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Stokes, Newhouse give Iowa Lakes report

November 27, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday were updated on what's been going on at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Val Newhouse, college president, and Scott Stokes, Estherville campus dean, told the board about new programs and campus changes.

Newhouse noted 368 Emmet County students at the college this fall - 109 of those in high school. That compares with 420 last fall from the county and 148 in high school.

Newhouse attributed a slight overall decline in student numbers to a strong economy. Another factor is that young adults no longer have to be in college to be on their parents' health plan.

Newhouse recapped the ribbon cutting for the college's new TV system last week. The Internet-based system is available to students virtually worldwide. "The potential is great," Newhouse said.

New programs this year include events management at the Spirit Lake campus, a one-year diploma program. Newhouse said the college is also starting a section of its popular massage therapy program at the Algona campus.

She also noted the college board of trustees at its last meeting had approved plans for a new swine nursery at the college farm west of Emmetsburg and for the former Medieval Glass building.

Stokes noted a number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) events. A STEM camp was held this past summer and on Dec. 15 the college will host its first Lego League with 18 teams competing. Competition will start at 9:30 a.m. and include students between ages 9-14.

Stokes noted two new programs in the Medieval Glass building next fall, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and water treatment/waste water management. He said the college hopes to have a video game design program in place next fall as well.

Newhouse also noted the college had received a $600,000 grant for training skilled workers in advanced manufacturing.

She also noted the second year of vet tech classes was meeting in its new Emmetsburg facility along with a new class of 24 first-year students. The college is applying for national accreditation for the program which is attracting students from around the country.

Newhouse said arts and sciences student numbers increase during a struggling economy; however, career programs surge when the economy is strong.

In other business Tuesday, the board heard the road report from county engineer Roger Patocka. The board also approved family farm applications and the 2012 weed report.

After considering insurance proposals, the board decided to stay with its current carrier, Employers Mutual Company.



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