Skip to main content
Main Content

Community College News

The Annual Condition of Iowa's Community Colleges (2023)

Every year, the Department of Education puts out a report to discuss the success of Iowa's community colleges, including information on programs that meet student and workforce needs; college admission and enrollment; student success and completion; college costs and affordability; and systems and infrastructure. Here are some highlights, but feel free to read the rest of the report here! 1. There were 117,172 students enrolled in credit programs taking 1,538,451 credit hours. 2. 157,572 students participated in 5,030,766 contact hours of instruction in noncredit programs. 3. Over half, 56%, of credit students were female. 4. Total credit awards increased 5.6 percent to 18,438. 5. The current average in-state tuition is $198.15/credit hour. 

Getting a Jump Start on the Future

For years, high school students in the Fort Dodge area have been able to get a jump start on college by taking classes in high school, Triton academy, or online; some even make the leap to get their Associate's degree while earning their high school diploma. For Iowa Central, they will have nearly 40 students earning a degree upon high school graduation from at least eleven school districts. To read more, click here

Two Iowa Community Colleges, One Cedar Valley Receives Federal Title I Grant

The US Department of Labor has awarded three federal Title I grants, which will support initiatives that provide workforce services to students who face barriers to employment. North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) alongside Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) have partnered with One Cedar Valley to expand community outreach and increase recruitment of those who would benefit from these services, those both in and out of school. This grant will help support the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program and a second Adult/Dislocated Worker Program. Click here to learn more. 

20 Colleges Named Aspen Prize Semi-Finalists

The Aspen Institute has announced the 20 community colleges that are semi-finalists for the $1million Aspen Prize. From Iowa, both NIACC and Northwest Iowa Community College (NCC) have made the list. Finalists will be announced in June with the winner to be announced in spring of 2025. 

Community Colleges Funding Formula Bill is Signed into Law by Governor Kim Reynolds

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law to update the Iowa code that determines the distribution of state aid for community colleges between Iowa's 15 institutions. The bill outlines that each community college will maintain its current funding amount when the overall allocation is equal or greater than the previous year. The Iowa Senate passed the bill in mid-March with only one vote in opposition. The signing at the Governor's Office in the Iowa Capital was attended by community college leaders from across the state. Photos from the signing are available here

Emily Shields, Executive Director of Community Colleges for Iowa, Speaks Out About the Community College Narrative

Community Colleges are the Future of Education. Emily J. Shields has served as executive director of Community Colleges for Iowa since January 2021, leading advocacy for Iowa's 15 Community Colleges. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at If you want to hear from the Director herself about how awesome the community college system is, click here!

Annual Skilled Trades Competition Builds Technical and Professional Skills for Iowa Students

High-quality career and professional skill development took center stage as over 600 high school and college students took part in the annual SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference. SkillsUSA champions the skilled trades industry and provides opportunities for students to apply the skills they have developed in classrooms through conference, competitions, community service events, worksite visits and other activities. SkillsUSA boasts a roster of over 400,000 members nationwide. This year's winners will move on to compete at nationals in Atlanta this month. To read more, click here

The Importance of Global Workforce Skills

On June 10-11 from 9am-4pm at West Bank UMN there will be an interactive, hands-on training leaving you with an understanding of which workforce readiness skills are important for success in the global economy and how to integrate them into what you are already teaching, while meeting your required standards. This institute is primarily for community and technical college educators and high school CTE educators. Register here!

Iowa Community College Association to Develop DEI Recommendations

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law barring state universities from creating, maintaining or funding DEI offices that aren't required by state or federal law or for accreditation. While community colleges weren't included in these changes, Iowa's community colleges seek to be preemptive in their efforts so that they are not to be included in any future legislation. To learn more about these efforts, read the following article

Northwest Iowa Community College Welcomes New Members to Its Foundation Board

Three new members were added to NCC's Foundation Board in January of this year. NCC's Foundation Board is currently comprised of eighteen members, fourteen of whom represent each public school district in NCC's service territory, two members from the NCC Board of Trustees, and multiple retired NCC Presidents. To learn more, click here

Eastern Iowa Community College Honors Staff With Emeritus Awards

EICC's Emeritus Awards launched in 2015 and recognize retired and retiring employees for their dedicated service. Nominations are made by peers and supported with letters from colleagues, supervisors, students, and members of the community. The honorees are pictured in the following article

ACCT Announces Project to Catalog State Funding Models for Community Colleges

Partnering with AACC and SHEEO, the systems funding project will compare funding models by student degree type. The Association of Community College Trustees is pleased to announce a new project that explores how states fund community colleges based on the enrollment for their students, including those pursuing credit-bearing degrees and certificates, those participating in non-credit workforce programs, and those enrolled via dual-enrollment programs. Expected outcomes of this project include: 1. Better informed community college leaders who can advocate for why shifts in funding models would better support their institutions and the variety of purposes they are increasingly called to serve; 2. Better informed state policy makers who can gauge what is happening across the nation as they review their state model and consider changes; and 3. Better informed federal policy makers who can decide how the federal role fits into funding community colleges. The resulting interactive dashboard of systems funding approaches is set for release in late summer 2024. For any questions, please contact David Conner at 

Student Voting Campaign Brief: Information for Higher Education CEOs, Presidents and Administrators

Postsecondary institutions can play a critical role in supporting our democratic process by ensuring that all students have access to resources and are encouraged to engage in our electoral process. The Voter Friendly Campus program was started through the partnership of Campus Vote Project and NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in 2016. Another resource is the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge which works to improve civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation on over 250 community colleges nationwide. In collaboration with Levi's, SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios, Good Trouble Collaborative, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, the Community College Concert Competition is a nationwide effort to close the voter turnout gap between community colleges and four-year institutions and is exclusive to community colleges. The Community College Commitment is a nonpartisan initiative to narrow the voting gap between students at community college and those at four-year universities. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement offers colleges and universities an opportunity to learn their student registration and voting rates and have grounded, impactful conversations about their role in advancing U.S. democracy. 

Western Iowa Tech Mass Communication Program Granted LPFM Construction Permit

The Mass Communication Program at Western Iowa Tech is excited to announce that it has been granted a Low Power FM construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission. This construction permit signifies a significant milestone for the Mass Communication program at Western Iowa Tech. The new radio station will serve as a dynamic platform for students to produce and broadcast a variety of content, including news, music, educational programs, sporting events and community-oriented shows. The Mass Communication program's students are already in the planning stages of equipment acquisition and engineering for constructing the station's facilities. For more information about KWSR-LP or the Mass Communication program at Western Iowa Tech, please contact Chris Mansfield, Program Coordinator, at 712-317-2218. For media inquiries, please contact Andrea Rohlena at 712-317-3273. 

Nunn Secures $1 Million for DMACC Transportation Institute Education Center

U.S. Representative Zach Nunn today announced that he secured a $1 million investment for new infrastructure at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Transportation Institute Education Center in Ankeny. Rep. Nunn secured the $1 million through the Community Project Funding process, which allows members to designate funding for critical initiatives. The $1 million investment will assist DMACC in constructing an 8,600-square-foot Transportation Institute Education Center and a 12-acre concrete driving concourse at the corner of Northeast 54th Avenue and Delaware in Des Moines. Rep. Nunn announced the new funding investment during a press conference at DMACC's Ankeny Campus with DMACC President Rob Denson and Doug Means, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Casey's General Store. For any questions, please contact Jacob Holck at 

© 2024 Community Colleges for Iowa. All rights reserved.