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Trustees Review Broadcast Technology

By Staff | Jul 28, 2015

The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College had the opportunity to hear about the college’s Broadcast Technology Career Academy at the Algona Community School District during a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Algona.

Bryan Nelson, who has been teaching the coursework for 17 years, talked about the changes in the industry during his time at Algona High School. He said that digital media is now the big push in the industry and that their Broadcast Studio has been upgraded to full High Definition.

Students contribute nearly 2,000 hours of finished local programming each school year. During their junior year, classes include one semester of each TV Production I and Broadcast Writing. During their senior year, they take a semester of Advanced TV Production as well as a Practicum.

“It’s just like working at a TV station,” Nelson said. “They’re out in the community selling ads, shooting ads as well as covering sporting and community events.”

Their finished projects air on Algona Municipal Utilities (channel 4) and Mediacom (channel 3) simultaneously.

Over the years, the students have won 15 straight state SKILLSUSA awards winning the national title in 2005.

“Last year we won an anti-bullying video award and were honored by Gov. Branstad. This year, we had an All-State student performing radio news which is the highest honor you can get in speech,” Nelson said.

“It’s been really rewarding and it really gets the students involved in the community. And obviously, they’re getting jobs and that’s our ultimate goal,” he added.

Nelson said the support from the City of Algona, AMU, Mediacom, the Algona Community School District and Iowa Lakes has been outstanding.

The Broadcast Technology Career Academy is just one of the college and high school partnerships in Algona. Students also benefit from an Automotive Technology Career Academy. In addition, they have Nurse Aide courses which are offered each year. Likewise, students benefit from Concurrent Enrollment coursework in which students can receive both high school and college credit.

Other Algona campus news Tuesday afternoon was an update from Theresa Waechter, Supervisor of the campus. She shared that the campus will be graduating its second Massage Therapy class at the end of the month and that classes for individuals working to achieve their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) have been going well.

Upcoming activities in Algona include the Kossuth County Fair where Iowa Lakes will have a booth.

In other business, Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, updated information on several projects at the college. The Trustees set the date of August 12 for the opening of bids on a proposed beef facility at the college Farm Lab; and gave the go-ahead for a proposed prototype of a vertical axis wind turbine to be installed at the Farm Lab, pending approvals which are needed before the project can proceed.

Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations, gave an update on projects and asked for their acceptance of a donated Snap-on Tool Box to the college.

In Foundation news, scholarship events continue to go well this summer. The next fundraising event is the Poker Ride, which will start in Spirit Lake at 9 a.m. this coming Saturday morning and will travel to all college campuses before ending in Estherville.

The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, Aug. 18, at the Administration Building in Estherville.