February Community College Leader Bulletin

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Community College Leader Bulletin

 Volume 9, Issue 7                                                                      February 2020


Inside this issue

Jeremy Varner
Administrator, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation


Dennis Harden
 Chief, Bureau of Career and Technical  Education


Heather Doe
Communications Consultant, Bureau of Community Colleges

First round of funding awarded for the Summer College Credit Program

Summer college credit program

The first round of funding for the 2020 Summer College Credit Program was awarded to community college programs this past month. A total of $235,441 of the $600,000 appropriation was distributed to the community colleges to help establish and sustain programs leading to in-demand occupations across the state. 

The Summer College Credit Program was enacted as part of the Future Ready Iowa Act (House File 2458) and is designed to increase high school student participation in career and technical education programs aligned to in-demand occupations. The Future Ready Iowa initiative calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025 to ensure Iowa's workforce is equipped with the skills and education employers need.

Last year, 764 high school students participated in a total of 38 programs offered by Iowa's 15 community colleges. Now in its second year, the funding will support the implementation of more than 45 summer programs capable of serving over 2,600 students.

More information about the program, including statistics from last year, is provided in a one-page fact sheet. Please contact Eric St Clair, Lead Education Consultant, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at eric.stclair@iowa.gov, or at 515-326-0274, for more information.

Progress continues on Iowa's transfer major initiative

transfer major

Four additional discipline frameworks were reviewed by faculty and advisors on Feb. 13 as part of the Iowa community college transfer major initiative. History, Political Science, Kinesiology and Social Work/Human Services faculty met at the Des Moines Area Community College Newton campus to discuss course-to-course articulations between the community colleges and Iowa's three public universities. Transfer majors aim to create clear, structured pathways for transfer students. They are designed to guide students to take program-specific coursework within their associate of arts (AA) or associate of science (AS) studies that will transfer seamlessly into related majors at four-year institutions.

After the new discipline frameworks, which must contain at least 18 transferable credits, are worked out with at least one of Iowa's public universities, the community colleges can vet each framework locally and if successful, ask for final approval by the transfer major steering committee. Once approved, each community college is then free to complete a full program outline for an AA or AS transfer major program (60 credit minimum) with the vetted discipline framework courses at the core.

There are currently 15 completed discipline frameworks that have led to 137 approved transfer majors. There are an additional four disciplines awaiting final approval by the steering committee in the areas of Communication, English, Theater and Art. Three additional disciplines are not yet ready for vetting in the areas of Computer Science, Journalism and Music.

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

Grant applications for adult eduation and literacy programs due April 3

adult education

The Iowa Department of Education is currently accepting applications for approximately $3 million in Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant funds and workforce training funds through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to support the following programs:

  1. English Language Acquisition, Adult Basic Education and High School Completion.
  2. Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education.
  3. Corrections/Institutionalized Services.

Eligible agencies that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities are invited to apply. Types of eligible agencies include, but are not limited to, local education agencies (school districts), community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, volunteer literacy organizations, institutions of higher education, public or private nonprofit agencies, libraries, public housing authorities, nonprofit institutions that have not previously been listed as having the ability to provide adult education literacy and services, a consortium or coalition of the agencies, institutions, libraries or authorities, or a partnership between an employer and an entity described above.

Application materials, policies and criteria for submitting proposals are available on the Adult Education and Literacy section of the Iowa Department of Education’s website. Completed applications must be submitted via IowaGrants by 4 p.m. on April 3 to be considered for funding. Award announcements will be made in June.

For more information, please contact Alex Harris, State Director for Adult Education, Bureau of Community Colleges, at alex.harris@iowa.gov, or at 515-281-3640.

Advisory board to help expand educational programs in Iowa's correctional facilities


A new advisory board for corrections education launched on Feb. 11 with a mission to ensure incarcerated individuals have access to high- quality education and training programs that facilitate successful transition into Iowa’s workforce and communities. The board will provide informed input, plan new activities, recommend policies and procedures and keep partners engaged, informed and connected.

