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Iowa Lakes Looks to Add New Academic Programs

December 17, 2013

Iowa Lakes Community College is looking to the future with the addition of new academic programs at the college.

Mark Gruwell, Executive Dean of Instruction and Development, sought approval for two new programs at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.  Those programs are: Electrical Technology and Engineering Technology. 

“In our continuous efforts to meet the needs of our area businesses, industries, and workforce throughout the entire Iowa Lakes region, we’re pleased to pursue these two programs,” Gruwell said. 

“Our new Electrical Technology program, which consists of two years of study, will prepare graduates for their entry-level licensing requirements. The program will also leverage the curriculum from our existing Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program as well as our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology Program,” Gruwell explained.  

And, there will be a twist which will make the program appealing to job seekers – and make it unique in the state/region/Midwest.

“There will likely be a ‘renewable energy flair’ to the electrical program, thus distinguishing it from other electrical training programs,” Gruwell added.

The second program is Engineering Technology. 

“While Iowa Lakes has consistently offered a pre-engineering Associate in Arts degree for students interested in pursuing a traditional engineering degree, the Engineering Technology program will provide students with hands-on training in a variety of industry skills, including electromechanical, process control and automation,” Gruwell said. 

Both programs will commence in the Fall of 2014 at the Estherville campus.

Another important component of these new programs will be to offer non-credit and continuing education programming. 

“Business and industry training is a critical component of our mission as a community college,” Gruwell observed. “Accordingly, we envision a robust offering of non-credit and continuing education opportunities arising out of both of these, and other, programs. It’s the college’s goal to become a perpetual source of learning, which should extend far beyond mere graduation.”

Also during the meeting, Gruwell requested approval to offer the new Associate in Professional Studies Degree, or APS pathway, which will replace the Associate in Career Option Degree pathway, which is being phased out. 

“In light of the Iowa Department of Education’s decision to phase out the two-year Career Option Degree pathway, the college will adopt the Associate in Professional Studies Degree pathway as a replacement for some of our Career Option programs,” Gruwell explained. 

The APS Degree pathway is very similar to the Career Option Degree pathway, with the exception of some articulation requirements. 

“Fortunately, the change will not impact our ability to deliver quality programming to students. “Because the college began working on this transition last year, there will be no disruptions to our students currently enrolled in any of our Career Option Degree programs.”

For more information on academic programs available at Iowa Lakes, go to

For More Information:

Mark Gruwell, Executive Dean of Instruction and Development, at 712-362-0439

Questions or comments? Please email us at or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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