I'm starting my third year as Vice Chancellor of Continuing Education and Training and each year I take the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and respond to the changing demands of our local communities. As I look back on the past couple of years, Iowa Valley Continuing Education saw an increase in the demand for GED classes, career preparation courses for manufacturing and healthcare careers, and an increase in the number of individuals interested in accessing services that would lead them to a new career through job training partnership programs. These are all important programs and services provided by Iowa Valley Community College District.
This past year, Iowa Valley Continuing Education renewed its commitment to providing more opportunities for personal enrichment. Why? The customers of Iowa Valley Continuing Education requested it, and we are committed to responding to customer needs. New learning experiences are a great source of personal satisfaction whether you are looking to broaden your horizons, prepare to go back to school, find a creative outlet, or pursue your dream of turning your hobby into a profession. These courses will enrich your routine activities and provide opportunities to meet new people.
For those of you interested in discovering a new hobby, expressing your creativity, improving your health, or pursuing other personal goals, I want to remind you of the "Edventures" that exist at Iowa Valley:
Our Arts, Crafts and Hobbies courses can teach you to paint, make jewelry, decorate cakes, make calendars and keepsakes with digital photography, crochet and quilt, or experience a variety of cooking classes.
Our Recreational classes can help keep you in shape and add a little music to your life at the same time with classes in yoga, zumba, kayaking, ballroom dancing, and line dancing.
Our Horticulture classes will introduce you to a variety of gardening techniques and topics.
Our Personal development classes include personal finance, concealed carry courses, and motorcycle rider education
Our Creative Retirement program provides networking opportunities and many thought-provoking programs for participants to attend. Recent examples include a discussion about the contentious issues leading up to the Civil War and a presentation by Kathie Obradovich, a political columnist for The Des Moines Register, who shared insights about the political process and observations about current political candidates.
Our Children's programs, such as Kids In College, provide adventures for children interested in learning how to cook, how to work on teams, and how to design in a virtual world.
Customers of Iowa Valley Continuing Education are requesting these programs to enhance the quality of life by fulfilling the need for pleasure and balance through self-expression and fostering creativity. Our personal enrichment programs aren't designed to get you a better job or open new career doors they're designed to make your life more interesting, give you something new to do, and have some fun along the way.
During this past year, 3,128 individuals took personal enrichment classes from Iowa Valley Continuing Education. This illustrates the renewed interest in programs focused on personal fulfillment and restores our commitment for providing additional options in the future.
We share the impactful words of Samuel Johnson, who said: "Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don't think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire."
Jacque Goodman is Vice Chancellor of Iowa Valley Continuing Education & Training