Providing inmates with education, training and skills to help them successfully reenter our communities and build productive lives is in line with Governor Reynolds’ 2020 vision to increase high school equivalency completion and create educational pathways for reentering individuals. This work also builds on previous state efforts, including the Governor’s FOCUS Committee recommendations and the strategic planning report compiled last year by the Vera Institute, "Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education in Iowa's Prisons".  

The year-long effort is supported by a grant from Ascendium to explore ways to expand higher education in prison. The Iowa Department of Education was awarded the grant to convene the advisory board and form specific task forces dedicated to exploring critical topics for educational services in correctional facilities. The inaugural meeting included an in-depth review of technology and highlighted a presentation by Cerro Coso Community College’s Incarcerated Student Education Program. Future conversations will include discussions on faculty and institutional support and identifying funding opportunities for participants and providers to access high-quality educational services.

A fact sheet outlining the different community college programs and services currently provided to corrections inmates is available on the Iowa Department of Education website. For more information, please contact Alex Harris, State Director for Adult Education, Bureau of Community Colleges, at alex.harris@iowa.gov, or at 515-281-3640.

Survey open to gather employer needs for information technology workers


Work has begun on a new resource to help promote and highlight the wide range of in-demand information technology careers available in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Education has partnered with the Technology Association of Iowa, Office of the Chief Information Officer and Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council to develop promotional materials to highlight the different opportunities available across multiple industries in Iowa's growing and innovative information technology (IT) fields.

A short 5-minute survey has been created to gather direct input from the many different types of industries and employers with a growing need for workers with advanced skills in computer science, information technology and related products or services in Iowa. This initial survey will remain open until the close of business on Friday, Feb. 28.

Please share the survey link with friends, family, colleagues or others with knowledge of careers in computer science and information technology, regardless of industry (i.e. health care, manufacturing). In-person focus groups will also be hosted throughout the state in April to further develop and validate project materials. The final product is expected to be released in July.

Similar statewide projects have been completed for other industries, including Health ScienceBuilding Trades, and most recently Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics (TDL).

Please contact Joe Collins, Sector Partnership and Career Pathways Consultant, Bureau of Community Colleges, at joe.collins@iowa.gov, or at 515-725-0646, for more information.

Division welcomes new CTE administrative consultant

Jane Bradley

The division is pleased to welcome Jane Bradley as the new administrative consultant for the Bureau of Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Prior to joining the division, Jane served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Hawkeye Community College. With more than 20 years experience in administration and teaching at Hawkeye Community College, Southwestern Community College and Des Moines Area Community College, she has a passion for serving students. She has also worked with the division on several occasions to solve large and complex problems facing higher education.  

Bradley has a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University. She also holds a master's degree in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor's degree in microbiology from Oklahoma State University.

As administrative consultant, Jane will provide leadership to postsecondary career and technical education initiatives and other community college issues.  

Paula Nissen to serve as acting chief of the Bureau of Community Colleges

Paula Nissen

The division is pleased to announce that Paula Nissen has been selected to serve as acting chief for the Bureau of Community Colleges.

Paula has served as an education program consultant and outreach liaison for the division for the past six years, the last three of which she served as a lead consultant. Her work with the Department has specialized in workforce preparation and education outcomes research.

Paula is a member of the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) Board and former faculty member for the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (OU/EDI), instructing students from all over the nation on the importance and use of labor market information to make career and education-related decisions necessary to meet business demand and drive economic development.

As acting bureau chief, Paula will provide leadership to the Bureau of Community Colleges, which includes adult education and literacy, sector partnerships, research, accreditation and other initiatives impacting community colleges.  

Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities available for work-based learning conference


Registration for exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities for the National Work-Based Learning Conference is now available. The conference is scheduled for April 22-23 at the FFA Enrichment Center on DMACC’s Ankeny campus. For the first time, the national Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has joined forces with Iowa work-based learning coordinators to host a joint conference with both national and state experts.

The conference will focus on national work-based learning trends and the continued professional development for work-based learning coordinators to build high-quality student experiences and programs. Sponsorships are available for the conference meals and the welcome reception. Exhibitors can choose to display during the national conference day on April 22, the Iowa conference day on April 23, or both.

