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Heartland Community College

O'Connor named Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

August 24, 2022

Heartland Community College has called upon a familiar face to help lead instructional development and learning. 

The Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Jennifer O’Connor to the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

The position leads initiatives, programs, and reporting related to student learning outcomes assessment and the instructional development of faculty and online learning. Additionally, the AVP of Academic Affairs oversees the Library and Tutoring. 

O’Connor has previously held the position as Dean of Health Sciences and Director of Nursing Programs. She has worked at Heartland Community College since 2015. Her first position was as Nursing Faculty. 

Prior to her employment at Heartland, O’Connor worked as a nurse at BroMenn, where she continued working part-time until 2018. 

“Jen comes to the Associate Vice President position with a great deal of skill and experience as an educator and practitioner,” said Rick Pearce, Heartland Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs. “She has led our Health Sciences area to a sustained position of strength for the College and has been a true asset for our students. We look forward to her bringing her knowledge and talent to this position.” 

O’Connor is also a 2007 graduate of Heartland’s Nursing Program and was a Heartland Community College Presidential Scholarship recipient. She enrolled in the Nursing program after completing a liberal arts degree at Illinois State. 

“Without Heartland Community College, I would not have had a pathway into Nursing. At that time, there were no other Nursing program options other than the traditional undergrad route, which at that time of my life would have been impossible,” said O’Connor. “HCC gave me the pathway and the financial support that made it possible. Literally every part of my life today, my children’s stability, my career, everything, is because of this community college.” 

With O’Connor moving into the AVP role Pearce also announced that Dr. Kelly Pyle will step in as Interim Dean of Health Sciences and Susan Carl will serve as Interim Associate Dean and Director of Nursing Programs.

Written by: Steve Fast