Jeanne Visser | Staff Writer
In a few weeks, five Boyden-Hull High School students will be among the first to take instrumentation controls courses at Interstates in Sioux Center.
The classes are being offered through a new cooperative program involving Interstates, Northwest Iowa Community College, Boyden-Hull High School and Sioux Center High School. The afternoon classes will be at the Interstates location and taught by NCC and Interstates instructors.
Three classes are being offered to three Boyden-Hull seniors and two juniors this semester, with three more sessions during the second semester. They include topics such as fundamentals of electricity, foundations of direct current, electrical wiring and math courses in algebra and trigonometry. The juniors can continue in the program next year when even more classes will be available.
The dual-credit program allows high school students to earn college credits toward a degree at NCC, potentially saving them up to $2,300 per semester in college tuition.
But saving on college costs is only one benefit of the program.
“We’re always looking for ways we can give students an opportunity to learn alongside experts and professionals in the field, and allow them real-world learning applications,” stated Boyden-Hull High School principal, Dan Pottebaum.
Because there is a shortage of laborers in skilled trades, such as electricians, plumbers, welders and machinists in northwest Iowa, the program helps local businesses recruit workers and keep the best students in the area.
“We’re very excited about what this will offer for our students,” added Pottebaum. “It’s becoming more common to see students who know what career path they want and programs like this give them the opportunity to get ahead in their training. Not all students go to a four-year college and we need people with these skills.”
Boyden-Hull also has five seniors enrolled in auto mechanics courses at NCC.
“On the other hand, this is also a chance for students to investigate a career choice and try it,” he stated. “They can experiment and hopefully find something they can be passionate about.”