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Trustees of Iowa Lakes Receive Progress Report on Grant to Strengthen Education

February 15, 2017

The Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees met Tuesday afternoon and learned about the positive impact of the Title III grant which will help the college strengthen education through technology, curriculum and faculty development. 

Vice President of Administration Scott Stokes oversees the operation of the $1.7 million grant which was received in September of last year. He welcomed two staff members – Shauna Donovan, Educational Technologist, and Brooke Johnson, Project Coordinator – who are leading the implementation of the five-year grant. 

Numerous action steps have already been carried out.

“The two Educational Technology rooms in Emmetsburg and Estherville are completed,” said Donovan. “We have held faculty educational sessions with our new Learning Management System (LMS).”

Those sessions help professors learn how to create and implement course content while also observing student involvement in classwork.

Donovan reported the meetings for professors will continue as more become interested in the teaching method and as new software becomes available for classroom and online instruction. 

Johnson is working with the two pilot programs for this grant – Agriculture and Nursing. Her first project is to update the simulation equipment used for each program.

“Nursing simulation cameras allow faculty to observe students while performing a simulation,” Johnson said. “Some equipment is being upgraded. Other simulators are being purchased with grant funds including a new simulation mannequin, new medication distribution system, IV pumps and defibrillators. This really has value for students as they can get hands-on learning.”

For the Agriculture program, Johnson says they will receive high-level GPS equipment for a new planter that students can operate. In addition, the program will purchase a John Deere Tractor Cab simulator as well as on-site soil analysis equipment. 

The education will also continue for Donovan and Johnson. They will be attending an Educause conference to learn the latest techniques in learning. In addition, Donovan will attend and present a session at a statewide online consortium about/on the newest methods which are being used at Iowa Lakes. 

The active learning classroom in Emmetsburg is nearly complete and the classroom in Estherville is currently in use. The unique feature of these rooms is that students sit in groups while the professor works from the center of the room or walks throughout the classroom utilizing large television screens, white boards and overheads for different images. Music can be played during lab experiences as students rotate around the room gaining new knowledge at each location. All programs will be able to utilize the rooms and professors can adapt it to their style of teaching. 

“Students expect the most up-to-date technology,” Stokes said. “This is an investment in the future to continuously improve and seek new ways to impact student learning,” Stokes said.

Some 60 classrooms have been identified to receive the upgraded technology.

In other business, the Trustees held a public hearing pertaining to the Gateway Roof replacement and the exterior renovation of the building. 

Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, reported that bids were opened publically on Feb. 7 with one bidder present. Midstates Builders of Spencer presented a total bid price of just over $2.8 million. Subcontractors for the proposed project are local Spencer area businesses: Midstates Builders, Pixler Electric, Christians Sheet Metal, Denison Drywall, H&S Roofing, and Northwest Glass. The Trustees approved the project. 

An update on the Estherville Fine Arts Addition was provided by Hiney. She reported that FRK Architects has completed the specifications and drawings for the approximately 25,860 square foot building. The Trustees then set a pre-bid conference meeting for later this month with a public bid opening planned for March 16 and a public hearing on the bids at the next regular meeting of the Trustees on March 21. 

This was one of the college’s projects approved by voters in February of 2016.

Another project from the bond vote is an entrepreneurial center at the Algona campus. Hiney reported that the footprint and exterior design have been developed and the architect is working on specifications. CMBA Architects report they should have the specification data completed by March 21 to present to the Trustees.

On the subject of budgets, the Trustees held a public hearing on next year’s budget and then approved the FY 18 published data. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees is set for Tuesday, March 21, at the Sustainable Energy Resources and Technologies (S.E.R.T.) Center on the Estherville campus. 

Students in the lab portion of the Human Anatomy & Physiology class work in groups to identify different bones as Professor Kyle Norris walks through the room and answers questions.
Students in the lab portion of the Human Anatomy & Physiology class work in groups to identify different bones as Professor Kyle Norris walks through the room and answers questions. 
Professor Kyle Norris assists one of the groups in the Human Anatomy & Physiology class on the Estherville campus.
Professor Kyle Norris assists one of the groups in the Human Anatomy & Physiology class on the Estherville campus.
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