Students from 15 community colleges across the state are taking part in the annual Student Legislative Seminar today.
The executive director of the Iowa Association of Community Colleges Trustees, M.J. Dolan, says this is the 29th year they’ve held the seminar. She says they have some 200 to 250 students every year who participate.
The seminar focuses on leadership qualities and encourages students to participate in governance and in making sound financial decisions for their education and future employment.
“We’ve got people coming to talk about the demographics of Iowa, we have legislators who come and talk about their careers in break out sessions with students. And we’ve been doing that for a long time,” Dolan says. Students are visiting the state capitol today where they will meet with their local legislators and others and learn about the things they do. Dolan says the want the students to also share what they have been doing at the community colleges.
“What we really encourage is telling their story,” Dolan explains. “One of the major reasons for this conference is for our students to be able to think about and tell their story about their career and how they got to community college, where they are going to go from the community college, the programs of study, all those things that entered into their life to bring them to this point in their careers.” Dolan says the community colleges serve a variety of students.
She says they have people just out of high school and nontraditional students who are coming back to hone their skills, or event get their first degree ever. Dolan says the seminar gives lawmakers a nice view of the types of students who are attending community colleges.
IACCT represents these schools: Des Moines Area Community College, Eastern Iowa Community College, Southeastern Community College, North Iowa Community College, Indian Hills Community College, Iowa Western, Iowa Central, Southwestern Community College, Hawkeye Community College, Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Valley Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Western Iowa Tech, Northwest Iowa Community College., Northeast Iowa Community College.