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Iowa Lakes approves two new programs for Estherville campus

January 15, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees approved two new programs for the Estherville campus at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

The two-year Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Water Quality programs would start this coming fall, pending approval by the Iowa Department of Education.

In presenting the programs for approval, Mark Gruwell, executive dean of instruction, said both programs had been suggested by college program advisory boards who noted a need for employees in those fields.

The five-semester programs would be comprised of 76-86 hours, with HVAC salaries ranging from $15 to $22 an hour and water quality technicians earning $12.88 to $20 an hour. Gruwell said existing staff and new employees would teach the courses.

Delaine Hiney, executive director of facilities management, said the programs could share existing labs on campus.

The board approved a list of 22 faculty and staff with a cumulative service of 473.5 years for early retirement. Employees who are at least 55 and who have worked at the college full-time for at least 10 years were eligible.

In the Iowa Lakes report, Emmetsburg campus dean Tom Brotherton introduced Hotel and Restaurant Management faculty and students who talked about the program now in its 40th year at the college, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the state. Faculty are Professor Bob Halverson and Professor Kerry Erickson.

Chelsie Wycoff, program student from Estherville, said she wants to stay in the hospitality industry. She's already working in two positions in the industry while attending Iowa Lakes.

Kim Pouykham, also from Estherville, told how much she's gotten out of trips in the program.

Jay Lundquist, also from Estherville, previously obtained his criminal justice degree before a year's deployment to Afghanistan. Upon his return, he said he wanted to get into a career field where he could work with his hands.

Advisory board members Matt and Autumn Schmeling, both Iowa Lakes graduates, Matt in Business Administration and Management and Autumn in Hotel and Restaurant Management, extolled the program and the quality of its graduates.

"Their programs are great for kicking out good employees," said Matt, manager of the Super 8 in Spirit Lake.

"I loved it,"Autumn said of the program. She is currently a supervisor at the Ground Round in Worthington, Minn.

The trustees also approved training agreements for Cozzini Foods of Algona, Aluma, Ltd. of Bancroft and Emmetsburg and Polaris Industries of Spirit Lake.

The board also accepted the gift of an airplane engine and parts and heard of an opportunity for nursing alumni to volunteer with the Loved Takes Root organization in Haiti.

The trustees set the next meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 19, for a public hearing on the published budget for the 2014 fiscal year.



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