Career Technologies

February 6, 2020

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® and Kishwaukee College is celebrating along with community colleges and technical colleges across the state of Illinois. Kish will host the panel-conference “Explore the Trades” from 9:00 am – 11:30 am on February 18 in the Kish Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public.

“Kishwaukee College is proud to partner with our local business and industry as we strive to provide the best trained, skilled and educated workforce to meet their needs,” stated Kish president, Dr. Laurie Borowicz. “So many local businesses have hired our graduates, knowing that they are adding an excellent employee to their team. We join other community colleges in the state and recognize our excellent programs, faculty and students during Career and Technical Education Month.”

CTE teaches people highly sought after career skills for in-demand employment opportunities. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) reports that 62.2 percent of all graduates from an Illinois community college earned a degree or certificate in a CTE program. Kish’s CTE programs offer flexible scheduling, work-based learning and stackable credentials that provide a pathway from education to employment. According to ICCB, there are over 4,300 different CTE program throughout the community college system.

On February 18, guests can join Kish faculty and a panel of union trade members from various industries to learn how to build a successful career in the trades. Representatives from Painters & Allied Trades, Plumbers & Pipefitters, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Boiler Makers, Operating Engineers, Electrical Workers, Bridge & Iron Workers, Project First Rate of Rockford and the Department of Labor Apprenticeship & Training will be on campus. Guests are encouraged to park in lot A and enter through door 16 or 17. For more information on “Explore the Trades,” visit

CTE programs at Kish include nursing and allied health programs such as basic nursing assisting, esthetics, medical assisting, registered nursing, radiologic technology and therapeutic massage. People interested in entering a trade outside of healthcare may consider studying agribusiness, automated engineering technology, automotive, criminal justice, business, computer-aided design, computer information systems, diesel power technology, electronics, horticulture, hospitality & culinary, marketing/management, office systems, or welding at Kish. These programs will equip people with the skills employers seek to get started in the industry right away.

Short-term training programs through our community education department are also a fantastic option for people looking to enter a career in fewer than 16 weeks. The training programs include dental assistant, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy technician, precision agriculture, real estate broker, sterile processing technician, truck driver training and veterinary assistant. For more information on short-term training programs, visit

For more information about Kish’s post-secondary career and technical education programs and services, visit For information on career and technical education throughout Illinois, visit

May 22, 2019

Kishwaukee College will offer a new Medical Assistant certificate program pending approval from the Illinois Community College Board. The new program will meet the demand for more certified medical assistants in the College district. The one-year certificate program is tentatively scheduled to begin Spring 2020.

“Northwestern Medicine and other stakeholders came to us prompting the development of the program,” says Bette Chilton, Executive Dean of Career Technologies at Kish. With an ever-increasing demand for medical assistants in the healthcare profession, Kish is responding to the need in the field. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), expected growth in the employment of medical assistants is to increase by 13.4% statewide through the year 2026.

With the ability to meet both administrative and clinical needs, medical assistants hold unique positions in medical facilities. The new Kish program will prepare students for entry-level careers in physician’s offices, clinics, and other ambulatory settings. The program will run with evening classes and include a 200-hour hands-on clinical externship the final semester. Space is limited to 10 students per cohort.

Kish collaborated with Illinois Valley Community College to create the new program curriculum. Illinois Valley was similarly approached by their stakeholders voicing a need for medical assistants. The two colleges worked collectively to design the program curriculum and hired an outside consultant to ensure the program was in alignment with current standards. The Kishwaukee College Foundation will provide an Innovation Award to support the equipment purchase for the new program.

“Medical assistants offer a cost-effective method for local facilities to continue to provide excellent healthcare,” states Mindy Finch, Dean of Instruction and Director of Nursing at Kish. “The program will increase a person’s employability and productiveness and allow them to join healthcare as an asset.”

Once approved and active, the program intends to seek accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). Once accredited, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the Medical Assistant certification exam.

For more information, contact Mindy Finch, Dean of Instruction and Director of Nursing, at or 815-825-9439.

March 5, 2019

Kishwaukee College was the site of the Illinois Drafting Educators Association (IDEA) Region 4 meet on March 1. The annual, statewide competition is open to high school students enrolled in drafting programs offered through their high schools. Students from Belvidere North High School (BNHS), Genoa-Kingston High School (GKHS), Jefferson High School (JHS), and Rochelle Township High School (RTHS) participated in the Region 4 meet.  

IDEA is a non-profit professional education organization founded in 1957. The organization aims to advance the drafting profession through better education. Drafters and designers are often in high demand especially by the manufacturing and construction industries. Nearly 12,000 drafters are currently employed in Illinois with about 250 current positions opened.

