The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College heard from students and graduates Tuesday afternoon about their enthusiasm of the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at the college.
The program is celebrating its 40th year at the college – the longest running program of its kind in the state of Iowa. Professor Bob Halverson thanked the Trustees for their support and reviewed the curriculum. Professor Kerry Erickson talked about certifications available to the students through the college’s affiliation with national organizations. These certificates make students more employable upon graduation.
Three sophomore students spoke: Chelsie Wycoff talked about the valuable skills she gained through Career Academy; Kim Pouykham told the Trustees about the experience she gained from several field trips taken by the class; and, Jay Lundquist of Estherville spoke of the excitement of Career Day and sharing his enthusiasm for the program with young people. All three are from Estherville.
Matt and Autumn Schmeling spoke of the value of the Advisory Board to the program. Matt (who is a Business Administration and Management graduate) is the Manager of the Super 8 in Spirit Lake; while Autumn (who is graduate of the Hotel and Restaurant Management program) is a supervisor at the Ground Round in Worthington, Minn. Both serve on the Advisory Board which helps ensure that the curriculum exceeds today’s industry standards.
The Hotel and Restaurant Management program is a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program.
In other business, the Trustees approved two new instructional programs at the college: Water Quality and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). Both programs will consist of two years of study and will provide graduates with the technical knowledge and practical skills needed in industry. Notices of intent to commence the programs will now be filed with the Iowa Department of Education. Also, program advisory committees will discuss, review and approve the final curriculum. Both programs will start in the fall of 2013 and be based at the Estherville campus.
Final new jobs training agreements were presented on behalf of three area companies by Clark Marshall, Executive Director of Economic Development and Continuing Education. The three companies are Cozzini Foods (Algona), Aluma, Ltd. (Bancroft/Emmetsburg) and Polaris Industries (Spirit Lake). It is the intent of college staff to combine these agreements with several other pending projects and issue bonds later this spring to generate training funds. The Trustees approved the proposal.
A list of individuals who have requested participation in the voluntary early retirement package was reviewed. A total of 22 faculty and staff were approved for early retirement by the Trustees. College employees who were at least 55 years of age and who had worked at the college full-time at least 10 years were eligible. Those who are participating will leave the college no later than June 30 of this year. The service of these individuals equals 473.5 years, according to Kathy Muller, Human Resource Director for Iowa Lakes.
The college is the recipient of a gift of an airplane engine and parts, according to Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. Some of the equipment will be used for student learning while the other items will be sold with the proceeds going to update the GPS equipment in the aviation fleet. The Trustees accepted the donated items.
Rogers also spoke about an opportunity for Nursing alumni to assist the ‘Love Takes Root’ effort to update medical records and assist with vaccinations of children living in an orphanage in Haiti. And, she reported that the Iowa Lakes and Foundation Annual Report is being mailed this week to supporters of the college and foundation.
Also during the meeting, the Trustees set the date for a public hearing on the Published Budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year; heard updates on statewide meetings; and set their next meeting for Tuesday, Feb. 19.