News Release

SWCC Phi Theta Kappa Members Attend Regional Conference

SWCC PTK RegionalConference ForWebFour members of Beta Eta Nu, Southwestern Community College’s (SWCC’s) chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society, attended the 2013 Phi Theta Kappa Fall Leadership Conference, October 24-25, 2013, at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City.

SWCC attendees included students Tom Hol of Osceola, PTK member; Jessica Pieper of Stuart, PTK member; Dakota Daniels of Mount Ayr, PTK member and regional officer; David Livingston of Fontanelle, PTK member and SWCC chapter president; as well as Justin Mann, PTK advisor.

The 2013 conference theme was “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!”  The SWCC delegation said it was an especially memorable event because Dr. Rod Risley, the president of Phi Theta Kappa International, was the keynote speaker for the event.  Having the president in attendance was a first for the Iowa region.

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Published October 31, 2013 11:16 am

Southwestern’s Board Moves Forward With Residence Hall Construction Project

 

A special meeting of the Southwestern Community College board of trustees was held on October 28, 2013, at 7:30 a.m., to discuss and approve plans related to the construction of a new residence hall on campus.  Due to time constraints of board members, the meeting was held electronically.  

The first item on the agenda was consideration of the contract for the architect for the residence hall project.  Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, presented to the board regarding a proposed contract with INVISION Architecture of Des Moines.  Crittenden noted the college has collaborated with INVISION throughout strategic planning and the creation of the college’s master facilities plan.  Following discussion, the board approved the contract with INVISION Architecture.

The board then moved to consideration of the contract for a construction manager for the residence hall project.  A team of SWCC administrators made up of Crittenden; Tom Lesan, vice president for economic development; and Teresa Krejci, chief financial officer, had conducted interviews with potential construction managers in advance of the board meeting.  Following their research, SWCC’s administrators recommended Story Construction Company of Ames, largely due to their recent completion of a similar project.  Following discussion, the board approved Story Construction as construction manager for the residence hall project.

During the board meeting, public hearings were set for phases related to the construction project, including earthwork and major utilities, footings and foundations, and sale and issuance of dormitory revenue bonds.  The public hearings will each be held on November 19, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., in the board room of the Administration Center on the SWCC campus.

 

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Published October 29, 2013 3:29 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds October 2013 Meeting

 

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

The board welcomed new trustee Zach Gunsolley of Diagonal, who was elected during the September 10, 2013, school elections.

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Published October 9, 2013 2:37 pm

Iowa Speedway, NASCAR Green Plant Trees at SWCC

 

NASCARgreen
NEWTON, IA–October 3, 2013--Officials from the Iowa Speedway were in Creston on Tuesday afternoon, October 1, to donate and plant 60 trees on the campus of Southwestern Community College (SWCC) on behalf of the NASCAR Green program.

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Published October 4, 2013 8:56 am

SWCC Parents as Teachers Hosting Diaper Drive

CRESTON — Southwestern Community College’s Early Childhood and Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is looking for donations of disposable diapers and wipes during the month of October. PAT is offering an incentive program to families targeting children ages three and under. Families can earn points for diapers, wipes, formula, and various safety items.

Diaper donations may be dropped off at the following locations in Creston beginning October 1: Hy-Vee, Fareway, Creston High School, Iowa State Savings Bank—uptown or branch locations, or the SWCC adult and continuing education offices. In Adair County, donations may be dropped off at the Greenfield Fitness Center, the Fontanelle Library, or the Adair Boys and Girls Club.

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Published September 25, 2013 9:35 am

High School Students Invited to SmartStart Kickoff at Southwestern

CRESTON—Southwestern Community College (SWCC) will sponsor the 2013 SmartStart Kickoff for high school students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, September 23, 2013, on the SWCC Creston campus.  

The event—an open house for students—will be a great chance for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to check out SWCC and its campus!  Students will be able to sit in on college classes, visit program areas, talk with instructors and students, and tour the residence halls.  High school students in attendance will receive lunch, a SWCC T-shirt, and the opportunity to win door prizes, including an iPod Shuffle!  The college will be awarding two-$250 SWCC scholarships for senior attendees.

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Published September 13, 2013 3:59 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds September 2013 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

The board approved the college’s five-year facilities plan, which had been given to them for review at the August 2013 board meeting.  The Department of Education requires the board to review and approve the plan on an annual basis.

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Published September 11, 2013 4:12 pm

Kulow Named SWCC Dean of Student Services

 

Kulow Beth ForWebSouthwestern Community College (SWCC) announced today Beth Kulow will be the college’s new dean of student services.  Kulow succeeds Dr. Matt Thompson, who recently accepted a position at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.

Kulow, a native of Mediapolis, has served as the southwest regional manager for the Iowa STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Education Network since August 2012.  The governor’s STEM Advisory Council, which oversees the Iowa STEM hub, is a public-private partnership whose overarching goal is creating greater student achievement in STEM subjects and building a stronger STEM workforce.  In this position, Kulow has traveled a region consisting of 56 southwest Iowa school districts implementing Scale-Up Programs in local school districts to grow STEM educational programming for every learner.  Under Kulow’s direction, the southwest region achieved 98 percent participation during two academic school-years.

