QUINCY -- Laurel Klinkenberg says in today's market -- job and educational alike -- it's the community colleges that must be at the forefront.
"We're the key players," she said. "We have to be aware of the job opportunities and what the labor market offers. We have to be quick to analyze."
Klinkenberg is the new vice president for instruction at John Wood Community College.
She has been at JWCC since July 6. She previously served as vice president for instructional services at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill., and has nearly 25 years of community college experience as an instructor and administrator.
Klinkenberg succeeds David Schachtsiek, who joined JWCC in January 2014 as vice president for instruction as part of a contractual agreement with the Registry for College and University Presidents.
"Laurel's leadership qualifications, commitment to the community college mission, and experience working with the Illinois Community College Board will be a great asset to John Wood," JWCC President Mike Elbe said. "Those factors, combined with her collaborative style and rural background, make her a great fit for our college's culture and the communities we serve. She's focused on student success and will dedicate herself to help JWCC continue to grow in all areas of our district."
The JWCC district serves all or parts of Adams, Pike, Hancock, Brown, Calhoun, Schuyler, Morgan, Scott and Cass counties.
"It is important for a community college to partner with the community and businesses (it serves)," said Klinkenberg, who is impressed by her new surroundings. "It is so welcoming (in this area), everyone is warm and friendly, and It is thrilling to be here."
During her career, Klinkenberg has led and facilitated a broad range of instructional initiatives, including a Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation of accreditation, assessment, strategic planning, faculty professional development, concurrent enrollment, technology integration, business and industry partnerships, articulation, curriculum development, fundraising, grants, recruitment and retention.
Before her role at John A. Logan, Klinkenberg served a dean of communications, humanities, education and fine arts at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, for five years. She was promoted to that position after serving as Hawkeye's associate dean of arts and sciences.
Klinkenberg holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies, and a master's in education from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; an education specialist degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; and bachelor's degree in music education/music therapy from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.