Knoxville — To the Editor:
Next Tuesday you have the opportunity to vote yes to continue the two levies that help support Des Moines Area Community College. These levies are existing levies that total 26.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. It will not raise taxes.
DMACC serves central Iowa, not just Des Moines or Ankeny. High school students at Marion County high schools take both online and face to face classes through DMACC. It is possible for high school students to complete most of their first year of college classes while still in high school. So far, my daughters have taken pre-calculus and calculus at Knoxville High School. My son is currently taking pre-calculus. Those classes are taught by a high school teacher employed at KHS and certified by DMACC. The girls are also taking online classes in developmental psychology and introduction to literature as part of their high school classes this year. DMACC works with area high schools to meet students’ educational needs that are beyond what the local school can offer.
DMACC also has a history of providing college classes in the local community. They offer several night and online classes for those students who cannot or do not wish to drive to Newton, Ankeny, Urban, West, Boone, or Carroll campuses. Many young people from Marion County take DMACC classes either online or at one of the campuses after graduating high school. DMACC is a way for the non-traditional student to go back to school, go to college for the first time, learn new skills, or earn certifications for employment. For example, DMACC-Newton trains welders in cooperation with Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella. Those trained welders then enter the workforce, many with Vermeer. Nursing students do clinical rotations at Pella Regional Hospital every year and several DMACC nursing graduates now work at Pella Regional taking care of Marion County residents. DMACC’s nursing program has the highest NCLEX (nursing licensure exam) pass rate in the state. Those nurses and welders are part of the Marion County work force that lives, works and spends money in Marion County.
Not everyone is fresh out of high school and can afford to attend a four-year college paid for by Mom and Dad. DMACC provides valuable, low cost options for learners from all walks of life at all times in their life. With classes and degrees from DMACC individuals can enter the work force, earn a living, pay taxes, pay rent (or buy a house), and have money to spend in the local economy. To say that DMACC does not benefit the local county and community is ill-informed and short sighted. Affordable education always benefits the community by helping residents obtain their educational, professional, and personal goals. They then have a higher standard of living that translates back into funds for local government and businesses.
Vote yes on the DMACC levies, they do not raise taxes.
Kim Molloy RN MSN