ICC president Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey presented with Community Contribution Award

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 12/13/2019 12:00:00 PM

Peoria Public Schools and Illinois Central College have closely collaborated for decades. Since Dr. Quirk-Bailey joined ICC in 2016, we have worked very hard to form a more advanced partnership that provides a one-of-a-kind educational experience that suits the 21st century student. We have spent three years bolstering an already strong relationship into a partnership that is providing our students with a transformative learning experience.


In three years, the number of Peoria Public School students earning Early College Credits at Illinois Central College (ICC) has increased 111 percent, from 1,062 in 2016 to over 2,235 in 2019. 


This increase is just one reason I was thrilled to present the Community Contribution Award to Illinois Central College (ICC) president Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey at last Monday's school board meeting.


Among the other innovations the two institutions have introduced include:

  • Strategic alignment and mutual support on projects such as Align Peoria, the Regional Workforce Alliance and the Regional Pathways program
  • We have entered a data sharing agreement to better understand how we can serve students
  • We have strengthened our Teacher Pathway at the high school level to include dual-credit Intro to American Education and psychology courses taught at PPS high schools by ICC instructor.
  • We have introduced the Trio Upward Bound program to provide academic support, college preparation and experiences to 60 students from the three PPS high schools.
  • An offshoot of Upward Bound, the Trio Talent Search program, provides similar services for 500 Peoria High School and Manual Academy students.
  • We have worked together to build students’ college readiness in math and English, and shared career pathway initiatives with high school administrators and counselors to better steer students toward in the right professional direction.
  • With the help of a Lumina grant, PPS and ICC staff members were trained to engage community stakeholders in equity discussions.
  • Manual Academy students attending Midstate College upon its closing were able to enroll in ICC’s Medical Coding program to complete their certification.
  • Finally, ICC was instrumental in creating the D2 program, allowing PPS students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree at no cost. The first D2 cohort is finishing their first semester and the results are impressive.

Peoria Public Schools students are graduating prepared for college or the workforce and ready to become productive members of our community – a testament to the power and leverage of the amazing partnership between Peoria Public Schools and ICC.