Iowa Western Community College Dodge Hall

Iowa Western Community College Dodge Hall

(Council Bluffs) – Iowa Western Community College is gearing up for the fall semester and hoping to continue and launch new programs for students.

IWCC president Dr. Daniel Kinney says while it’s still too early in the process to know the total enrollment for the fall, the numbers are moving in the right direction.

“I think there were are number of students that maybe took a gap year,” Kinney said. “I know a lot of students with COVID and what was happening with learning styles and different things like that, just didn’t like the new style that higher education had to go to. So we’re seeing an increase right now.”

Kinney is entering his first school year as the president of the college. He says while the administration is keeping a keen eye on the COVID-19 situation, they hope to welcome current and new students back to campus this fall.

Renovation wise, Kinney says the bigger projects on campus have been roofing and also improving technology in the classroom after getting a crash course in online learning in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kinney says one of the biggest things he’s hoped to accomplish early in his time at IWCC is to improve the several satellite campuses the college has throughout KMAland.

“Something that’s really going to come out from us is over the next two months I’m really going to do some facility planning,” Kinney said. “I’ve been down in Clarinda, Shenandoah, up in Harlan, but looking at what we really need to do. We’re going to be doing some work coming up, really here in this first semester down in Clarinda.”

Recently IWCC announced a partnership with Clarinda High School for teaching CTE and shop classes, which Kinney says some of the renovations at the Clarinda campus will be centered around.

Kinney says those partnerships with schools in the area are going to be a focal point this year for his administration.

“We’ve done some reorganization this year and one of those is too really to focus on our high school partnerships,” Kinney said. “We moved an individual into a dean position and that’s going to be his role, to really focus on those partnerships, to work with high schools so our students are starting to get some college prior to ever leaving high school.”

On top of the school partnerships, Kinney says the worker training programs in partnership with local businesses has also seen an increase in participation from last year.

Upon reviewing the data and listening to the community and local businesses, Kinney also hopes to add programs at the university in transportation and logistics.

“We’ve got some major interstates running north and south, east and west, we’ve got rail running through our territory so I really think we need to look at a logistics or supply chain management program to really help grow those businesses in our area,” Kinney said. “Also truck drivers. That’s one of the biggest things I’m hearing from businesses that we need truck drivers. Not only long haul truck drivers but short haul around here, farmers are always asking for them.”

Expanding the healthcare programs at IWCC is also near the top of Kinney’s priority list. Kinney made his comments on the KMA Morning Line Program Tuesday. You can hear his full interview at kmaland.com.

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