Ben Huntington

Thanks for the nomination East Campus. Thank you for all that you do for our community. Keep working hard!

Location…Location…Location…

For many students, location is the deciding factor when choosing where to attend college. I would like to challenge that. I can acknowledge that location is important, but I would argue that even more important is the community that makes up your eventual college—the community that you will be a part of, leading up to and after, enrolling in classes.

I think it is important to make a distinction between location and community, because we often confuse the two… After Florida Gulf Cost University’s (FGCU) improbable run during last year’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament. I met with a TON of Iowa students, who all of a sudden, wanted to attend FGCU. It’s not difficult to understand their train of thought.

 The school’s ads played during the games, showing students in their dorms—which happened to be on the beach, going to classes—which happened to be on the beach, participating in extra-curricular activities like… beach volleyball, wakeboarding, boat racing, etc. It almost seemed that each student was greeted at class with a lei and a drink served from coconut shell and that the only admissions criteria were a tan and muscle shirt and/or bikini. There is no question that FGCU enjoys and incredible location.

That being said, the students who I had met knew nothing about the actual community they were aching to be a part of. They had decided everything they wanted their college to be based on a few 30 second commercials.  

I’ve had the pleasure of working at all three of our Eastern Iowa Community Colleges - Clinton, Scott and Muscatine. While each are unique in their physical locations, program options, student population, etc.; One thing is constant: At each college, you’re welcomed you into a community that—from the start—is invested in your success. We’re all in.

Regardless of your interests, goals, strengths, or challenges; From day one, you have an advisor who understands what you want to get out of our college experience, instructors with industry expertise and an academic support team who will not let you fall short of your goals as long as you’re willing to show up and work hard.

There’s something to be said about an advisor who knows which instructors would work well with your learning style. About instructors who know students as people and not numbers. About the career placement professionals who know your strengths and skill set and are able to connect you with employers. That’s the community that we offer.

Each college also has a very diverse student population, so the definition of success is different from student to student. It could mean transferring on to an eventual four-year school, starting a career after graduation, exploring interests, adding skills… There’s something for everybody at each campus. We help you achieve success, no matter how you define it.

Oh yeah… we also have small class sizes, the lowest tuition in the state, free and unlimited tutoring, guaranteed transfer agreements and greater access to leadership development and employment  opportunities. That kind of stuff matters. We’d like you to graduate, but we’d really like you to graduate with a competitive advantage on your peers, as leaders in your community and without college debt.

Set aside any preconceptions you have about colleges, universities and training programs…About what college is and how it should look. Visit one of our campuses. I think you will be surprised with the community you find.

Ben Huntington - Bio

Educational Background:
BA from the University of Iowa in Journalism & Mass Communication, Family Development Specialist Certification from the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice

Why Community College?:
There are so many opportunities for students with a range academic and career goals. Within our colleges, students have the opportunity to obtain training that will prepare them for high-skilled employment, economically complete their general education requirements en route to a four year degree or even take a class to explore their recreational interests. Students are really able to mold their college experience into what they want it to be. From the start, each of our students is an integral part of our community and as such, they have the ability pursue meaningful, ‘hands on’ opportunities that aren’t always as accessible at a larger college or university.

Best Things About Working with Students:
Seeing them grow while they are with us. I feel blessed to be able work alongside students as they first begin developing their goals and watch them complete significant milestones throughout the year. Every student I meet with has their own set of unique qualities and strengths. I enjoy watching our students build upon those strengths during their time with us as they become more well-rounded individuals and eventual leaders on campus and in their career fields.

Other Information About Me:
After graduating from the University of Iowa, I worked in the promotions department of the St. Paul Saints Baseball club in St. Paul, Minnesota. From there, I worked with local social services agencies—PROMISE JOBS and Community Action of Eastern Iowa. With those organizations, I helped families with economic and social barriers to success achieve their personal goals and maximum quality of life.

In my free time, I enjoy watching sports (enthusiastically) and playing sports (poorly). I’m an avid New York Knicks fan. I really enjoy cooking, reading and listening to music. Most importantly, I am blessed with wonderful wife (Tiffany), son (Charlie) and dog (Lola).

I would love to play a part in your success. Please let me know how I can assist as you pursue your goals.