Educational opportunities abound in Saline County! From preschool to high school to college to lifelong learning, there’s something for everyone just around the corner.
Saline County is serviced by five public school districts: Carrier Mills-Stonefort Community Unit School District 2, Eldorado Community Unit School District 4, Galatia Community Unit School District 1, Harrisburg Community Unit 3 School District, and Edwards/Gallatin/Hardin/Pope/Saline/Wabash/ Wayne/White, a multi-county district comprised of three alternative-learning schools. In addition, Saline County has several daycare facilities to help working parents and provide safe, stimulating environments for young children. Included among these is the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study at Southeastern Illinois College. The Oldham Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which certifies that the program meets the highest standards of child care.
The Harrisburg District is comprised of four schools: West Side Primary School for preschool through second grade, East Side Intermediate School for grades three through five, Harrisburg Middle School for grades six through eight, and Harrisburg High School for grades nine through 12, with a total of over 2,100 students. The high school enrollment totals more than 600 students, many of whom enroll in college-prep or tech-prep curricula to prepare for life after high school. Go to www.hbg.saline.k12.il.us/ to learn more information about the Harrisburg school district.
Roughly 1,200 students attend Eldorado schools, which include an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. In helping to prepare its students for future careers, the high school offers strong agriculture, technology and business programs. Eldorado High School also hosts a number of extracurricular activities, including a Future Farmers of America program, Business Club, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, LifeSavers suicide prevention group, and National Honor Society. To learn more about Eldorado’s school district, view their website at www.eldorado.k12.il.us/ .
Carrier Mills-Stonefort Elementary School educates children from preschool through eighth grade. From there, they move on to Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School, totaling just over 500 students. Galatia’s Elementary School, Junior High and High School enroll a total population of just over 360 students. To visit the Galatia school district go to www.galatiak12.org .
Once Saline County students graduate from high school, their opportunities are boundless. If they choose to stay close to home, their nearest option is Southeastern Illinois College (SIC). The 172-acre campus is located just five miles east of Harrisburg and four miles south of Eldorado. This public, two-year comprehensive community college serves Gallatin, Hardin, Pope and Saline counties and portions of Hamilton, Johnson, Williamson and White counties. Approximately 5,000 full-time and part-time students are enrolled at Southeastern Illinois College annually. Courses of study include associate in arts and science associate degree, associate in applied science degree, associate in engineering science degree, associate in liberal studies degree, and occupational certificate programs. These customized training programs offer an employer the ability to train some or all of their employees in a time frame that suits their business. The Workforce and Illinois Small Business Development Center (WISBDC) can work with companies to develop customized training that meets their specific needs. Students interested in challenges beyond the academic will be pleased to learn that Southeastern Illinois College is home to a number of intercollegiate and intramural sports, clubs and activities. Among these are Art Club, Math and Science Club, Student Government, and Forensic Falcons ,a competitive speaking team, just to name a few. The Forensic Falcons is consistently ranked nationally while competing against major universities.
Southeastern Illinois College’s contributions don’t end at traditional educational curricula. The school is deeply committed to helping residents in the community. Dozens of different programs are offered. Selections include: hobby, leisure and nature non-credit courses; adult basic education and GED programs; consumer, educational and business seminars, workshops and conferences; a variety of literacy programs; and much more. SIC also features an assortment of activities for children, including sports camps and clinics, family reading nights, an annual Kids’ Fair, a visual and performing arts camp, and summer kids programs, to name a few. In addition, the George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center at Southeastern Illinois College provides year-round excitement and entertainment through a variety of visual and performing arts exhibits and shows.
After earning their associate’s degrees at Southeastern Illinois College, many area students go on to four-year institutions such as Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; Eastern Illinois University in Charleston; Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky; or the University of Evansville or the University of Southern Indiana, both of which are located in Evansville, Indiana. Many students continue to live in Saline County and commute to Carbondale or Evansville, especially those working on masters or doctoral degrees.
Students in grade school, high school and college, as well as area residents, all benefit from the many library districts located in Saline County. Carrier Mills-Stonefort, Eldorado, Galatia and Harrisburg are all home to public library districts that each carry a variety of books, subscriptions and audio/video materials.
With so many resources and opportunities available, learning is a lifelong opportunity for the residents of Saline County.