Wabash Valley College
Wabash Valley College is a community college located in Mount Carmel, Illinois, USA. As of Fall, 2004, it had 1375 students. Conventional students often attend either Southern Illinois University Carbondale or University of Southern Indiana upon completion of their associate degrees. Out-of-state tuition fees are waived at USI, in exchange for similar discounts for Indiana students in Illinois Eastern Community Colleges. The school is extremely inexpensive, and still offers enticing scholarships to local students and national athletes. It offers numerous night classes and distance learning courses for non-traditional students. Occupational courses are offered in coal mining and diesel technologies as well as Commercial Driver's License training. Another major program at the school is their two-year licensed practical nurse training program, which can also provide a springboard into a four-year program to become a registered nurse. English as a second language, or ESL, courses are offered in the district as well. Many foreign students seem to benefit from the safe, relaxed, small town environment of Mount Carmel.
Radio/TV Broadcasting Program
Students in the Radio and Television Program operate a college radio station at 89.1 MHz, WVJC The Bash that reaches as far east as Perry County, Indiana and as far west as Clinton County, Illinois that plays alternative music and hard rock, manned by student DJs. The program also operates a cable TV channel serving 5 counties in southeastern Illinois. Programming on Newschannel 15 includes a bulletin board of community events, local high school and college sporting events, a local newscast weeknights at 6:00 p.m. The station also covers breaking news and severe weather. WVJC has RDS.
The community college's baseball team competes as an NJCAA D1 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. The Warriors are perennially a national powerhouse, grabbing a reputation as one of the best junior college programs in the country. At "The Bash", the players are greatly encouraged to give back to their community in more ways than winning baseball games. The baseball program has had players "adopt-a-highway", "walk for diabetes", read to elementary classrooms, rake leaves for the elderly and all-around help with the Wabash Valley College and its campus whenever labor is needed. Other community services the Wabash Valley College Baseball program has offered and continues to offer its support by volunteer help given to the local Wabash Valley YMCA. The baseball players referee children's flag football games, soccer games, and basketball games. The idea behind this type of volunteer work is that the local YMCA will not need to spend a large amount of its funds on referee fees and can use that money for other more important or improvement projects that can help the YMCA be more effective and better equipped to give children the opportunities to be more active and build character.
The men's basketball team at Wabash Valley College has known a number of success throughout the years.[clarification needed] The team throughout its history has had a number of prolific coaches, including: Mark Coomes, Jay Harrington, Jay Spoonhour (under which the men won a National Championship) and Dan Sparks, who was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) basketball hall of fame. They have won 12 Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) Championships and 14 Region XXIV Championships.