By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Students smart enough to ask for help with their studies may learn something about a man who believes in them.
The newly renovated Pothoven Academic Success Center is “one of the best services” offered by Indian Hills Community College, said student Trey McIntosh. On Monday, McIntosh was at the semi-circular main desk getting set up for some tutoring.
“It provides academic support — like tutoring — for students who feel they need it,” said Jim Lindenmayer, college president. “The support includes math, writing, study skills ...”
“Just about any student will get the help [they need] there,” McIntosh said.
Unlike some college help centers, which have maximum income requirements or other limitations, this one places no restrictions on students.
“It doesn’t target a specific audience,” Lindenmayer said. “It’s a general support for students. And it’s a free service.”
A full renovation over the summer meant the old center was torn out down to bare floor. The Success Center came back on line just as classes started.
“We basically gutted the facility; everything is new. We’re trying to make the center more accessible and provide better study space and better tutorial space than what we had. It’s right off of our formal lounge area,” Lindenmayer said. “One of the big efforts in education right now is to have a learning commons. Our Success Center, the learning resources center (the library and its labs), the coffee [shop]. It becomes a hub of activity for students, so it’s very natural for them to access those services. Everything is right there as they eat lunch or pass through to classes.”
“I’d recommend it to anyone,” McIntosh said.
John Pothoven is a longtime member of the IHCC Board of Trustees. For the past four years, he’s been the board chair. Lindenmayer said Pothoven, a retired banker from Oskaloosa, has also made considerable gifts to the school’s scholarship fund.
On Monday, the school planned to unveil a plaque which will state that his efforts have bettered the lives of thousands of students and staff.
“He consistently exhibits care for students and staff,” Lindenmayer said.
— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark