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BTC joins #CCMONTH national campaign
Campaign to draw attention to the importance of community colleges
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MONROE — Blackhawk Technical College will join #CCMonth, a monthlong grassroots education and stigma-busting campaign in April coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The primary goals of #CCmonth are to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges, and to bust longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.

“Community colleges are engines of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee. “They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”

Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all people. They are the primary educators of life-saving nursing and other healthcare professionals among many others. They also serve as an onramp to bachelor’s, master’s and higher-level degrees for many students, and particularly for the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse students. They guarantee fair admissions for all students. They offer supports for adult students who have to work to support their families. And without community colleges, many American students would not be able to access higher education at all.

For more than 100 years, Blackhawk has been a center of education and training in Rock and Green counties. With more than 60 programs, Blackhawk offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and workforce training at its three campuses in Janesville, Milton and Monroe, as well as classrooms at the Beloit Public Library. Students also can participate in BTC’s MyEdChoice, which allows them to take courses face-to-face, online or hybrid. 

Providing a flexible education in a supportive environment is the cornerstone of Blackhawk’s mission, and over the past few years, Blackhawk also has become more intentional about its work around inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. Most recently, the college adopted a new diversity statement and added “inclusion” as one of its core values. The new diversity statement and new value are both supported by many initiatives and activities at the college.

The college also is building a new Public Safety + Transportation Center at its central campus in Janesville to address inadequate, undersized, or the absence of, critical hands-on training facilities for Blackhawk students, municipalities and workforce development partners in the region. The new center includes a fire tower, emergency vehicle operator course and a new building for Blackhawk’s diesel and automotive programs. By June 2022, nearly all of the projects on the main training grounds are expected to be complete and open for use, which will be a significant enhancement for Blackhawk’s safety and transportation programs.