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Published August 22, 2013 4:59 pm

Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees Holds August 2013 Meeting

The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met on Tues., August 13, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in the college’s Administration Center.  The board meeting was held electronically due to a light agenda.

In personnel, the board approved the employment of Kelly Franklin as English instructor.  Franklin has a master of arts degree in English from Eastern Illinois University.  According to Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, Franklin is an accomplished writer and enthusiastic teacher who blends traditional teaching methodologies with innovative and creative techniques.  Taylor said Franklin has an extensive background in theater and is interested in leading the drama club.

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Published August 15, 2013 4:16 pm

Stearns Named SWCC Osceola Center Director

Stearns Sue WebSue Stearns of Woodburn has been named as director of Southwestern Community College’s Osceola Center. She replaces Dana Seymour, who is headed to Princeton, MO, to be principal of the secondary school.

Stearns worked for 34 years with Juvenile Court Services. She retired from there in July 2010 and finished her master’s degree from Simpson College in 2011. Stearns started teaching classes in criminal justice at Southwestern Community College in August 2011 and continues to do so today. She became SWCC’s criminal justice program advocate in September 2012 with assistance from the Clarke County Development Corporation.

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Published July 16, 2013 11:25 am

SWCC Student Places in National Competition

Hogue Garrett ForWeb
CRESTON — Southwestern Community College (SWCC) student Garrett Hogue of Lenox placed fifth in the nation for collision repair, at the 2013 SkillsUSA Championships held June 24-28, 2013, in Kansas City, MO.

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Published July 15, 2013 3:54 pm

Small Businesses Honored During SWCC Business Conference

2013LeadershipAwardsForWeb SBDCCRESTON, IA— Three southern Iowa businesses were honored during Southwestern Community College’s (SWCC) Annual Business Conference and Expo held Mon., June 10, 2013, on SWCC’s Creston campus.  

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Published June 14, 2013 10:03 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds June 2013 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the college’s Administration Center for their regular board meeting.

The board discussed and approved a board member appointment, as well as a board member resignation.  At the May 24, 2013, special meeting of the board, a sub-committee had been appointed to fill the board vacancy in District 7, which was vacated with the departure of board member Cindy Cox of Bedford who is moving out-of-state with her family.  Rech stated it was the recommendation of this sub-committee that Jan DeMott of Bedford be appointed to the vacant position.  The board voted unanimously to fill the position with DeMott until the September 10, 2013, regular school board election when a board member will be elected.  

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Published June 13, 2013 2:57 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds May 2013 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the SWCC Administration Center for their regular monthly board meeting.

During the meeting, the board accepted a contingent offer of $186,000 from Cathy Maynes for the purchase of the student-constructed carpentry house at 1307 N. Mulberry Street in Creston.  The house will continue to be listed for sale until June 20, 2013, or the day the contingency is satisfied.

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Published May 15, 2013 4:15 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds April 2013 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

Teresa Krejci, SWCC chief financial officer, talked to the board about the upcoming 20 ¼ Facilities Levy.  The levy, which is a continuation levy that has been in place since the inception of SWCC in 1966, is voted on every 10 years.  The current levy will expire in 2014.  Krejci said funds from the levy may be used for purchase, repairs, renovation, and replacement of physical structures.  Krejci explained the tax is 20 ¼ cents per $1,000 assessed valuation tax on property.  Following Krejci’s presentation, the board voted to authorize the administration to proceed with the necessary arrangements for the facilities levy election on September 10, 2013.

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Published April 18, 2013 4:41 pm

Coach Hired and SWCC Bowling Team is on for Fall

Davidson Doug WEBCreston, IA—A coach has been named and the Southwestern Community College bowling program is slated to begin with the fall 2013 semester.  Doug Davidson of Orient has been named the college’s first-ever head bowling coach.

Davidson, who owned and operated a bowling center in Creston for 22 years, will begin recruiting for the Spartans’ new athletic program immediately.  Davidson was a member of the Iowa Bowling Proprietors Association and served in the roles of president and secretary for District 9.  He was an Iowa Bowling Proprietor Board member for 10 years.  Davidson was instrumental in starting the first junior bowling traveling tournament in south central Iowa.  He holds a coaching certificate for the Young American Bowling Association.

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Published April 16, 2013 11:25 am

SWCC Expands Transfer Options for Criminal Justice Majors

CRESTON—During the past few months, Southwestern Community College has worked hard to expand transfer options related to criminal justice coursework with five four-year colleges in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska.  The college has been working closely with Buena Vista University in Storm Lake; Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO; Peru State University in Peru, NE; Simpson College in Indianola; and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO.

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Published April 1, 2013 1:52 pm

Savage Named 2013 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar

Savage JustinJustin Savage, a December 2012 graduate of Southwestern Community College (SWCC), has been named a 2013 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each Silver Scholar receives a $1,250 scholarship and a special medallion.

Savage, formerly of Weldon, earned his associate of arts degree from SWCC.  He is currently enrolled at Iowa State University with a major in civil engineering.  He was a member of Phi Theta Kappa during his time at SWCC.

