Iowa Valley Community College District is increasing its presence in Tama County this fall as it celebrates the grand opening of the Tama County Adult Literacy Center located at 215 W. Ninth St., on the second floor of the South Tama Partnership Center. The public is invited to attend the grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 22, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Brad Buck, director of the Iowa Department of Education will be a special guest during the ribbon cutting ceremony. A short program and refreshments will follow. The Center offers classes in English as a Second Language and GED classes for adults.
Continuing Education Coordinator Anne Michael has served the Tama County community for many years by providing a wide variety of classes ranging from the very popular personal development classes such as Zumba and guitar lessons to informative course topics such as "Affordable Health Care Act Clarified."
In recent years, IVCCD has had a great partnership with Kerri Nelson and staff at the South Tama County Community School District implementing a two-phase program which serves the increasing needs of Tama County students and adults. Efforts included the introduction of dual enrollment programs for high school students to earn transferable college credit while attending high school. Last school year there were 106 South Tama High School students who earned 1,036 college credits. Student numbers were up 26 percent and credit hours grew 68 percent, according to Dr. Chris Russell, Dean of Students and Academic Affairs at Marshalltown Community College. "We expect the trend for 2013-14 to continue to show growth," Russell said.
"Phase II is the district's efforts to engage the undereducated adults in the South Tama area including Tama, Toledo, Chelsea and Montour," said IVCCD Board of Directors' member Yvonne Mallory who represents the Tama County taxpayers.
"The South Tama area 18- through 24-year-old population has a 20 percent non-high school graduation rate. I've been working on the development of a mini education and training center similar to the one in Marshalltown for 10 years."
Mallory said Gov. Branstad and the Iowa Legislature recognized the need for funding adult basic education in Iowa during the 2013 legislative session by appropriating state funds to Iowa's community colleges. Mallory thanks Gov. Branstad, area legislators Rep. Dean Fisher and Sen. Steve Sodders and IVCCD staff for their efforts to find support for this funding. Rules for the use of these funds are currently being developed through a statewide advisory board.
"I am a firm believer of the Tama County taxpayer getting a good return on his/her tax dollars. IVCCD/MCC is not only for the folks living in Marshalltown. A Center in Tama-Toledo is long overdue. I am grateful for Dr. Duree and his leadership team for their acknowledgement of the South Tama educational situation and their efforts to develop appropriate programming for our community," Mallory said.
Tama County area adults who desire assistance with language learning and those preparing for high school equivalency testing are encouraged to come to the Open House and meet the instructor Mary McCann Fuchsen and other students. The public is also encouraged to tour the facility and learn more about the programs offered at the Tama County Adult Literacy Center. Please contact Mary McCann Fuschsen at 641-484-8002 for any questions regarding the event or information on the Center's classes.