Hawkeye moving Independence center into high school
By: Andrew Wind, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Date Published: Monday, August 01, 2016
WATERLOO–Hawkeye Community College's Independence center is moving to where most of its students go to school.
The college will begin offering classes this fall in leased space at Independence Junior Senior High School. Hawkeye's board of trustees Tuesday unanimously approved the one-year $15,000 lease.
Independence is one of three communities outside of Waterloo-Cedar Falls that hosts a satellite location for the college. Since 2003, concurrent classes for high school students as well as college and community education classes for adults have been offered by Hawkeye in a rented Independence facility at 2349 Jamestown Ave. The school is at 700 20th Ave. SW.
During the past year, 66 percent of those served have been Independence high school students. Other high school students come from Dunkerton, East Buchanan and Jesup.
The center serves about 100 high school students per semester, with another 20 to 30 adult students during the after-school hours. The most popular courses generally are in the certified nursing assistant and liberal arts programs.
"We may be the only college in the state that has a center with leased space in a junior-senior high school," said Jane Bradley, Hawkeye's vice president of academic affairs. They are essentially "taking what's at the existing center" and moving it all to the school without reducing staff.
"We estimate the cost savings to the college will be around $65,000," said Bradley. That includes annual rent at the current facility of about $55,000 and other expenses such as utilities.
Located in three classrooms and an office near the media center, the new space will be referred to as Hawkeye Center of Independence. Two Independence teachers will also use their nearby classrooms to teach additional courses. One of them is an Iowa Communications Network room, so some classes will continue to be offered through remote access.
The current facility includes six classrooms and a number of other spaces. Years ago, some of that was used for business and industry training sessions, much of which has since migrated into the workplace. "It's not as much space, but we're being more efficient," said Tom Mueller, Hawkeye's dean of transitional programs.
High school students will continue taking classes between 7 and 9 a.m. as well as after 4 p.m. "It's worked well because the students get this done outside of the school day," said Bradley.
The main difference from the current facility is no adult classes will be offered before 4 p.m. Those daytime courses typically enrolled 10 or fewer students.
"Our hope is this is going to grow," said Bradley, noting that would likely include expanding offerings into the school day. "We anticipate that certainly Independence students may be more inclined to take classes."
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier