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College Board learns about TRIO program

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors heard from Ellsworth Community College TRIO Student Support Services staff and students when it met this week in Iowa Falls.

ECC TRIO Director Molly Hippen and Coordinator Jessica VanHove told the Board about the basics of the TRIO program, which serves students who are first generation college students (first in their families to attend college), low-income students (150% below poverty level), and/or students with disabilities. ECC is now in year three of its second five-year federal TRIO grant, which pays for the staffing and other TRIO program costs.

Hippen said benefits of the TRIO program for qualified student participants include priority registration, waivers, trips to colleges and universities, cultural enrichment events, one-on-one academic and career advising, transfer advising, financial aid assistance, and grant aid (for those who quality). This fall, the ECC TRIO program has sponsored a trip to the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad, visits to the Iowa Regent universities, priority registration for 66 students, a financial literacy workshop, and academic and professional workshops. The TRIO staff and students also served a community meal at the Methodist Church in Iowa Falls.

ECC TRIO students Erin Heldt (a criminal justice major) and Malik Anderson (an athletic training major) told how they decided to attend Ellsworth Community College and what the TRIO program has done for them. Heldt, who commutes to campus, said she has received TRIO financial assistance with textbook and school supply costs, as well as gas for the commute. Anderson said he first joined the TRIO program for the financial benefits, but that the workshops and activities have really helped him focus on and learn about areas where he had little prior personal experience, like financial management and credit card fraud. He has greatly enjoyed the trips to transfer colleges and universities, because he had never visited colleges on his own prior to attending Ellsworth.

In other matters, the Board approved snow removal contracts for the campuses in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls and Grinnell; contracts and addendums with BGM, East Marshall and North Mahaska High Schools for college-level instruction; and numerous Board Policy and Board Policy Guideline updates. Board members were appointed to standing committees as follows: Property, Finance & Development (Chris Brodin, Delbert Kellogg and Larry Johnson), Academic & Student Affairs (Paul Pohlson and Joanna Hofer), Personnel (Deb Jones and Deb Crosser), and Board Policy Review (Johnson and Hofer).

The Board also accepted the gift of a 2008 GMC Acadia from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Corporation to the Iowa Valley Grinnell Automotive Repair Technology program.

During recognitions, it was announced that ECC sophomore Sophie Helldorff of Venezuela has been selected for a summer 2018 internship in Brussels with Dr. Peter Jahr of the European Union. Helldorff is a member of the ECC women’s basketball team and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building (Board Room) on the Iowa Valley/MCC campus in Marshalltown.

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