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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

HCC Trustees approve tax levies and submission of online program
11/18/2011

FREEPORT Following a public hearing on November 15, the Highland Community College Board of Trustees approved the annual tax levy during their regular session. The proposed tax levy would provide $6.94 million in operating funds to support the districts 2,500 full and part-time students. The Colleges property tax rate of 48 cents per $100 of assessed valuation remains unchanged from the previous fiscal year.

Influences on the tax levy calculation include property tax predictions, voter-approved tax rates, and legislature-regulated categories of revenue and budget estimates. The taxes collected each year are a result of Highland's tax rate multiplied by the District's equalized assessed valuation (EAV).

The tax levy amount also ensures Highland will remain eligible for unrestricted state funding which is very important, said Vice President of Administrative Services Jill Janssen. State contributions in recent years have declined to 13 percent, well below the one-third usually designated by traditional models of state funding.

According to Janssen, this general funding not only provides the flexibility needed to support traditional student services and instructional costs, but also health and safety projects such as this years campus-wide security camera system. Additionally, Trustees approved tax levies to cover specific budget items such as auditing expenses, liability insurance coverage, workmans compensation claims, Social Security and Medicare costs.

Regarding changes to academic programming, Trustees moved forward on the creation of an online Associate of Arts degree. The decision to submit the program application to the Higher Learning Commission was approved by board members based on Highlands wide-range of online course offerings, and continued strategic efforts to increase student access and enrollment.

"Online course offerings have become increasingly important in providing residents with more opportunity to access educational services," said Vice President of Academic Services Tim Hood. "Looking to the future, the College sees this type of alternative delivery mechanism as a means to maintain and increase enrollments."

Pending a review and possible site visit from the Higher Learning Commission, Highland students will have the opportunity to complete a transferrable two-year degree entirely online.

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OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

815-235-6121
Fax 815-235-6130



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