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Supervisors get Iowa Lakes update

By Staff | May 23, 2014

Emmet County supervisors Tuesday had a good update on what’s been going on at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Iowa Lakes President Val Newhouse and Scott Stokes, Estherville campus dean, filled the board in on students, programs and facilities.

Newhouse showed enrollment figures for Iowa, attributing a decline in enrollment in the immediate five-county service area to students entering the workforce rather than attending college.

Newhouse said students from other states and around the world are discovering the college on the Internet, adding that students can get the first two years of any degree at Iowa Lakes.

Newhouse recapped new facilities, such as the new swine facility on the farm at Emmetsburg. She said the vet tech program, now in its third year, now has national accreditation.

Newhouse noted an equipment replacement levy vote will be held Sept. 9. Stokes added that the college had bought a lot of technology with the money from the levy which is up for renewal. Newhouse said the levy, which comes up for voter approval every 10 years, amounts to 6 cents per $1,000 valuation, raising

$300,000 total from all five counties. She said the levy is different than the plant levy.

Stokes said the college has developed new programs in response to community requests, such as the water quality program, a field projected to have a lot of retirees. He said the program will be housed in the S.E.R.T. building which is slated for completion in July. Stokes said industry had said it would hire as many graduates as the college could turn out.

Engineering tech is a program that will start on the Estherville campus this fall, along with electrical technology. Stokes said the game design program projects 11 students.

The back-to-school bash held jointly with ELC will be pushed back to accommodate more college students, said Stokes.

Other events Stokes mentioned were First Lego League, with the college hosting the regional tournament. Other events this summer include jazz camp, STEM camp, basketball camp and design camp.

Newhouse said the college continues to partner with area school districts.

“Iowa Lakes has always been a cornerstone for this community,” said supervisor Ron Smith.

Board chair Alan Madden said the college continues to anticipate what skills the market needs.