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Trustees hear about aviation program

By Staff | Mar 21, 2014

The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees Tuesday heard how aviation students are reaching heights they never dreamed of.

Ron Duer, co-coordinator and chief flight instructor, said there were 24 full-time and six part-time students who will be certified to fly multi-engine aircraft. Duer said most students will actually start as flight instructors before becoming pilots.

While there were 800,000 pilots in the US in 1990, Duer said that number dropped to 600,000 in 2010.

At Iowa Lakes, students get the same training as they would at large four-year schools. They fly three times a week compared to once a week at larger schools, while paying $37,000 to $38,000 for their training as compared to $100,000 at four-year schools. A flight simulator lets them fly a dozen different aircraft. There’s even a drone training program that’s ready to submit for state approval.

One student, Jacob Lemon of Fairmont, Minn., shared his dream of going to Alaska to be a bush pilot or becoming an instructor. “It’s been quite enjoyable,” Lemon said.

In other business Tuesday, Delaine Hiney, executive director of facilities management, presented the facilities master plan for board approval. The board also approved an April 15 public hearing date for selling surplus college property in Algona, Emmetsburg and Estherville.

Julie Williams, executive dean of students, reviewed first reading of an upgraded residency and tuition policy. Williams also presented a proposed change to the college tuition refund policy.

The board accepted donation of a lattice tower from Edison Mission Group. The tower will allow the college to offer National Association of Tower Erectors certification as well as Global Wind Organization endorsement for communications industry technicians as well as in the wind industry.

Jolene Rogers, executive director of business and community relations, also told the board that the farm program had received just over $70,000 in farm crop planting donations.

The board also approved a 260 E preliminary agreement with companies in Algona and Spencer.

Bob L’Heureux, vice president of administration, said room and board rates will both increase $50 a semester next year.

The next meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 at the Emmetsburg campus at 3200 College Drive in Emmetsburg, with a 4 p.m. work session before the meeting.