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updated: 2/22/2013 6:06 PM

Elias Palacios: Candidate Profile

Elgin Community College School Board (6-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • Elias Palacios, running for Elgin Community College School Board (6-year Terms)

    Elias Palacios, running for Elgin Community College School Board (6-year Terms)




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A




Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Elgin Community College School Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 51

Family: I was born in Santa,Peru. My father was a farmer and my mother stayed home and took care of our house and family. I have three brothers and three sisters. My parents and a sister passed away years ago. I am married and have two minor children.

Occupation: I work as a Psychologist for the State of Illinois at Elgin Mental Health Center in Elgin,Illinois.

Education: My undergraduate degree was in Business -Administration, I received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Adler School of Professional Psychology on October 20, 1996.I also, have a Substance Abuse Counseling certificate and CAADC and ICAADC.

Civic involvement: None

Elected offices held: Elected Executive Board Member AFSCME- Council 31-Local 26. RC-63/RC-150 Representative. Elgin.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

DIVERSITY REPRESENTATION I am running for the Community College District 509 Board of Trustees because I believe that the board should reflect the people who live, work, and attend Elgin Community College. As a Trustee I will maintain a fair and independent voice for all taxpayers within the district,as well as those who are underrepresented. I believe that serving as a trustee is an opportunity to contribute to the community that gave me so much for the last seven years.

Key Issue 2

SAFETY AND SECURITY As a candidate, I think that safety and security can be improved within the college. In light of recents events involving school violence within colleges and universities nationwide,policies and procedures need to be revisited to prevent any violence against students, faculty and others within school grounds. For example ,if elected I will hear my constituents concerns and voice them to the rest of the board of Trustees so we can establish policies in accordance with the State of Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Key Issue 3

LIMIT INCREASE OF TUITION OR FREEZE TUITION TEMPORARILY Since ECC has demonstrated fiscal responsability by always maintaining a balanced budget,the potential for limiting or freezing tuition temporarily is a posibility as it was done in the past. Reports from ECC stated thatSmall Tuition increases in the past two years were necessary to fund the operating costs of 250,000 square feet of new instructional facilities?.

Questions & Answers

With enrollment up at my many community colleges, it can be challenging to keep pace as far as available classroom/lab space, the number of qualified teachers and available course work options. How would you manage that?

Develop and strengthen current partnerships with fouryear colleges and universities to prepare students for continuing their education at a university,and to initiate human resource exchange such as qualified teachers to teach courses offered by the college. Also, develop common goals with the college faculty associations or union to solve the existing problems to benefit students.

In tough economic times, many students (and working professionals) turn to a community college for its educational value. How do you ensure that a person's financial sacrifice results in an educational benefit?

Have as many knowledgeable academic advisors so they can guide the students from start to finish and take only classes needed to achieve their educational goals such as obtaining certificates, Associate degrees or taking classes for self improvement. Also,offer vocational testing to all students so they can be informed and educated about their skills and abilities for a particular job. In addition, partner with businesses to identify their needs and respond to those needs by offering classes ,courses and skills accordingly. Last but not least ,keep tuition affordable.

Is a tax rate increase needed and, if so, how do you justify it?

There is no need for a tax increase.

Community colleges provide many services to a diverse population. Is there a service your college should be providing that it is not, or reaching a segment of the population that it is not?

Yes, education about mental health for the people who live in the district.This education could be provided on site or off site to interested people who want to maintain good health as a whole: physical and mental health. Services need to be in English, Spanish and other languages representing the community at large.

If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the community college board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.

I decided to run for the Community College Board of Trustees District 509 because I was asked by many residents of the district and I believe I have the qualifications and abilities to accomplish the job. Also, I always wanted to contribute to the success of our community college district 509. As I stated before, Diversity needs to be represented within the board members to reflect the community at large.