Ƶ is located in Decatur, Illinois, the heart of Central Illinois. Ƶ serves its District with the main campus, in Decatur, and two extension centers. The College’s main campus resides on a site of 155 acres of land. Following substantial growth and expansion, Ƶ currently contains 293,590 square feet.

Our History in Detail

  • 1971 – “Community College of Decatur,” primarily serving Decatur, was created.
  • September 1972 – Classes began in the former Millikin National Bank Building, 100 North Water Street.
  • December 1973 – 15 high school districts annexed to the Decatur College District.
  • February 1975 – Ƶ became the new name.
  • August 1977 – The Clinton Center opened.
  • August 1979 – the College moved to a rented warehouse in Park 101, 2425 Federal Drive.
  • February 1980 – A nonprofit foundation was established by the Board to enable the College to receive gifts of money, real property, and scholarship funds and to offer other support to the College.
  • March 1984 – a $5.8 million bond referendum was approved by voters for an $18.5 million permanent campus at our current site.
  • July 1986 – Governor James R. Thompson led the groundbreaking ceremony.
  • September 1988 – Classes were held at our permanent site.
  • September 1990 – Construction began on the Weidenbacher Greenhouse. The Greenhouse was ready for classes for the Fall 1991 semester.
  • March 1992 – Work began on the Shilling Community Education Center, a 44,600-square-foot structure with auditorium. Its official opening and dedication took place April 1993.
  • September 2001 – Dr. Gayle Saunders became the first female President of Ƶ.
  • October 2001 – Ƶ became one of only a few community colleges within Illinois to use the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) rather than the traditional self-study for its reaccreditation.
  • August 2002 – The new Industrial Technology Center was dedicated and opened for classes.
  • November 2002 – Ƶ held its first Founders’ Day Breakfast to celebrate 30 years.
  • December 2002 – The new Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District building built on Ƶ’s campus was dedicated. This is the second partnership of its kind in the nation.
  • January 2003 – The new Schrodt Health Education Center that houses all health profession programs was dedicated and opened for classes.
  • January 2003 – The Board adopted the Ƶ Core Values of Commitment, Respect, Excellence, Accountability, and Diversity.
  • August 2003 – The Mueller Student Center was remodeled.
  • August 2003 – Ƶ hired 15 new faculty members, the largest number of new faculty at one time since the opening of the College.
  • September 2003 – Ƶ’s Project READ and the Decatur Public Library formed a partnership, and Project READ was relocated to the second floor of the Decatur Public Library to provide centralized services for community members.
  • May 2004 – Ƶ saw the largest graduating class in the history of the school, awarding 593 certificates and degrees.
  • Spring 2004 – Ƶ became a partner in the “Million Flower Project” with the Horticulture Program, growing one million flowers to be planted in and around Decatur.
  • Fall 2004 – The Human Simulator Lab became operational. At the time, the human simulator (STAN) was one of only 250 in the world.
  • Fall 2004 – Decatur was chosen as one of the permanent sites for the Farm Progress Show. Decatur will host the show every other year, beginning fall 2005, for the next 20 years. The show site is located adjacent to the Ƶ campus.
  • April 2005 – A referendum was passed to increase and establish the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes at .2749 percent upon all taxable property in the District.
  • Summer 2005 – The new Ƶ Center opened at Hope Academy. (Hope Academy Extension Center closed June 2011)
  • August 2005 – The first Farm Progress Show hosted by Decatur took place at the permanent Decatur site located adjacent to the College campus.
  • Fall 2005 – Ƶ entered into agreements with Logan, Lincoln, and Jacksonville (including Pittsfield Work Camp) Correctional Centers to offer programs to Department of Corrections students. Classes are held at the Correctional Centers.
  • November 2005 – The Prairie Bloom Sculpture located in the front of the Main Campus entrance was dedicated.
  • June 2006 – Ground was broken for the Agribusiness and Occupational Technology Center.
  • January 2007 – A new Pediatric Human Simulator became operational in the Human Simulator Lab.
  • August 2007 – Ƶ hosted the Farm Progress Show in Progress City USA.
  • September 2007 – Ground was broken for the Early Childhood classroom and Fitness Center. The Agribusiness and Occupational Technology Center was dedicated in November 2007.
  • February 2008 – the Agribusiness and Occupational Technology Center was renamed the Dwayne O. Andreas Agribusiness Education Center.
  • 2008 – The Ƶ Foundation undertook a Major Gifts Campaign, “Investing in Our Future.”
