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Trustees Hear Report on eLearning Options at Iowa Lakes

December 19, 2012

At its last meeting of the calendar year, the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College met Tuesday afternoon and learned about numerous eLearning opportunities for students at Iowa Lakes.
Mark Gruwell, Executive Dean of Instruction and Development, introduced Theresa Zeigler, Director of Distance and Global Education for Iowa Lakes.
Zeigler said that online options help meet the unique – and varying – schedules of students as well as their distinctive learning needs. Iowa Lakes has been a leader in providing online classes as a partner in the Iowa Community College Online Consortium.  The online learning environment continues to evolve and adapt to ensure a quality education.  
That group has been piloting various student analytics and reporting mechanisms to help in the early identification of students who need additional assistance in the online classes. 
According to Zeigler, the innovation doesn’t stop there.
Over the holiday break, the consortium is piloting a project called the Winterim term.  It’s a four-week, online term.  Students are allowed to take only one class during this term and communication is enhanced in order to provide important information and guidance.  While this is the first time a Winterim term has been offered, interest in these courses has been quite high.
Then, during the spring 2013 term, eTextbooks will be piloted.  The eTexts will save students money overall and allow them to have access to the books on the first day of class.  Faculty will be able to link various parts of the course directly to the specific parts of the textbook to tie all of the material together for the class.
Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement presented a proposed lease agreement with Spencer International for a 3200 Series, 12-row Kinze planter which will be used at the College Farm Laboratory.   The Trustees approved the lease.  The planter will arrive in mid-January and the Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology students will assemble it.  
Clark Marshall, Executive Director of Continuing Education and Economic Development, brought a 260E Preliminary Training Agreement for Simonsen Iron Works of Spencer to Trustees. These agreements create jobs while providing training to the new employees.    
The board approved four separate grant applications to the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation.  The college has asked that the nonprofit corporation support Iowa Lakes on the community projects.  If approved by the group, the college – and partners – will match grants at 25 percent of the cost.
Also during the meeting, the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees presented the results of the FY12 audit.  Williams and Company, Spencer, gave the audit an ‘unqualified opinion’ which means it was a ‘clean’ report.  Ebony Rahe from Williams and Company was on hand for the presentation by Bob L’Heureux, Vice President of Administration.  
The board will gather again next year on Jan. 15, 2013.
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