John Wood Community College

John Wood Community College (JWCC) is a public community college in Quincy, Illinois. It is one of 48, two-year, open-admission colleges of the Illinois Community College System (ICCS), organized under the Illinois Public Community College Act.[1]

John Wood Community College
TypePublic, 2 year Community college[1]
Established1974 (1974)[2]
PresidentMichael Elbe, President[3]
Other students
1,242 (non-credit)[5]
Location, ,
39°55′47″N 91°20′25″W
CampusRural (206.32 acres (0.8349 km2))
Athletic nickname
Trail Blazers[6]
ColorsGreen      Gold     
AthleticsSix varsity teams[6]
Mid-West Athletic Conference
NCJAA Division II
AffiliationsIllinois Community College System[7]


John Wood Community College was founded in 1974 to provide post-secondary education for residents of Community College District 539. JWCC began classes in 1975 with 668 enrolled students.[2][5] Authorized by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, Jr. in 1961, the legislation enacted created the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The IBHE was tasked by statute with formulating a Master Plan for Higher Education in the state of Illinois.[8][9] In July 1964 the higher education master plan was published by the IBHE, which led to the passage of the Junior College Act of 1965 by the 72nd Illinois General Assembly.[8][9][10] However, it was not until 1974 that official steps were taken to form a community college within the district boundaries.[2]

Lacking formal facilities of its own, JWCC utilized a "Common Market" approach.[11] The Board of Trustees contracted with area colleges such as Culver-Stockton College, Hannibal-LaGrange College, Quincy College, who would enroll students in their courses on behalf of JWCC.[10] This allowed JWCC to begin operations quickly, by utilizing the staff and facilities of other colleges at a time when the college had few facilities of its own and no instructional staff.[12] The first class graduated from JWCC on May 22, 1976, without ever having attended class at a college owned facility.[13]

The college acquired classroom facilities of its own in 1983 when JWCC purchased and renovated the former Lincoln Elementary School at 48th and Maine streets.[14] College programs and services were located in this building until January 2002.[15] The Common Market approach coexisted with campus-based instruction until 1991, when rising costs compelled the JWCC Board of Trustees to end the common market contract with Quincy College. Other contracts were not renewed as they expired.[16]

Due to increasing enrollment, and the phasing out of the Common Market, the college purchased three prefabricated buildings in 1991 to hold classes.[16] By 1996, growth was significant enough that the JWCC Board of Trustees voted to purchase a 155-acre (0.63 km2) site at 48th and Harrison Streets, in Quincy, Illinois. In 1997, the Board of Trustees adopted its Master Plan for a new campus.[16] The first building, the 35,200 square feet (3,270 m2) Science and Technology Center was built and occupied in January 1998.[17] This was followed by the next buildings in the plan; the Learning Center, a Student & Administrative Center, and a Maintenance Building in January 2002. A $16 million project, the new buildings added nearly 103,000 square feet (9,600 m2) to the size of the college. Funding was split between the college and the State of Illinois.[17] In 2004, the 52,000 square feet (4,800 m2) Paul Heath Community Education and Fine Arts Center was completed. The buildings house JWCC's community education, fine arts and Business and Industry Training offices. In 2006, a Student Activity Center (SAC) was completed, that included an 1,800-seat gymnasium, weight room, classroom, locker rooms, and athletic team training rooms. A baseball field, softball field, and additional parking were built as a part of the SAC project.[17]


John Wood Community College currently has its main campus in Quincy, Illinois.[4][5][17] In addition to its main campus, JWCC has several satellite learning centers around the college district. A second primary learning center for classes, known as the Pittsfield Education Center, was opened in Pittsfield, Illinois for the local residents of Pike County.[5][18]

In addition to RLC's two credit learning campuses, the college holds both for credit and non-credit classes at several locations. The JWCC Agricultural Education Center, which supports Agricultural majors seeking to transfer to baccalaureate institutions, is located on the University of Illinois Orr Agronomy Research Center in the city of Perry, Illinois.[5][19] In addition, the college operates the JWCC/Dot Foods Learning Center under a partnership between the company Dot Foods and JWCC.[5] The center serves as both a training facility for Dot Food workers, and for JWCC students in Brown County, Illinois. The college provides the instructors for both Dot Foods and its regular for-credit classes at the center.[20] JWCC also operates an adult learning center in Quincy, Illinois for those working towards completing their GED.[21][22]