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Published March 26, 2013 2:51 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds March Meeting

Creston—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

The board approved the proposed room and board charges for fiscal year 2014 as presented by Teresa Krejci, SWCC chief financial officer.  The rates per semester (if the minimum level of Cafe Cash is selected) follow:

•    Wilson Hall/West Hall    $2,600
•    Spartan Suites/Hall    $2,900

Three levels of Café Cash for the Spartan Café will be offered for fiscal year 2014:  $750, $950, and $1,150.  The minimum level of $750 will be required for all students living in the residence halls.

 

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Published March 14, 2013 9:48 am

Free Help Available for College Financial Aid

Volunteers to Help Families Fill Out FAFSA

CollegeGoalSundayWEST DES MOINES, IOWA (Feb. 4, 2013) — Iowa students and their families can get free assistance with forms required for federal financial aid at Iowa College Goal Sunday, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 24, in 29 Iowa cities.  Southwestern Community College in Creston will host a College Goal Sunday event on Wed., Feb. 20, from 2-7 p.m., in room 119 of the Technical Center.

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Published February 18, 2013 2:15 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds February 2013 Meeting

Creston—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

During the meeting, the board held a public hearing for phase two of construction for the Instructional Center improvement project.  Phase two will include renovation of the 100 bay classrooms.  Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, presented the bids received.  Lesan explained there were five bids submitted with the lowest bid coming from Camblin Mechanical of Atlantic.  Following review of the bids, the board approved the Camblin Mechanical bid of $761,600 as presented.  Lesan said Accelerated Career Education (ACE) grant funds will be used to pay for the project.  Construction for the project will get underway on March 18, which is prior to the college’s Spring Break.  Classes in the 100 bay will be moved to other areas on the SWCC campus when classes resume following Spring Break.

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Published February 14, 2013 9:32 am

Groove for Thought to Headline Vocal Jazz Festival

Groove4ThoughtCreston, IOWA—Known most widely for their work on NBC’s hit television show, The Sing-Off, the seven singers of Groove for Thought have been blowing audiences away for more than 10 years. They will be headlining two concerts at Southwestern Community College’s (SWCC) Vocal Jazz Festival, known as Fox Fest, on February 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center at SWCC.  Tickets for the concerts are $25 each and may be ordered at www.vocaljazzfest.com.

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Published February 12, 2013 4:06 pm

Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seeks STEM Programs for Second Year Scale-Ups

(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Jan. 17, 2013) The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is looking for excellent STEM programs to be offered to Iowa’s PreK-12 students by announcing the launch of the 2013-14 STEM Scale-Up Program Request for Proposal (RFP). The purpose of the application is to identify high-quality projects that have demonstrated success in increasing student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and can be implemented in any size community across the state during the 2013-14 school year.

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Published January 17, 2013 9:44 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds January Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.  The meeting was held electronically due to a brief agenda.

During the meeting, the board set a public hearing for phase two of construction for the Instructional Center improvement project.  The public hearing will be held February 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the Administration Center.  According to Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, phase two will include renovation in the 100 bay classrooms.  Work on phase one of the Instructional Center project is currently underway. 

In personnel, the board approved the resignation of Dr. Jane Bradley, SWCC associate vice president of instruction, as of January 11, 2013.  Bradley has accepted a position at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.  Fred Shearer, SWCC board member from Corning, asked how Bradley’s duties would be covered.  Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, explained to the board that for the time being, several staff members would be handling her duties.

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Published January 8, 2013 2:34 pm

Spartans Announce Interim Women’s Basketball Coach

December 18, 2012, CRESTON, IA—Southwestern Community College (SWCC) has announced as of today, Steve Tussey of Orient will be the interim head coach for the Spartans’ women’s basketball team.  Tussey succeeds Brett Gilcrist, who has been head coach for the Spartans since 2010.  Earlier this week, Gilcrist cited personal reasons for leaving in his letter of resignation.  

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Published December 19, 2012 9:44 am

ACT Prep Course to be Offered in January

CRESTON — The Trio Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at Southwestern Community College is offering free ACT Test prep courses for all ETS high school participants the morning of Saturday, January 5, 2013.    

Two options are available for students who attend:  
Option 1 – 8 a.m. to noon.  Students who choose Option 1 will be participating in a mock exam consisting of the same conditions as the official ACT exam.  
Option 2 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Students who choose Option 2 will attend three break-out sessions (math, English/reading and science).  

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Published December 10, 2012 11:27 am

2012-13 Student Ambassadors Named at SWCC

Ambassadors12-13 ForWeb

CRESTON, IA—Southwestern Community College’s (SWCC) admissions department recently announced the 2012-13 SWCC student ambassador team. The SWCC student ambassadors assist the admissions department by giving campus tours, meeting with prospective students and their families, performing telemarketing services, accompanying recruiters to college fairs and on high school visits, and participating in other public relations efforts.

