Not every class offered by Rend Lake College is held in a campus classroom. There are numerous credit and non-credit courses held in various locations throughout the RLC district, and keeping a handle on all of them often requires considerable hours and effort.
Behind all of this is Dawn Gibson, Director of Community Education, who was recognized by her colleagues and the RLC administration as a co-recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Staff Award.
"I am eternally grateful to have this career," Gibson said. "Rend Lake College is a great place to work." Gibson received the award during the annual RLC Board-Faculty-Staff Dinner, held Friday, May 7, at the Rend Lake Resort Conference Center.
"She is my mentor, co-worker and friend and I feel she truly deserves this award for her dedication to Rend Lake College and her vision of delivering quality educational opportunities to all of our surrounding communities," said one of her colleagues in a nomination letter.
"She has put forth many extra hours at night and on the weekends beyond normal expectations of her job," said another. "She spends a considerable amount of time in area high schools for credit and non-credit recruitment. She has devoted her life to become the best Community Education Director."
Gibson facilitates RLC’s off-campus credit classes, non-credit classes on and off campus, and other offerings, such as summer programs for children, special events and Elderhostel.
Gibson works with community coordinators in Benton, Christopher, McLeansboro, Mt. Vernon, Pinckneyville, Sesser, Wayne City and Zeigler/Royalton to offer credit and non-credit courses in those areas. The college now offers many of these courses on-line.
Community Education provides instructional courses, workshops, youth camps and programs designed to meet the educational, social and cultural needs of the college district population. The goal of Community Education is to provide lifelong learning opportunities for self development, personal challenge and leisure enjoyment for students of all ages. These offerings are aimed at those who do not want or need transferable credit courses.
For students who do desire college credit, off-campus credit offerings allow students to earn college credit closer to their homes. These courses follow division-approved course outlines and maintain the same standards of instruction as the classes offered on-campus.
"This has really touched me, getting recommended by my colleagues," Gibson said. "It makes me feel good about myself. I share this award with the people who helped me coordinate projects, volunteers, everyone who has lent a helping hand."
Also winning the Outstanding Staff Award this year was Textbook Sales and Rental Coordinator Dorothy Feira.