South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium

South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium

Three Decades of Higher Education Excellence Through Collaboration

  • SouthWorks Design Thinking Workshop October 1st

    Design Thinking flyer V2

  • Link and Leverage Sustainability Event Oct. 22

     Register Here

    SMHEC LinkandLeverageSavetheDate

    Register Here

  • Prairie State College is Part of Pilot Program to Reduce Energy Usage

    The program is funded through a generous grant awarded to the Illinois Green Economy Network by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    As part of the pilot program, an energy dashboard system was installed in the Health/Tech Center to monitor real time gas and electric usage. Additionally, smart power strips that automatically turn off all peripheral devices (printers, monitors, etc.) after 11 hours were installed. The smart power strips also provide a one-touch option to power down devices upon leaving for the day, conserving additional energy between the hours of work ending and the automatic shut down.

    The project is conducted in conjunction with a research component by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which includes modeling of the Health/Tech Center, monitoring energy usage and changes in the building, and conducting surveys to examine current energy attitudes and behaviors.

    “One of the most exciting and important things about this project is its collaborative nature,” said Allessandra Cairo, sustainability coordinator at PSC. “Multiple departments on campus were heavily involved in making it a success, including facilities and operations, information technology, student life, and marketing and communications, as well as students from the Bloom High School green team and local residents of Chicago Heights.”

    “With this collaboration, this project goes beyond energy efficiency and the walls of PSC and shows the role sustainability can play in an institution such as ours,” she added. 

    For more information on the dashboard or PSC’s sustainability efforts, visit


    Contact Information:

    Andrea Small

    Communications Specialist

    Prairie State College

    202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, IL 60411

    (708) 709-2948

  • Tammie Pitts Joins the SMHEC team.

    Please join us in welcoming Tammie Pitts she is the latest addition to our staff.  We are looking forward to an exciting 2013/2014 school year.  Tammie will lend her knowledge and experience to help facilitate a great year for all of our partners internally and externally.

    Contact Information:

    Tammie Pitts


  • Dr. Terri Winfree Installed as new Prairie State College president

    PSC- winfree install- small


    Dr. Terri L. Winfree was installed as the 14th President of Prairie State College (PSC) during a formal ceremony held Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at the college, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. It was a historic day at PSC, since Winfree’s presidency marks a number of firsts: she is the first PSC graduate to be named president; she is the first woman president of PSC; and she is the first member of her immediate family to attend college.

    Winfree was selected from a field of 58 candidates that responded to a nationwide search.

    “Dr. Winfree brings a wealth of experience to this position, both as a student and as an employee because of her extensive career at PSC,” said Jacqueline Agee, chair of the PSC board of trustees, during her remarks.

    The ceremony was marked by three standing ovations during speeches from community members, college faculty, students, and staff.

     Frank S. Walker, student member of the PSC board of trustees, spoke for the student body, saying this was a historic moment, and Dr. Winfree’s story and message resonates with PSC students.

    “You convey to us that if you work hard, it does not matter where you came from, you can rise to the top. You are a hope and inspiration to us all,” he said.

     Chicago Heights Mayor David A. Gonzalez, Chairman of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce Kenneth A. Jenero, State Representative Will Davis, and President of the PSC Foundation Dr. Anthony Maoloni, all congratulated Winfree and commended the board on their excellent choice of Winfree as president.

    All three PSC union presidents spoke about their hopes of working with Winfree to move the college forward to continue being the higher education destination of choice among district residents.

    Saying this was her dream career and that she basically grew up at PSC, Winfree stressed that she could identify with PSC students because, during her time as a student at the college, she had been working full time, had a family, and was attending school as a non-traditional student.

    “I came to PSC to take a computer class and I never left,” Winfree said. Progressing through the ranks first as a student, then an employee, adjunct instructor, administrator and then as president, she said she is Prairie State.

    “PSC changes lives every day. We represent opportunity, we remove fear, and we instill hope, and we will help find the potential for every single student who walks through our doors,” Winfree said.

    Winfree commented that community partnerships will be emphasized and formalized moving forward, and all of the college’s activities will be guided by the college’s strategic plan.

    She ended her speech by thanking everyone in the audience for being a part of her successful journey. After graduating from PSC with an Associate in Arts degree in General Studies, she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Studies and Masters of Arts in Communication Studies/Human Performance and Training from Governors State University. In 2012 she obtained her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources from Colorado State University. 


    For More Information:

    Jennifer Stoner (708) 709-3949

    Andrea Small (708) 709-2948


  • 2013 SMHEC Sustainability Conference on October 18th

    Sustainability Connects Us All

    SMHEC at Illinois Institute of Technology

    October 18th, 2013   8am to 3:30pm
    Hermann Hall

    Through a variety of workshops and presentations, attendees will discover how sustainability has the power to Connect Us All - which is the theme of the conference. The new format of this year’s conference will give attendees the opportunity to hear about many new topics including:

    • The Smart Grid
    • Urban agriculture
    • Innovations in energy efficiency
    • Student engagement in sustainability
    • Greening the curriculum
    • Collaboration to save the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat
    • The Chicago Wilderness Green Infrastructure
    • Loyola University’s biodiesel program
    • Sustainability as a general education outcome
    • Moving beyond basic recycling
    • And more…

    All presentations will also focus on their connection to jobs. 
    This conference is geared towards students, as well as senior administrators, faculty and staff from information technology, operations, workforce development, marketing, and student services.
    Register Here.  

Student Success

graduate Cornell Jones

Student success is the fundamental goal of SMHEC institutions. We provide programs to support our students and local K-12 districts, and we provide support for effective pedagogy.


Resource Optimization

Resource Optimization

SMHEC institutions seek to optimize their effectiveness by collaborating on purchases and sharing resources.


Regional Development

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Chicago's Southland is our home. A vast majority of our students come from this region, and they stay in our region. We must contribute to the vibrance and strength of the region to provide for our shared future.


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                   Saint Xavier University School of Nursing                                     SSC Shield Logo Fullcolor w namestacked                                 USF arch1