North Iowa Area Community College is a progressive, comprehensive learning institution positioned to serve as the major cultural, educational, and economic development force for the North Iowa region. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the College, which began in 1918 as Mason City Junior College (the first public two-year college in Iowa) and became North Iowa Area Community College in 1966.

Student Body

Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in classes for college credit

  • Full Time – 48%
  • Women – 55%
  • Under 23 – 77.5%
  • Area2 High School Graduates attending – 29%
  • Minorities – 10.7%
  • Iowans – 91.6%

21.3 is the average age

The number of students 23 and older is 785, which is 24% of the total enrollment

Retention rate for first-time/full-time is 58%

The student-faculty ratio is 17:1, and classes average 20-30 students

Minority enrollment has increased from 6.5% in 2005 to 11% in 2014

More than 30 clubs and organizations contribute to a complete college experience

Approximately 250+ students are involved in intercollegiate athletics (volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s golf).

Approximately 400 students live on campus in our lakeside student housing facilities (built in 2014)

The Fall 2014 headcount was 2,950 students

The Fall 2014 credit hour was 28,500

Part-time students (enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours) make up 52% of the student body

High school enrollment is 975 students

29% of Area 2 high school graduates enrolled at NIACC the following Fall

75% of Area 2 students enroll at NIACC within five years

1,594 students were enrolled in at least one web class in fall 2014

Enrollment in NIACC’s online classes has jumped to over 2700.

1,000+ area high school students a year get a head start on their college education and careers through partnerships with NIACC.

(includes $7.3 million a year in grants/loans and over $760,000 a year in scholarships)

The average loan balance at graduation for students who borrow is $8,241


Student Satisfaction

The following areas were above the national average for student satisfaction of community colleges:

  • Use and satisfaction with computer labs and services
  • Use of E-mail and the Internet in college contacts to faculty and staff
  • Providing sufficient financial support
  • Use of computers in academic work
  • Participation in college sponsored activities
  • Relationship with administrative personnel and offices
  • Acquiring broad general education courses
  • Transfer credit assistance
  • Participation in student organizations
  • Satisfaction with Peer Tutoring options

Academic Excellence

Quality programs and services for almost 100 years

NIACC is a nationally-ranked community college, receiving four rankings between 2012 and 2014, including being placed in the top 10% by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (2012 and 2014)

In 2014,  228 students graduated either with honors, with highest honors, or Phi Theta Kappa recognition.

61 student athletes earned Academic All – Region honors l for the 2013-2014 academic year.

1,200 students have been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society in the past 10 years.

Nearly 150 high school valedictorians/salutatorians have attended NIACC in the past 10 years.

$528,315 was given in scholarships through NIACC Foundation in 2013-14.

187 graduates have earned straight As qualifying them for membership in the NIACC Hall of Fame.

900+ students have been honored over the past 24 years through the NIACC Alumni Association’s Pathways to Success program.,

Entrepreneurial Education and Support

NIACC is the only Community College that operates one of five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in Iowa which spurs economic growth by providing programs, services and resources for aspiring and existing business owners.

483+ new business starts

1588+ new jobs created

30% of new business starts in Iowa created locally

40,404 entrepreneurship program participants

Continuing Education (non-credit)

Over 2,000 classes are offered yearly.

21,000 enrollments are recorded across the district.

$8,620,000 in training through the Iowa New Jobs Training (260E) Program has helped to create 1,1451 new jobs at 20 North Iowa companies over the past 5 years.

1,824 employees at 57 North Iowa companies have been involved in training within the last 5 years through the Iowa Jobs Training (260F) Program.

Community education centers are located in Charles City, Osage, Hampton, Garner, Lake Mills and Forest City.

Nearly 3,000 North Iowans participate in adult basic education programs annually.

Up to 100 people earn their HSED from NIACC every year.

Cultural Enrichment

NIACC enriches our lives through educational and cultural opportunities. The NIACC Performing Arts & Leadership Series, for instance, offers an exciting lineup each year at the North Iowa Community Auditorium from Broadway musicals and children’s productions to hot new artists and Nobel Peace Prize winners. North Iowa has been graced by the presence of Nobel Peace Prize recipients, Presidents, Prime Ministers, First Ladies, and CEO’s. Many great musicians have also graced our stage, Vince Gill, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Willie Nelson, Rich Little, Loggins and Messina, Arlo Guthrie, Wynonna, Amy Grant, Leann Rimes, Tim Conway, Dionne Warwick, Richard Marx, Ahn Trio, The Five Browns, and numerous Tony Award winning Broadway musicals.


239 full-time employees, including 84 faculty.

NIACC faculty credentials:

  • 67% have master’s degrees; 8% have doctorate degrees
  • veteran faculty have up to 41 years teaching experience
  • full-time faculty instruct 76% of the courses
  • An additional 1,000+ people across the region help provide the programs and services available from the College.

NIACC Service Area

The North Iowa Area Community College service area (Area Two) encompasses all of Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth counties and parts of Butler, Chickasaw, Kossuth and Wright counties.

  • covers 3,621 square miles
  • $4,029,001,533 assessed valuation
  • approximately 130,000 citizens among 58,000 households



North Iowa Area Community College has been accredited since 1919 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

College programs earning discipline-specific accreditations include Associate Degree Nursing, Automotive Service Technology, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Radiologic Technology.

Governing Board

Click to view Governing Board


500-acre countryside campus

state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories

1150-seat performance auditorium

150-seat classroom auditorium

3600 sq. ft. conference center

multi-purpose seminar rooms

contemporary student activity center

Writer’s Workbench

library with complete services and resources

518 computers available for student use throughout campus and student housing with wireless network presence in all buildings

networked faculty and staff offices and work stations

3 Iowa Communications Network (ICN) classrooms

advanced manufacturing technology center

athletic facilities – gymnasium, soccer fields, softball/baseball practice fields, and a recreation center

fitness center

residence halls

free parking

Community Colleges of Iowa

The 15 Community Colleges of Iowa enroll 91,889 Iowans, compared to 47,707 for the 3 public universities, and 17,681 for the private colleges/universities in our state. (FY13)

Including non-credit students, nearly 400,000 Iowans are served annually by the Community Colleges of Iowa.

84% of Community College alumni live and work in Iowa after they graduate.

The mission of the North Iowa Area Community College is to enhance the quality of life for people of North Iowa through comprehensive educational opportunities, progressive partnerships, exemplary service, and responsive leadership.