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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

IVCC grinnell talks 20th anniversary

Iowa Valley Community College in Grinnell is marking its 20th anniversary of continuing education with a celebratory carnival this Sunday, Sept. 29, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the campus parking lot. The carnival will host activities and attractions, as well as booths for the arts, crafts and food. The carnival is meant for all community members to visit the campus, interact with the greater community and maybe even take place in a Car Bash.

“You buy tickets and take a sledgehammer to an old car. With the appropriate safety, it’s a cool activity to get your frustrations out,” said Iowa Valley Community College (IVCC) Grinnell Dean MaryAnne Nickle.

The carnival is aimed at bringing community members together.

“It’s hard to come into a community and get into all the different parts of the community. This is an opportunity to meet some folks and families you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” Nickle said. “We want to bring people together.”

And that is exactly what IVCC Grinnell does. Founded in 1993 as an outlet for continuing education, it started by offering evening classes at the local high school. In 2001, it purchased an old supermarket and has since turned it into the center for higher education it is today.

“It’s a very dedicated college that absolutely puts our students first,” Nickle said.

In 2008, an expansion of academic suites for classes was completed, effectively doubling IVCC Grinnell’s size. This year, the school was able to add a gunsmithing program, complete with machinery for metal and woodworking, courtesy of a grant from the firearm supplier Brownells.

“We proudly support a number of educational institutions and programs across the country,” said Brownells’ CEO Pete Brownell. “Our involvement with Iowa Valley is extra special because it’s right in our own backyard.”

The school draws students from all over Iowa. From their home in Grinnell to Jasper, Benton and Marshall counties, students commute for the opportunity of higher education that IVCC Grinnell offers. After several semesters at IVCC Grinnell, they can transfer to another college or university with enough credits to start as a third year. IVCC Grinnell has a full-time staff of 10 to a student body of 350 and the staff are as dedicated and involved as they are friendly.

“[The] staff is phenomenal in how motivated they are to make things work for our students and to provide rigor and training in our classes,” Nickle said.

The College supports many student-run groups such as the Phi Theta Kappa honors society. The carnival allows for both student and community groups to raise awareness, as well as funds.

“The groups are raising money for a cause,” Nickle explained. “[The carnival] provides an opportunity for student groups, high school groups and youth groups to make money, and also just as a way of helping the community.”

Groups in attendance range from the Grinnell Area Arts Council to the Grinnell Cub Scouts of America troop. Pizza Ranch is setting up a student run booth to raise money for the Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. food bank. Prairie Fire Gymnastics, Galaxy Youth Group and the Grinnell Fire Department will also be in attendance.

The carnival is open to all and tickets are only 25 cents. Tours of the college will also take place regularly. The Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell’s carnical is a great way to meet not only the amiable student body and dedicated staff, but the larger community of Grinnell, as well.

“Here we are. If you missed us before, don’t miss us anymore,” Nickle said.

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