Student drawings in each division were judged by members of the Kishwaukee College Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technology Advisory Board and second-year Kishwaukee CAD students. First and second place winners progress to the state competition on April 27 at Illinois State University.

The winners of the IDEA Region 4 competition are:  

Introductory Board

First Place: Madison Young, RTHS

Second Place: Will Gates, GKHS

Third Place: Declan Creadon, GKHS

Introductory CAD

First Place: Alex Barton, GKHS

Second Place: Evelyn Molina, BNHS

Third Place: Ryan Harms, GKHS

3D CAD Modeling

First Place: Josh Gahlbeck, GKHS

Second Place: Will Butterfield, GKHS

Machine CAD

First Place: Ryan Stanley, GKHS

Second Place: Zach Kaiser, GKHS

Third Place: Conner Lavelle, GKHS

Architectural Board

First Place: Ethan Wood, GKHS

Second Place: Evan Skarzynski, GKHS

Third Place: Tristan Mangum, GKHS

Architectural CAD 2D

First Place: Tyler Leahy, GKHS

Second Place: Logan Ortega, RTHS

Architectural CAD 3D

First Place: Gloria Oteng-Bediako, BNHS

Second Place: Emily Nipper, BNHS

Third Place: Lucas Schambach, GKHS

Architectural Design

First Place: Landen Cowell, Peyton Keller, and Ken Thammavong, JHS

Engineering Design

First Place: William Baez, Matthew Morey, and Alexie Smith, RTHS

Second Place: Cailynn Codey, Ronnie Loy, and Jonathan Villagomez, JHS

The Belvidere North team is coached by instructor Rick Booth; the Genoa-Kingston team is coached by instructor Trent Sellers; the Jefferson team is coached by instructor Craig Stenberg; and the Rochelle Township team is coached by instructor Kurt Wolter.  

For more information on the CAD Technology program at Kishwaukee College visit or contact CAD Instructor and Regional Competition Director Rick Bunton at 815-825-9634.

For more information about IDEA or drafting/design as a profession, visit

Photo Caption: Local high school students participate in IDEA Region 4 High School drafting competitions. Pictured: Members of the Genoa-Kingston High School drafting/design team who participated in the IDEA Region 4 meet held March 1 at Kishwaukee College.


August 29, 2018

The Horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, September 15 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. Plant Sale will be in conjunction with the College’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming event. The Fall Plant Sale includes fall mums, asters, cold hardy perennials, fall wreaths, fall décor, and mixed containers. Custom planters will also be available; choose a container or bring your own.

The Kishwaukee College Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions and will also assist with choosing plants suited to specific needs or wants.

Plant Sale participants should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but there will be a loading area available by the Greenhouse and horticulture students and staff to assist patrons with loading their purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash or credit card (Discover, Visa and Mastercard). For more information, contact Horticulture Instructor Rich Alde at 815-825-9519 or at

July 30, 2018

Crest Foods, of Ashton, generously donated a Fanuc M-410iB/300 robot to Kishwaukee College Electronics (ELE) Department. After working with Crest foods, the ELE Department obtained permission to trade the donated robot for a Fanuc LRMate 200ID-30iB robot, which is small enough to be housed on campus. This donation is instrumental in developing Industrial Robotics courses and expanding the skills taught in the Career Technology Division at Kish.

Over the past four years, the ELE Department has been working on securing a robot for Industrial Automation courses, with great support from the ELE Advisory Board. The Fanuc robot will allow Kish to offer a series of classes ranging from Introduction to Industrial Robots to Advanced Industrial Robotics. These will integrate into Programmable Logic Controller I & II courses, as well as the other ELE courses.

“The enthusiasm behind the robot steams from the relentless push from the ELE advisory committee sounding off on the importance of an industrial robot and the skills that our students will gain from working around the robot,” said Charles Raimondi, Electronics Instructor at Kish.

Students taking the Industrial Automation courses will learn to integrate OSHA Robotics Safety requirements, program the robot to perform tasks, install various inputs and outputs to work in conjunction with the robot, among other relevant skills. Additionally, the robot will be integrated into other Career Technology courses. For example, Computer Aided Design students will design fixturing for the robot and the Automated Engineering Technology students will manufacture the fixtures.

“The opportunities are endless with the Fanuc Robot,” said Charles.

