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IVCCD Board hears about MCC initiatives

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors learned about programs to connect and engage Latinx, Southeast Asian and Native American students at Marshalltown Community College when it met this week.

MCC Provost Robin Lilienthal set the stage by reporting to the Board that for Spring 2020, 18.6% of MCC students identify as Hispanic, 2.5% each as Asian and Native American, 2.7% as African American, and 53.5% as White; 38.9% of students did not identify their ethnicity, which is optional in the enrollment process. Since 2015, MCC’s Hispanic enrollment is up 49%, Asian enrollment is up 40.6%, and Native American enrollment is up 22.2%.

In 2017-18, when its Hispanic enrollments exceeded 15% of the total full-time equivalent enrollment for the first time, MCC was designated as an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution (EHSI) by Excelencia in Education. MCC is one of only four Iowa colleges designated as an EHSI. Dr. Lilienthal said once a college’s full-time equivalent enrollment meets or exceeds 25%, the college is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which opens the college to qualify for federal grants. She said MCC should achieve that designation within the next couple of years.

Last spring, MCC began a campaign called “MCC Es Para Mi” (MCC Is For Me) to target Hispanic/Latinx students. The campaign goal of increasing Hispanic enrollments by 5% has already been met, and the goal of improving programs and services to ensure students’ success and completion is in progress.

MCC Academic Advising Specialist Valerie Ruiz has taken a leadership role in the task of improving programs and services for Latinx, Southeast Asian and Native American MCC students. She told the Board about several initiatives, including a Latinx Leadership Initiative, the LULAC #378 Chapter, participation in the Latino CAN Coalition statewide initiative, EMBARC RefugeeRise efforts for Southeast Asian students, and the new Native American Intertribal Student Alliance. Ruiz said interest in the programs has been high and participation has been strong (and growing) all year.

During action items, the IVCCD Board:

  • approved issuance of not to exceed $32 million general obligation school bonds and levying a tax for payment of those bonds;
  • approved voluntary early retirement plan applications from Donna Beltrame (ECC Physical Education Faculty), Carolyn Briggs (MCC English Faculty), Lynn Duit (IVCCD Human Resources & Payroll Coordinator), Kathi May (MCC Nursing Faculty), Janet Siert (ECC Business/Computer Applications Faculty), and Colleen Springer (IVCCD Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services);
  • approved contracts for college-level instruction for high school students at AGWSR, Hampton-Dumont and Meskwaki Settlement School Districts;
  • filed a budget estimate for 2020-21 and set a public hearing on that budget to coincide with the next regular Board meeting;
  • approved an agreement with OPN Architects of Des Moines for services related to the District’s $32 million general obligation bond issue projects; and
  • updated the District’s vision and mission statements.

Five 260F Iowa Jobs Training agreements for area companies were also approved by the Board:

  • $15,094 with Green Products of Conrad will train 13 employees on software, safety and environmental issues, supervisory issues, and maintenance;
  • $8,625 with Hawkins Electrical Service of Marshalltown will train 13 employees on safety, electrical, and CPR/first aid;
  • $9,225 with Manatt’s of Brooklyn will train 40 employees on computer usage and management/supervisory issues;
  • $3,272 with Metal Tech Industries of Iowa Falls will train 8 employees on quality; and
  • $13,300 with Alliant Energy of Marshalltown will train 96 employees on commercial driver’s license (CDL), a variety of technical topics (gas regulators, meter technology, transformers, crane operation and welding), and CPR/first aid.

The Board accepted several gifts, including Fisher/Emerson valves/regulators, training, equipment and materials for the MCC Gas Line Utility Technician program from Stover Controls valued at $54,124. Other donations included a truck valued at $2,700 given by Ryan Dahlby Albright to the Iowa Valley Grinnell Automotive Technology program, hygiene products and cleaning supplies valued at $250 given by Thrivent Financial to the MCC Tiger Vault, $250 given by James Siemers to the IVCE Creative Retirement program in memory of Liz Siemers; and hygiene products valued at $36 given by Kevin Cartier to the MCC Tiger Vault.

Board members went into closed session to discuss collective bargaining, but took no action upon returning to open session.

The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be Wednesday, March 4, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building at 3702 S. Center St. in Marshalltown..

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