Iowa School Board Approves IGNITE Auto Repair Classes Through SWCC
Written by Ethan Hewett, KMA Land News
Published Aug. 16, 2023
Shenandoah Community School District officials in Iowa have thrown their support behind a career technology education program for IGNITE students.
Meeting in regular session Aug. 14, the Shenandoah School Board approved an educational services contract with Southwestern Community College in Creston, IA, for auto repair technology coursework for the 2023-24 school year. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Aug. 15, Shenandoah School Superintendent Dr. Kerri Nelson said the agreement is primarily to serve their online students who don't have as easy of access to their other community college partners.
"Typically we've worked with Iowa Western and Tarkio Tech, but this is limited to IGNITE students who live in that particular region of the state and that's why we're contracting with (SWCC)," said Nelson. "We do have that program available on our traditional campus but for our online students who live a distance away, we're trying to find options that are within a little more reasonable reach for them."
Nelson said several of their IGNITE students, including those from around southwest Iowa, are career technology education-driven and aligning their coursework as such, prompting the interest in offering the additional auto repair courses.
The superintendent emphasized the importance of offering additional CTE-type coursework for their online students.
"As you think about education, it's always to enhance the learner and make them life-long learners, but this also gives them a skill as they are leaving high school and an opportunity to immediately connect with the workforce," Nelson explained. "Perhaps they stay with that career track for a period of time and maybe later on in life they make some different choices, but it certainly makes them quite employable as they're leaving high school or an online program."
Nelson added the program is also on top of several other CTE offerings within the Shenandoah School District.
"Industrial technology, business, we offer quite a bit in the area of family consumer science-related coursework there that's more based on culinary arts," she said. "We also have a strong business track and we also have a strong agriculture program."
Students with the high school's building trades program have also been at work over the summer on final renovations for a house at 213 W. Sheridan Ave.