The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees convened Tuesday in Estherville and received the latest on the value of athletics in the recruitment of students to the college.
Executive Dean of Students, Julie Williams, welcomed Troy Larson, Director of Athletics, to the podium to share the significance of offering athletics at Iowa Lakes. Larson outlined the growth in recent years. During the 2006-07 college year, there were 79 student-athletes. During the 2013-14 year, there were 310 student-athletes – an increase of nearly 400 percent.
Several individual and team awards have been earned by the Laker Men and Women. There have been two NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) champions in Wrestling; in Golf, Austin Sweeney came in 14th in the nation – the highest ever national score for the Lakers; and, six students attended the national Cross Country tournament last year. Over the years, Softball has had a third place national finish; Volleyball has had six national tournament teams and Men’s Basketball teams have had four national tournament appearances, including the 2013 season. Also, Women’s Swimming was 2nd in the country last season with the Men ranking fourth while Head Coach Johnathan Jordan was named ‘Coach of the Year’ for Women.
And, the honors extend into the classroom.
Both the Softball and Volleyball teams were Academic teams through the NJCAA this past year and the college had 83 Academic All Region performers and four Academic All Americans through the NJCAA. The Dance team won the state competition in 2013 and was runner-up in 2014.
In addition, Larson pointed out the value of the Athletic Training program and the partnership the college has with local hospitals and doctors.
In other business, Executive Director of Facilities Management, Delaine Hiney,** told the Trustees of upgrades on building projects which have occurred this summer – including the Sustainable Energy Resources and Technologies building which will officially open next week with a ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday, Aug. 28.
Also, Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations, told the Trustees that Pathway Navigators are definitely making a positive impact on our communities. Participation in the GAP programs has quadrupled. Programs include short-term training in the areas of CDL – Commercial Driver’s License for operating trucks; CNA – Certified Nurse Assistant; EMT – Emergency Medical Technician; Medication Aide; and Welding.
Rogers explained that GAP is not an acronym. Instead, it’s a funding source to assist qualifying individuals with such things as tuition and educational support for short-term, non-credit training.
Enrollments overall in non-credit and career focused courses have increased nearly 10 percent this past year.
She also shared that the long-standing Continuing Education Catalog is receiving an upgrade and will be replaced with a magazine which will be distributed in early September.
Upcoming Iowa Lakes Foundation events include the Farm Expo Sept. 18; the Laker Scramble Sept. 12; and the Tractor Ride Sept. 25.
In addition, the list of summer graduates was presented by Mark Gruwell,** Executive Dean of Instruction and Development, and was officially accepted by the Trustees. And, the Trustees wrapped up the meeting with reports from statewide groups.
The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, Sept. 16 at the Administrative offices of the college in downtown Estherville.