Front row (L to R):  Leah Day, freshman, Creston, graphic design major; Tara Norman, freshman, Van Wert, elementary education major; Megan Doubleday, freshman, Mount Ayr, elementary education major; Hannah Clear; sophomore, Afton, liberal arts major; and Kaley Folkerts, sophomore, Bedford, nursing major.  Second row:  Michael Chachere, freshman, Omaha, NE, liberal arts major; Ben Burkhead, freshman, Afton, liberal arts & business systems networking double major;  Rayvonne Brown, freshman, Davenport, liberal arts major; Adam Pool, sophomore, Orient, liberal arts major; Nick Ray, sophomore, Orient, liberal arts major; and David Prchal, sophomore, Omaha, NE, business major.  Back row: Alex Duffy, freshman, Bondurant, communications major;  Caleigh Fowler, sophomore, Lagrange, GA, liberal arts major; Samantha Borland, freshman, Lenox, pre-nursing major; Madellyn Wagler, freshman, Panora, liberal arts major; and Alexandra Levetzow, freshman, Bettendorf, elementary education major.

Lisa Carstens, SWCC admissions coordinator, is the advisor for the student ambassador program.

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Published November 15, 2012 9:20 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Southwestern Community College board of trustees was held electronically on Wed., November 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in the Administration Center on the college’s Creston campus.  

During the meeting, the board accepted an offer for the purchase of the college’s student-constructed home at 1305 N. Mulberry Street in Creston.  The home was constructed by SWCC’s carpentry and building trades program during the 2010-11 school year.  The bid of $200,000 was submitted by Gary and Sandra Krauth.

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Published November 8, 2012 10:31 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds Special Meeting for Instructional Center Project

A special meeting of the Southwestern Community College board of trustees was held Fri., October 26, 2012, at 8 a.m. in the Administration Center on the college’s Creston campus.  During the meeting, the board held a public hearing for phase one of the Instructional Center improvement construction project.

The board of trustees reviewed bids from three contractors.  Ken Rech, SWCC board of trustees president from Red Oak, called for any oral or written objections or petitions.  No oral or written objections or petitions were heard or submitted.  The board approved the bid of $388,300 from Proctor Mechanical Corporation of West Des Moines.

Phase one of the Instructional Center project includes installation of a new boiler and sprinkler system.  Work on the project will begin this fall.

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Published October 26, 2012 11:24 am

Southwest Iowa STEM Region to Announce Recipients of STEM Scale-Up Grants

CRESTON, IA—Beth Kulow, area regional manager for the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiative has announced more than 170 teachers and community leaders will be participating in Scale-Up programs for the STEM initiative. Statewide, more than 800 schools and community organizations will have the opportunity to experience STEM programming and activities.

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Published October 17, 2012 2:46 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds October 2012 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, October 10, 2012, in the administration center on the Creston campus.

During the meeting, Ken Rech of Red Oak was re-elected as president of the college’s board. Dennis Davis of Greenfield was re-elected as the board’s vice president. SWCC Assistant to the President Mary Jo Skarda was re-appointed as board secretary and SWCC Chief Financial Officer Teresa Krejci was re-appointed as board treasurer.

The board re-appointed members to the Education Foundation board for the 2012-13 year. Education Foundation board members re-appointed include Patti Bricker of Greenfield, Randy Huewe of Creston, Karl Knock of Creston, Rick Oshel of Osceola, Allen Pohren of Red Oak, Jerry Smith of Osceola, Alec Turner of Corning, Larry Giles of Mt. Ayr, Amy Hook of Creston, Connie Purdum of Creston, and Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC representative.

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Published October 11, 2012 4:36 pm

SWCC Volleyball Court Being Named After Long-Time Coach Rita Schroeder

schroeder rita ForWeb 0478OCTOBER 10, 2012—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) athletics department has announced the college’s volleyball court will be named “Rita Schroeder Volleyball Court,” in honor of the Spartans’ long-time SWCC volleyball coach.  The court insignia will be unveiled in a ceremony prior to the Spartans’ Wed., October 24, 6:30 p.m. volleyball match against Grand View JV.  The game, which is the last home game of the season, is also Parents’ Night for the team.

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Published October 10, 2012 2:13 pm

Odyssey Day Planned at SWCC

Southwestern Community College in Creston is hosting a National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey, known as Odyssey Day on Thursday, October 18, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the automotive area of the Instructional Center on the Creston campus.  Odyssey Day will be focused on looking at the use of alternative fuels and learning about advanced technology vehicles.

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Published October 4, 2012 10:05 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds September 2012 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president for economic development, spoke to the board regarding the college’s five-year facilities plan, a requirement put in place two years ago by the Department of Education. Lesan explained the five-year facilities plan as an ever-changing document. He noted, for example, the plan includes upgrades to the classrooms in the Instructional Center spread over several years. According to Lesan, an estimate has been sought for a project that would consolidate several of these upgrades into one initiative at a cost of approximately $1.5 million. Work could begin as early as Spring Break 2013.

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Published September 13, 2012 1:25 pm

Talent Search Recruiting Begins for 2012

CRESTON—The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at Southwestern Community College will begin recruiting sixth grade students for their pre-college program beginning in September.  Parents should watch for sign-up packets coming home with their sixth grade children, review and complete the application forms, and return the applications to the ETS office at Southwestern Community College.

ETS is a federally funded grant program designed to help students go to college.  ETS outreach advisors work in the schools helping sixth-12th grade students prepare for college.  

