Education & Schools
Branstad names McKibben and Dakovich to the Iowa Board of Regents PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 13:11

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today named former state Sen. Larry McKibben and construction business owner Milt Dakovich (pr: “DOCK-o-vitch”) to the Iowa Board of Regents.

McKibben and Dakovich begin their terms today and will serve through April 30, 2019.

“I have chosen two passionate public servants who will help guide our Regents institutions through the next six years,” said Branstad. “Larry’s legislative expertise and Milt’s construction background will provide both of them with the knowledge and experience needed for these two seats on the board.”

“We are pleased they agreed to serve on the Board of Regents at this important time,” said Reynolds. “Larry and Milt understand the importance of this new role, and are committed to offering a world-class education for all students.

McKibben, 66, served in the Iowa Senate from 1997-2008, where he chaired the Ways & Means Committee, also serving as the president pro tem. He earned his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, served as a graduate teaching assistant at Iowa State University and earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa. He is currently an attorney with the firm of Moore, McKibben, Goodman & Lorenz, LLP, in Marshalltown.

“I believe education is the foundation for the growth, development and well-being of future generations of Iowans,” said McKibben. “I have spent my entire professional life as a problem solver. I believe that my educational background, leadership skills and breadth of lifetime experiences gives me the depth of knowledge and skill to contribute in a positive way to achieving high standards of educational excellence at the Regents institutions.

Find McKibben’s photo here:

Dakovich, 58, has a B.S. from Iowa State in both civil engineering and construction engineering. He currently serves as the president of Aspro, Inc. in Waterloo. He is a past president of both the Associated General Contractors of Iowa and the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa.

“I am the product of Iowa public higher education and recognize its importance,” said Dakovich. “It is vital that this state have quality, affordable education. Our future workforce depends on it.”

Find Dakovich’s photo here:

McKibben and Dakovich will be up for Senate confirmation in the 2014 legislative session.

The Iowa Board of Regents consists of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, and the Iowa School for the Deaf. For more information, visit

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News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Colette Carey   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 12:59

With sky high loan rates and even higher drop-out rates, do these colleges educate students or bankrupt them?

Tonight, Tuesday, June 4 at 8:00pm ET

DALLAS –June 3, 2013  This week on “Dan Rather Reports” we take an in-depth look at the business of for-profit colleges.  Schools like ITT Technical Institute, DeVry University and University of Phoenix differ from schools such as Penn State or USC because they actually treat education as a business - teaching students while still turning a profit.  And, while most people may be aware that these colleges are for-profit, what they probably don’t know is that most of these profits come from the federal government.  In fact, in 2012 ITT Tech reported revenue of 1.3 billion dollars - more than 1 billion of that came from the taxpayers.

This taxpayer money comes in the form of Pell Grants, money that the Government gives to low income students to help fund a college education, and federal student loans.

“I always said they had a bad business model and the business model was, go out and recruit the poor students. Why? They get the most Pell grants and they get the most loans,” Iowa Senator, Tom Harkin told Dan Rather.

Harkin lead a Washington investigation into for-profit colleges and how students, who drop out, or who have to take on high interest personal loans in order to bridge financial gaps, are affected by the expense of a for-profit education.

In the case of ITT Tech, Harkin’s investigation uncovered a huge disparity in costs.

“The cost for the associate degree was $48,000.  Two years.” Harkin told Rather.  “Not too far away is Des Moines Community College.  Exact same degree, $9,000.”

And, students at for-profit colleges default on the Federal loans at twice the rate of those attending traditional colleges.  They are responsible for half the Federal loan defaults while only making up 10% of the student body.

And while these numbers look to stack up against for-profit colleges, those in the industry say that they are offering an important service to high risk students.

Steve Gunderson, President of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (the organization that lobbies on behalf of the industry) tells Rather, “92% of the students who enroll in our schools are non-traditional students.  Almost every student has multiple barriers to academic success.”

But when questioned about high interest rates on the loans that these students must obtain to pay tuition, and whether or not the schools could charge less money, Gunderson says, “What’s the school to do? I think you and I would both criticize the school more if they abandoned the student at the 96th percentile of their academic journey.” 

“Dan Rather Reports:  For-Profit Colleges” airs Tuesday, June 4 at 8:00pm ET/5:00 p.m. PT only on AXS TV.

For more information, visit Dan Rather Reports,Dan Rather's Official website, Dan Rather Reports on Facebook and Dan Rather Reports on Twitter.

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News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Courtney Wade   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 12:51

World Heritage Student Exchange Programs is now looking for American families to host high school students from Eurasia. All these exceptional students have received scholarships through the U.S. State Department sponsored Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) Program and will spend an academic year in the U.S. This historic program seeks to foster democracy and values inherent in a free market economy. Your support of these students and this program reinforces the United States’ commitment to education and opportunity throughout the world.

World Heritage is currently seeking host families for these well-qualified, bright, motivated and well-screened students coming from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. By living with local host families and attending local high schools, FLEX scholarship students acquire an understanding of American values and build on leadership skills. From the beginning of this program, FLEX scholarship students’ work together after returning home to share what they have learned while in America and are making a significant difference in their home countries!

To become a host family or find out more about World Heritage and the prestigious FLEX Program, please contact local Area Representative Courtney Wade, at (720)-209-1145 or (866)-939-4111, via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit World Heritage looks forward to welcoming you to the ranks of host families nationwide contributing to world peace and understanding through student exchange programs.


Courtney Wachal Named to Dean's List at Mount Union PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Joni Poorbaugh   
Monday, 03 June 2013 14:33

ALLIANCE, OH (06/03/2013)(readMedia)-- Courtney Wachal, a junior from Bettendorf, IA was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2013 semester at the University of Mount Union.

To be eligible for Dean's List, students must have completed at least 12 credit hours of traditionally graded coursework while achieving a grade point average of 3.550 or better with no grade below a B.

University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The University is located in Alliance, OH, 80 miles of both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,200 students who experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation. Ranked as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the University is committed to providing a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience. For more information, visit

Branstad signs historic education reform into law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Monday, 03 June 2013 10:05

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed House File 215 into law, ushering in sweeping educational reform that will ultimately return Iowa’s schools to a national leader.

The governor held his signing ceremony at North High School in Des Moines, where he praised the efforts of the many individuals across the state who helped shape the landmark reform.

“The 2013 education reform bill promises to provide all Iowa schools with the support they need to significantly raise student achievement,” said Branstad. “Change is never easy. But it was particularly painful that we had to acknowledge that Iowa slipped over the past two decades from a national leader in education to the middle of the pack.”

Reynolds noted the value Iowans place in strong schools.

“This landmark legislation speaks to how much Iowans value the importance of giving their children a world-class education,” said Reynolds. “It  is the result of an extraordinary effort by many leaders over the past several years to reach agreement on the changes needed to restore Iowa schools to best in the nation and give Iowa’s students a globally competitive education.”

Major components of the legislation include:

  • The governor’s goal of transformational, systemic education reform
  • Making the teaching profession more attractive with leadership roles and higher pay
  • Creates a new process that calls for reliable student assessments that move us toward better teacher evaluations with student achievement growth as one component
  • Historic school choice legislation that offers independent accreditation for private schools and strengthens home-school freedoms
  • Changes the school finance formula so that “allowable growth” is replaced by 100% state aid

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