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Students are choosing Iowa Central

Enrollment gains show value of the school

If it seems like there are more students on the Iowa Central Community College campus this fall, well, it’s because there are indeed more students there.

The college is reporting a roughly 9 percent increase in enrollment for its fall semester.

The total number of students is 5,009. That’s up 9.1 percent from the total at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, when 4,561 students were enrolled.

In addition to the head count, educational administrators pay a lot of attention to the number of credit hours that those students are pursuing. In that measurement, Iowa Central also saw a big jump of 9.8 percent above the fall 2020 numbers.

Credit hours for the fall 2021 semester total 50,511.5. That’s up from 46,285 in the fall of 2020.

The increases in both total number of students and credit hours are among the highest posted by any community college in the state.

A doubter could question those figures. After all, they can argue, 2020 was such an unusual year because of the pandemic. It’s a fair point to consider.

But a deeper dive into the numbers reveals that the college has done more than recover any pandemic related losses in enrollment. It has seen its enrollment return to figures close to those posted in 2018, well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

In short, the numbers show that students are choosing Iowa Central.

And while the Fort Dodge campus is beautiful and the array of athletic and exrtacurricular activities is just about incredible, these students are picking Iowa Central because it is the college that meets their educational needs. It is a place where students can get the training needed to go right to work. It is also a place where students can complete a couple years of college before going to another school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

It is good to have such a vital institution in our community.

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