As we close out another academic year and prepare to celebrate with our graduates, I always take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD), and begin to think about the direction for the upcoming year. Once again, I am excited to report that we have had another very productive year, and we look forward to continued progress in achieving our mission in 2014-2015.
IVCCD completed two accreditation visits this year, one from the Higher Learning Commission and the other from the Iowa Department of Education. We received excellent final reports from both, with no compliance issues or areas of concern cited. In fact, many of the practices we have instituted as part of our culture were highlighted as areas of strength and/or best practices.
IVCCD was honored by the Des Moines Register as one of Iowa's Top Workplaces for the third year in a row. We were able to reduce our local tax levy rates for the fifth consecutive year, and our tuition increases have remained below the average of the other 14 Iowa community colleges for four years in a row. A new outreach center was opened in the Tama/Toledo area. New programs were offered to meet local employer workforce needs. Multiple workforce training agreements were established with local businesses and industries spanning geographically from Iowa Falls to Grinnell. Our staff continues to assume leadership roles with the Marshalltown Business-Education Alliance initiative and several area service organizations.
Also impressively, our nursing graduates had a 100% passage rate on their licensing exams, numerous students and student-athletes from all of our campuses were recognized for academic excellence, and IVCCD continues to boast one of the highest student transfer success rates in the state.
Moving forward, Iowa Valley has three primary objectives to achieve over the next four years that guide our new 2014-2018 Strategic Agenda: 1) Create a culture of collaboration through engagement with our key communities; 2) Improve student support services that promote learning success; and 3) Create an innovative and collaborative environment that promotes performance excellence throughout the IVCCD organization. Our committed faculty, staff, administration, and board of directors will continue to focus on growth, excellence and improvement, and I anticipate many more achievements yet to come.
In all of our communities we are so deeply appreciative of the support we have received. Thanks to everyone for another great year!