Agreement follows recent changes to Kirkwood’s CDL-A program
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 6, 2023)–Kirkwood Community College and Hawkeye Community College are partnering on a program that will send Kirkwood CDL-A students to Hawkeye’s campus to receive behind-the-wheel instruction. As part of the agreement, Kirkwood students will attend lectures online, followed by hands-on training at the Hawkeye Regional Transportation Training Center in Waterloo.
The upcoming partnership follows Kirkwood’s previous announcement regarding changes to the institution’s CDL-A program. Part of a group of cost-cutting measures made across multiple departments, the college will phase out its behind-the-wheel portion of the training at the conclusion of classes in May. As a result, Kirkwood will be able to avoid costly ongoing operational and maintenance expenses, as well as significant near term investments in new equipment and capital expenditures for the facility.
“While these changes will provide a necessary reduction in costs for Kirkwood, they will also have other major benefits for both colleges,” said Kirkwood Vice President of Continuing Education and Training Jasmine Almoayyed. “First, the move will allow us to devote more resources to our CDL-B program, which is an area of great need in our region. At the same time, we will be sending our CDL-A students to Hawkeye to take advantage of their top-notch facilities and equipment, rather than both colleges competing for a shrinking pool of students. It’s a great example of two public institutions working together to be more efficient, while ensuring the future solvency of a program that provides a crucial service to our communities. It’s good for Kirkwood, Hawkeye, and perhaps most of all, Iowa taxpayers.”
Hawkeye’s CDL-A program is competency-based, allowing students to progress through training as they master the content. Students are taught on Hawkeye’s virtual driving simulators, allowing them to learn controls, gauges, and vehicle systems in a way that takes the pressure off making a mistake in a real truck. Once students are ready to get behind the wheel, they utilize new state-of-the-art, full-size, automatic and 10-speed manual transmission semis on the driving range.
The new training agreement with Kirkwood is similar to one between Hawkeye and Northeast Iowa Community College.
“We have the infrastructure and ability to serve additional students from Kirkwood,” said Hawkeye’s Director of Community Education and Workforce Solutions Srdjan Golub. “Our current operations at RTTC allows us the economies of scale to serve additional students at no extra cost. We look forward to this new partnership and serving the students across Northeast Iowa.”
Once Kirkwood’s phase out of behind-the-wheel instruction is complete, the two institutions will immediately transition to the CDL-A partnership program.
About Kirkwood Continuing Education
Kirkwood Continuing Education notes nearly 53,000 annual enrollments in classes ranging from industry certification to career development to personal enrichment. Over the last 25 years, the number of new jobs created through Kirkwood’s Continuing Education & Training Services has exceeded 30,000.
About Hawkeye Community College’s Regional Transportation Training Center
Hawkeye’s Regional Transportation Training Center is a regional-one-stop shop for commercial driver training. Located south of Hawkeye’s main campus, the Regional Transportation Training Center features an open driving area, 26-foot-wide roads, inclines, and left and right turns. The center’s building houses classrooms, drive-through truck bays, and four virtual driving simulators. Hawkeye is also the only college in Iowa with the ability to administer the knowledge tests so students may obtain Commercial Learner Permits.