June 2017 Community College Leader Bulletin

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Community College Leader Bulletin

Volume 6, Issue 5                                                                       June 2017                                                       www.educateiowa.gov

Inside this issue

Division logo

Jeremy Varner
Administrator, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation

Barbara Burrows
Chief, Bureau of Community Colleges

Pradeep Kotamraju
Chief, Bureau of Career and Technical  Education

Heather Doe
Communications Consultant, Bureau of Community Colleges

Adult Literacy Conference Focuses on Performance and Success

Adult Literacy Conference

Iowa's Adult Education and Literacy Program is hosting the 2017 summer conference, Building Your Future with Adult Education, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa, July 18-20, 2017. 

This conference will showcase and host over 40 breakout sessions with speakers from across the nation. Attendees will be able to network with hundreds of leading educators.

Registration is available online. For conference questions, contact the conference chair, Jayne Smith, at jayne.smith@iowa.gov or 515-725-0046.

Iowa Awarded $1 Million Federal Grant to Link Education, Workforce Data

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) was recently awarded nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the connectivity to the Iowa Department of Education's (Department) state longitudinal data system which performs analysis on postsecondary education and workforce outcomes. Iowa was one of six states awarded a federal Workforce Data Quality Initiative grant, along with Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Missouri.

During the three-year grant period, the Department and IWD will partner in the development of a web-based community college data submission system to streamline the matching of education records with employment outcomes and automate the reporting of program outcomes. This expanded capability will improve data integrity and allow for a more comprehensive analysis of workforce and education program effectiveness, which will help residents make informed decisions about education and training programs.

Reporting and analysis through the enhanced database will also help Iowa answer important policy questions about the preparedness of Iowa's K-12 students for education and training after high school, postsecondary enrollment and persistence rates, the need for remediation, and the completion of postsecondary programs, as well as progress toward reaching Iowa’s Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce with education or training beyond high school by 2025.

For more information about the Department’s role in the grant project, contact Paula Nissen, education outcomes consultant, at paula.nissen2@iowa.gov or 515-281-3550.

Department Approves All District Regional Planning Partnerships

CTE smaller

The Department recently announced that that all district regional career and technical education (CTE) planning partnerships in the state have convened and met Department approval prior to the June 30, 2017, deadline outlined in House File 2392. This legislation marks the first major revision to secondary CTE policy in Iowa since 1989 and is helping shape the future of CTE programs across the state.

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Perkins Claims Due July 30

Community colleges must submit all outstanding Perkins claims to the Department by July 30 so that they can be processed in a timely manner and Perkins funds can be distributed to each community college.  

Questions about claims can be directed to either Pat Thieben, administrative consultant, at pat.thieben@iowa.gov or 515-281-4707, or to Zoe Thornton, education program consultant, at zoe.thornton@iowa.gov or 515-281-4700. 

College Initiatives Presented at State Board of Education June Retreat

Best Practices

During the State Board of Education (Board) retreat held in Ankeny on June 8, community college officials heard about diversity initiatives from each educational sector, including two community colleges. Later in the afternoon, updates to the statewide career and technical education (CTE) redesign effort were discussed, highlighted by a community college presentation.   

Dr. Shelly Schmit, Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), reported how her college implemented several diversity initiatives to align with college strategic planning goals approved by the their board of trustees. They committed financial resources through a board innovation grant to increase international student diversity, including hiring an international student recruiter and advisor. NIACC also has a diversity committee that plans monthly campus activities and they offer several professional development activities for faculty and staff around the topic of diversity. The college also has built a comprehensive plan to address the needs of students with disabilities who request accommodations that has resulted in improvements to the accessibility, signage, and classroom environment at NIACC.    

Dr. Jane Bradley, Provost and Vice President of Administration, and Sandra Jensen, Director of Urban Centers and Adult Literacy, at Hawkeye Community College (HCC), shared a diversity-focused program implemented to help students transition from noncredit to credit programs so they gain basic skills and career credentialing simultaneously. HCC created this program by combining I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training) with English language learning, and adult education reading and math skills into both their Computer-Numeric Control (CNC) and Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) programs. Many underserved minorities, including a significant population of regional immigrants from 10 different countries, have successfully gained job skills, basic education skills, and college credit at a faster rate through HCC's I-BEST initiative.     

Neale Adams, Dean of Business and Industry at Iowa Central Community College (ICCC), reported on the progress their region has made within the CTE redesign initiative. His presentation highlighted the strong partnership between ICCC and area school districts that has resulted in conversations about regional planning and the sharing of resources. This collaboration is exemplified in the North Central Career Academy in Eagle Grove. The Board learned about the various stages of this project development, including the challenges they overcame and the student benefits received through the career academy. The successes of the North Central Career Academy have led to productive planning in other areas of ICCC’s region, and have provided a strong foundation for convening the Regional Planning Partnerships.

The Board was extremely impressed with these efforts and the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation appreciates the willingness of college staff to present their best practices. A special thanks to NIACC, HCC, and ICCC for providing the Board with a glimpse of the great things Iowa's 15 community colleges are doing for their students and communities.

A Holistic Approach to College, Career Planning


Before breaking for the summer, 500 eighth-grade students from all four Waterloo middle schools gathered at the Waterloo Career Center located in Central Middle School to learn more about the career pathways that will be available to them as high school students.

The Waterloo School District has made career counseling and getting students interested about their future opportunities a priority. Through a stronger focus on individual college and career planning, connections with business and industry, and integration with core academics, students have access to industry-driven career pathways where they can earn college credit through Hawkeye Community College.

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