If parents are interested in enrolling their children for ETS, but do not receive a packet, they should call their school guidance counselor or contact the ETS office at 800.247.4023, ext. 392, or locally at 641.782.1392.

Middle schools and high schools in Area 14 participating in the ETS program include Bedford, Clarke, Corning, Creston, East Union, Lenox, Murray, Orient-Macksburg, and Villisca.  

TRIO Educational Talent Search is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  More than 800 students are served by Area 14’s ETS program.  The office is located on SWCC’s Creston campus.

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Published August 28, 2012 8:47 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds August Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, at 8:30 a.m., for their regular monthly board meeting.  Due to a light agenda, the meeting was held electronically.

In personnel, the board approved the resignation of nursing instructor Steve Orazem who has accepted a similar position at Des Moines Area Community College.  Orazem came to Southwestern in August 2011 from Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, where he was employed as manager of the oncology unit.

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Published August 22, 2012 2:41 pm

Kulow Named STEM Hub Manager at SWCC

Kulow Beth WebCreston, IA—Southwestern Community College recently announced Beth Kulow of Creston as the first STEM hub manager for southwest Iowa. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The state of Iowa has appropriated funding to establish regional STEM hubs across the state.

In May 2012, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen announced the selection of six regional network hubs to promote STEM education and economic development across Iowa.  According to the governor’s website, each STEM hub will work with business, education institutions, nonprofit groups and others in their region in a way that best fits local needs, interests, and resources.

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Published August 14, 2012 9:33 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds July 2012 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. for their regular board meeting.

A public hearing was held for the lease of land for a tower on the Creston campus.  During the public hearing, Ken Rech, SWCC board president from Red Oak, asked for any objections or petitions, but none were submitted or heard.  Later in the meeting, the land lease was approved with Electronic Engineering.  At the June board meeting, Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, had explained to the board that the lease would need to be extended until September 30, 2012, due to a delay in getting equipment transferred from one tower to another.  Lesan said further details of this arrangement have been worked out and with the new terms, the lease will be extended at a rate of $500 per month through the end of the lease.  Lesan said if the tower is not removed by September 30, the rent will be increased to $1,000 for the month of October and $2,000 for the months of November and December.

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Published July 12, 2012 5:06 pm

SWCC Student Places Fourth in National Competition

Triggs Sheldon Web
CRESTON — Southwestern Community College (SWCC) student Sheldon Triggs of Mt. Ayr placed fourth in the nation for collision repair, at the 2012 SkillsUSA Championships held June 23-27, 2012, in Kansas City, MO.

The SkillsUSA Championships showcase the best career and technical students in the nation.  Triggs qualified for the national competition by placing first in the collision repair competition at the Iowa SkillsUSA 2012 competition in Ankeny in April.

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Published July 6, 2012 3:58 pm

Electrical Technology Club Suggestion Leads to Energy Savings at SWCC

TheCrew ForWeb
CRESTON — Following a field trip to an electrical supply distributor in Cedar Rapids, Southwestern Community College’s Electrical Technology Club, also known as “The Crew,” brainstormed an energy savings idea related to the vending machines on SWCC’s campus.  

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Published June 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Spartans Look Within to Fill Track and Field Position

Huntington ForWebCreston, IA—After an extensive external search, Southwestern Community College (SWCC) looked within to find the right person to lead the college’s new track and field program.  Bill Huntington, who has been the Spartans cross country coach for the past six years, was announced as the head coach for the college’s new track and field program that will begin this fall.  Huntington is wrapping up his duties as dean of students at Orient-Macksburg High School and will start full-time at Southwestern on July 9.

SWCC has had a cross country program in place since 2006.  The Spartans’ men’s and women’s cross country teams, under the direction of Huntington and Assistant Coach Cari Stalker, have been national contenders throughout the years.  They have led the Southwestern cross country team to a national ranking for the past six years.

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Published June 15, 2012 2:55 pm

SWCC's Bradley Attends Statewide STEM Meeting With the Governor

bradley branstad

Dr. Jane Bradley, Southwestern Community College’s associate vice president of instruction, poses with Governor Terry Branstad at the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Co-Chairs Reception on Monday, May 14, 2012, at Terrace Hill in Des Moines. The reception was a prelude to the Iowa Statewide STEM Summit that took place on Tues., May 15. Southwestern was recently selected as one of six regional network hubs to promote STEM education and economic development across Iowa. The college is actively seeking a dynamic person to fill the position of STEM hub manager. This person will serve as an advocate for public schools, colleges, universities, business and industry to facilitate the STEM efforts in southwest Iowa. STEM areas include science, technology, engineering and math.

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Published May 23, 2012 9:21 am

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds May 2012 Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in the SWCC Administration Center for their regular board meeting.
During the meeting, the board approved a bid of $215,000 from Bill Messerole and Devon Leith for the sale of the student-constructed carpentry house at 1301 N. Mulberry Street in Creston.