The ELE Department will showcase the robot during Homecoming at Kish on Saturday, September 15. High school students are welcome to make an appointment with the ELE Department to experience working with the robot; please contact Charles Raimondi at For more information on the Electronics Department, visit

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June 19, 2018

DeKalb County Community Foundation donated $3000 to the newly established Kishwaukee College Agribusiness program. Kevin McArtor, member of the DeKalb County Community Foundation Board of Directors, presented the check to Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College, on May 30. The funds from the donation will be used toward the purchase of GPS equipment needed for the Agribusiness & Precision Agriculture programs.

The GPS technology will be integrated with monitoring technology, Geographic Information Systems, and auto-steer capabilities to help students learn about the applications of these critical technologies for modern agriculture.

The Kishwaukee College Agribusiness program will begin in the Fall 2018 semester, and registration for all courses is underway. Agriculture programs played a large role in the early years of the College and current renewed interest in the industry has led to the resurgence of the programs on campus. The new program includes a two-year Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree, a Certificate in Foundations of Agriculture, and a Certificate in Precision Agriculture.

For more information on the Kishwaukee College Agribusiness program visit,

May 8, 2018

The Horticulture department will be holding their Annual Plant Sale on May 11 from 7:30 am–2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. The Plant Sale includes annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, zonal geraniums and large specialty annuals. There are also pre-planted containers of various sizes, hanging baskets and large bags of quality potting mix (2.8 cu. ft.) for sale.

The Kishwaukee College Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions and will also assist with choosing plants suited to specific needs or wants.

Plant Sale participants should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but there will be a loading area available by the Greenhouse and horticulture students and staff to assist patrons with loading their purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash or credit card (Discover, Visa, American Express and Mastercard). For more information, contact Horticulture instructor Rich Alde at 815-825-9519 or at

Save the date for the Horticulture department Fall Plant Sale on September 15. Plant sale will be in conjunction with the College’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming event.

April 23, 2018

Kishwaukee College is adding an Agribusiness program in Fall 2018. The new program includes a two-year Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree, a Certificate in Foundations of Agriculture, and a Certificate in Precision Agriculture.

Steve Durin, Assistant Professor in the Career Technologies division, will be the lead instructor of the new program. Durin noted, “The addition of the Agribusiness degree and certificates allows local students to gain the skills and knowledge required for employment in the growing agribusiness fields. There is currently a shortage of qualified workers in agriculture.”

Agriculture programs played a large role in the early years of the College and current renewed interest in the industry has led to the resurgence of the programs on campus. Agriculture is an important component of the U.S. and state economy and offers career opportunities in all facets of business and farming. 

Durin explained, “The Agribusiness Program prepares students for careers in all levels of agriculture: Farm Management, Custom Applicator, USDA employee, Sales Representative, Livestock Manager, Insurance Representative and more. The agribusiness fields are growing steadily across the area and the employment outlook is strong.”

The Kish Agribusiness Program includes two short-term certificates, Foundations of Agriculture and Precision Agriculture, that prepare students to directly enter the workforce. The A.A.S. degree in Agribusiness is a two-year program that offers a student flexibility. Students who earn the degree can enter the workforce directly or continue their education at a four-year college or university to earn a B.S. in an Agribusiness program.

For more information on the Agribusiness Program, contact Steve Durin, Assistant Professor in Career Technologies, at 815-825-9382 or at or visit

April 10, 2018

Kishwaukee College welcomed Enbridge representatives to campus on April 5 to accept a donation of a pipe beveler for the College’s Welding Program.

Bernie Pupino, Coordinator of Career Technologies at Kish, has a working relationship with Enbridge and discussed the possibility of the company donating the pipe beveler. A pipe beveler is specialized equipment to cut metal pipe to prepare the ends for welding with consistent precision. A pipe beveler can also be used to debur the cut ends for safety reasons. The addition of the pipe beveler to the Welding Program will give students hands-on experience with specialized equipment that is integral to pipe-fitting jobs.

Representatives from Enbridge who presented the beveler were John Gauderman, Director Great Lakes Region; David Bareham, Griffith Area Manager; Taylor Smith, Sr. Community Engagement Analyst; Jay Himango, Pipeline Services Supervisor; David Losiniecki, Sr. Welder; and Dan Morang, Sr. Welder.  Accepting the donation from Kish College were Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President; Bill Nicklas, Executive Director of the KC Foundation; Dr. Joanne Kantner, Vice President of Instruction; Matt Feuerborn, Dean of Career Technologies; Bernie Pupino, Coordinator of Career Technologies; and Zachery Caccia, Assistant Professor of Welding.

