Kirkwood Community College and the University of Iowa are set to open a joint building in 2015.
The Kirkwood Regional Center will house programming to boost science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and career initiatives with a focus on four-year degrees. The union will allow for specialized interactive instruction in information technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering and other high demand fields.
The building, planned to be located in the University of Iowa Research Park in Coralville, will provide the same offerings as other Kirkwood campuses as well as opportunities for high school students to gain post-secondary experiences for which they can earn free college credits.
“We know that hands-on is the best way to get a feel for science, technology and these science-related fields,” said UI President Sally Mason, in reference to the partnership, during a STEM panel on Saturday.
The center is just one of many STEM-centric steps Kirkwood and the University of Iowa are taking in tandem. The two organizations have also partnered to head up one of the state’s six regional STEM hubs, designed to deliver and improve STEM learning for elementary and secondary students throughout southeast Iowa. The hubs, announced in May, are a project from Gov. Terry Branstad’s STEM Advisory Council, a coalition charged with bolstering STEM curriculum and activities across Iowa to improve student achievement and promote workforce growth.