  • September 2008 – Ground was broken for the Center for Sustainability and Innovation.
  • Fall 2008 – The Fitness Center opened in its new location.
  • January 2009 – The Fairview Park Plaza Center opened as a site for credit and non-credit classes.
  • April 2009 – The Adele P. Glenn Academy for Early Childhood Education was dedicated.
  • April 2009 – The Industrial Technology Center was renamed the Walter and Alice Scherer Industrial Technology Center.
  • July 2009 – The Center for Sustainability and Innovation opened.
  • August 2009 – The wind turbine started operation; it was dedicated in September 2009.
  • September 2009 – Ƶ hosted the third Farm Progress Show held at Progress City USA.
  • June 2010 – A reception was held to celebrate the finale of the Foundation’s “Investing in our Future” major gifts campaign, the largest major fundraising initiative in Ƶ’s 39-year history.
  • August 2010 – The Mathematics and Sciences Division of Ƶ held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Mathematics Enrichment Center
  • October 2010 – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the Center for Sustainability and Innovation
  • August 2011 – Ƶ hosted the fifth Farm Progress Show held at Progress City, USA.
  • April 2012 – Ƶ received the prestigious “Tree Campus USA” designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
  • September 2012 – The National Sequestration Education Center was opened.
  • December 2012 – Renovation and construction of a new Student Success Center was announced.
  • January 2013 – Ground was broken for the Clinton Higher Education Center.
  • March 2013 – Repairs and renovations to the south wing were announced.
  • April 2013 – Ground was broken for the Workforce Development Institute.
  • July 2013 – The transformation of existing campus space into a Business Education Center was announced.
  • August 2013 – Ƶ hosted the seventh Farm Progress Show held at Progress City, USA.
  • November 2013 – The Clinton Higher Education Center was opened.
  • December 2014 – The Workforce Development Institute opened.
  • August 2015 – Ƶ hosted the ninth Farm Progress Show held at Progress City, USA.
  • October 2015 – Dr. Gayle Saunders announced her retirement as President of Ƶ
  • June 2016 – Dr. Cristobal Valdez was named President of Ƶ
  • August 2017 – Ƶ hosted the tenth Farm Progress Show held at Progress City, USA.
  • September 2017 – Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center, an Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board facility, operated by Ƶ, opened.
  • January 2018 – The new north wing administration offices opened.
  • January 2018 – The new Student Success Center opened.
  • January 2018 – The Carroll Center for Innovative Learning opened.
  • June 2018 – Ƶ received notification that the Higher Learning Commission would be transitioning all colleges still involved in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) to one of two continuing Pathway accreditation options. Ƶ has been an “AQIP Institution” since 2001
  • July 2018 – Ƶ receives a $1.5 million grant from the State of Illinois for workforce development.
  • July 2018 – Ƶ establishes its EnRich Program as part of the Workforce Equity Initiative
  • October 2018 – In partnership with the Good Samaritan Inn, Ƶ opened The Pantry at Ƶ to address food insecurities of students and their families.
  • December 2018 – Ƶ established the Office of Security to replace a contract security firm.
  • December 2020 – Ƶ introduces its Minority Mentor Protégé Program under its EnRich Program
  • May 2021 – Commencement was held on campus with limited capacity; speeches and other typical components were recorded, and no guests were allowed.
  • Summer 2021 – Renovations began in the west wing second floor, another component of the Facilities Master Plan.
  • Fall 2021 – The redesigned first floor South Wing opened to classes; science labs, Health Professions classrooms, and the Academic Success Center occupy the space. In addition, an ambulance simulator was installed in the Schrodt Health Education Center for use by the Emergency Medical Services program.
  • Summer 2021 – As a result of COVID-19’s continued impact on in-person gatherings, courses were generally offered online, although some classes with labs followed a hybrid format.
  • Fall 2021 – A new building was erected to house the agriculture and horticulture programs in partnership with FBi Buildings after a successful demonstration at the 2021 Farm Progress Show.
  • January 2022 – The west wing second floor opened for classes and the relocation of offices, including a new location for the Teaching and Learning Center.
  • March 2022 – The contract with Farm Progress Companies and ADM was approved, guaranteeing that Ƶ will remain the host site for several years.
  • May 2022 – Commencement resumed as an in-person event.
  • Ƶ’s 50th anniversary was celebrated through the 2022-2023 Academic Year, with several special events for employees and the community.
  • May 2023 – Commencement celebrated the 50th commencement and honored the first graduating class.
  • November 2023 – The Michael D. Andreas Agriculture Building was dedicated.