Early Childhood Education Featured at April Iowa Lakes Board Meeting

photo for April brd mtg

(Emmetsburg, IA) The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday afternoon on the Emmetsburg Campus, beginning the Trustees’ 2023 summer tour of campuses.

Kyle Norris, Executive Dean of the Emmetsburg Campus, received approval to accept donations totaling more than $60,000 in farm crop inputs for the 2023 planting season. Brevant Seeds, Champion Seed, Croplan, Dekalb/Asgrow, Golden Harvest, Growmark FS, NEW Cooperative, Pioneer Seeds, Pro Cooperative, Stine, Winfield United, Stateline Cooperative, and Wyffels Hybrids Inc. gave the donations.

Norris then introduced Melissa Regelstad, Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator. Regelstad started her career at Iowa Lakes in 2009 and graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College, Buena Vista University, and Southwest Minnesota State University.

The Early Childhood Education program, located on the Emmetsburg Campus of Iowa Lakes, is offered as a dual-track program. Students may complete the two-year program to earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or the one-year program to earn an Early Childhood Education Diploma.

Whether prospective students seek to become a teaching assistant, childcare provider, nanny, or transfer to a university for further education, Early Childhood Education students at Iowa Lakes establish the foundational skills and knowledge needed to thrive.

“Practical experiences along with the advanced coursework during the second year ensures that students know what to expect when entering the workforce, with each Early Childhood Education student taking part in two practicum experiences while enrolled,” said Regelstad.

Regelstad also shared, “We place our students in field experiences working with children aged birth through eight years, in both private and public settings. We are very proud of our partnerships with the teachers in these settings, who work hard to ensure our students have a well-rounded experience.”

Regelstad introduced sophomore Kennedy Krantz, Swea City, freshman Marah Geistfeld, St. James, Minnesota, and Star Muniz-Thompson of Spencer, Early Childhood Education graduate in December 2022.

When asked why they chose Iowa Lakes, each of the students shared their reasons.

Krantz shared, “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school and started my generals here at Iowa Lakes. Once I became acquainted with the Early Childhood Education program, I found my passion and knew this was the right career path for me.”

Geistfeld shared, “I came from a small high school, so the one-on-one learning environment and the welcoming atmosphere made it easy for me to know that continuing my education at Iowa Lakes was the right choice.”

Muniz-Thompson shared, “I have found my passion in early childhood education, and my time at Iowa Lakes allowed me to realize how rewarding it is to work in early childhood classrooms. I love my job and the work I do every day. It is such a joy to watch the kids learn and grow.”

For more information about the Early Childhood Education program at Iowa Lakes, visit iowalakes.edu or contact Melissa Regelstad at 712-852-5289.

The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 4:30 pm on the Spirit Lake Campus, 800 21st Street, Spirit Lake, Iowa.