February Community College Leader Bulletin

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Community College Leader Bulletin

 Volume 8, Issue 7                                                                      February 2019


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

Programs approved for the Summer College Credit Program (SCCP)

summer joint enrollment 2

This month, the Department notified each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges on which proposals will receive state funding as a part of the Summer College Credit Program. Enacted as part of the Future Ready Iowa Act (House File 2458), this program will provide high school students with access to summer postsecondary courses that are aligned with high-demand career pathways. Based on figures provided by each college, it is estimated that well over 1,000 students could be served statewide through the program.

The proposals submitted by each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges detailed offerings across several subject areas, but the vast majority were in subjects related to health care or advanced manufacturing. Colleges will receive base funding for each approved proposal, amounting to roughly half of the $600,000 total appropriation, to help cover first-year implementation costs. The remaining $300,000 will be distributed at the end of the state fiscal year based on enrollment in each approved offering.

This work coincides with the adoption of the administrative rules for the SCCP by the State Board of Education in January. The rules outline the general parameters for the program, including the content of the proposals submitted by the community colleges, how the proposals will be evaluated, and the mechanism for the distribution of funds. The rules were "Filed Emergency After Notice," which allowed them to go into effect following adoption by the state board, while continuing through the formal rules adoption process. The rules will go before the Administrative Rules Review Committee for a second review at its next meeting, which will mark the end of the formal rules adoption process. 

Please contact Eric St Clair, Education Program Consultant, at 515-326-0274, or at eric.stclair@iowa.gov with comments or questions.

New center to expand and support work of the Iowa Intermediary Network

intermediary logo

A new center will support the work of the Iowa Intermediary Networks in expanding work-based learning opportunities to students across the state. The Department established the Iowa Intermediary Technical Assistance Center (IITAC), due in part to the growing number of work-based learning experiences coordinated through the 15 regional intermediary networks. Last year, over 110,000 such experiences were coordinated and provided to Iowa students and educators. The IITAC will provide centralized support to increase program capacity, develop integrated strategic planning, and centralize data collection to better measure results on a statewide basis.

The Department has contracted with the Workplace Learning Connection at Kirkwood Community College to coordinate this work with the support of a statewide intermediary network steering committee. The IITAC is currently in the process of accessing needs across the state to formulate a strategic plan.

Please contact Kelli Diemer, Business and Marketing Education Consultant, at 515-281-3615, or at kelli.diemer@iowa.gov, with questions.

Transition to new curriculum management and database system underway


As announced last month, the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation (Division) awarded a contract to DIGARC for managing the state's career and technical education (CTE) program approval workflow and common course numbering management system. Previously, the state of Iowa and the 15 community colleges utilized CurrIQunet's software, META, for such purposes.

To kick off the transition planning process, DIGARC software and implementation specialists traveled to Iowa last month to discuss system requirements, learn about individual college needs, and formulate an initial implementation plan. The team spent three days meeting with Department staff, DMACC staff currently using the software, as well as superusers from two other Iowa community colleges. Next steps include scheduling four phone conferences with staff from the Department and three community colleges to better understand Iowa's statewide and individual college needs, initiating development of the Department's platform and database, and scheduling face-to-face visits with the college users.

This transition from CurricUNET's META to DIGARC's Curriculog workflow platform will take the better part of 2019, during which time the Department will fund both platforms. The 15 community college presidents have agreed to contribute to a portion of Curriculog's one-time implementation costs to alleviate some of the financial burden of such a massive software and database conversion.

The new state contract supports 16 Curriculog licenses for the Department and 15 community colleges, and one Acalog catalog management license for the Department, which will serve as the repository for all state-approved academic programs and college-approved courses. While Acalog is not required at each college for the statewide program approval process to function, colleges that choose to purchase this additional software will receive a 20 percent discount on the annual subscription fee and a one-time 30 percent discount on implementation, transition, and training. Having both Curriculog and Acalog allows colleges to integrate curriculum changes made via Curriculog seamlessly into their online catalog. 

Please contact Chris Russell, Education Program Consultant, at 515-725-2247, or at chris.russell@iowa.gov, for more information.

Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaims February as Career and Technical Education Month


In recognition of the role CTE has in preparing students for college and careers, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation recognizing February as CTE month in Iowa. The month coincides with a national campaign celebrating achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. 

“Today’s CTE programs offer students more choices with career pathways aligned to regional workforce needs that lead to industry certifications and postsecondary credentials,” said Jeremy Varner, administrator of for the Department of Education’s Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation.

Click to read more

Department awarded grant to drive more students to high-quality career and technical education


The Iowa Department of Education was recently awarded a grant from Advance CTE to support and expand career and technical education (CTE) in the Skilled Trades and Advanced Manufacturing, with a focus on implementing recruitment activities for parents and students across the state. Iowa was selected through a competitive process to incorporate nationally tested messages about CTE through a variety of in-person events and virtual campaigns.

