By Dr. Marlene Sprouse, IHCC Executive Vice President
April is Community College Month, so it is a perfect time to celebrate who we are and what we do at Indian Hills Community College.
In my very simplistic explanation, the mission of a community college is to raise the education level of every person with whom we have contact. In this definition, education means anything from a formal, traditional liberal arts degree, to a technical skill brush-up, to wine tasting. It can mean a gardening class, it can mean the diversity conference, it can mean athletic or educational camps for your children. United States community colleges were established to bring educational opportunity right into a community, as close to people as possible, on a daily basis. The intent is that we are part of the community and we are a community of learners.
A more formal definition of Iowa community colleges says that we are chartered to offer the first two years of a four-year college degree, to offer workforce education of both the pre-career and in-career types, and to offer community services.
At Indian Hills Community College, we take these assignments very seriously. The educational, economic and social health of the communities in our 10-county service area are important to all of us who live and work in these counties. So important that IHCC delivers courses in all 10 county seats, has partnerships with 20 high schools in the area, and offers over one hundred courses on the Web. So important that IHCC continues to partner with school districts, four-year colleges, and business and industry to smooth life’s transitions for citizens in the area. So important that we have created the Division of Regional Economic Advancement in order to offer help in any way to any community or group who is trying to grow businesses, encourage civic leadership, or foster a culture of entrepreneurship.
Our celebration of Community College Month is not just a celebration of Indian Hills Community College. It is a celebration of your communities. Dr. Jim Lindenmayer, president of Indian Hills Community College is fond of saying to school district administrators and community members that “your students are our students.” Truth is, not only are your students our students, but your communities are our communities, and your successes are our successes. During this celebration of Community College Month, we thank you, and we celebrate you. Mostly, we pledge to continue working with you for the betterment of all within our area. Thank you for letting us be a part of your communities.
Marlene Sprouse, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President
Indian Hills Community College