A high school guidance counselor and an elementary school counselor are the winners of iPad Mini tablet computers courtesy of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU). Sharon Crawford, counselor at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, and Bryan Clark, counselor at Harrison Elementary School in Cedar Rapids were two of more than 600 dedicated school counselors and others who attended the 2013 Iowa School Counselors Association annual meeting in November. Sharon, Bryan and hundreds of other attendees signed up for the iPad Mini drawing at a display sponsored by the IAICU at the convention. Counselors were also able to pick up new posters highlighting Iowa’s 27 private, non-profit colleges and all the undergraduate majors offered at the institutions. Both Sharon and Bryan have those updated posters posted on the wall for the students at their schools. Congratulations to Sharon and Bryan!
An important state grant designed to help Iowa families pay for college tuition has been increased by 4% for the upcoming school year. As a result of action by the Iowa Legislature and Governor Terry Branstad, the Iowa Tuition Grant program will increase annual grants to needy students to $4,110 for the 2013-2014 academic year.
“We’re so grateful to the Legislature and the Governor,” said Gary Steinke, President of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU). “ So many people talk about addressing college affordability, but Iowa’s leaders have really taken concrete action on the issue.”
Established by the Iowa General Assembly in 1970, the Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG) was initiated as a cost-effective way to help financially needy Iowa students find the higher education experience best suited to their needs and talents. Iowa students can apply for a grant which can be used at any of Iowa’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities.
To qualify, a student must be an Iowa resident, must attend an Iowa independent, non-profit college or university and must be financially needy as demonstrated by federal Department of Education standards. The grant is provided directly to the student, not the institution, and must be matched by the institution. In fact, Iowa private, non-profit colleges and universities more than match the ITG, providing a collective total of almost $300 million in institutional financial aid.
For the 2014 fiscal year, the Iowa Legislature provided state funding of $47,013,448, which is expected to fund ITG awards to more than 14,000 Iowa students from every Iowa county. The funding approved for this academic year will mean the maximum grant to any individual student will be $4,110, and increase of 4% compared to last year.
“I think the Iowa Tuition Grant is a tremendous bargain for the State of Iowa,” said Steinke. “The ITG represents only about 1% of all state funding for education, but it provides access to college for thousands of Iowa students at great institutions that generate hundreds of millions in other financial aid, and it costs the state absolutely nothing for infrastructure like classrooms, dormitories and laboratories.”
Students can learn more about the Iowa Tuition Grant program and many other financial aid programs available at Iowa’s private, non-profit colleges and universities by attending a tour at any of 26 campuses across the state during Iowa Private College Week, August 5-9. Tours at any of the campuses can be arranged by going to the website: thinkindependently.com.
More information about the Iowa Tuition Grant program can also be found at the website of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Support by both chambers of the Iowa Legislature and by the Governor led to a significant increase in funding for the Iowa Tuition Grant program in the just-completed legislative session. An increase of $1.5 million for fiscal year 2014 will mean more students from low-income Iowa families will have a chance at a college career according to a spokesman for a key advocacy group.
“It’s very heartening that both parties in the House and Senate and Governor Branstad agree there’s tremendous value in supporting families who don’t have a lot of money but who still dream of a college education for their sons and daughters,” said Gary Steinke, President of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Our Senators and Representatives and Governor deserve a lot of credit and thanks for their bipartisan cooperation on behalf of needy students,” Steinke said.
The Iowa Tuition Grant provides grants directly to qualifying students who wish to attend one of Iowa’s non-profit, independent colleges and universities. More than 15,000 Iowa students received grants totaling $45.5 million in the most recent school year. Students must file a financial aid application with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, which then determines financial eligibility based on family income. The maximum annual grant per student last year was approximately $3,900.
As high school students across Iowa are finishing their last semester projects and final exams before the freedom of summer begins, many are also taking important steps toward deciding which college to attend. Several hundred have already signed up for campus tours at Iowa’s private, non-profit colleges and universities during the first full week of August.
The first full week of August is traditionally Iowa Private College Week (IPCW), when Iowa’s non-profit, private colleges synchronize campus tour schedules across the state, making it easy for students and parents to schedule up to ten campus visits in only one week. In fact, August 5-9, 2013 has been officially designated Iowa Private College Week by proclamation of Governor Terry Branstad. In his proclamation, the Governor said Iowa Private College Week encourages students and families to “explore their higher education options and make the best possible choice for their college educations.”
