All Four IECC Colleges Rank Among the Top Community Colleges in Illinois and the Nation

Nov 06, 2023

Illinois Eastern Community Colleges received high marks from, as the education research website ranked Frontier Community, Lincoln Trail, Olney Central and Wabash Valley among the top community colleges in Illinois and the nation.
A trusted resource for program rankings and higher education, evaluates each school on academic quality, graduation rate, tuition costs, and student resources. Top picks are recognized for their exceptional reputation, affordability, and capacity to furnish students with the essential tools and resources required to excel academically and to successfully graduate.
LTC and WVC secured the 8th and 22nd positions on Intelligent's 2024 List of Best Community Colleges in the U.S., while FCC and OCC distinguished themselves as the 2nd and 3rd Best Community Colleges in Illinois, with LTC also achieving an impressive 6th ranking. All four colleges consistently make appearances on these prestigious lists. 
The selections are indicative of the colleges continuing efforts to provide academic excellence at an affordable cost.
“The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is comprised of four individual community colleges that each offer various college and career programming and unique campus environments, yet function with a shared vision, which is to see students succeed,” said LTC President and IECC Vice-Chancellor of Institutional Outreach Tona Ambrose. “Our multi-site system provides built-in opportunities to collaborate, share best practices, and engage in cross-district strategies that allow for optimal educational experiences and outcomes for all students. This ‘family-style’ framework definitely makes IECC a great district to be a part of.”
As LTC’s President, Ambrose is delighted to see national recognition of the college.
“Being ranked nationally and in the top ten in Illinois is a positive recognition for Lincoln Trail College and affirmation that our goals, initiatives and commitment to the IECC mission are being achieved,” she said. “This ranking points to the fact that we are performing well in various aspects, such as academic excellence, student outcomes, and other relevant areas. This is also encouraging as it can reinforce for prospective students that Lincoln Trail College is a great place to consider when choosing a postsecondary college and career path.”
WVC President and IECC Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs Matt Fowler believes the honor underscores the institution's unwavering dedication to academic excellence and student support.
“On behalf of the faculty and staff of Wabash Valley College, it is certainly an honor to be recognized in the top 2 percent of community colleges nationwide,” he said. “All of us at Wabash Valley College take great pride in supporting students in their learning, discovery, leadership development and engagement both on and off-campus. It’s our desire to foster a great sense of belonging while supporting success both inside and outside of the classroom.”
In its selections, Intelligent commended FCC for its efforts to make earning an associate degree, a high school equivalency degree or training for a new career accessible to all students.
FCC President and IECC Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Jay Edgren said, “We are fortunate at Frontier to be a smaller college with a hometown, family feel. I believe this is appealing to students. With smaller faculty/student and advisor/student ratios, we are able to provide students the time needed to answer their questions, and, overall, help meet their needs. We strive to keep students engaged in and out of the classroom and help them have a positive experience on campus. These aspects of FCC certainly contribute to our excellent retention and completion metrics and have contributed significantly to our ability to consistently receive national recognition such as this.”
Intelligent's commendation of OCC highlighted the institution's diverse range of Career and Technical Education programs, which include health sciences, office administration, massage therapy and automotive technology. 
“The No. 3 ranking for OCC validates the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff at Olney Central College,” said Chris Simpson, OCC President and IECC Vice-Chancellor of Business Operations. “This type of recognition doesn’t just happen. It is the result of a commitment made to deliver exceptional educational services to our students.” provides hundreds of program rankings on its website as well as information about financial aid, internships and even study strategies. A complete list of rankings is available at the site.