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Iowa Lakes Community College
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Student Testimonials

“I selected Iowa Lakes because I had heard it had a great child care program. I have learned how to both educate and communicate with children better than before I attended.  I have also learned how to communicate with my peers more effectively.  Attending Iowa Lakes has made me more aware of myself and what I am capable of doing.

My favorite course was behavior and guidance because I am now able to guide the children I work with in a better direction when they get too much energy and don't want to participate or when they make poor choices.  I appreciate the instructors who have helped me be who I am today.” 

-- Dawn Boleneus
“I selected Iowa Lakes because I heard that it was a good school and when I came for a campus visit I was very impressed with the campus.  The instructors were very helpful to me when answering my questions and telling me what the program was about.  I have gotten a lot of things out of the program.  I have grown as a professional and I have learned information that is going to help me when I start a job with children.

A favorite experience would be at my third practicum site.  I have grown to love and enjoy the children and the staff at this center.  The staff was very helpful to me in answering my questions and helping me grow as a professional in working with children and also in understanding the administrative aspect of the center.

I don’t think that there is anything that needs improvement about Iowa Lakes.  They have very good instructors that are there whenever you have a question or you just need to talk.  The early childhood programs are great and very helpful.”

-- Jennifer Boone
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because it was close to home and offered great education that is affordable.  The most important thing that I got from the early childhood programs was the understanding of how important teachers are in children’s lives.  We are their guide to their futures.

My favorite course assignment was making and presenting theme boxes.  Although it was very stressful, I really enjoyed it.

I wouldn’t suggest anything for improvement in the early childhood programs because they are already great as they are.  I learned so much more than I probably would have at a university.”

-- Kim Brown
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because it was a smaller college and close to home.  Being a non-traditional student, I wanted to feel comfortable in my surroundings.  I also wanted to go to school near the town my family lives in so we didn’t have to relocate.

I have gained so much from the program I chose.  For me, going back to school was a challenge in itself.  I have built lasting relationships, sought structure and dependability.  I acquired knowledge that will last a lifetime and allow me to set future goals.  The Early Childhood Education Program at Iowa Lakes provides a stable and rewarding start towards a baccalaureate degree.

My favorite experience from this program is my second practicum.  Both of the teachers were graduates of this same program.  They helped me a realize, appreciate and understand the dedication and work it took to make my college education successful.  I truly appreciated my time with them and will treasure that experience forever.” 

-- Liz Hauge
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because I wanted a quality education in Early Childhood Education.  I wanted to pursue my education and Iowa Lakes offered the program I desired!

I will be taking many things from the Early Childhood Education Program, especially a new outlook on children and the many phases of development they go through.  Without the high quality of education here, I would not have been able to be where I am today.  The instructors and staff were so supportive and valued my feelings.  I felt a commitment from them for me to receive the finest education possible.  Every day I cam to school I felt as though I was not just a number but instead I was always treated as an important student.  I am thankful to Iowa Lakes for the commitment they have given to me from the first day I began!  I also thank my early childhood instructors for giving me the support and confidence to finish this program.

My favorite experience at Iowa Lakes was in April of 2003.  That month the early childhood programs focused on the Month of the Young Child, a program designed by NAEYC to bring public attention to the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.  I was selected to organize and lead the planned events for our Child Care Club.  It gave me an excellent opportunity to be a leader and show my support and dedication for young children.

If I had to find one thing that I would like the programs to improve on it would be that the instructors have more opportunities to visit the students at their practicum sites.  I feel if they had time to do this, the students would truly benefit from their feedback.”

-- Tresa Haupert
“I chose Iowa Lakes Community College, because my high school counselor recommended the early childhood program at this college.  She had heard many positive comments about it and said that it would be a great program for me.  She knew that I had wanted to go into early childhood, so she got information to me.  As I looked it over, Iowa Lakes looked like the right place for me and it has been!

After being in the program, I now have a better understanding of children and am more knowledgeable about early childhood education.  I have completed many tasks that I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t enroll in this program.  I feel that as a result I am a stronger and more organized person.

My practicums were my favorite course experiences.  I have gained confidence by presenting activities to different age groups and was able to see what I really wanted to do for a career.  I also realized that I enjoy working with younger children.  By having these experiences, I learned more about myself & who I really was & wanted to be.

