August 2017 Community College Leader Bulletin

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Community College Leader Bulletin

Volume 7, Issue 2                                                                       August 2017                                             

Inside this issue

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 Education and Family Literacy Week

adult ed week

Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy Programs, in partnership with the Iowa Literacy Council, will celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on September 24-30.

Every year, the National Coalition for Literacy (on behalf of the adult literacy and basic education field) requests that Congress recognize one week as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. This year, Governor Kim Reynolds is also scheduled to proclaim the week as Iowa Adult Education and Family Literacy Week in recognition of the work Iowa's adult education and literacy programs do in helping Iowans to achieve basic skills and get prepared for college and careers.

The proclamation signing is scheduled for Thursday, September 21, 2017, at 3:50 p.m. If you are interested in attending the proclamation signing, or would like more information about Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Week, please contact Marcela Hermosillo, education program consultant, at or 515-281-4723.

Transition to META delayed


The transition of the Iowa community college program and common course numbering management system to META from CurricUNET V2 has been delayed a semester. Based on feedback from colleges, the previously planned late-Spring implementation was postponed to allow more time to ensure all key processes for finding and utilizing curriculum proposals (such as common course numbering selection) meet performance expectations.

The system provides Iowa community colleges with access to view and change curricular details for all state-approved CTE programs offered in the state. Consultants at the Iowa Department of Education also use the system for reviewing new programs and program modifications. 

Several CurricUNET “superusers” across the state's 15 community colleges have already put in many hours of testing the META version to make sure that courses, programs, and curriculum modification processes all operate as planned.  A key advantage of the META version is the way in which state and local college data will be drawn. Rather than pulling from two separate databases that interact with each other, as the current system does, META will draw the data from a single database.

During the next few months, Governet, the curriculum management system software vendor, will complete several requests called “tickets” to ensure the META system is ready to go live. The revised timeline includes short periods of targeted testing by the state and college-identified users to verify that the tickets were implemented correctly. Time is also needed to create updated training materials for general use and system understanding, and by colleges to train on local uses.  It is anticipated that colleges will start using the new META system by January 2018 for all curriculum changes.

Contact Chris Russell, education consultant for program quality, at or 515-725-2247 for more information.   The public may view all currently approved programs at

'Dirty Jobs' host Mike Rowe to talk skilled trades in Iowa

Mike Rowe

Celebrity Mike Rowe, best known for his work on the Discovery Channel's hit TV series Dirty Jobs, is coming to Iowa to help build awareness of the opportunities in the skilled trades.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, September 28 from 4 to 8 p.m., and will include a vendor exhibit and networking opportunity from 4 to 6 p.m. with the dinner and program immediately following. 

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I-BEST program proves life-changing for students


Turning one’s life around isn’t that easy when you’ve had past run-ins with the law. With a felony in his past and no high school diploma, Kirk Howard had many doors closed in his face.

“I found myself looking at my life and seeing that I wasn’t getting any younger,” Howard said. “But after my trouble with the law, it was a lot harder to go out and get a job. It just wasn’t that easy.”

When Howard walked through the doors of Hawkeye Community College's Metro Center he intended to work on his high school equivalency diploma (HSED), but ended up with a whole lot more.

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Iowa Sector Partnership Leadership Council releases new energy career pathways tool

Sector partnership

Today’s energy industry is rapidly changing and growing with influences in science, engineering, finance, business, policy, and even design. With many high-growth career opportunities in Iowa and the nation, it is important for students to see themselves working in energy.

To give students, parents, and educators a better understanding of what jobs in energy look like, the Iowa Sector Partnership Leadership Council worked with the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Energy Workforce Consortium (IEWC), the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and Iowa Central Community College to develop a new tool that can be used when talking with students. Matching personality traits and skills with different high-demand jobs in energy, the Opportunities in Energy: Iowa tool shows how career opportunities exist for every type of person, no matter interest or skill.

Jolene Rogers, executive director of community and business relations at Iowa Lakes Community Colleges and convener of the energy sector partnership in Northwest Iowa, identified the lack of people in the pipeline as one of the major challenges facing Iowa’s energy employers. Career pathway maps, like the 'Opportunities in Energy: Iowa' tool, are important to show different types of jobs at varying levels of training and education, from noncredit training over the course of several days, to two- and four-year degrees and beyond.

“Employers in our area are expanding, but they compete for talent,” Rogers said. “There are great careers along a continuum of training, certification, and education levels. These are well-rounded jobs with advancement opportunities and the skills are transferable to many areas.”

The Iowa Sector Partnership Leadership Council, which helps identify best practices, provides direction, and serves in a formal advisory role for the state’s sector partnerships, previously released a similar tool focusing on careers in information technology. 

Questions about the new energy tool, and sector partnerships in general, can be directed to Joe Collins, education program consultant, at or 515-725-0646. More information, resources, and an interactive map to locate sector partnerships across Iowa can be found on the Department’s website.