Academics and demographics

John Wood College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) to offer certificates, diplomas and Associate Degrees.[5][23] It received the maximum ten-year accreditation approval by the Higher Learning Commission of the NCA during its last review in 2003.[5]

John Wood Community College takes part in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide transfer agreement which ensures general education credits are transferable among more than 100 participating college or universities in Illinois.[24][25] In addition to the IAI, RLC offers students "two-plus-two" programs that guarantee students that the courses completed at the college will transfer to their majors at four-year baccalaureate institutions. There are two primary divisions at Rend Lake College: the General Education Departments, and the Career and Technical Departments, which encompass six and 14 departments respectively. The departments offer a total of 43 associate degree programs, and 20 certificate programs.[5][26] The college offers four types of Associate degrees: Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), Associate in Science (AS), and Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS).[27]


As of April 13, 2009, Spring enrollment at RLC was 2403, of which 1216 were enrolled full-time, and 1187 were enrolled part-time. In addition, 1241 non-credit enrollees were reported by RLC for the same period.[5] Fiscal year 2009 saw a slight decline in the number of enrolled student, yet saw an increase in the total number of credit hours taken at the college.[28]


John Wood College provides a library within its Learning Resources Center at its main Quincy, Illinois Campus. The library has nearly twenty thousand volumes, alongside online resources and a media learning area.[29] It has facilities for study, research, leisure reading, class preparation, and wireless Internet access for students.[30]


  1. Public Community College Act (110 ILCS 805/), Illinois General Assembly, 1978, retrieved August 12, 2009
  2. "About John Wood Community College". John Wood Community College. 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  3. "Meet the President". John Wood Community College. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  4. Unknown, IBHE Institutional Profile: John Wood Community College, ICCB, retrieved August 12, 2009
  5. "John Wood Community College Accreditation Status". The Higher Learning Commission. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  6. NCJAA Stats Page for John Wood Community College, NCJAA, retrieved August 12, 2009
  7. "ILLINOIS COMMUNITY COLLEGES". Illinois Community College Board. 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  8. Lach, Ivan (1998), ICCS HISTORY, Illinois Community College Board, archived from the original on August 22, 2009, retrieved August 9, 2009
  9. Illinois Junior College Act; Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter 122, Sections 101-1 to 108-2: Illinois Legislature, 1965
  10. Heath, Paul (1977). "John Wood Community College: The Contractual Common Market Concept.". National Invitational Conference on State Policy and Planning Strategies for Lifelong Learning. Orlando: Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). pp. 3–18.
  11. Heath, Paul (1977). "Case Study #2 - The "Contract College" Type: John Wood Community College" (PDF). Seminar for State Leaders in Postsecondary Education. Orlando: Inservice Education Program, Education Commission of the States. pp. 147–162.
  12. "John Wood Community College NCA Self Study Report" (PDF). John Wood Community College. 2003. p. 37. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  13. "John Wood Community College NCA Self Study Report:At A Glance" (PDF). John Wood Community College. 2003. p. 2. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  14. John Wood Community College NCA Self Study Report 2002-2003
  15. John Wood Community College History 2000-2009
  16. "John Wood Community College NCA Self Study Report" (PDF). John Wood Community College. 2003. pp. 4, 38. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  17. "Quincy Main Campus". John Wood Community College. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  18. "Pittsfield Education Center". John Wood Community College. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  19. "Perry Agriculture and Swine Management Centers". John Wood Community College. 2009. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  20. "JWCC/Dot Foods Learning Center". John Wood Community College. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  21. "Uptown Adult Education Learning Center". John Wood Community College. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  22. Wilson, Kelly (August 7, 2009). "Work on John Wood Community College adult ed center on track for start of fall semester". Quincy Herald-Whig. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  23. "Accreditation Page". John Wood Community College. 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  24. "The Illinois Articulation Initiative". Illinois Board of Higher Education. 2008. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  25. "IAI Participating Schools: John Wood Community College". Illinois Board of Higher Education. 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  26. "John Wood Community College: Academic Programs". John Wood Community College. 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  27. "John Wood Community College: Degrees and Certificates". John Wood Community College. 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  28. Shinn, David, Ph.D. (May 22, 2009). "Current Credit Hours and Enrollment". John Wood Community College. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  29. "Library Record Counts FY2009". CARLI: The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  30. "Welcome to Information Services!". John Wood Community College. 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
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