As part of this effort, the Department has formed a Recruitment Advisory Committee (RAC) to develop the communication strategy and messaging to reach students, parents, and school counselors. Tools and resources available through Advance CTE will provide a starting point for this work. In addition, the Department has partnered with the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN), Trade-Up, and the Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA) to assist in disseminating campaign messaging.

Please contact Kent Seuferer, Education Program Consultant, at 515-631-9207, or at kent.seuferer@iowa.gov, with any questions.

Registration open for the Iowa Work-Based Learning Coordinators' Conference

work-based learning log

Registration is now open for the Iowa Work-Based Learning Coordinators' Conference scheduled for April 2-3, at the Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn. This collaborative learning and networking event will feature national college and career readiness speaker, Brooks Harper, with his keynote “Why Should We Hire Your Students?”

New this year is content specifically focused on special education work experiences. The conference team has also built in more discussion and networking time, in addition to the content-rich sessions covering such topics as work-based learning teaching certifications, OSHA, child labor, insurance information, training plan development, partnering with business and industry, and more.

More information about the conference, including the registration link, is available on the conference event page. Participants who register on or before March 1 will receive $20 off the conference registration fee.

Please contact Kelli Diemer, Business and Marketing Education Consultant, at 515-281-3615, or at kelli.diemer@iowa.gov, with questions.

Development of two new career pathways underway


The Iowa Department of Education, under the guidance of the Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC) and in support of the Future Ready Iowa initiative, has identified Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) as the next two industries for career pathway exploration and development. Career pathways organize education and training into coherent, stackable sequences aligned within specific occupations within a given industry. In that way, career pathways support an individual in developing the personal, technical, and employability skills required for advancement within an industry, and transitioning from training and education into the workforce.

The 2019 ACE project will kick-off with an exploratory industry survey in February, followed by in-person employer focus groups around the state in April with an anticipated finished product release in June. The 2019 TDL project will begin soon after with an exploratory survey in July, focus groups in September, and a finished product in November.

The Department has set a goal of developing two career pathway resources per year in order to help draw attention to the wide range of exciting and fulfilling career opportunities within these high-demand industries. Similar projects have been completed as public/private collaborations for Advanced Manufacturing, Health Science, Information Technology, and Energy and Utilities.

Visit SectorPartnerships.EducateIowa.gov to learn more about these past projects, download finished materials, and review opportunities to participate in future projects.

Contact Joe Collins, Sector Partnerships and Career Pathways Consultant, at 515-725-0646, or at joe.collins@iowa.gov with comments or questions.

Session proposals sought for adult education and literacy summer conference

Your Future Starts Here

The Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with the Iowa Literacy Council and ETS HiSET®, is seeking presentation proposals for the 2019 HiSET Program/Adult Education and Literacy Summer Conference. The conference, which will be held from July 15–17 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, aims to provide attendees with high-quality professional development, innovative instructional strategies, research-based models, and leadership development.

In particular, presentation proposals are being sought in the following categories:

  • ABE/ESL Instruction
  • Test Administration
  • Student and Community Outreach
  • Integrated Education and Training/Career Pathways
  • Innovative and Technological Practices
  • Workforce Development and Employer Engagement

To submit a proposal, please complete the proposal form and email it to Marissa Goodwin at mgoodwin@ets.org. The Submission deadline is Friday, March 1, 2019. Please contact Alex Harris, State Director for Adult Education, at 515-281-3640, or at alex.harris@iowa.gov with any questions.

The critical nature of the 'growth mindset'


Robert Stensrud, professor at Drake University’s School of Education Department of Leadership, Counseling, and Adult Development was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Conference, held on Jan. 30-31. He has worked in the field of counseling and disability for over 30 years as a counselor, consultant, and professor. A substantial aspect of Stensrud’s experience has involved working with people with serious and persistent mental illness and all of the related educational, treatment, legal, and vocational issues they confront. Additionally, he has consulted with private and public organizations regarding organizational change, program evaluation, and quality improvement.

Here, Stensrud discusses the importance of building a growth mindset to break through barriers and enhance learning for adult learners facing significant challenges.

Click to read more

Division welcomes new staff member


Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagne joined the Bureau of Career and Technical Education on February 12 as an education program consultant.  Her work at the Department will focus on helping school districts as they set up and manage programs within the health sciences area. 

Originally from Colorado, Katy earned her B.S. in Consumer and Family Studies from Colorado State University and taught high school Family and Consumer Sciences Education for eight years. From 2008 to 2013, Katy was the State Program Director for Family and Consumer Sciences with the Colorado Community College System. 

Katy went on to obtain her doctorate in educational technology leadership from New Jersey City University, and most recently was the director of The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences, and faculty member at Texas Tech University. 

Career opportunities within the Division

join our team

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking talented individuals who are passionate about excellence in education to fill several positions over the next few months within the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation (Division).

Over the next few weeks, the Division will be scheduling interviews with applicants for the CTE Consultant for Business and Information Solutions. In addition, positions for an Adult Education and Literacy Consultant, Community College Generalist, and CTE Consultant for Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing will be posted in the near future.

To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Jeremy Varner, Administrator, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation, at jeremy.varner@iowa.gov, or at 515-281-8260.