Iowa Central resumes classes Tuesday

The fall 2013 semester came to a wonderful end as we officially opened the doors of our new cafeteria, the Triton Cafe, on Nov. 9. Now that the construction is completed on our new cafeteria, we have started remodeling our former cafeteria for our Culinary Arts Program. We also had another successful Share What You Wear event, our Triton football team won the Graphic Edge Bowl, our Dance Line team took first place in the hip-hop and jazz events at the state competition, and our women’s cross country team won the national title and the men’s team took the national runner-up spot.

We are excited to start the spring semester; move-in starts today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A new student orientation will be held on Monday from 9 to 11 a.m. to familiarize new students to the campus and the Fort Dodge community. All new students are encouraged to attend. The spring semester classes resume on Tuesday,

Besides the excitement of moving back onto campus, reconnecting with friends, and starting classes, we will also be offering some new activities to welcome our students back the first few weeks of the semester: bingo, ping pong tournaments and comedian John Crist. If you love jazz, be sure to save Jan. 17. Iowa Central will hold its first Jazz Festival in the Decker Auditorium. Seventeen high school jazz bands will perform. The event is open to the public. We will welcome hypnotist Jim Wand to campus on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.; an event the students and the community can enjoy. We encourage all students on and off campus to get involved in student life.

There are several visit days that will be taking place on campus during the semester. Our first one is Jam-the-Gym on Feb. 1. Parents and students are welcome to come for a campus visit in the morning starting at 9 a.m. Let’s pack the gym as our women’s basketball team plays at 1 p.m. and our men’s basketball game starts at 3 p.m., as both teams face Kirkwood Community College. High school seniors, who attend this day, receive a free T-shirt, chances to win various prizes, and both seniors and parents get into the basketball games for free. Some of the prizes for this year include a full-tuition scholarship, Beats Headphones, Kindle Fire HD, and a GoPro camera.

All prospective students and parents are welcome to visit campus and meet with faculty and advisers on our Senior Visit Days and Junior Visit Day. Our Senior Visit Days will be on March 14 and April 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our Junior Visit Day will be on April 23 starting at 9 a.m. and ending with a cookout and entertainment in our courtyard. Prospective students and community visitors are welcome at any time to visit campus. Call Samantha at 574-1006, to schedule a visit.

Students, alumni, and community members are invited on campus to visit with prospective employers at our two Career Fairs. Bring your resume.

Health Career Fair – Bioscience and Health Science Auditorium – March 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Business and Industry Career Fair – Hodges Fieldhouse – March 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will also welcome hundreds of area high school students to campus for our Business, Industrial Technology and Health Competition Day. This will be held on April 2. For our Competition Day, students from various area high schools come to campus to compete in different competitions within our Business, Industrial Technology, and Health Science Departments. Winners in each area receive various scholarships.

Our Performing Arts Department will be very busy this semester preparing for our spring musical which will be held March 6 and 7 at Decker Auditorium. This year’s musical will be “All Shook Up,” a fun, energetic, love/comedy. Along with the musical, our Performing Arts Department will also be preparing for their “Curtain Call” event on March 27 and 28. They will conclude the spring semester with their Showcase event on April 24 and 25.

Our athletic teams are looking forward to competing this spring and bringing home more national titles to add to our collection. Iowa Central offers more athletic programs than any other two-year college in the state; from rodeo and bowling to golf and track. We have a rich tradition in our athletic department winning the NATYCC cup, which is awarded annually to the top two-year athletic department in the nation the last five years. Stop out and catch a game and help cheer on the Tritons.

To conclude the spring semester, we are trying something new for graduation this year in an effort to increase student participation. We will be holding the commencement ceremony on May 9 at 7 p.m.

Looking ahead to the fall semester of 2014, we are excited to add sports shooting to our list of athletics. We have been working hard to recruit students for the team starting this fall. Call Nicole at 574-1003 if you are interested in participating because we still have spots available for sports shooting athletes. We are also planning to start a Robotics Program, pending approval from the state. Enrollment for the fall 2014 semester starts on Feb. 17. Be sure to stop on out to campus or contact your advisor to set up your classes. Our advisers also travel to our area high schools to enroll the incoming freshman.

As always, Iowa Central strives to meet the needs of the community and the students that we serve.

We take pride in the education and extracurricular activities that we offer. Feel free to stop out to One Triton Circle anytime and see what all the excitement is about.

Tom Beneke is vice president of enrollment management and student development at Iowa Central Community College.