One of the many reasons students choose to attend Iowa Central Community College is the chance to explore a variety of interests and make progress toward a college degree at the same time. Students are able to find things they may want to continue to pursue, but they can also rule out things that don't fit.
Katie Cole of Fort Dodge is a student who exemplifies all things good about beginning college at Iowa Central. She graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 2008, brought 29 college credit hours with her to Iowa Central and stayed two years here while switching from her original interest in pre-med to a marketing and business management double major.
That's just the academic side, where she carries a 4.0 GPA. Away from the classroom Cole has maintained her interest in cheerleading, newspaper and student senate. She's competed for the track team and appeared in the college musical. She had enough credits to graduate at the end of the fall term this year, but wanted to stay, enrolling in elective classes to continue with her cheerleading.
Katie Cole enjoys many activities at Iowa Central Community College.
``Iowa Central has made me realize I don't want to go to a big school. We have small class sizes to start with, then the instructors here are really willing to help you outside of class,'' Cole said. ``The smaller size has allowed me to become involved in activities I would not have been able to do at a larger school.''
Cole's experience at Iowa Central led her to look for a smaller transfer destination and she chose Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. ``I'll double major in marketing and management there and cheerlead too,'' she said.
Cole has kept up her participation in beauty pageants first started when she was a high school freshman. She's twice won teen titles and been to national pageants in California and Florida. It's an experience she says, that has been very beneficial. ``It gives you good interview skills, good job skills and helps your self-esteem.'' Cheerleading at Iowa Central has twice taken her to national competitions in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Triton cheer squad placed second last year and fourth this year in the small college co-ed division.
``Another opportunity I've had here is to coach younger cheerleaders with United All-Stars. I'm hoping at some point in the future to be able to coach high school or all-star cheerleading,'' Cole said.
Her experiences at Iowa Central have given Katie Cole the chance to find her footing, identify a path and move ahead while taking part in all the college extras too.