Extension CED Road Scholars Ranked Among Top Three Programs

October 25, 2013

Wonderful. Thorough. Interesting. Entertaining. Those are just a few of the adjectives that participants use to describe the Road Scholar programs available from Iowa State University Extension Community and Economic Development. These accolades were recently validated when Road Scholar ranked ISU’s program one of the top three from among more than 300 North American colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Road Scholar is a nonprofit educational travel organization for adults that offers programs worldwide.

According to Road Scholar’s national newsletter, Lifelong Learning Quarterly, ISU’s Road Scholar program “consistently go[es] above and beyond in an effort to build top-notch programs and delight participants.”

The person behind the program’s success is Diane Van Wyngarden, the ISU Extension community development specialist who manages and teaches the ISU Road Scholar programs. Her leadership skills, administration, and expertise in solving problems, as well as participant evaluations, were the basis for ISU’s selection. Lifelong Learning Quarterly describes Van Wyngarden’s attitude toward group leading as “both practical and reflective.”

“Adult learners need to feel respected,” Van Wyngarden said. She added that they are practical, self-directed, and goal oriented. She keeps these characteristics in mind and works to meet participants’ basic needs. “Adults appreciate being included and informed of the process and actively participate in their own learning,” she said.

ISU's Road Scholar programs consistently receive among the highest scores in North America, as evidenced by participant comments.

“In every respect this was an outstanding educational program, not only because we discovered Iowa to be so interesting, but also because of our WONDERFUL lead instructor, Diane!! Her knowledge, organization and enthusiasm were superb. We strongly recommend her techniques be used throughout Road Scholar worldwide system!! I have never been on a travel program as well run as this one was! Fabulous!!”

"Our leader, Diane, was so prepared and she had done such a thorough job researching each location. She’s created special group travel tricks that made everything happened like clockwork. Other group leaders could learn from her! I had been with her on the Upper Mississippi River program and knew that she was a most outstanding leader, so that was the reason for taking this class.”

For more information about ISU’s Road Scholar programs, see http://www.iowaroadscholar.com/.

Contacts: Diane Van Wyngarden, (641) 295-5757, dvw@iastate.edu

Sandra Oberbroeckling, 515-294-3721, soberbr@iastate.edu