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The Scarlet & Black

University of Iowa classes come to City of Grinnell

By Steve Yang

The University of Iowa will soon be bring satellite courses to the town of Grinnell, according to an article published by the Des Moines Register this week. These new classes will be hosted at Iowa Valley Community College-Grinnell Campus until a more permanent location is found. The classes, which could begin as early as January 2017, are the culmination of approximately a year and a half of work, and are meant to provide more training to professionals in the area as well as to create a better job market for the town. The first classes will be rolled out when a minimum threshold for participation is determined and achieved.

Originally, the idea for these satellite classes was developed at a meeting attended by representatives of the University of Iowa, local businesses, community colleges and city leaders and was hosted by Grinnell College President Raynard Kington. With almost half of the employers surveyed offering some kind of tuition reimbursement, there is a clear interest in providing immediate impact through these classes for their companies. Specifically, the most popular and desired classes are business courses, which would be taught alongside more traditional degrees like a Bachelor of Liberal Studies or a Bachelor of Applied Studies.

This program is aimed at promoting an easier path to a four-year college degree for the residents of Poweshiek County. Due to the encouraging amount of interest in classes, a permanent campus location will be opened to facilitate integration into the academic landscape of Grinnell. Consultations with community members have included guidance counselors from Grinnell Newburg Community High School to create a working relationship between the two schools.

Moreover, the program plans on offering “hybrid” classes, which would mix online coursework with in-person classes held at the Iowa Valley Grinnell site. Online coursework would provide flexibility and appeal to a more diverse group of people. It is expected that students from counties that border Poweshiek County will also be interested in participating in the classes, so a more permanent site is being looked at and decided upon in regards to providing the best accessibility for students in general.

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