After the formal presentation, the welders from Enbridge worked with Zach Caccia to demonstrate the beveler to students in the Welding program, using a 36-inch metal pipe.

Enbridge Inc. is North America’s premier energy infrastructure company with strategic business platforms that include an extensive network of crude oil, liquids and natural gas pipelines, regulated natural gas distribution utilities and renewable power generation. The Company safely delivers an average of 2.8 million barrels of crude oil each day through its Mainline and Express Pipeline, and accounts for nearly 68% of U.S.-bound Canadian crude oil production, and moves approximately 20% of all natural gas consumed in the U.S. serving key supply basins and demand markets. Enbridge also has a growing involvement in electricity infrastructure with interests in more than 2,500 MW of net renewable generating capacity, and an expanding offshore wind portfolio in Europe. The Company has ranked on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations index for the past eight years.

Enbridge has a long history of commitment to supporting educational opportunities. The company established the Enbridge Energy Company Pipeline Industry Awareness Scholarship at Kishwaukee College several years ago.  The donation of the pipe beveler is a further demonstration of the company’s support of technical education.

For more information on Enbridge visit For more information on Kishwaukee College, visit

Pictured with the beveler on a 36-inch pipe are L to R, Zachery Caccia, Assistant Professor of Welding at Kish College; Matt Feuerborn, Dean of Career technologies at Kish; David Bareham, Griffith Area Manager, Enbridge; David Losiniecki, Senior Welder, Enbridge; Dr. Laurie Bororwicz, President of Kishwaukee College; John Gauderman, Director Great Lakes Region, Enbridge; Jamie Dalton, DeKalb, welding student; Dan Morang, Senior Welder, Enbridge; Brock Kreitzer, Sandwich, Welding student; Rep. Bob Pritchard; and Tim Riley, Sycamore, Welding student.

June 20, 2016

Jaime Briner, DeKalb, can state without hesitation what the best part of her ELE 102 PC Maintenance and Repair class was. “I was able to gut a computer with no fear of the consequences. If the thing caught fire, it still would've been alright.”  Her statement is interesting especially in light of the fact that she began that semester a self-described novice: “I knew nothing of computers and that terrified me.”

On the other hand, Susanna Eschbach, Cortland, took ELE 102 because, unlike Jaime, she has always loved computers. “I was initially drawn to the class on how to fix computers. I then saw the fall syllabus for the computer technology major and the classes sounded interesting, so I signed up for the Fall semester of classes!”

Lucy Farley, DeKalb, has always been drawn to programs where she can use her hands as well as her mind. “I knew I was looking towards the Career Technologies division to call home during my two-year community college adventure,” she stated. “Once into my first Industrial Electricity and PLC courses things seemed to fall into place. With a vast and unique field such as Electronics, I have great optimism in finding a career path and position that seems as though it were tailored to fit me.”

Overseeing all this enthusiasm is Charles Raimondi, Electronics Technology instructor at Kishwaukee College. Charles is just completing his second year with Kish but is no stranger to the electronics classroom and lab – he came to the College with five years college teaching experience.

Electronics is a growing field and its complexity and intricacies are an attractive entryway into STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields for women. According to the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, women now comprise nearly 50% of all employees in the electronics industry and the demand for women in the field is growing rapidly.

Susanna is in the Computer Technology Program at Kish. “The first time you walk into an ELE class, you'll feel so overwhelmed. I'm half way through my second semester and I still feel that way a lot of the time. But then, if you persevere, you'll look back and be amazed at the amount of stuff you'll have learned and can do.”  She also credits Charles with making learning a combination of lecture and practical application in the lab. She said, “The mix makes sure that we understand both the practical and theoretical side of electronics.”

Lucy plans to transfer to a university but in the meantime has submerged herself in a program with an instructor who gives her the freedom to pursue her dream with just the right amount of support. “I am extremely fortunate to be employed within the department under my FANTASTIC instructor, Charles Raimondi, and am looking forward to the upcoming semesters,” she said. “Charles is extremely passionate about his work. The classroom atmosphere is best described as student-oriented. And Charles makes it a point to integrate women into STEM fields, as it is in high demand.”

But for Jaime, electronics is not a career goal. She plans to be a Public Relations professional, but learning the ins and outs of computers just made sense to her.  “I wanted to learn about computers considering how vital they are and likely will be later in my career.”

Susanna loves the challenge. “The best part of classes is always learning new stuff. It really never gets boringAnd it doesn't hurt that since the electronics field is one of the fastest growing industries, you're almost guaranteed a decent job as soon as you graduate!”

Enjoying the field and good job prospects makes the circuit complete.