The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa
Most offerings to move to Coralville, expanded IC Public Schools partnership explored
IOWA CITY, Iowa (January 12, 2023)–Kirkwood Community College announced today that it will move a majority of its Iowa City operations to the Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa in Coralville beginning in the fall of 2023. The institution is also exploring the possibility of expanding its partnership with Iowa City Public Schools at the district’s newly acquired facility on the ACT campus.
In a message to faculty and staff, Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg detailed the institution’s plans for course offerings in Johnson County moving forward. The move of both credit and noncredit classes to the regional center will enable the college to continue to meet the needs of Johnson County while decreasing the operational costs of having two large facilities in the same metro area. In addition, the institution will reduce the number of sections offered to best meet the needs of current enrollment levels in Johnson County. The message also explained that a potential expansion of the partnership with Iowa City Public Schools at the ACT campus allows Kirkwood to maintain a presence in Iowa City, while positioning both organizations to expand upon an already valuable collaboration.
According to Sundberg, meeting the needs of students is the most important goal.
“The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa meets our needs as it has plenty of space,” said Sundberg. “Our research also indicates the site is a more accessible location for the community overall. Additionally, looking for new and expanded ways to work with our K-12 partner in their newly acquired facility also makes good sense as it allows us to maintain a presence in Iowa City in a more cost effective manner with current enrollment levels. The new locations, as well as the cost savings, will allow us to focus more resources to give our students the support they need to succeed.”
Research has shown that student needs are much different today than they have been in the past. In order to ensure higher student retention and completion rates, a shift toward a personalized student support approach has become a necessity for higher ed institutions. College officials expect this to be an ongoing need as students continue to arrive on campus with life challenges that make pursing an academic journey difficult.
To Sundberg, allocating the right resources in the right areas is a constant balancing act for a public institution like Kirkwood.
“We face a challenge in figuring out how best to support today’s students both inside and outside of the classroom, while also balancing our expenses and revenues,” said Sundberg. “This consolidation allows our institution to focus more of our resources on student support. By doing this, more students will succeed and become an important part of our regional workforce.”
After the move is complete, Kirkwood intends to put the Iowa City location on the market. The sale of the property is expected to save the college nearly $400,000 in operations costs on an annual basis.