More information is available on the ACTE conference website.

Please contact Kristy Volesky, Education Program Consultant for Business and Marketing, Work-Based Learning and the Iowa Intermediary Network, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at kristy.volesky@iowa.gov, or at 515-281-3615, for more information.

Build My Future events to bring skilled trades experiences to students

Build my Future

A series of interactive, hands-on learning events are being planned across the state to allow K-12 students to experience careers in the skilled trades. These Build My Future events present students with the opportunity to not only learn about careers, but also directly experience them through short virtual simulations, learning activities, and practicing with the very same technology, equipment and materials that professionals use in Iowa every day.

Events are currently planned for the Quad Cities on March 5, Des Moines on April 15, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City on April 21 and Sioux City on April 23. The Des Moines event alone attracted more than 3,000 students from across the state last year, and that count is expected to double this year with the expansion of additional skilled trade careers in advanced manufacturing, health science and automotive/transportation.

The events are free to the public and provide great opportunities to expose students to a broader range of exciting and high-paying careers in Iowa. Sponsorship information, as well as volunteer and school registration forms, are available on the Iowa Skilled Trades website.

Please contact Joe Collins, Sector Partnership and Career Pathways Consultant, Bureau of Community Colleges, at joe.collins@iowa.gov, or at 515-725-0646, for more information.

CTE leadership webinars scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year


The Iowa Department of Education's Bureau of Career and Technical Education is hosting a series of leadership webinars for school administrators and leaders who are interested in learning more about career and technical education, Perkins funding and CTE programming.

The monthly webinars are scheduled from 3:15 to 4:15 on the third Monday of each month via Zoom Meeting, and can be accessed at https://IDOE.zoom.us/j/8829669365.

Upcoming Webinars:

March 9, 2020          Work-Based Learning Intermediary Networks (scheduled a week early due to spring break)

April 20, 2020           Sector Partnerships 

May 18, 2020            Perkins V Update

Past Recorded Webinars – Leadership and 2020 Perkins Updates

Sept. 23, 2019         Perkins 101

Oct. 21, 2019           Perkins V Secondary/Postsecondary Claims and Ineligible Expenses

Nov. 18, 2019          Information Technology and Service Areas

Dec. 16, 2019          Secondary CTE Program Application

Jan. 21, 2020           Equity and Nontraditional Program Focus in Perkins V

Feb. 17, 2020          Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA for Perkins V)

Please contact Lisa Stange, Education Program Consultant for Family and Consumer Sciences, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, at lisa.stange@iowa.gov, or at 515-242-5032, for more information.

Webinar series focuses on supporting high school registered apprenticeships

earn and learn

A new webinar series on how to launch and sustain Registered Apprenticeship programs in high schools is scheduled for this spring. Seventeen Iowa school districts have launched Registered Apprenticeship programs, which provide an outstanding pathway for students to earn valuable postsecondary credentials. The state’s goal is to expand these programs and participating employers.

Hosted by Iowa Workforce Development in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the series will feature leaders from Iowa high schools and participating employer and government agency representatives on the following topics:

March 2, 10-11 a.m. How to start a RA program

March 12, 10-11 a.m. Advanced manufacturing discussion

March 27, 10-11 a.m. Federal and state funding opportunities

April 1, 2-3 p.m. CTE instructor requirements and RA

April 7, 3-4 p.m. Promising practices

Please help spread the word about this new webinar series. For more information, contact Iowa Workforce Development’s Amy Beller at 515-725-1035, or at amy.beller@iwd.iowa.gov

Career opportunities within the division

join our team

We are 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.

We don't just talk about inclusion; it's how we do business. Our team is globally diverse and we seek candidates whose differences will challenge our ideas, spur innovation and ultimately help build stronger programs serving the people of Iowa.

The division is currently seeking applicants to fill a community college student success consultant position as well as a student intern position to help support career and technical student organizations.

With the departure of Dr. Barbara Burrows, the division expects to advertise for Bureau Chief, Bureau of Community Colleges, in the coming weeks. Additionally, a concurrent enrollment/career academies consultant position is expected to be posted soon.

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.