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IVCCD keeps tuition hike lower than state average

The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors set tuition, housing rates and meal plan rates for 2018-19 when it met this month in Grinnell. Next year’s tuition increase of $5 per credit hour continues the District’s trend of keeping its tuition raises lower than the state average for eight consecutive years.

“We are increasing the gap between our tuition and that of our competitors, and we’ve done that for eight years in a row. We take great pride in being able to do this for our students,” said Dr. Chris Duree, IVCCD Chancellor. He added that early indicators show other Iowa community colleges raising their tuition anywhere from $3 per credit hour to $9.25 per credit hour for classes this fall.

The IVCCD Board also approved housing and meal plan rates for students at both Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls and Marshalltown Community College. At ECC, the housing rates per semester will be $1,890 for double rooms in Thompson and Wall Halls, $2,500 for single rooms in Thompson and Wall, $2,495 four double rooms in the College Apartments, $2,700 for double rooms in the College Suites, and $3,200 for single rooms in the Suites. ECC meals plan costs are increasing by 4.3 percent. It was noted that ECC only increases room and board rates every other year. At MCC, housing rates will be $2,475 for double rooms and $3,275 for single rooms per semester. MCC meals plan costs are increasing by 2.41 percent for the 18 Meal Plan and will remain the same for the 5 Meal Plan.

In personnel matters, the Board approved a 2018-19 Master Agreement with the Iowa Valley Community College Education Association/ISEA that calls for an $800 increase to the base pay, and no step increases for the coming year. For all regular full-time and part-time benefit eligible (non-faculty) employees, the Board approved a 2 percent salary increase for 2018-19. The Board then approved a one-year employment contract with Dr. Duree, also with a 2 percent salary increase.

In other matters, the Board approved contracts with three high schools (BCLUW, Iowa Falls-Alden, and Meskwaki) to provide college courses to high school students next year, amendments to two grant agreements with Iowa Workforce Development, and the revision of numerous Board policies and guidelines. The gift of plastic pipe and a pipe stringing trailer was accepted from Black Hills Energy for the MCC Natural Gas Technician program.

The Board also approved resolutions authorizing the sale/delivery and redemption of outstanding dormitory revenue bonds dated Dec. 1, 2010, and directed that notice be given for the sale of not to exceed $4.4 million of dormitory revenue refunding bonds. The refinancing of the dormitory revenue bonds, which mature in 2030, will save the District more than $435,000 over the remaining life of the bonds with a lower interest rate. The refinancing will also move the bond maturity date from 2030 to 2029. A brief Board meeting will be held June 25 to authorize issuance of those bonds.

MaryAnne Nickle, Dean of Iowa Valley Grinnell, gave a presentation about concurrent enrollment and the District’s reaccreditation process with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). Nickle said there are nine high schools that participate in IVCCD’s Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP), whereby high school students can take college courses for both high school and college credits. In 2017-18 there were 43 CEP courses taught by 29 adjunct instructors for 490 high school students, who earned 3,727 credits. IVCCD was originally accredited by NACEP in 2011, and is just completing the reaccreditation process this month.

Nickle emphasized that the high school teachers who instruct CEP courses must have the same qualifications as a college faculty member (master’s degree or higher for non-technical courses). The high school instructors are assigned a faculty liaison who conducts an annual site visit and ensures that the courses taught in the high schools are the same as those taught on the college campuses.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, July 11, at 4 pm at the IVCCD District Administration building, 3702 S. Center St., Marshalltown.

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