Des Moines Area Community College has six campuses, one each in Ankeney, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Urban Des Moines and West Des Moines. There are also several satellite and partner locations where students can take select courses. There are many different educational opportunities to students from all walks of life. There are transfer programs for students wishing to complete the first two years of their undergraduate degree. There are also programs for professionals, people seeking new careers, high school students wishing to get a head start on a college education and adults wishing to brush up on professional skills or personal areas of interest.
Student life on campus is active and varied. The Bears participate in intercollegiate sports and the college also offers intramural sports. There are also several pre-professional, departmental and social clubs including Artery, DECA, hospitality, dentistry and photography. There’s also a fitness center that offers individual training, group classes and a place for students to exercise and stay in shape.
DMACC offers over 130 degrees, certificates and training programs to students from all walks of life. Students wishing to complete the first two years of an undergraduate degree in order to save money and stay close to home may participate in the transfer program and take advantage of the liberal arts core curriculum that provides all of the classes that a student would traditionally take during the first two years at a university. For those who wish to obtain a high school equivalency degree, there is a program tailored to help the student succeed in this area.
There are also professional degrees and certificates for people who would like to begin a new career. In addition to entire programs, there are also continuing education courses for professionals who need to stay current in their careers. High school students may dual enroll in order to get a jump start on a college career and adults who wish to simply take a class or two for professional or personal development may do so.
Some of the more unique programs include the Iowa Culinary Institute that produces world-class chefs and the Electronic Crime Institute that gives students the opportunity to work side-by-side with experienced criminal investigators. The Health Sciences programs is based in a modern teaching center and taught by respected professionals from various health fields.
For students interested in pursuing an education in foreign locations, the study abroad program offers the opportunity to study in London with an instructor. Courses are chosen according to which professor is chosen to participate in the program but are varied and a true enhancement to any educational experience.
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The admission process for new students seeking to enroll in credit courses is a fairly simple process. The college has an open enrollment policy so any student with a high school diploma or the equivalent. There are, however, several programs that require specific skill levels and the programs are available on a limited-seating basis. Since the school has a rolling admissions process, applicants are admitted as soon as all application forms and requirements are met.
Students need to complete the application either online or via the paper form, submit high school transcripts, take the placement tests and complete any prerequisites required by the program of choice. When the application is received, Des Moines Area Community College will send the student a notification. It should be noted that admission the the college is on a first-come, first-served basis and if the program of choice is already full, the student will be notified that they are on standby status. After being accepted and prior to registering for classes, students have to complete new student orientation.
High school students may also choose to dual-enroll as early as the junior year as long as the proper forms are completed by a principal or guidance counselor.
Financial aid is available to students in the form of scholarships, grants and federally-subsidized loans. Students interested in obtaining aid will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available online starting every January. Financial aid for both the student and the student’s family is required so applicants should have this information available prior to starting the process. Because of the variety of aid available, many people are eligible even when they think that they aren’t, so it’s beneficial to complete the FAFSA if you need assistance.
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The Bears are an athletics organization that compete in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Bears offer several intercollegiate sports including men’s and women’s basketball and golf. Men also have the additional option of baseball while women may also choose volleyball, cross country, softball or dance.
The Bears’ facility is located on the Boone Campus which is just a few minutes from Iowa State University and downtown Des Moines. In addition to intercollegiate sports, the college also participates in several intramural sports via IM Leagues.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.