ISU eyes education future with community college agreement, summit, study

AMES, Iowa -- Education and its future was clearly a topic of discussion in November at Iowa State University. During the month, the College of Business signed an agreement with Iowa community colleges that should enable an easier transfer into the college, the university hosted a summit on the future of PreK-16 education, and an ISU researcher gave a national presentation on reasons for productivity among female faculty at research and doctoral universities. Each story may be helpful in your coverage of education.

MORE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE DEGREE -- The question for many community college students isn't just whether they'll be accepted for transfer to a four-year institution, but also how many credits will be accepted. ISU's College of Business has completed articulation agreements with all of Iowa's 15 community colleges that should ease that transition. The college will now accept the Associate of Arts degree from those schools to fulfill all but two of its general education course requirements for students who have both completed 60 prescribed (90 quarter) credits acceptable for transfer, and achieved at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Transfer students will still be required to take both an ethics/moral reasoning class and a global course to satisfy general education requirements. They will also need to complete the entrance courses and requirements to the professional program in the College of Business. CONTACTS: Ann Coppernoll, College of Business director of undergraduate programs, (515) 294-8431,; Laura Doering, director of transfer admissions, (515) 294-0815,

CHALLENGING TEACHING CONVENTIONS -- There's both an urgent need for new teachers, and the need for teachers to embrace new methods to connect with today's students. Those were major themes at this month's education summit at ISU, according to David Whaley, associate dean for teacher education in the College of Human Sciences and director of the University Teacher Education Program. The one-day summit featured national education speakers and drew state legislators, Iowa Department of Education officials, researchers, and other educators from all levels of PreK-16 education among its 128 participants. Since the event, Whaley and other ISU faculty have made plans to regularly convene groups of Iowa educators and business partners to provide recommendations for Iowa's future schooling communities. They will also identify schools and programs in Iowa that have already created futurist learning communities, and encourage them to serve as demonstration sites for all educators. Whaley says organizers are considering a second summit that will focus on specific strategies essential for education's survival. A complete review of this month's summit, including video of the speakers and their PowerPoint presentations, is available at CONTACT: David Whaley, (515) 294-1410,

MEASURING FEMALE FACULTY PRODUCTIVITY -- There's a link between the productivity of female faculty members and the number of female colleagues they have within their departments, particularly when resources are limited at research and doctoral universities. That's according to a presentation by Stephen Porter, an associate professor of education leadership and policy studies at ISU. Porter presented the research at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education in Louisville, Ky., this month. Using data from a national faculty survey by the Higher Education Research Institute (, Porter found that there is a strong, positive impact on the productivity of female faculty members when they are surrounded by other women in their department, particularly when they view space for research and lab work as scarce. As faculty members become more satisfied with resources, the gender factor lessens. "When resources are plentiful, the gender composition of a department has little effect," Porter said in an article. CONTACT: Stephen Porter, (515) 294-7635,