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Iowa's community colleges are governed by locally elected boards of directors that range from five to nine members who are elected for terms of four years. Each community college offers a comprehensive educational program. All Iowans of postsecondary school age are eligible to attend any of the community colleges. Community colleges also offer special programs for students who attend local secondary schools.
All community colleges comply with approval standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Additional information on individual community colleges may be obtained by communicating directly with the appropriate office in the college.
Areas of Instruction
Iowa's community colleges offer programs in three major areas of instruction: adult education, career programs of vocational and technical education, and college parallel.
Through adult education, the community colleges provide part-time programs for adult students. These programs include: adult basic education programs for adults who have less than an eighth grade education; high school completion programs leading to adult high school diplomas and high school equivalency diploma; supplementary career programs of vocational and technical education for upgrading the skills of employed Iowans; and continuing education programs for adults who desire instruction to meet pre-occupational training needs, avocational and recreational interests, or other needs.
The preparatory career programs of vocational and technical education provide preparation for immediate employment in a wide variety of careers. Those training programs ordinarily require full-time instruction of four weeks to two years. Many of these programs are cooperative programs which provide classroom instruction in conjunction with paid employment experience related to the career preparation, and many are available on a part-time basis.
The college parallel program provides arts and sciences courses that may be transferred to other colleges and universities as the equivalent of the first two years of a four-year baccalaureate program. Included in college parallel are some programs that also provide preparation for entry level employment through career option programs.
Educational Programs and Opportunities
Many unique educational programs and opportunities are also offered by the community colleges. These include programs available in two-year institutions in adjacent states through tuition reciprocity agreements; programs for incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities; evaluation and assessment centers; developmental education programs and services for underprepared students; special programs for students with disabilities, including sheltered workshops; customized training programs for business and industry; incubation centers to assist the development of small businesses; and the administration of service delivery areas for the Federal Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA).
Community College Collaboration and Coordination
Iowa’s 15 locally governed community colleges play vital roles in the economic development of their communities and the state. By working together and forming connections with local business and industry, community organizations, state agencies, and other key stakeholders, Iowa’s community colleges are tightly linked to regional economic development and labor force needs and well-positioned to collaboratively address statewide challenges.
Success Through Collaboration and Coordination - Highlights a few of the ways Iowa’s 15 community colleges and the Department of Education collaborate to ensure efficient and effective delivery of programs and services through a team approach.
The Community College Council (CCC), a council of the Iowa State Board of Education, was established in 1990 to provide greater attention to community college issues. (Iowa Code 256.31)