Uncollectible account write-offs were approved as presented by Teresa Krejci, SWCC chief financial officer.  Krejci said the accounts presented to the board, most of them from fiscal year 2009-10, had been at collections with little or no activity for 18 months or more.  Krejci explained although the account balances are written-off, students’ transcripts are held and students cannot register for additional classes until the balance is paid.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, spoke to the board concerning negotiations underway with the Union County Development Association (UCDA) for construction of a home by the 2012-13 college carpentry program.  Taylor explained the property, which will be located in Creston, would be owned by UCDA.  Taylor said within 60 days of completion, the home would be purchased by UCDA if it was not already sold.  Taylor reminded the board that the college has three remaining lots in the College Park Subdivision as well.  Following Taylor’s summary, the board authorized the SWCC administration to enter into a Building Partnership Contract with UCDA for the construction of the home.

During the president’s report, Charlie Mundy, SWCC Osceola high school carpentry instructor, presented to the board concerning the many service projects his students have completed.  The group has traveled to locations affected by disaster to assist with rebuilding efforts.  Trips have included locations such as Louisiana, Texas, South Dakota, and Joplin, MO.

Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, and Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, presented to the board regarding the recovery effort that has been underway on the Creston campus following the April 14 tornado.  Crittenden showed the board a presentation outlining the damage on campus and Lesan updated the board about progress-to-date, as well as upcoming reconstruction that will take place.  According to Lesan, reconstruction quotes are due from contractors by Friday and reconstruction could start as early as next week.

Crittenden reminded the board about Spring 2012 Commencement, which will take place Fri., May 11, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.  Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, will be the guest speaker.

Other upcoming events Crittenden mentioned included Summer 2012 Commencement, which is scheduled for Fri., June 29, at 7:30 p.m. and the 13th Annual Athletic Golf Tournament, scheduled for Sat., May 19, at Crestmoor Golf Club in Creston.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member and Iowa Association for Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, reported the annual IACCT Retreat will be held at Okoboji from July 25-27.

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Published May 10, 2012 2:38 pm

Southwestern Collision Repair Student Headed to National Contest

Triggs Sheldon

CRESTON — Southwestern Community College collision repair/refinish student Sheldon Triggs of Mt. Ayr was named gold medalist in collision repair at the Iowa SkillsUSA 2012 competition in Ankeny on Fri., April 25, 2012. He is now headed to the national competition, which will be held during the National Leadership and Skills Conference, in Kansas City, MO, June 23-27, 2012.

Triggs, a freshman, is a May 2011 graduate of Mt. Ayr high school. He will receive his diploma in collision repair/refinish at the end of June and then plans to return to SWCC in the fall to earn his associate of applied science degree from SWCC’s collision repair program. Triggs is maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

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Published May 2, 2012 4:15 pm

Southwestern Community College Earns Accreditation for Concurrent Enrollment Programs

Southwestern Community College and 10 other Iowa community colleges that educate high school students through concurrent enrollment programs have earned accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). NACEP accreditation validates the quality of programs providing college courses to high school students.

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Published May 2, 2012 10:22 am

Dr. Jill Biden to Speak at Spring Commencement

jillbiden portrait full lowres WebCreston, IA--Southwestern Community College has confirmed Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, will be the guest speaker for the college’s spring 2012 Commencement Ceremony on Fri., May 11, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. Southwestern is one of only two community college commencement addresses Dr. Biden will deliver this year. Dr. Biden’s first stop will be Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Friday, May 4, 2012.

Dr. Biden works diligently to highlight the importance of community colleges to America’s future. According to her website, she has always said community colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets.” During fall 2010, Dr. Biden hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama, and she continues to work on this outreach on behalf of the Administration—frequently visiting campuses and meeting with students and teachers, as well as reaching out to industry representatives around the country.

Dr. Biden, an educator for more than 30 years, has taught English in community colleges for the past 18 years and continues to teach at a community college in Northern Virginia.

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Published April 20, 2012 12:24 pm

Joan Becker Presenting “A Mother’s Story” at SWCC

JoanBecker PhotoJoan Becker will be at Southwestern Community College’s Creston campus presenting “A Mother’s Story” on Thurs., March 29, 2012, from 1-3 p.m. in room 220 of the Instructional Center. Joan is the mother of Mark Becker, who was convicted in 2010 of the murder of Ed Thomas, a well-known football coach from Aplington-Parkersburg High School.

Joan and her husband, Dave, have been compelled to share their family's story about Mark and the experience their family has had coping with a child having paranoid schizophrenia. Their hope is that the open communication will help other families in some way.

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Published March 21, 2012 3:17 pm

Workshop Being Held for Job Hunters

A workshop entitled “Stand out at a Job Fair,” will be offered at Southwestern Community College on Thurs., March 29, 2012, from noon until 2 p.m., in room 180 of the Instructional Center.

The first hour of the event will be spent watching a presentation focusing on the dos and don'ts of job fair participation, etiquette, and other job hunting tactics. From 1-2 p.m., the session will focus on role playing in job fair situations. The participants will receive instant feedback from employers on how they did with the role playing situations.

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Published March 21, 2012 3:00 pm

Southwestern to Host Annual Employment Fair

ihireSouthwestern Community College's annual iHire Employment Fair is scheduled for Wed., April 4, 2012, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the Student Center gymnasium on SWCC’s Creston campus.  More than 40 employers are expected, representing business and industry, education, and the military.

