The College’s values of inclusion and accessibility 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.
In the spring of 2019, we joined the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA),
the signature initiative of the Partnership for College Completion (PCC). We have committed, along with 27 other colleges and universities, to one goal: eliminating the achievement gap for students of color and low-income
When we joined the PCC, we began breaking down the data and realized we had some work
Current State of Illinois data shows only 13.4% of African-American students completed
their program. Of Latinx students, only 21.7% completed. Both are far below the completion
rate for white students, which was 42.3% for the entire state. Furthermore, 36.6%
of students not receiving Pell grants completed, but only 24.8% of Pell grant recipients
Kish’s data shows a similar story. Only 11.9% of our African-American students completed
their credential within a three-year period. Of our Latinx students, only 34.3% completed.
Our white students completed at 45.2%. The achievement gap among the three groups
needed to be addressed.
Additional data told us more. Even though the overall graduation rate increased from
Fall 2011 to Fall 2015, the disparity between African-American and Latinx students
with their white peers existed.
The 2019-2020 academic year saw the implementation of new strategies to move us toward
the goal of closing achievement gaps. Ultimately, we hope to eliminate the gap entirely.
You can read our entire Equity Plan to see how we plan to make that happen.
As part of our involvement with the ILEA, we created an equity statement to reflect
our goal and commitment to all our students. It reads:
We are committed to a sustainable culture of equity, focused on respect and fairness,
in all aspects of the Kishwaukee College experience.
Equity in higher education is about ensuring 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, the College
has a host of resources to help students facing barriers to completion. These include:
- The Champions Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to students facing hardship.
- Kody’s Cupboard helps fight food insecurity for students in need.
- Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a grant-funded program that specializes in getting resources such as career counseling,
travel reimbursement and financial support to those who qualify.
- TRIO Student Support Services is a federally-funded program designed to increase college retention and graduation
rates of participating students.
- 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. You can find more of our current data in the 2020 Annual Data Book.
For now, we will continue to execute our Equity Plan and implement the best strategies to support all students who choose Kish.
members of Kish’s PCC team
Laurie Borowicz, President
Joanne Kantner, Vice President of Instruction
Michelle Rothmeyer, Vice President of Student Services
Pernevlon Ellis, Interim Associate Dean
Ann Mueller, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Tutoring Services
Matthew Crull, Director of Research and Data Management
Dariana Lee, Director of Student Success
Barbara Leach, Associate Dean
Graciela Horta: Coordinator-Student Outreach
Dominica Blalock: Faculty