During IPCW, 26 Iowa colleges and universities coordinate start times for twice-daily, morning and afternoon tours at each campus. To make arranging the tours even more convenient, students can go to one registration website and schedule tours at any of the 26 campuses. The registration site, ThinkIndependently.com, includes information about each of the colleges and universities and has tools to help families map out a tour schedule for any day or for the entire week of August 5-9.
“Students really get bombarded with information about college choice and that can make decisions seem overwhelming for them, and for Mom and Dad too,” says Andy Baumert, vice-president for marketing and outreach at the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Actually visiting the campuses, meeting the faculty, meeting fellow students and asking them about the real experience of college can help the family cut through the clutter and make good decisions about the right college for them,” Baumert says.
Students are encouraged to go to the website ThinkIndependently.com to find out more and to register for visits during Iowa Private College Week, August 5-9.
Participating colleges and universities include:
AIB College of Business, Des Moines
Allen College, Waterloo
Briar Cliff University, Sioux City
Buena Vista University, Storm Lake
Central College, Pella
Clarke University, Dubuque
Coe College, Cedar Rapids
Cornell College, Mt. Vernon
Dordt College, Sioux Center
Drake University, Des Moines
Graceland University, Lamoni
Grand View University, Des Moines
Grinnell College, Grinnell
Iowa Wesleyan College, Mt. Pleasant
Loras College, Dubuque
Luther College, Decorah
Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines
Morningside College, Sioux City
Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids
Northwestern College, Orange City
St. Ambrose University, Davenport
St. Luke’s College, Sioux City
Simpson College, Indianola
University of Dubuque, Dubuque
Wartburg College, Waverly
William Penn University, Oskaloosa
Check out this remarkable time lapse video of the entire construction of the new Heritage Center at the University of Dubuque.
President Jeffrey F. Bullock has announced a $10 million gift to the University of Dubuque. The multi-million dollar estate gift, designated for student scholarships and the endowment of Heritage Center was made by a university alumni couple who prefer to remain anonymous.
“Our lives have been blessed in many ways,” commented the alumni donors. “We met at the University of Dubuque and were married after graduating in 1972. Success in life and business has given us the privilege of ‘giving back’ in a way that will support future business and music students for generations to come. Thank you UD for a great foundation!”
The donor’s provisions for this generous gift are two-fold. The first $5 million of the gift is designated for student scholarships in the music and business programs. The second $5 million of the gift is to be used for each of three areas: performing arts scholarships, and the endowment for program support and perpetual maintenance of the University’s new Heritage Center.
In accepting this pivotal gift, President Bullock commented, “I am grateful to our alumni donors who have made this significant investment in the University and its students. This kind of transformatory gift will contribute to students’ lives and help to shape the future development of this place. Gifts such as this are mile markers on the University’s journey to becoming the kind of institution our Mission calls us to be.”
Iowa Wesleyan College junior Jamarco Clark has been selected as a Rising Leaders Fellow through Teach for America.
Clark is one of only 100 students across the U.S. selected for this honor. His selection was based on his commitment to service in the community and passion for promoting education among at-risk youth.
Clark has devoted more than 400 hours of service in the community since arriving on campus in 2010. This year he designed and carried out the Sneakers for Success program in the Mount Pleasant Community School District as part of his Leadership and Service class. Through this project he made new shoes available to 21 local elementary school-aged children. He is also currently involved with the Henry County Mentoring program and a Lunch-Buddies program organized and carried out by IWC football players and coaches.
“A lot of people have helped me out,” said Clark. “I want to pass on that spirit of service, and not only help people but also instill in others the importance of giving back.”
Clark admits that as a freshman he saw the College-wide service requirement as something he just “had to do.” However, in the process of completing the requirement, he realized that what he was doing mattered to him as much as it mattered to others.
“I saw pretty quickly how much even the little things I did mattered to others,” he said. “People really appreciated what we were doing and it showed we could really have an impact.”
“Jamarco is well past meeting his service requirement and now tells me that service is his True North… that thing that he can always go back to for meaning and purpose,” said Dr. Alisha Vincent, Director of Service Learning at Iowa Wesleyan.
Last summer Clark was selected as an intern with Upward-Bound, a national program that works with teens to provide fundamental support for college readiness.