During the employment fair, individuals will have opportunities for one-on-one contact with human resources professionals, on-site interviews, career exploration, and possible employment offers.  The services of a sign language interpreter will be available at the fair courtesy of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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Published March 13, 2012 11:47 am

Spartans Adding Track and Field Program

Creston, IA—Southwestern Community College (SWCC) recently announced the addition of men’s and women’s track and field starting with the 2012-13 school year.

According to Dr. Matt Thompson, SWCC dean of students, the decision to add an intercollegiate sport was made after a lot of thought and consideration by the college’s administration.  SWCC has had men’s and women’s cross country programs in place since 2006.  The Spartans’ cross country teams, under the direction of Head Coach Bill Huntington and Assistant Coach Cari Stalker, have been national contenders throughout the years.  During the 2011 season, the women’s team was ranked in the top 20 nationally.

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Published March 6, 2012 2:54 pm

Five SWCC Students Qualify for BPA Nationals

BPA ContestWinners2012 Web
CRESTON, IA, March 5, 2012—Five Southwestern Community College students placed at the Spring Business Professionals of America (BPA) Leadership Conference in Des Moines, February 26-27, qualifying them for BPA national competition, to be held during the 2012 National Leadership Conference, April 25-29, in Chicago, IL.

SWCC students qualifying for nationals included Nora Andrews, sophomore, office systems specialist major, from Benton; Jacqueline Castillo, sophomore, medical transcription major, from Lenox; Amber Graciano, sophomore, liberal arts major, from Lenox; Melissa Villarreal, sophomore, medical transcription major, from Lenox; and Carla Willis, sophomore, business administration major, from Creston.

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Published March 5, 2012 4:04 pm

SWCC Pink Zone® Event Planned for February 29

PinkZoneTeam ForWeb
CRESTON, IA—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) women’s basketball team is joining in the fight against breast cancer on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at 5:30 p.m., in the Student Center gymnasium.  The Spartans will host Southeastern Community College in a 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Pink Zone® event.  The team will be raising funds for the Greater Regional Cancer Center, in partnership with Mercy Medical Center, through the 2012 Pink Zone® initiative.

Sponsors for the SWCC Pink Zone® event include Curves, First National Bank, Great Western Bank, Greater Regional Cancer Center in partnership with Mercy Medical Center, Iowa State Savings Bank, State Savings Bank, and Wal-Mart.  Three’s Company of Creston will be donating pink headbands for the event.

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Published February 17, 2012 3:01 pm

The Four Freshmen & Nancy King to Headline SWCC Vocal Jazz Festival

FourFreshmen ForWeb
Creston, IOWA—Two great artists, The Four Freshmen, the legendary vocal jazz/instrumental ensemble, and Nancy King, a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, will headline the Southwestern Community College (SWCC) 15th annual vocal jazz festival, now titled Fox Fest. Both artists will perform in concert on Friday, February 24, and Saturday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center.  Limited tickets will be available to the public each night at a cost of $25 per ticket.  

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Published February 14, 2012 2:10 pm

SWCC ETS Hosting Dinner & a FAFSA Night

CRESTON—Are you a high school senior looking for help completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms for college this fall?  If so, plan to attend the TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) program’s ninth annual Dinner & a FAFSA Night.  

ETS student participants and their parents may set individual appointments at Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in Creston on Wednesday, February 22, 2012.  Appointments will be scheduled between 4 and 7 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes.  Students are not required to attend SWCC to register for the event.

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Published February 13, 2012 10:09 am

SWCC Hosting Event to Assist Students With College Financial Aid Process

cgs 01Southwestern Community College (SWCC) is hosting an Iowa College Goal Sunday event on Wed., February 22, 2012, from 2-7 p.m. in Tech Center I on the Creston campus.  During the event, volunteers will assist future college students and their families in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

No appointment is necessary for College Goal Sunday and all services are FREE.  The event is open to the public.  Students or parents may attend individually, but it is recommended students bring at least one parent or guardian.  Refreshments will be provided from 4-7 p.m. and each individual attending will receive a complimentary ticket to attend the SWCC women’s basketball game that evening at 5:30 p.m. against Marshalltown Community College.

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Published February 2, 2012 11:09 am

Community College Association Hosts Event to Honor Senator Kibbie

KibbiePhoto IMG 6643January 27, 2012, DES MOINES—Iowa Senator John P. “Jack” Kibbie, who is often referred to as “the father of Iowa community colleges,” was honored on January 26, 2012, at the Iowa statehouse by those who have been impacted the most by his leadership in action.  Some 200 Iowa community college students, Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) board members, community college presidents and staff, along with agency boards and directors, gathered at 7:30 a.m. on the first floor of the State Capitol East Rotunda to show their respect for Kibbie’s efforts through the years.  During the ceremony, state legislators and special guest Iowa Governor Terry Branstad made remarks regarding Kibbie’s significant contribution to Iowa’s educational system.

In 1965, Kibbie sponsored the bill to create Iowa’s community colleges.  During his tenure as an elected official in the Iowa House of Representatives, as a member of the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees, and in the Iowa Senate, Kibbie has remained a steadfast supporter of Iowa’s community colleges.  Kibbie was first elected to the Iowa House in 1960.  He served on the Iowa Lakes Community College board from 1970 to 1988, when he joined the Senate.  Kibbie will not run for re-election in the 2012 elections.