I have learned so many new things and I am leaving this college with knowledge that I will use every day.”

-- Melissa Hemann
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College for several reasons.  One of them was because I was interested in Early Childhood Education and after talking to previous students I found that Iowa Lakes had one of the best Early Childhood Programs in the state of Iowa.  I was also interested in the fact that Iowa Lakes had smaller classes which meant that my instructors would know my name and have time to help me rather than just being a number in the classroom.

While in the Early Childhood Education program, I learned many life-long lessons about working with children.  I really enjoyed the hands-on experiences.  I learned a lot about  children from their development to adulthood.  I also learned the administrative aspect of operating a child care center.

I think my favorite classroom assignment would be my portfolio that displays my success from the time I started attending Iowa Lakes until the time I graduated.  I chose this assignment because while applying for jobs it will help show potential employers the experience and knowledge I have about children.”

-- Kay Kaiser
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because it was close to home.  I wanted to be close to my family.  I really liked the fact that it’s a small community college, yet big enough for me to get the education that I wanted.  I also chose this college because it had the program that I wanted to go into.  I’d heard “nothing but good students come out of that program”’ so I decided to try it.

One of the most important things that I got out of the program were the great experiences.  In addition to being in class, I got the chance to work directly with the children so I could find out if that is what I really wanted to do.  I also had two outstanding teachers who helped me through the years here.  But the most important thing that I got out of this program was the knowledge that I gained about children.  Before coming to Iowa Lakes, I had absolutely no clue about being a teacher and now I feel I know what I need to advance in my future.

My favorite experience would have to be all of the great people that I’ve gotten to meet and all of the great trips and experiences that we’ve gone through.  I thought going to various early childhood settings was great because it gave me a different view of how I could run my own facility some day. 

Everything was great at Iowa Lakes Community College and everyone helped me as best as they could.  By being here for two years, I know how much everyone cares about me and everything is just so wonderful.  I enjoyed going to school here and I will never forget the great memories that my classmates and I have had together.”

-- Heather Ricke
“I chose Iowa Lakes Community College because it is close to my home and because it offers a variety of classes for a reasonable price.

I learned a lot about children and their development.  I also learned many strategies for working with young children.  I think that I have experienced many things that I wouldn’t have gotten to do if I’d attended a university.

I really liked being able to go on practicum experiences.  I learned so much by being on the job.  It really helped me to be able to see first hand what is going on and what I am going to be qualified to do.  I also liked being able to be in different settings to explore the various types of careers in early childhood.

I really think that my experience at Iowa Lakes Community College has been a good one.  I think that the Early Childhood Education program was very beneficial to me.  I learned so much and had a great time doing it!  The instructors are very understanding and really care.  I also met some great students that I will continue to know for a long time.”

-- Rhonda Sears
“I chose Iowa Lakes because it was close to home but not too close and they had the program/field that I wanted to go into.  I also chose it because it was affordable to me.  From attending Iowa Lakes I have become more self-sufficient and independent.  I have gotten to experience actually being with and learning from children.

I think what I've mostly benefited from are the practicum experiences because  I was able to observe more of the things that we talked about in our other classes and now I am able to understand them better.  My favorite assignment/experience were the child observation assignments.  I selected this because I was able to put the age and standard/benchmark together to see if the particular child was at the norm or not.  It was also interesting because I was able to see the actual growth and improvement in the child over the course of observation.

The only thing that needed improvement in this program was my own self responsibility.

-- Jerilyn Stofferan
"I chose to attend Iowa Lakes Community College for numerous reasons including: location, financial assistance, availability of my desired degree program, personalized atmosphere, student to teacher ratio, one-to-one communication with faculty, support systems, and reputation of a quality education.

It is so wonderful to be a student in a friendly atmosphere where I can walk down the hallway and be greeted by many.  The support services offered through the college have helped me in maintaining and achieving my aspirations.  The college has been very supportive of me during many difficult times in my personal life.  I now know that as a student if I am in need of assistance academically, personally or socially, I have a multitude of resources available.  If it weren’t for the support and encouragement I’ve experienced at this community college, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I am very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had.

