Iowa Central expands its reach

Iowa Central Community College is an enormous asset to all of north central Iowa. Not only does it provide affordable educational opportunities, but the college also helps make certain that those options are available to a broad spectrum of the population.

In that context, the college has provided educational programs at both area prisons (North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City and Fort Dodge Correctional Facility) for decades. Now it will be able to expand its assistance to the prison population as a result of being selected to be part of a new federal program. It has been designated as one of 67 schools in the nation to participate in an innovative initiative designed to help prisoners turn their lives around.

Iowa Central is now part of what is called the Second Chance Pell pilot program. That undertaking allows eligible inmates to receive Pell Grants, a common form of federal student aid, to pursue postsecondary education. The goal is to improve their ability to get jobs upon their release, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Education.

“We’re excited,” college President Dan Kinney said. “This is going to be a big boost for our region.”

The Messenger heartily agrees.

We congratulate Iowa Central on being chosen by federal officials to help make this important government project succeed. It should be a source of pride to our entire community that the quality of what this college has to offer is being recognized far beyond the Hawkeye State.