies to support all students who choose Kish. You can find more of our current
data and plans in the following:
Joined the Partnership for College Completion Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative
with 27 other Illinois colleges and universities
All college Inservice to introduce equity commitment and professional development
on closing the equity gap at the college
Development of a college equity statement: We are committed to a sustainable culture of equity, focused on respect and fairness,
in all aspects of the Kishwaukee College experience.
Equity Statement displayed prominently across campus
Equity webpage created
Created Kishwaukee College Equity Plan
Accepted into the PCC/Aspen Institute Equity Academy for Presidents and Cabinets Members
Hired Associate Dean, Office of Instruction with 50% time for diversity, equity, and
Perkins Grant activities focusing on closing equity gaps in Career Technical Education
Applying for Department of Education Title III Grant with focus on closing equity
gap through Quality Online Instruction; Guided Pathways; and Expansion of Financial
Literacy, Embedded Tutors, and Course Success Coaching
Data disaggregation by special populations in Office of Institutional Research
Created space and furnished new Intercultural Center (opened in September 2021)
Identified staff member to include Intercultural Center coordination in job responsibilities
Delivered diversity awareness events: Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage
Month, Black History Month, Transgender Awareness Month, Women’s History Month, Asian
American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month
Completed event which raised $230 for the Frances Loubere Ally Activity Endowment
Hosted events that focus on diverse experiences, heritages, and accomplishments of
different cultures, including cultural competency training
Delivered Faculty Lead Open Dialogue: Racist, anti-Racist, White Privilege & Black
Privilege: A Dialogue of Curious Humans
Integrated equity content into the Probationary Faculty tenure seminar series
Sent CTE and adult education staff and instructors to: Forum for Excellence Conference
Anti-Racist Education; Designing for Equity and Access; ILEA Summit Equity Speaks
Several faculty and staff are attending “Building Equitable STEM Transfer Pathways”
with Dr. Xueli Wang of the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 14, 2021
Contracted for a keynote speaker during FA21 Inservice to provide presentation and
workshop to faculty and instructional staff about inclusive pedagogy
Implemented a cultural competency professional development track and joined the Illinois
Community College Diversity Council.
Hired an Associate Dean in the Office of Instruction to oversee cultural competency
Developed a Dialogue Series open to students, faculty, staff and community members
to discuss current events and topics.
Provide a monthly Diversity Digest, Quarterly Update Reports and Annual Equity Reports
with the College community.
Priority on hiring for diversity integrated into employee search processes
Spring Professional Development Day Breakout Sessions: Diversity and Inclusion, Implicit
Bias and Micro-aggression Awareness, and Diversity Blind Spots
Enhanced interview process to focus on diversity and cultural competency
Increased the total of Black and Hispanic employees and student workers over a five
Hired a Student Success Advisor to manage the At-Risk Program and assigned case load
Set-up supportive service funds (Champions and WIOA) to address COVID digital divide
(Laptop Loan Program and Internet Access Grant)
Established Restart Program to remove barrier to return to college because of past
debt to college
Advising created Retention 4.0 Outreach Plan
Partnered with Tutoring Services to develop and deliver Academic Success workshop
Developed Mental Health Matters Newsletter for students.
Expanded support services for low-income students to include: SNAP benefit changes,
Kody’s Cupboard Food Pantry, and virtual financial aid workshops.
Introduced the use of interactive text bots to assist students with frequently asked
Expanded textbook loan to service transfer students and calculator needs of mathematics
and science students.
Perkins Grant provided CTE students with childcare stipends, mileage assistance, and
Redesigned the College’s payment plan to eliminate fees
During the COVID-19 pandemic, provided free textbooks, childcare and transportation
to help alleviate financial stress.
Provided direct cash payments through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund during
the COVID-19 pandemic
Created the Math Success Center to expand tutoring, virtual study rooms and additional
Hired a Math Placement Specialist and part-time lead mathematics embedded tutor
Library and Tutoring Services created new workshop series: Communication Strategies
for Classroom and Workplace Success, Study Tips: Strategies to Stay on Track, Don’t
Stop: Sitting with Challenges, How to Get the Most Out of Tutoring, Attitudes Towards
College Courses, and Treasure Hunting in the Digital Library
Expanded online tutoring through Tutor.com to include mathematics application in sciences,
nursing, and computer science courses
Streamlined the developmental math curriculum so students can more easily transition
into college coursework
Delivering Staff-Student Mentoring Pilot Program
Completed developmental education focus groups with students, with follow-up survey
planned for SP21
Added student support links to the master syllabus templates in courses
Expanded embedded tutors into developmental education and gateway course in English
Awarded Catalyst Grant ($12,000) to assist with mentoring pilot
Office of Instruction developing plan to improve the success rates in MAT 150 College
Algebra and ENG 104 Composition II
100% of mentoring program students from Fall 2021 registered for courses in the subsequent
term, compared to 83.9% of the general College population
members of Kish’s PCC team
Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President Dr. Joanne Kantner, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michelle Rothmeyer, Vice President of Student Services Pernevlon Ellis, Associate Dean Matthew Crull, Director of Research and Data Management Dariana Lee, Director of Student Success Graciela Horta, Coordinator-Student Outreach Dominica Blalock, Assistant Professor Joseph Przybyla, Assistant Professor
The Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees voted to certify the College’s 2022 tax levy at its November meeting at a level that will continue a ten-year trend of lower Kishwaukee College real estate tax rates for residents and businesses within the Kishwaukee College district, which encompasses parts of DeKalb, Ogle, Lee, Boone, Kane, Winnebago and La Salle counties.
Kishwaukee College was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the College’s comprehensive financial report for the Fiscal Year 2021.