Distant JWCC campus surrounded by cornfields in 1995

History of JWCC

First Graduating Class

1974 - 1979

  • 1974– John Wood Community College was founded.
  • November 1974– first Board of Trustees meeting was held.
  • August 1975– JWCC admitted its first 668 students using the innovative “common market” method for delivery of instruction.
  • May 1976– twenty-six students graduated in JWCC’s first commencement ceremony.
  • June 1979– opened first Pittsfield Center at the Old East School.
1981 JWCC board members at Ag Center Dedication

1980 - 1989

  • August 1981– JWCC Agricultural Education Center opened on the U of I Orr Research Center near Perry.
  • December 1983– JWCC offices moved from Our Lady of Angels Seminary on North 18th to former Lincoln School at 48th and Maine.
  • September 1985– Uptown Adult Education Learning Center opened at 509 Maine.
  • May 1986– JWCC Foundation Board of Directors held its organizational meeting.

1990 - 1999

  • Fall 1990– Pittsfield Education Center moved to its present location, 1308 West Washington.
  • 1991– JWCC began establishing a broad range of autonomous curricular programs to phase out the “common market” operation.
  • 1991– General education and liberal arts faculty were added in order for the College to provide its own comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum.
  • 1991– Board of Trustees approved Trail Blazers as the College’s athletic team name/mascot.
  • 1991– JWCC fielded its first intercollegiate athletic teams during the 1991-1992 academic year.
  • 1996– College acquired 154 acres from the Deters family for the current site of the Quincy campus at 48th and Harrison.
  • 1996– JWCC and Dot Foods entered into an agreement to offer a variety of classes at the Mt. Sterling Learning Center.
  • November 1996– Groundbreaking for the JWCC Science and Technology Center.
  • January 1998– Science and Technology Center opened. First building on the new Quincy campus.
Early picture of the Pittsfield Education Center front desk

2000 - 2009

  • December 2001– JWCC programs and services located at 48th and Maine campus in Quincy were moved into the Learning Center and Student Administrative Center
  • January 2002– Learning Center and Student/Administrative Center opened on the new campus.
  • Fall 2004– Paul Heath Community Education and Fine Arts Center (named in honor of the College’s founding president) completed the College’s long-range plan of a four-building core campus.
  • 2004– JWCC Celebrates its 30th Anniversary.
  • 2006– Student Activity Center opened. The SAC includes a gym that can seat 1,800 plus a weight room, classroom, locker rooms, and a team training room. The site also includes a baseball field, softball field, and additional parking.
  • May 2007– JWCC 32nd commencement ceremony was held in the Student Activity Center. JWCC first-ever commencement held on its own campus.
  • 2009– JWCC 35th Anniversary and first Founder’s Day Celebration.
  • 2009 – JWCC Workforce Development Center opened at 4220 Kochs Lane in Quincy.
SEC Dedication

2010 - 2019

  • Spring 2011 – New two-year Manufacturing Technology program began to meet needs identified by local manufacturers. The program focuses on how a product is manufactured, distributed, documented and supported.
  • June 2011- Adams County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) offices moved to the JWCC Kinscherff Adult Education Learning Center at 122 North 5th Street, Quincy.
  • January 2012 – Dr. John Letts was appointed the College’s fifth president.
  • May 2012 – JWCC retirees establish a Retirees Association.
  • August  2012 – Mandarin Chinese course offered for the first time at JWCC.
  • May 2013 – Grand Opening of JWCC’s new Mt. Sterling Education Center at 108 N. Capitol in Mt. Sterling.
  • August 2013 – New JWCC Career Readiness Center opens to help students and community members more confidently identify local careers that match their skills and interests.
  • September 2013 – New Retired and Senior Volunteer Program offices open in Mt. Sterling and Pittsfield.
  • January 2014 – First JWCC homecoming January 17- February 1.
  • April 2014 – Michael L. Elbe becomes JWCC’s sixth president.
  • July 2014 – New 2×2 accelerated online programs begin to offer students opportunity to earn an associate degree by taking two classes at a time and finish in two years. Initial 2×2 programs include accounting, business, economics, psychology, history, and general studies.
  • January 2015 – “Woody the Trailblazer” unveiled as first JWCC Mascot in celebration of JWCC’s 40 year anniversary.
  • August 2016 – Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore creates the Quincy Promise pilot program subject to availability to support Quincy high school 2017-2019 graduates attend JWCC tuition free.
  • August 2016 – JWCC offers 12-week courses for the first time.
  • August 2016 – JWCC creates its Computer Network Support certificate.
  • August 2016 – Collaborate with Blessing-Rieman to combine resources to deliver nursing instruction for students in JWCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing program.
  • June 2017 – 40th anniversary of the partnership between University of Illinois Orr Agricultural Center and John Wood Community College Agricultural Education Center
  • July 2017 –  JWCC launches College for Life program to provide post-high school educational experience for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • August 2017 – Southeast Education Center is formally dedicated.
  • October 2017 – First four-week winter session launched.
  • October 2017 – Women’s volleyball and men’s soccer programs reintroduced and women’s soccer program added to athletic offerings.
  • December 2017 – Sign agreement with Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences to combine resources to deliver JWCC’s Surgical Technology degree.
  • January 2018 – Bob Rhea ’80 selected for inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award
  • February 2018 – Smart Start 2×2 online program launched for high achieving high school students to complete the first two years of bachelor’s degree prior to high school graduation.
  • May 2018 – JWCC and the Regional Office of Education #1 share resources to provide a new Pearson Testing Center  at JWCC’s Southeast Education Center.
  • June 2018 – Fire Science program ranked in the top 10 in the country by OnlineAssociatesDegrees.net.
  • August 2018 – Named one of the top 20 best community colleges in Illinois by wallethub.com.
  • August 2018 – Launch of one-year Medical Assistant program.
  • August 2018 – Launch of Missouri Plus Scholarship program for high school graduates in adjacent Missouri counties.
  • September 2018 – Approve an articulation agreement with Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences to provide and efficient path from JWCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing at BRCNHS.
  • October 2018 – JWCC ranked sixth out of 48 Illinois community colleges by the Community for Accredited Online Schools (select “2-Year Colleges” tab).
  • January 2019 – Early Childhood Education program  approved as an entitled institution for Gateways to Opportunity credentials.
  • March 2019 – Ranked as the top online community college in Illinois by SR Education Group, a leading education research publisher.
  • April 2019 – Ranked Second Safest Community College in the Country and fifth safest college nationwide by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
  • August 2019 – Begin offering one-year Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning certificate.
2020 JWCC Hall of Fame

2020 - current

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