Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Messenger’s annual Homeland Pride publication on June 24, 2022. People and organizations from Fort Dodge and the surrounding area are making a difference in their communities.
Early in his career at Central Iowa College, David Barwin was called to a dean’s office.
It was among the other classes he was teaching “College Experience” and the dean at that time wanted to know what Barwin was teaching in those classes.
I’m in my first year here, and I’m calling on the dean’s office. It felt like I was sent to the main office. He asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was just following the course. ‘No,’ he said, ‘what are you doing?’
“And he asked me again and I was getting a little frustrated. He replied: “Let me go. You never get good grades from these classes and yours are exceptional. The students loved the class. And he asked again: What are you doing?
That encounter led Barwin to a faculty position and he is now the program director for the Central Iowa Department of Business. Now 19 years into his career, he is still as passionate as ever about working with students.
“To be able to have a job where I’m trying to have a life like that is impacted, and it’s what they want to do and they’re excited about it, that makes me really happy to be a part of their success.” said Barwin.
Over the years, Barwin and others in the department have decided to change their mindset with students in the program. For all classes of general education in the first year lumps, students have decided to immerse themselves in business classes, to learn early what it takes to be successful.
Barwin attended a conference on the experience of first-year college students, where he and others learned that many students were diverted from the general education load in early classes and benefited from more classes in a major setting.
“They told us to do them in the service, putting them in all this math and too many kinds of people in their first year. For example, they said that the student is unsure of what to focus on in the business, struggling with states or policies or finances because they don’t see what fits into what they want to do in business. Barwin said. “So I took that to our planning board and said let’s do a program where a student can come in and take just one or two gen ed classes and maybe a computer class and then I’ll give all the business classes up front. : Marketing, Management, Intro to Business. Those who let’s go ahead and take more difficult classes that second year, let them know that they have the confidence to be a good college student. It doesn’t matter if you’re a plus student or a struggling student. If you have those early classes under your belt, then you understand how the others fit in you went down
The new structure has been in place for three years now. Barwin said the best program is that students can prepare for the business world after earning an associate of applied science degree in business at Iowa Central or they can transfer to a four-year degree program.
He said he’s about a 60-40 split on who decides to move on in the four-year program. He said that it is so interesting that some students only intend to train within two years, but they have the opportunity to further their education.
“I came prepared for everything, 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 allows us to feel for the business world. When you’re in his classes, you don’t just feel like you’re there; It does a great job of getting the whole class together and more comfortable sharing ideas with each other and working together as small groups and larger groups.
“Sir. Barwin does a great job of putting things into perspective. He tells you the truth about the business world and is very clear on what you expect the future to be and how you’re going to get through it.”
Barwin currently teaches Marketing Management, Intro to Business, Business Ethics, Workplace Communications, Intro to Selling, Sales Management and Social Media Marketing.
Barwin admitted, however, that he got a strong team of other staff members and really helped the college to grow the Department of Business programs.
“The college always observes the changing times.” As we have learned, it is important to stay updated. President Dr. I really appreciate Ulrich (Iowa Central) and everyone in my college and class. It’s definitely not a one-man job. “
Outside of teaching, Barwin has been involved in education at both Iowa Central and St. Edmunds. Coached track and field at Central Iowa and golf. He also coached basketball before St. Edmunds. Now he spends a lot of time with his three children.
Barwin is originally from McDowell, Pennsylvania. He was the coach at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania, before coming here. He taught the Entrepreneur class along with the College Experience class at Central Iowa for the first time.
During his time at Iowa Central, he received the Teaching Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. And it served as the seat of God “Organizational Strategic Plan” and co-chairs of the Strategic Recruitment Committee.
In addition, Barwin is a private business consultant operating Unknown Consulting for small local business owners.