(Atlantic) In February of 2011 a $65 million dollar grant from Siemens made a state of the art Design Technology Program a reality at Iowa Western’s Cass County Center. At the end of this week, students from the program’s inaugural year will be one semester away from completing the program.
Professor Joe Vandstrom says the five initial students that have stuck with the program are finishing up their third semester by working on a project with Jacobs Corporation in Harlan.
"They are helping them revamp some of their processes to make them more efficient. This is starting to bring in all of their training from their first year and some of their training from this semester and culmitating them into a challenging and rewarding project...The students are using The representatives from Jacob's Corporation are very impressed with what our student's have been doing."
Vanstrom says a few of those five future graduates have already fielded full time positions. When it comes to the first year students, they have had the luxury of learning from students who have been through the material.
“First year students have benefited alot from having a very resourceful and adaptive first group of students before them. We also have increased numbers which has help with the experience and diversity it has brought into the program.”
A benefit to both classes is coming in the future. The computer labs will be revamped with increased internet speeds that will allow students within the program to work on a wider variety of projects.
Vandstrom says there is no timetable for the enhancements to the computer lab. The project is made possible thanks to the passing of the Iowa Western Community bond issue last week.