The Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College had the opportunity to receive the latest updates on the Aviation and Airport Management program at their meeting late Tuesday afternoon.
Ron Duer, Co-Coordinator and Chief Flight Instructor, explained the benefits of the Iowa Lakes Aviation program - including an excellent employment outlook. Students who take the two-year program may go into the aviation industry or choose to transfer their credits to a four-year college. They may also choose to become a flight instructor, corporate pilot, airport manager, airline pilot or an aviation salesperson.
The Iowa Lakes program offers strategic industry training and certifications. In addition, it is an outstanding return on investment when compared with other programs in the nation. Students achieve private and commercial pilot licenses along with numerous other certified aviation ratings.
Duer shared information about 'Young Eagles' rides which have been given to Algona students. The college partners with the Algona Pilots Association each September and more than 400 middle and high school students have benefited from airplane rides in the last four years. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) sponsors the 'Young Eagles' program which gives interested young people an opportunity to ride along in a general aviation airplane. The flights are free and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.
Also, the aviation program at the college is in its first year working with North Union Science teacher Brent Hilton who teaches a January interim course on aviation. Weather permitting, 14 students will fly with certified flight instructors at Iowa Lakes this Thursday.
Two Aviation students spoke to the Trustees. Samantha Winter of Buffalo Center and Jacob Lemon of Fairmont, MN both started in Aviation last fall. They talked about their experience at Iowa Lakes as well as their professional goals.
"We want to turn out the best quality pilots as possible," said Duer as he shared stories of where graduates are now working.
Iowa Lakes was the first college in the nation to secure a Cirrus SR20 airplane for student education. In addition, the college offers a Light Sport Aircraft Pilot Certificate. The program is based on the Estherville campus.
In other business, Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, presented a Master Plan for college facilities. The 20-page document incorporates future renovations, replacement and growth projects covering the next several years. The goal of the plan is to provide a tool that assists the college in ongoing and emergent facility development plans.
Following that, Hiney received approval to set a public hearing date of April 15 for property sales in Algona, Emmetsburg and Estherville which are no longer essential to college operations.
Trustees accepted a donation of a lattice tower from Edison Mission Group which will allow the college to provide NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) certification as well as GWO (Global Wind Organization) endorsement for technicians in the communications industry as well as the wind industry, according to Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Business and Community Relations. Plus, donations of chemical, seed and fertilizer were accepted for the college farm laboratory.
Room and board rates for the 2014-2015 college year were presented by Bob L'Heureux, Vice President of Administration. Room rates and board rates will each bump up $50 per semester.
The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15, in Emmetsburg. The following Tuesday, April 22, the Trustees will gather in Pocahontas for a joint meeting with Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 and members of the Iowa Central Board of Trustees.