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Published January 27, 2012 1:45 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds January Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.  The meeting was held electronically due to a brief agenda.

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Published January 10, 2012 4:24 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds December Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, December 13, 2011, at the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

The board voted to reinstate the college’s early retirement policy for employees.  The policy has an April 1, 2012, application deadline for employees.  The expiration date for this plan is June 30, 2012.  This is the same early retirement plan that the board approved in 2010 and 2011.

Dr. Matt Thompson, SWCC dean of students, presented the annual student demographic report to the board.  Thompson stated that SWCC’s final fall 2011 enrollment was 1,762 students.  This is up from last year’s enrollment of 1,753 students.  According to Thompson, 22.3 percent of 2011 high school graduates in the college’s region are enrolled at SWCC, compared to 20.5 percent last year.  Thompson noted for fall 2011, SWCC has 876 students enrolled full-time and 886 students enrolled on a part-time basis.  The demographic information was compiled by Marilyn Werner and Lisa Shawler in the SWCC assessment center.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member and Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, reported to the board concerning the IACCT meeting he attended on behalf of SWCC last week.

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Published December 15, 2011 8:26 am

SWCC Alzheimer’s Awareness Game Slated for December 15

AlzheimersTshirtCRESTON, IA—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) women’s basketball team is hosting an Alzheimer’s Awareness Game on Thursday, December 15, at 6 p.m., in the Student Center gymnasium.  During the game, the Spartans will face Iowa Western Community College of Council Bluffs.

Everyone attending the game is encouraged to wear purple.  Prior to the game, purple SWCC Alzheimer’s T-shirts will be on sale for $10 (see photo at right).  All proceeds from the gate admissions, concessions, and T-shirt sales will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Iowa Chapter.  Representatives from the Alzheimer’s Association will be present before and during the game to answer questions and sell Alzheimer’s awareness wristbands.

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Published December 8, 2011 11:10 am

ACT Prep Course Available at SWCC

CRESTON — The TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at Southwestern Community College is offering free ACT Test prep courses for all ETS high school participants the morning of Saturday, January 7, 2012.

Two options are available for students who attend: 

•    Option 1 – 8 a.m. to noon.  Students who choose Option 1 will be participating in a mock exam consisting of the same conditions as the official ACT exam. 
•    Option 2 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Students who choose Option 2 will attend three break-out sessions (math, English/reading, and science).

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Published December 1, 2011 8:20 am

SWCC Concert Choir Performs Holiday Carols in Concert

CRESTON, IA—The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) Concert Choir will be performing “Holiday Carols in Concert” on Sunday, December 11, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the SWCC Creston campus.  Tickets for this event are $10 per person, $5 for students and seniors, and may be purchased at the door.

The choir performed in the Des Moines area the week of November 28.  The concerts featured favorite carols and masterworks by Christiansen, Mattson, The King’s Singers, Felciano, and Schreck.

The concert schedule follows:
•    Mon., November 28, First United Methodist Church, 309 E. Jefferson Street, Winterset
•    Tues., November 29, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 5720 Urbandale Ave., Des Moines
•    Wed., November 30, Zion Lutheran Church, 4300 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
•    Thurs., December 1, Central Presbyterian Church, 3829 Grand Ave., Des Moines
•    Fri., December 2, Grace Lutheran Church, 3010 52nd Street, Des Moines

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Published November 23, 2011 10:08 am

SWCC Athletic Fundraiser Sets New Record

Fundraiser_MG_5582November 21, 2011, CRESTON, IA—Southwestern Community College’s 21st Annual Athletic Fundraiser set a new record for the college on Friday evening, bringing in approximately $13,000 for athletic scholarships.

The event, which was held at the Elk’s Lodge in Creston, included a buffet dinner catered by The Windrow Restaurant; a program featuring statements from the head coaches of SWCC’s seven intercollegiate sports; and a raffle and auction with various items, including unique and autographed sports memorabilia, donated by local businesses and friends of the college.

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Published November 22, 2011 2:32 pm

SWCC Offering Criminal Justice Classes

CRESTON —The fall 2011 semester brought additional course options for Southwestern Community College students who are interested in fields such as law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, security, private investigation, etc.  The college now has an associate of arts transfer plan for criminal justice majors.

With this criminal justice degree plan in place, SWCC is offering the following new courses:  introduction to criminal justice, criminal law, criminology, constitutional law, introduction to computer forensics, and juvenile delinquency.  In addition, the college has sociology and psychology courses in place that will complement the student’s academic plan.  The criminal justice courses will be offered on the Creston campus, as well as the Osceola Center.

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Published November 16, 2011 3:21 pm

Southwestern’s Board of Trustees Holds November Meeting

Creston— The Southwestern Community College board of trustees met on Tues., November 8, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the Administration Center.

A public hearing was held for renewal of a tower land lease with Electronic Engineering. The tower is located on SWCC’s Creston campus. The current land lease expired spring 2011. No written or oral objections or petitions were heard or submitted. The board voted to approve the new lease as presented. The land lease will run June 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, and is for $500 per month.

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Published November 9, 2011 5:24 pm

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