The start of the second semester is just right around the corner and as always it brings excitement to the air. The spring semester is always an exciting semester for students because first-year students are just finishing their first semester of college. Many are now coming into their own by really digging into contemplating a career field. Most first-year students just finished an introductory course into the career field they thought was right for them. So, now they are trying to decide if this is the right career for them or should they explore a little bit more on what's out there.
Second-year students are just getting ready to write another chapter of their life as graduation is just around the corner. They are beginning to apply to transfer to a university or sharpening their interview skills as they get ready to enter the job market.
No matter if they are a first-year or second-year student, their job future is looking brighter. This past year has been an exciting time for our nine-county service area. We have attracted a number of new companies to the area, but also many of our current, local companies expanded and added new jobs. I would encourage current students to work closely with their advisers to discover what new opportunities have been created for their job prospects. I also would encourage anyone who has thought about a career change to contact the college to discover what new doors Iowa Central can open for you.
In addition to deciding on a career field, I want to encourage you to discover what the surrounding area has to offer you as a student and a future resident.
During the spring semester many events will be happening on the college campus, but also in the community. We offer a little bit of something for everyone. We start with "Art at the Ridge" and more top quality fine arts. Art at the Ridge is a blend of our Culinary Arts and Fine Arts programs offering you a unique opportunity to explore the arts. Later in the semester they will present the spring musical "A Chorus Line." Finishing the semester, our very own music department will host its spring concert "Showcase."
If you are into athletics you are in the right spot. Come out to enjoy some of the top ranked junior college athletic programs in the nation as they compete during the spring. In the winter months you can enjoy the nationally ranked Triton women's basketball program as they defend their region title and look for another berth to the national tournament. The men's program is on the brink of greatness as they battle in the toughest conference in the nation for their berth to the national tournament. Then you have the top-ranked wrestling program competing to get back on top after five consecutive national titles. We also have our men's and women's swim teams bidding on a trip to their national tournament as they continue to break records. Later in the semester you will have the opportunity to follow one of the most awarded junior college men's and women's track teams as they compete to defend their titles from last year. Wrapping up the year, our baseball and softball teams will work on a trip to their respective national tournaments. Please check out our website for game times and come out to support the Tritons.
Also explore what the surrounding area has to offer, from cross-country skiing at Kennedy Park to a walk through the renowned Blanden Memorial Art Museum. Whatever you want you can find it. The area has many activities for people to enjoy. Kennedy Park and Brushy Creek offer many different and unique, outdoor experiences. Whether you prefer biking, running, walking or canoeing, check out the wonderful trail systems around the area. In March, The Messenger will host its annual Home and Garden Show on campus and Rotary will be sponsoring the group Vocal Trash in April at the Decker Auditorium with many other events happening on campus. Refer to campus happenings on the website to keep updated on the different activities.
Whatever you want we can find it for you at Iowa Central.
Dr. Dan Kinney is president of Iowa Central Community College.