Namuo addresses state of college

JJC President Clyne Namuo’s first State of the College Address on Tuesday, April 25, attracted many local education and legislative leaders as well as staff, faculty, students and other members of the JJC community.
Throughout his presentation, Namuo discussed and highlighted the college’s achievements this academic year, as well as the growth of partnerships with community organizations and JJC’s plans for the future.
The 12x12x12 dual credit initiative is one major project JJC has undertaken under Namuo’s leadership. This plan calls for high school students across the district to earn 12 college credits by the time they graduate for just $12 a credit.
“12x12x12 will impact hundreds of lives immediately, thousands of lives in the short term, and tens of thousands of lives over the long-term of this project,” Namuo said.
After acknowledging district superintendents in attendance, Namuo said JJC can claim 26 high school districts in its service area.
“Districts represented by the superintendents who just stood up total 40,000 high school students,” Namuo said.
He called the 12x12x12 plan “a game-changing initiative that will drastically increase college-going rates across the seven counties we serve.”
Another development that he premiered during the address was the beginning of the Roots and Branches project. Through video this project is designed to tell the stories of JJC students, alumni, community members, and staff and faculty.
Namuo described the vision of the project as, “A mosaic of faces, all different types, all different walks of life, from various levels of the socioeconomic level; I want you to see yourself in these videos.”
The first two videos tell the stories of Alejandro Bottia-Forero, a fall 2022 JJC graduate, and Natalie Manley, a JJC alum and state representative for the 98th District.
Other important topics Namuo outlined included: the expansion of JJC in Grundy County and westward; the renovation of the JJC Campus Police facilities; community partnership with PACE; changing demographics of the college; the new virtual reality lab; ARPA grant from Will County; and the increasing and sustainable support the JJC Foundation provides towards scholarships and other initiatives.
Namuo ended the address by discussing the potential development of a new student experience statement.
“Joliet Junior College will provide engaging learning experiences, a welcoming environment that empowers students to acquire new knowledge and explore new paths related to personal and professional growth,” said Namuo.
He also stressed that the college would provide “meaningful education and co-curricular experiences that give students the skills and sense of purpose.”
To do that, Namuo said the college will provide innovative technologies, facilities and spaces “in an inclusive community that values diversity, seeks equitable outcomes; where all students feel a sense of belonging.”
Namuo also acknowledged the community partners JJC has and the success the college is able to reach through their support.
“JJC started a movement that’s become a phenomenon that is the American community college,” Namuo said. “We intend to continue leading the way, but we cannot do it without you. All of you make this possible.”