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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

Over 3,700 students are enrolled in classes for college credit

Picture of a bar graph for general information of students

23.1 is the average age

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

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, including residence halls and apartments, & suites.

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

Picture of student completion percentages

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

58 students from the Class of 2010 graduated with honors and awards

56 student athletes earned Academic All-Region honors last year; 5 were named Academic All-American.

Over 400 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.

100 students have been involved in the Honors Program since its inception.

$323,123 was given in scholarships through NIACC Foundation in 2007.

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

600+ students have been honored over the past 18 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 6,000 classes are offered yearly.

74,000 enrollments are recorded across the district.

24.5% of local residents registered for one or more continuing education classes during the year.

Satisfaction (based on 10 years of data):

    • 96.9% found their class(es) to be “critical to their educational needs” and “well worth the time and money invested”
    • 98% said the “instructional content would be applied” or “the course improved their practical understanding of the subject”
    • 97.7% gave the course(s) an “excellent” rating or considered it “very beneficial”
    • 95.3% of employers are satisfied overall with contract training through NIACC

$12,660,000 in training through the Iowa New Jobs Training (260E) Program has helped to create 2,441 new jobs at 45 North Iowa companies since 2000.

3,753 employees at 116 North Iowa companies have been involved in training within the last 5 years through the Iowa Jobs Training (260F) Program.

The Regional Health Education Center, a partnership with Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, provides extensive educational opportunities to health care professionals and the general public.

NIACC is a lead partner in the local Workforce Development Center, which is the designated showcase center for Iowa.

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.

Representing 62 communities across the region, people age 55 and better have produced 5,517 enrollments in 923 NIACC NOW classes since the program began in 1998 to present.

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.

3,621 square miles

$4,855,751,829 assessed valuation

141,475 citizens among 66,064 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, Emergency Medical Technician (Basic through Paramedic), Mechanical Design Technology, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Practical Nursing.

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 77,355 Iowans, compared to 48,586 for the 3 public universities, and 34,311 for the private colleges/universities in our state. (Fall 2005)

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

89% 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.