Public Forums Report

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
Fall 2012 – Winter 2013
Forum Report
Dated: 3/20/13

During the end of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) embarked on a comprehensive “listening tour” consisting of 22 forums. Students, faculty, staff, community leaders, business and industry members and friends of Scott Community College (SCC), Muscatine Community College (MCC) and Clinton Community College (CCC) (collectively “the Colleges”) were invited to provide insights into how the Colleges are doing. Two facilitators, Ellen Kabat-Lensch (internal) and Sarah Johnson (external), sought feedback on what was going well, what could be improved and what should be considered as EICC plans for the future. The purpose of this report is to provide a narrative feedback on (1) what was heard, (2) what was heard most frequently, and (3) potential next steps for EICC. Throughout the forums, thousands of ideas were expressed and not all are captured within this report. However, summary worksheets from the forums are available for review. The purpose of this report is to share common themes, concerns and ideas that forum participants shared.

Key sections of this report include:

I. Common Themes
II. Community Interests
III. Business & Industry Viewpoint
IV. Internal Constituent Feedback
V. Fringe Points to Consider
VI. Potential Next Steps

While much of this report details suggestions for improvement, forum participants were quite complimentary of the Colleges and grateful to have been included in this process. A majority of the praise received focused on the Blong Center, affordability, dedicated staff, open access and flexibility. Overall, employees appear committed to their respective institutions and genuinely interested in the strategic planning process.

When asked what is “good” about the Colleges or why students select EICC Colleges, the following attributes were shared repeatedly: cost, convenience, quality instruction, transferability of credits to a four-year institution, accessibility, size, mission driven and caring staff. Community leaders, employers and students shared peak experiences and kudos for solid performance by the Colleges.

Submitted by:
Sarah Pohlmann Johnson