Iowa Central sees growth | News, Sports, Jobs

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A student walks across Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge Tuesday evening. Iowa Central’s campuses have seen significant growth this semester across all three of their main locations in Fort Dodge, Webster City, and Storm Lake.

Iowa Central Community College saw growth across all three of its main campuses in spring 2022 enrollment.

Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Stacy Mentzer reported at the Board of Directors meeting Tuesday evening, “We had a 6.8 percent increase in credit hours and 7.9 percent in student headcount. We have had a great semester and are seeing increases in multiple areas. We had increases in Fort Dodge, Storm Lake, and Webster City. It’s the first time in a really long time we’ve had increases in all three centers so we’re really, really happy about that.”

Across all of Iowa Central’s centers, there are 4,557 students taking 44,937.25 credit hours for the spring 2022 semester.

This is up from spring 2021 when it had 4,222 students taking 42,070 credit hours.

Among those increases, Mentzer said a few programs stood out with especially high growth. “We saw increases in a lot of our programs, but our ag program really saw an increase and we needed that so that’s really good,” she said. “Our nursing program is seeing an increase in our retention which is great. With new curriculum coming out, I look forward to that being even better. Automotive and welding were two also that jumped out that had significant increases.”

Iowa Central President Jesse Ulrich added that the college has significant reach across the county.

“Iowa Central has students from 44 out of our 50 states across the country and we have students from 94 of our 99 counties in Iowa,” he said. “The reason I highlight that is Iowa Central has the number one penetration rate among community colleges in the state of Iowa meaning we have the number one draw around the state. We’re really, really proud of that.”

In addition, Iowa Central has 103 total international students from 33 countries.

Ulrich pointed out that another important statistic at Iowa Central is the number of students joining the workforce in the area.

“When we’re talking about workforce, 35 percent of our students come from our service region but of the students who graduate from Iowa Central, 77 percent stay in our service area,” he said. “That’s our primary driver because we know that we need more people in our state period.”

The board furthered its commitment to the local workforce by approving job training agreements with NEW Cooperative, Inc. and Link Snacks, Inc. These resolutions establish job training programs to educate and train employees of NEW Cooperative and Link Snacks paid for by the companies. The resolution with NEW Cooperative is for $2,685,000 and the resolution with Link Snacks is for $435,000.

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