The Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market (SICCM) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized in 1973. The consortium is governed by a Board of Directors composed of presidents and chancellors of participating institutions and is staffed by eight professional and one operational employee. SICCM was organized to provide a means of sharing human and material resources in higher education to fast-growing institutions within the consortium.
Sixty percent of the 25 counties (some portions) served by the five community colleges are included in the Lower Mississippi Delta Development region. In 1990, the Delta Commission, chaired by President Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, made recommendations to President George Bush for improvement of the quality of life in this large poverty-stricken seven-state region. One of the recommendations was as follows:
"Institutions of higher education should establish regional consortia to provide and concentrate expensive specialty training in order to avoid duplication and to selectively adjust out-of-state tuition to Delta students for specialties."
Having accomplished this mission many years before the recommendation was made, SICCM institutions have demonstrated they are historically innovative and successful in meeting the needs of the region.
In its forty-two year history, the consortium has administered over $69 million in grants and projects, all of which have been directed toward addressing regional needs and issues. The programs and projects include telecommunications/distance learning, welfare-to-work, nursing, allied health, economic development, research, articulation, faculty development and sharing, curriculum development, public services, labor-management cooperation, leadership and core values, and other aspects of serving higher education and community needs.