|Volume 30, Issue 3
||October 3, 2003
PTA classes assess local facility access
Photo courtesy of Carol Patnode|
NIACC students Becky Anderson (left) and Brandi Doescher test out a ramp at the Decker Bed and Breakfast House in Mason City. The students in instructor Carol Patnode's Physical Therapist Assistance class were charged with determining the overall accessability of a business and a private home. Students said they liked the hands-on learning experience that incorporated community visits.
Each spring the NIACC Physical Therapist Assistance (PTA) program students complete an environmental assessment project for a public facility and a private home.
This year seven students in instructor Carol Patnode's class were given the task to determine if the residences were accessible.
They then made a report on barriers and how much it would cost to modify them at each location.
"It's to make them aware of the boundaries other people have to face," Patnode said, "I think it made them very aware."
The students were divided into groups each with a different "disability" to report on.
NIACC students Becky Anderson and Brandi Doescher chose the newly remodeled Decker Bed and Breakfast House in Mason City as their public facility.
The Decker House already included a ramp and bedroom with bath and restroom accommodations for disabled guests.
Anderson and Doescher's "disability" involved the use of a walker but other disabilities were taken into account and the Decker House received high ratings.
"[The experience] opened my eyes of things to be aware of," Doescher said. "You walk through the door - is the door too heavy for someone in a walker?"
The students had to look at several different areas to complete the project. The bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, doors, phone location and the parking lot were just a few.
"The only thing was the parking lot wasn't marked," Anderson said. They then figured it would take around $150 for the street department to mark the lot.
Doescher said that she had liked the fact that it was hands-on learning and she could apply what she had learned in the classroom to a real life situation.
They then went to Doescher's home to see how handicap accessible it was. "It didn't fair too well," Doescher said. "There would have to be a lot of changes before someone in a walker or a wheelchair could live there."
Doescher and Anderson said they had learned so much during the project and that they will never look at a house the same way again.
The North Iowa Area Community College's Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program is in the process of seeking continuing accreditation with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC).
Initial accreditation from the National League of Nursing was granted in 1988 with continuing accreditation granted in 1996 for the maximum time period of seven years. The program has a history of continuous accreditation with no required reports or interim visits.
The NLNAC accreditation process includes a site visit with representatives from NLNAC. An open meeting for public comment with NLNAC representatives will be held on October 14, 2003, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 104G of McAllister Hall.
The ADN Program welcomes comments from interested individuals from the nursing community, students and graduates, as well as the public at large. Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of NIACC or the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Comments must be in writing and signed; comments cannot be treated as confidential. All written comments must be received by October 13, 2003. Please submit comments to:
Donna Orton, Health Division Chairperson
North Iowa Area Community College
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
Students travel to Belize to learn in third world
Photos courtesy Carol Schutte|
(Above) NIACC students (left to right) Amber Hanson, Beth Angle, Amanda Abel, Dan Alden, Amy Martin, Kelly Arnold and Ryan Barker (front) join guide Ramon Pacheco of Belize as he points out features of the tropical forest.
(Below)Young girls at August Pine Ridge perform a traditional Mestizo dance as part of the cultural learning experience for students.
Seven NIACC students and biology instructor Carol Schutte took a 16-day trip to Belize as a two-credit course in Tropical Ecology last May.
The trip was a part of a Field Studies course at NIACC.
Dr. Daryl Smith, biology instructor at the University of Northern Iowa, five students from UNI and two students from Iowa State University joined the group.
This was the second trip to Belize that Schutte has led over the past 10 years.
"Something unexpected for the students was the condition of the third world countries and how lucky we are," Schutte said.
The students were evaluated on participation, pre-trip research, research projects during the trip and a post-trip report.
The group spent the first week in the tropical forest where members experienced a full lunar eclipse, native dances preformed by village girls and interacted with black howler monkeys.
They also had the chance to visit Mayan ruins nearby and experience a traditional tamale meal at the community center at August Pine Ridge in the village of Mestizo.
The second week was spent studying the barrier reef, about 30 miles off shore, at the South Water Caye.
Ryan Barker, a zoology major at NIACC, said that he has changed his major because of the impact the trip had made on him.
"Being away from civilization and out of the country was an incredible experience," Barker said.
Barker said he plans to return to Belize in May this year.
Student housing now offers wireless internet access
NIACC announces High Speed Internet access available in Student Housing.
Students living in the NIACC dorms now have wireless internet access.
Dr. Karen Pierson, vice president of Student Services, said the project, which cost $26,000, was installed this past summer.
"The system allows the student to use his or her own personal computer that connects via a wireless hub (there are three hubs in each of the four wings of the dormitory) to a wireless network card," Mark Greenwood, director of Technical Services at NIACC, said.
There are three types of adapters or cards that can be used with the student's computer. They are LinkSys WUSB11, LinkSys WUSB12 and 3Com 3CRSHEW696, according to the technology services report on the NIACC website.
The later that can be purchased in the College Bookstore for $59.99.
The minimum computer configurations that each computer needs that can also be found in the report are Windows 98se, Windows 2000, Windows XP (Home or Pro), 300 Mhz processor, 64 MB RAM and 10 MB free disk space.
The adapter or card that a student purchases at the bookstore simply plugs into the back of the USB port (universal serial bus) and can be accessed anywhere in the dorms .
Greenwood said the service extends all the way to the tennis courts adjacent to the dorms.
This is a permanent installation and resulted from the quality of life survey that is done each year with students.
"We were finally able to do it after receiving the need/want for Internet access in the dorms from the students in the past three years," Pierson said.
"I think it's like an air conditioner in a car," Pierson said. "We all expect it. Many had it at home."
Greenwood said that students are seeing the results of the survey. "Finally the want and financial feasibility reached a place that we were able to cross over and could do it," Greenwood said.
For assistance with installation one may contact Paul Krukow (by voice mail on campus at ext. 473or, by email at Pkrukow@hotmail.com) or Cole Wiegmann (by voicemail on campus at ext. 4752 or by email at CWiegmann@hotmail.com).
Greenwood credited the efforts for the labor of the installation of the internet access in the dormitories to NIACC staff members Tony Pappas and Jim Degan.
NIACC offers on-line courses to help meet student needs
For the Logos
Having trouble fitting that class into your schedule? Now students don't always have to attend a set class to complete a course.
NIACC now offers web classes to students that can be taken online without ever having to set foot in a classroom or meet an instructor.
According to NIACC Registrar Larry Mozack, online classes have been offered through NIACC for about four years.
All classes that are offered can be found at www.niacc.edu. Courses range from history to biology to math.
Most of the courses support work towards an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Business Degree.
"The goal of web classes is to eventually offer a complete degree to students online," Mozack said.
Web classes offer convenience because the student can choose when to do his or her course work.
"Students are able to work on classes at their own convenience," Mozack said.
Mozack also said web classes allow students to do course work around their individual work schedules.
Web classes are easy to register for online at NIACC's website.
Mozack said online classes offer flexibility because students can register for any open entry courses any time during the current term and they have 15 weeks to complete the course.
Instructors of web classes set up their own courses and the structure of the classes varies with each course.
Though a full course load can be taken online, Mozack encourages students not to overload themselves with web classes at first.
"Start out slow with one or two online courses," Mozack said.
Although online classes don't meet regularly, Mozack said students should set aside weekly, regular time to do their work.
"You need to be disciplined and approach the course as you would any other course," Mozack said.
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