The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College learned of an innovative way in which some college faculty are communicating with students.
Each semester, students are asked to see their advisor – especially when they are going to register for classes. That typically meant an ‘in person’ visit. In an effort to improve communications, Kyle Norris, Assistant Professor of Science and Athletic Trainer at Iowa Lakes, started to consider alternative methods. Working with the Advising for Success committee, took the lead to ‘test run’ ‘text advising.’
Norris told the Trustees Tuesday afternoon in Estherville that the experiment gave the college more opportunities to contact students directly and thus improved the communication stream between the student and advisor.
Halie Cody, an Athletic Training student from Emmetsburg, spoke with the Trustees about how text advising worked for her. The text advising works well for her as she is an active student who is on the college’s dance team. She said she’d recommend this method to other students and advisors as a great way to save time and stay informed.
This effort started as a small experimental group and has expanded; however, not everyone is using text advising as the college works to communicate with students in their preferred method of technology which matches the style of advising with each student and professor.
In other business, Executive Dean of Instruction and Development Mark Gruwell updated the Trustees on the Academic Quality Improvement program (AQIP). The college has submitted a portfolio which will be reviewed by a team to identify steps which can be taken on future projects.
The Trustees then reviewed and approved STEM Scale Up Projects for the Northwest Iowa STEM Hub which is hosted at Iowa Lakes. Ten service providers received nearly $450,000 in grant funding from the state of Iowa to supply school districts with their requested projects.
On the subject of wind energy, Gruwell received approval for a learning exchange network entitled Project CREATE which would provide collaboration with experts in Australia. In addition, Gruwell received the go-ahead for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows Iowa Lakes to begin discussions on how the college could provide coursework to GLOBAL Alternative Energy Solutions of Turkey. Discussions would revolve around continuing education and industry training for professionals in Turkey.
Several projects were reviewed with the Trustees. Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, received approval for a change order on the final cost of the DOT-funded access road on the Emmetsburg campus which totaled just under $1,300.
She also reviewed progress on plans for the Sustainable Energy Resource Training facility –which is the former Medieval Glass building in Estherville. The next steps will be to work with an architect to finalize a plan to best meet the needs of the campus. More will be known when finalized plans are presented to the Trustees in the next couple of months.
On the Emmetsburg campus, a new multi-purpose swine facility for the college farm lab is being discussed with an Iowa State University Extension Swine Specialist. Several ideas are being reviewed on how best to design a facility that fits both the budget – and educational needs.
Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, shared that the Ag Steering Committee met with students to look at the 2013 crop plan for the college farm lab. And, she said plans for next year’s foundation events are well under way throughout the counties served by Iowa Lakes.
Also during the meeting, the Trustee committee appointments were made by Janice Lund, Board President; bills were paid; computer networking equipment will be upgraded; the first reading of a policy outlining the guidelines for reporting suspected child abuse was approved; and a revision was made to the Quality Faculty Plan which eliminates the conditional rules for hiring faculty according to new state statute.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be on Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Estherville.