Over 12 months, each Fellow designs and leads a high-impact project to promote educational equity, builds a team among their peers, collaborates with a local mentor, and attends a national training forum, the Rising Leaders Summit. Rising Leaders mentors are Teach for America staff members, corps members, and alumni that work closely with fellows throughout the fellowship. Mentors advise fellows as they work on their fellowship projects and provide fellows with access to Teach for America alumni and organizational partners.
The Board of Trustees of Iowa Wesleyan College has announced the election of Dr. Steven E. Titus as its new President.
“We are extremely pleased to name Dr. Titus as the next President of Iowa Wesleyan College,” said Don Wiley, chair of the Iowa Wesleyan Board of Trustees. “He brings the experience and skills that will ensure we meet our strategic goals, address our institutional priorities and continue to move Iowa Wesleyan College forward.”
Titus is senior vice president of University Advancement at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, where he serves as the chief development, alumni and external relations officer, as well as a member of the executive cabinet and University Strategic Planning Task Force.
Titus served as President of Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, from 2002-2007. He reorganized the college’s administrative structure around strategic priorities and resource development, led its financial turnaround, added $17 million of new and renovated construction, completed the most comprehensive strategic planning effort in the college’s history, significantly improved the number and size of donations to the college and led efforts to improve the academic program and student recruitment efforts.
“Sara and I are delighted to be joining the Iowa Wesleyan and Mount Pleasant community,” said Titus. “What has drawn us to this special place is its bold and pioneering spirit and superb faculty, staff and volunteer leadership. Iowa Wesleyan is uniquely positioned to successfully respond to the changing higher education landscape,” Titus said. “I look forward to our work together to build on this foundation in remarkable and enduring ways in the years ahead.”
From 1990-1995, Titus served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Europe and Washington, DC. He later was appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, serving as the ranking military official for the State of Minnesota.
Titus earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration/organizational behavior at Southwest Minnesota State University, his juris doctorate degree from Marquette University Law School, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Virginia.
Titus and his wife, Sara, and their two daughters expect to transition to Mount Pleasant in July.
Titus will succeed Jay Simmons who was announced earlier this year as the next President of Simpson College in Indianola, IA.
The eighth annual Loras College Dance Marathon raised $183,912.35 for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) surpassing its goal of $163,000. More than 300 students participated in the marathon that was held Saturday, April 20, 2013 from noon to midnight.
“The twelve hour event in Saturday was by far the best twelve hours of my life. Through the nerves, the tears and excitement, I was able to accomplish the one thing I set out to do; dance for the kids. I can’t describe my feelings, but I can say it was a day I will never forget,” said Dance Marathon President, Miranda Heiar Bellevue, Iowa.
Each year, Loras students cumulatively spend over 10,000 hours of their time raising emotional and financial support for the miracle kids. On Saturday, hundreds of Loras students came together and stayed on their feet for 12 consecutive hours without caffeine. Students danced, played games, had theme hours, food, and miracle stories from families to support the patients who have been treated at the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital and to celebrate their fundraising efforts.
After the first five years, Loras College Dance Marathon was recognized for its outstanding philanthropy. The program has contributed over $500,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. In March, students pledged $500,000 to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital building campaign. The commitment will come from funds from previous years, $100,000 from this year’s event, and a pledge of $100,000 from the 2014 event. In recognition of the gift, the playroom of the surgical center at the new facility will be named after Loras College Dance Marathon.
Money raised through Loras College Dance Marathon through the years has been used in various programs at the hospital, including: Room of Magic, Beads of Bravery, support for CarePages, CPR Anywhere kits and a vending machine program. Contributions to these programs will continue, in addition to the new pledge.
Loras College Dance Marathon remains the highest per capita fundraising program on the collegiate level and is the first college with less than 2,000 students to raise more than $100,000.
August 5-9, 2013 is now officially Iowa Private College Week. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on April 10 signed an official state proclamation declaring the first week of August Iowa Private College Week. Branstad signed the proclamation recognizing the efforts of Iowa’s non-profit, independent colleges to help students make good choices in deciding on a college or university to attend.
Iowa Private College Week (IPCW) is an effort of the 27 member institutions of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities which sets aside the first week of August as a time when prospective students and their families can tour any of the member institutions to learn about their academics, financial aid and student life and meet with faculty and fellow students. IPCW allows students to easily schedule and coordinate up to ten campus visits during the week. For 2013, IPCW is set for August 5-9. Students can go to ThinkIndependently.com to learn more and sign up for campus visits at any of the member institutions.