Established in the early 1990s, Heartland Community College (HCC) has been providing academic opportunities for residents of Normal, Pontiac, and Lincoln, Illinois for over a decade. Because the state of Illinois requires students to attend community college much in the same manner they attend high school, by district, the school was established to provide options for those living near Bloomington, an area that, for many years, had no specific community college for its district.
Like many two-year institutions in Illinois, Heartland is looking towards the future, with extensive plans for renovations and more facilities for its students to use. Presently, the college offers students the opportunity to earn associate’s degrees and diplomas. There is also a program for those looking to complete their GED.
With over 40 programs, the school offers ample opportunities for students who are looking to continue their education at a four-year college or university. Credits and programs are designed to transfer beyond two-year community college, and the introduction courses are designed both for students who plan on pursuing their education further, and for those who are simply looking to complete two years of coursework. Over 5,000 credit-seeking students are enrolled each semester, with more non-credit students attending evening classes and special professional development classes.
Some of the most popular programs include Criminal Justice, the Humanities and Fine Arts department and its wide variety of courses, Computer Sciences, Social Work, Agriculture, Engineering, and Pre-Medicine.
HCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as being a member of the North Central Association. Its nursing program is also accredited by the NLNAC, or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Prospective students should fill out the school’s admissions application, including a copy of their GED or high school diploma, as well as any scores from the SAT or ACT tests that might have been completed. Transfer students should also include their college transcript and any coursework they might have completed if they wish to transfer credit.
It is important to keep in mind that, while the general admissions guidelines do apply to everyone, certain departments may have their own specific requirements in addition to those general admission requirements. For prospective students who are unsure, the best thing to do is check in with the department head and double-check that there is nothing else required to enroll.
Most students attending the college receive some form of financial aid, whether need or merit-based. Because the entire financial aid process can sometimes be daunting for first-time or returning students, those enrolled are encouraged to make time to speak with counselors in the Financial Aid Office. Appointments can be scheduled during regular business hours, and counselors are more than happy to sit down with students and assist them on everything from searching for community-based scholarships to completing the FAFSA correctly the first time, thus ensuring that there will be no delay in aid being awarded prior to the start of the semester.
First and foremost, students should keep the financial aid deadlines in mind. For fall semester, the deadline is the first of April, while for spring, the deadline is the first of October. Students must fill out the FAFSA and to cut down on any potential trouble, it is best to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Students are eligible for work-study financial aid, various need and merit-based scholarships, and grants. Veterans are eligible for a wide variety of benefits that apply specifically to them, too.
Most students attending the college as credit-seeking students are already in their mid-20s, with the age of non-credit students rising to an average of 39. This means that, while there are numerous ways to be involved on campus, HCC is more of a commuter school, where students live at home or on their own and commute to classes. There are on-campus clubs and organizations, including student government and a school newspaper, but for the most part, attention is focused on athletics and attending classes. With a student body of over 5,000 and expansion efforts completed, there are more than enough facilities; from the state-of-the-art gymnasium to the college’s child-care center that keep students contented and occupied.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Athletics are a very popular part of HCC, with both the Hawks and the lady Hawks enjoying the recently-constructed, state-of-the-art athletic facilities on campus. Part of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Mid-West Athletic Conference, the teams have been known for their high ranking and athletic prowess. In particular, the men’s baseball team has enjoyed a great deal of success, ranking sixth in the nation and netting National Championships. Both the women’s and the men’s soccer teams are off to promising starts as well, and appear poised and ready to bring more victory to the school.
Students who are not signed up for official teams can still enjoy the school’s athletic facilities, whether through pick-up games of soccer and baseball or through extensive workouts in the fitness room. The local community is also grateful for the renovations, with a number of different athletic camps hosted during the summer months.
Brooke Bright graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She currently resides with her family in Northern Illinois. When she is not chasing her two sons around you can find her organizing something or reading a mystery novel.