Darkened Indian Hills library file photo

Trustees and school staff visit the darkened library after an Indian Hills Community College meeting last year. A careful renovation left the tall, historical stained glass windows in place.

OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills board will meet at 4 p.m. Monday in the Ottumwa campus board room.

Though normally entirely open to the public, one segment of the meeting will be done privately, which is allowed by Iowa Code Section 279.16. This will be for the board to consider a recommendation about an employee’s contract.

The board will then appear again before the public in order to clearly render a decision on the record.

That, however, is only one portion of the meeting. Regular reports include personnel and finance.

But this week, the board is scheduled to hear about Future Ready Iowa; this is a program being consistently promoted at the state’s highest level.

The idea: A high school diploma is no longer enough to get a decent job in this society. The goal of Future Ready Iowa is for 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025.

Community colleges are expected to play a major role in the effort. Indian Hills’ agenda item for Monday calls for “Revision of Future Ready Iowa High Demand Programs List.”

College President Marlene Sprouse told the Courier the high demand portion of the program means certain state benefits can be extended to those enrolled in specific courses of study.

“These are [college courses] that supply workers for high demand jobs,” she said.

Each state-approved college can have five such courses. The benefits are meant to keep learners from dropping out.

One initiative can be especially helpful to students who have been successful in taking the course but find themselves needing more financial help to finish: In fact, it’s called the “Last Dollar Scholarship.”

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