July 12, 2024

Community colleges strengthen lives, families and businesses

Community colleges continue to play an important role in our bipartisan efforts to expand Iowa’s middle class.

Community colleges are among the most affordable options for students seeking to further their education. They’re the first place many Iowans go for college classes, job training and better career opportunities.

In 2015, Iowa’s community colleges educated and trained:

• 64,235 Iowans taking courses to get an associate’s degree or to transfer to a four-year college or university.

• 27,742 Iowans enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare them for skilled jobs.

• 33,145 high school students earning their first college credits.

• 232,480 Iowans gaining basic personal and academic skills, preparing to enter the workforce, getting technical training for specific job opportunities, and pursuing special interests.

This year, our 15 community colleges will see an additional $3 million to keep tuition affordable for students, including those at DMACC.

We also invested millions to help our community colleges increase the number of skilled workers. The money goes to a variety of initiatives, including:

• Helping community colleges and local businesses establish job-training programs.

• Need-based financial aid to Iowans getting certified for in-demand jobs.

• Apprenticeships and job retraining efforts.

• Programs and internships for those studying science, technology, engineering & math.

• Help for low-skill adult workers earning postsecondary credentials.

• Adult basic education for Iowans completing their high school equivalency.

Over the years, legislators have worked with community colleges to create programs that offer flexibility for life circumstances among non-traditional students. Guidance and assistance with such things as child care, personal finance and transportation can keep students on a path to educational and career success that they might not be able to achieve otherwise.

Contact Sen. Chaz Allen at 641-521-6297 or chaz.allen@legis.iowa.gov