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Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in The Messenger’s annual Hometown Pride publication on June 24, 2022, featuring people and organizations in and around Fort Dodge who are making a difference in their communities.

Early in his career at Iowa Central Community College, David Barwin was called into the office of one of the deans.

Among other things, he taught a class called “College Experience” and the dean at the time wanted to know exactly what Barwin was teaching in those classes.

“Here I am in first year and I am called to the office of the dean. I felt like I was sent to the principal’s office. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was just following the program. He says, ‘No, what are you doing?’

“He asked me again and I was getting a little frustrated. He said, ‘Let me back off. We never get great reviews from these courses and yours come back outstanding. The students loved the course. So he asked again, what are you doing?

That encounter led Barwin to a professorship, and he is now program director of the Iowa Central Business Department. After 19 years of career, he is still passionate about working with students.

“Being able to have a job where I can impact students’ lives like that and they understand what they want to do and they’re excited, it makes me really happy to be a part of their success,” Barvin said.

Barwin and other members of the department decided several years ago to change their mindset with students in the program. Instead of consolidating all general education classes into the first year, they decided to immerse students in business classes so they learn early what it takes to succeed in the future.

Barwin attended a conference focused on the first-year student experience where he and others learned that many students were discouraged by a heavy general education course load at first and benefited from more courses focused on their major.

“They said we were doing them a disservice by putting them in all this math and too many gen ed classes in their freshman year. “ Barvin said. “So I reported that to our advisory board and said let’s create a program where a student can come in and take just one or two general courses and maybe a computer science course and then we’ll give them all the business right off the bat: Marketing, Management, Introduction to Business Let’s give them that right off the bat and they can take the toughest classes in that second year, know they have the confidence to be a good student. Doesn’t matter if you’re an A-plus student or a struggling student.If you get these courses under your belt early, then you understand how others fit into the path you’re on.

The new structure has been in place for three years now. Barwin said the best thing is that the program can prepare students to enter the business world after earning an associate degree in applied science in business at Iowa Central or they can transfer to a degree program. of four years.

He said it’s about 60-40 students who decide to go to a four-year program. He said it’s actually tilted that way because some students come in with just a two-year plan in mind, but find they have the ability to continue their education.

“As a freshman, I came prepared for anything, but it exceeded my expectations,” said Noah Susong, a third-year student from Waterloo. “What I really like about the business program is that Mr. Barwin gives us a sense of the business world. When you’re in his classes, you don’t just feel like you’re there to be; he does a great job of bringing the whole class together and feeling comfortable sharing ideas with each other and working together in small groups and in a larger group.

“Mr. Barwin does a great job of putting things into perspective. He tells you the truth about the business world and is very transparent about what to expect and how you are going to have to navigate it.

Barwin currently teaches Marketing Management, Introduction to Business, Business Ethics, Workplace Communications, Introduction to Sales, Sales Management, and Social Media Marketing.

Barwin admitted, however, that he has a strong team of other staff, and the college has really helped the business department grow as a program.

“The college constantly follows the changing times. As we have learned, it is important to stay up to date. I really appreciate the support from Dr. Ulrich (President of Iowa Central) and everyone at the college and in my department. It’s certainly not a one-man job.

Outside of teaching, Barwin was involved in coaching at both Iowa Central and St. Edmond. He coached track and field at Iowa Central and golf. He also coached basketball at St. Edmond. Today, he spends much of his free time with his three children.

Barwin is from McDowell, Pennsylvania. He was a coach at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania before coming here. He first taught entrepreneurship courses with the College Experience course at Iowa Central.

While at Iowa Central, he received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He was president of the “Strategic plan of the organization” and co-chairs the Strategic Enrollment Committee.

Additionally, Barwin is a private business consultant who operates Incognito Consulting for local small business owners.

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