The Early Childhood Education Program at Iowa Lakes Community College exemplifies what every Early Childhood Education Program should maintain as standards.  This program offers quality instruction by providing the opportunity for hands-on experience through planning, preparation, and presentation of developmentally appropriate activities to facilitate children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth.  Also the program offers a platform for learning about children’s issues and the importance of advocacy.  We were exposed to various areas of community resources to increase our awareness of social and cultural events impacting children’s early care and education.

One significant learning experience I had occurred during my third semester.  The contemporary issues in child care course that I was enrolled in had a major influence on my desired goals.  It has empowered me to know what I can do to make a difference.  The course presented me with opportunities to contact state and federal policy makers on important issues that affect children.  It demonstrated to me the difference that one voice can make.  During my experience with this course, I recognized my desire to become a children’s advocate to have an impact on public policies.  I feel strongly about making a difference in the lives of children and the Iowa Lakes Community College Early Childhood Education Program has given me the drive to do so.”

-- Shayla Thompson
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because it was close to my hometown and the Child Care Program was pleasing at the Emmetsburg campus.  I went to visit other colleges and it was Iowa Lakes that attracted me.

I have learned many things from the Child Care Programs: how to teach children different activities according to their age, how to become an administrator of a child care center, and I met some of the friendliest people by being in the Child Care Programs.

My favorite course assignment would be working on the theme box for Play and Creative Arts Class and Inquiry Class.  I also enjoyed working with others in the classroom on group projects.  The experiences at my various practicum sites were also enjoyable by seeing how others teach the children.  I enjoyed bringing different activities to practicum each week and sharing them with the children.

I don’t think that anything at Iowa Lakes needs to be changed.  The instructors were very pleasant and willing to help me out when I needed assistance.  Iowa Lakes Community College is a great college for students to attend!”

-- Holly Wakey
“The reasons I chose Iowa Lakes Community College were numerous.  Some of them are: my early childhood education major was offered here, it was close to home, and it was a lot cheaper than a university.

The most important things I got out of my program would be obtaining organizational skills and speaking skills.  From my instructors I got a lot of good compliments as well as feedback on what I needed to improve on.

My favorite experience during my college years would be my practicum experiences.  I have learned a lot about the responsibilities of being a teacher and how much work they have to do even it if is on their own time.”

-- Holly Webb
“Iowa Lakes was close to my home and offered the education in the program that I wanted.  I’ve become more confident & self-reliant by attending Iowa Lakes.  My college education has helped me firm up my early childhood philosophy and know what is developmentally appropriate for children.  I’d have to say I enjoyed the Administration of Programs & Children’s Literature courses the most.  Both of them provided me with the opportunity to learn from my instructor & my classmates through group projects & presentations. “

-- Faith Halbur
“I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because of the good things I heard
about the Child Care Program.  The college was also close enough to home and small enough to have a close relationship with everyone.  While attending Iowa Lakes I have learned many things about myself and many things about others.  I have learned what I want to do with my life because of Iowa Lakes and the classes I took.

I have learned many things about children, early childhood settings, and about myself. Being in the child care program has taught me to learn from the children because there is a lot to learn from them.  I enjoyed my practicum experiences the most. Over the past 3 years, they helped me learn a lot about myself, others and children. This was a time for me to have hands on learning right from the children. I also enjoyed having each practicum experience at a different site.

I think the one-on-one with your instructors is important.  I was glad to have the opportunity to have time to talk to mine when I needed to.“

-- Jean Scheutz
“I chose Iowa Lakes because of its location. At the time that I enrolled I was engaged and planning to stay in Laurens after we were married. So the fact that I only had to drive 30 minutes one way every day for a college education was better than nothing at all.  Attending Iowa Lakes has done a lot for me. I now have a great understanding of what it takes to work in the early childhood profession. I have had the opportunity to see many different classrooms and do practicum in some unique places.  I have also made some great friends that will last a lifetime. It also made me realize that I want to work with younger children and not teach Kindergarten. That is what my goal was when I started  - to teach Kindergarten.  I have also made some great friends that will last a lifetime.

I have learned a lot about myself. I realized that I can do this and I have the skills and desire to succeed.  I have learned more than I ever imagined and will take it with me.  What I learned here will impact all the children that I am in contact with for the rest of my life - in a good way of course. 

My favorite experiences were the Practicums. I really enjoyed who I worked with and I was placed in outstanding programs with great supervisors. You will be able to see little pieces of them in all that I do with children. Just by being able to sit back and watch them, they taught me so much. They were great models.  I was able to form lasting friendships with them.

Overall I liked this college experience. I think that at times it felt almost like the work was "busy work” but now looking back at it, I gained something from everything that I did in this program.  Jamie and Marsha are always there to help you - if it has to do with your schoolwork or not. They are great resources that I will continue to use for a long time - or until they get sick of me.”

-- Kelly Tate
"I chose to come to Iowa Lakes because it was close to home.  I had been attending another college and decided that I wanted to be closer to home.  It was a place where I could be on my own, but still close to my family.  Iowa Lakes was also very affordable. 

Attending college at Iowa Lakes has broadened my experiences in the child care & early childhood education fields.  From touring different child care centers & early childhood classrooms, I have learned that there are more early childhood career options than just teaching or working in a child care center.  Attending college at Iowa Lakes has also given me the chance to make many new friends.

I have gathered many materials that can be used in a classroom along with many ideas and lots of resource information.  Thanks to these programs, I am now knowledgeable about the state requirements for child care centers, different childhood diseases, developmentally appropriate materials, and many other things.  Overall I feel that I have learned a lot over my years at Iowa Lakes. 

My favorite experience was my Practicum II class in the fall of 2002.  My experience took me to a local Kindergarten classroom, which is what I hope to one day teach.  Having this experience gave me the opportunity to see that this is the age group that I want to work with.  It also gave me the chance to see the routines in Kindergarten along with ways that Kindergarteners are evaluated.  I also had the opportunity to teach for a day for an assignment in class and this was exciting. 

I don’t think you could improve my experience because my experience has been great.  The resources available for students to use in the classroom were wonderful.  The staff was very friendly and helpful and I felt like I could always talk to my instructors about anything.  My experience at Iowa Lakes has been great and very meaningful."   

-- Marcia Smith
"I selected Iowa Lakes Community College because it was close to home and very affordable.  Attending Iowa Lakes has helped me stay close to my family and enabled me to balance school and work.

I have learned much about providing children with appropriate experiences to succeed later on in life.  This program has also helped me work on my confidence level and my organizational skills.  My favorite course would have to be Practicum because it provided me with the skills and experience I need to seek a job in the early childhood profession."

-- Jodi Merideth
"I chose Iowa Lakes Community College because I had heard that the program is very good.  I decided long before I finished high school that I wanted to go into Early Childhood Education and I didn’t know where to go so I had talked to my child care teacher at high school and she told me about Iowa Lakes.

The Child Care & Early Childhood Education Programs have helped me greatly with the things I need to know in this field.  My advisor too was such a great help in deciding which classes to take and helping me get through them.

I really enjoyed the theme and unit assignments.  It gave me an opportunity to use my creativity and to learn to use the resources in the room to my advantage.  I know that I could have improved my organizational skills and my motivational skills, which I learned very quickly during my second year at Iowa Lakes."

-- Amy Nitchals
"I chose to attend Iowa Lakes Community College based on the location of the campus and the reputation of the program.  Affordability was also an issue.  I could have attended Waldorf in Forest City, but it was too expensive, and required many classes that were not useful in the Early Childhood profession.

Iowa Lakes has enriched my life in many ways.  I have grown socially, emotionally and intellectually.  I can see I am not the same person I was less than 2 years ago.  By working in-group situations and presenting in front of the class, I have gained experience interacting with people.  I will be using those skills I learned in dealing with co-workers and parents.

My Theme Box assignment was my favorite assignment.  The class worked together helping each other locate ideas for making instructional materials & presenting activities based upon our own theme.  I have been adding to mine non-stop for the past year.  I am glad to have such wonderful resources to take with me.  Other students I have talked to that have attended other colleges wish they had this type of opportunity. 

There was nothing you could do that would improve this program.  I have seen how you have treated each student on an individual basis.  You have made accommodations for those who needed special considerations to have a successful experience."

-- Dana Halvorson

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