May Community College Leader Bulletin

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Community College Leader Bulletin

Volume 7, Issue 9                                                                       May 2018                                       

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


Department releases Condition of Secondary CTE Report

CTE report

The Iowa Department of Education recently released the Condition of Secondary Career and Technical Education report, which represents the first longitudinal statewide overview on the trends in secondary CTE courses, programs, student characteristics, and instructors. Additionally, the report identifies three emerging areas of focus addressed in House File 2392 (HF2392), which was signed into law in 2016 to redesign CTE policy in Iowa. Those areas include integration with career and technical student organizations (CTSOs), holistic career guidance, and development of regional centers to provide equitable access to capital-intensive, high-quality CTE programs.

Contact Pradeep Kotamraju, Chief, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at, or 515-281-4716, or Dan Li, Education Program Consultant, at, or 515-281-3503, with comments or questions about the report.

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Proposed changes to 281 IAC Chapter 21


With the recommendation of the Community College Council, the Iowa State Board of Education has proposed several changes to administrative rule, including the following changes to Chapter 21: Community Colleges (281—IAC 21).  The changes include transfer majors, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) general education requirements, and developmental education policy.

The transfer major rule change authorizes community colleges to establish AAS or AAA transfer major programs in specific disciplines to enhance student recruitment, advising, and success, as well as to enhance transferability of credits into aligned baccalaureate degree programs. The rules set common expectations based on the recommendations of community college academic administrators and presidents, including discipline credit hours, articulation, terminology, transcription, and marketing. The proposal also sets expectations for reporting and approval.   

The proposed change to AAS requirements increases the minimum number of general education credit hours from 12 to 15 to align with the policies of the Higher Learning Commission.  The rule would allow up to three credit hours of general education to be embedded in technical courses through a model adopted by the community college chief academic officers, in consultation with the Department. 

The developmental education change establishes policies to enhance the completion of underprepared students.  The proposal, recommended by the Developmental Education Working Group, requires institutions to adopt proven developmental education strategies such as multiple measures for placement, accelerated and integrated strategies, and support services addressing students’ cognitive and non-cognitive needs.   

Iowa review teams release recommendations to reform developmental education

Dev ed

Two work groups charged with studying ways to reduce the need for developmental college coursework recently released recommendations that support Iowa’s vision for all students to graduate from high school ready for college and for college students to have the support they need to complete a degree or credential.

The Developmental Education Working Group evaluated best practices for supporting students who aren’t ready for college coursework and focused its recommendations on ways to improve advising, assessment, placement, teaching, and delivery methods.

The High School and Community College Developmental Education Partnerships Working Group focused its recommendations on identifying and closing gaps in reading, writing, and math in high school. The group identified strong partnerships between high schools and community colleges, use of diagnostic tools to identify learning gaps, and meaningful course-taking during the senior year as components for effective transition from high school to college.

For more information about the Developmental Education Working Group, contact Barbara Burrows, Chief, Bureau of Community Colleges, at, or 515-281-0319. For more information about the High School and Community College Developmental Education Partnerships Working Group, contact Zoё Thornton, Education Program Consultant, at, or 515-981-3306. 

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Work begins on statewide framework for discipline-specific transfer majors

transfer major

The Transfer Major Steering Committee met for the first time this month to begin work on a statewide framework for community colleges to use in the design of discipline-specific transfer majors. Currently, community college students who intend to transfer to four-year colleges or universities have only one option – a college parallel associate of arts degree program that provides arts and sciences courses that may be transferred as the equivalent of the first two years of a four-year baccalaureate program. Under a proposal developed collaboratively with academic administrators and approved by the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents, community college students will be able to declare specific transfer majors and their transcripts will include this designation.

The committee, consisting of representatives from each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges and the state’s three public universities, will meet throughout the summer to establish policies, procedures, and guidance for discipline-specific subcommittees which will start meeting in the fall. The primary objective of this work is to provide guided pathways of coursework in students' chosen fields of study in order to streamline transfer, thereby reducing time to completion and student debt. Additionally, creating these pathways leads to academic relevance and creates a sense of camaraderie for the students, both of which are proven factors for increasing college retention and completion.

Information and updates regarding the work of this committee is available on the Transfer Major Steering Committee page on the Department’s website. Contact Barbara Burrows, Chief, Bureau of Community Colleges, at or 515-281-0319, with questions or to express interest in working on discipline subcommittees.

Division welcomes new staff member


Kent Seuferer joined the Division this month to work on staffing development of Iowa's career and technical student organizations (CTSOs).  Kent has been serving as a contractor for the Department for the past two years, supporting Business Professionals of America (BPA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), and DECA.   

Kent has a degree in business administration from AIB College of Business and is currently working on his MBA. Prior to joining the Division, he served as a financial operations manager for Bank of America in Destin, FL.  

Kent has demonstrated a passion for developing student leaders through CTSOs, participating in several CTSOs at Chariton High School and AIB, serving in state and national officer roles, and supporting conferences and events after graduation.  

Contact Pradeep Kotamraju, Chief, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at, or 515-281-4716, with questions.

Fiscal year (FY) 2019 Certified Budget Report available


The Division recently released the FY 2019 Certified Budget Report which includes estimated revenues and expenditures from each of Iowa's 15 community colleges for the upcoming fiscal year. The budgets included in the report have been approved by each college's respective local board in order to meet the June 1 reporting deadline as required by Iowa Code.

These published budgets contained the best estimate of revenues and expenditures, many of which are unknown at the time the budgets are developed. Specifically, general aid, tuition and fees, and salary/benefits were undetermined.

Contact Eric St Clair, Education Program Consultant, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at or 515-326-0274, with any questions.

This Sioux City pathway puts all academic disciplines under a health-care lens

Sioux City

Sioux City Community Schools is taking the conventional classroom model and turning it on its head.

Yes, students receive math, history, English and other classes. But unlike traditional classrooms, this Sioux City Career Academy program puts all academic disciplines under a health-care lens.

Successful? You be the judge.

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Registration open for Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Conference