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Northwest Iowa Community College - IowaSchools.net

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Northwest Iowa Community College


Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC) was founded in 1966 as part of Iowa’s new community college system. At that time, it only had three vocational programs and served four counties: Osceola, Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien. Today, the school has about 43 educational programs that have been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and has expanded to also serve districts in Cherokee County. The school has gone by other names in its lifetime including Northwest Iowa Vocational School and Northwest Iowa Technical College.

Educational Programs

About 30,000 students are enrolled in classes at Northwest Iowa Community College. The school awards Associates of Arts and Associates of Science degrees in a number of liberal arts programs. Students can also get vocational and technical training in a variety of subjects. Those that want to pursue a personal interest or need to maintain a credential or license can do so through the school’s continuing education program.

Here is a selection of the programs of study available at NWICC:

  • Natural Resources Conservation
  • Carpentry
  • Construction Technology
  • Engineering Design
  • Electrical Technology
  • Substation Technician
  • Administrative Secretarial
  • Administrative Office Management
  • Medical Coding
  • Practical Nursing
  • Transportation Service
  • Pre-Professional Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal

While most of the programs require you to take classes on campus, there are a few you can complete online through the NWICC’s distance-learning program. Online courses can be completed in the comfort of your home or any place where you have access to the Internet. They provide students with a lot of leeway when it comes to completing their coursework as well, allowing them to “go to class” when it is convenient for them.

The online programs available at NWICC are:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science in Business
  • Health Information Technology
  • Powerline Technology

Northwest Iowa Community College also has developmental, GED and ESL programs.


NWICC has an open-door policy regarding general admission to the college. Students who have a high-school diploma or GED are admitted on a first-come first-served basis. Certain programs offered by the school, though, may have additional requirements for entry. Applicants that do not have a diploma or equivalent may still be admitted on a limited basis.

International students must take the TOEFL test. Transfer students must submit transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended if they wish to receive credit for completed coursework.

Students are required to take the Compass test if they did not take the ACT test within the previous 5 years of their acceptance to the college. This requirement is waived for students who have earned over 30 credits at another educational institution. The scores from the test are used to help students choose the most appropriate courses for them.


NWICC charges tuition and fees based on the student’s residency. Documentation proving residency is required. Residency for minor students will be based on their parents/guardians.

  • Tuition (resident): $138 per credit
  • Tuition (non-resident): $154 per credit
  • Internet classes: (152 per credit)
  • Books: $580 per semester

Some programs charge additional fees for supplies and testing.

Students can obtain financial assistance for school expenses by sending in the FAFSA application. Depending on your or your parent’s finances, you may qualify for loans, grants, or scholarships from the federal government. You can also obtain funds from private sources such as banks and non-profit organizations.

Campus Life

There are 3 housing complexes near the school that are used for housing: Cherokee Hall, Lyon Hall, and O’Brien Hall. Students will have the option of living in suites that contain two bedrooms that can house up to four students or apartment-style complexes with one or two bedrooms. Suites and apartments are furnished and contain kitchen and living room areas.

The school has intramural but not intercollegiate sports. Students can participate in bowling, golf, basketball, volleyball, and touch football. There are also plenty of activities throughout the year and several clubs for students including Campus Crusade, Health Information Technology Club, Multi Cultural Club, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.


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