Muscatine Community College (MCC) was established in 1929 and is the pioneering college in eastern Iowa. At inception, the institution was known as Muscatine Junior College and was founded specifically to offer educational programs that met the needs of the first two years of a baccalaureate degree.
To address the needs of the local community, the college later introduced additional programs that addressed more immediate vocational needs. In 1962, the college changed its name to MCC to indicate the broad mission it was engaged in. Three years later, the Iowa General Assembly created the Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD) which brought together several community colleges. Today, MCC is part of this college district which also includes Clinton Community College and Scott Community College.
MCC is located in north Muscatine and is built on a 27 acre campus.
The range of academic and vocational programs offered by MCC is extremely diverse. The college offers Associate in Applied Science degrees, certificates and diplomas in more than 50 areas of study.
The colleges programs are a study in diversity and include administrative support, aviation, child care, child development, law enforcement, manufacturing technology, logistics, mechatronics, horticulture, emergency medical services, truck driving, welding and sign language among many others.
Some of the colleges programs are structured in such a way that a student can begin at the certificate level, move to the diploma level and possibly acquire a transferable associate degree. The colleges Accounting Management program, for example, offers a one-year diploma. Holders of this diploma could seek employment as bookkeepers or continue to acquire an AAS degree which will enable them to seek employment as accounting specialists or to transfer to a four-year institution.
The same structure is also evident in the colleges Computer Aided Design (CAD) program. Students enrolled here can earn two types of certificates Pro-Engineer Solidworks Modeling or CAD Pro-E Engineer. These certificates can also be upgraded to CAD Pro-E Diploma and later to CAD Pro-E Associate in Applied Science.
The college also offers a wide range of continuing education programs. For this reason, the student population at MCC is a mixture of bright-eyed high school graduates and graying elders learning how to switch on computers. The colleges Continuing Education Department (CED) has specifically created programs to take care of the educational and professional needs of senior members of the community. Through this department, the college offers training in areas such as finance, food art, basic computing and selling on e-bay among others.
MCC has over the years developed close ties with the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and this too has influenced the courses the college offers. By meeting members of the chamber of commerce, the college is made aware of the skills demanded by employers and develops programs to address those needs. Through an agreement signed between the college and members of the chamber of commerce, students enrolled in the colleges business programs are put in touch with members of the business community during their two years of study.
One of the colleges most recent innovative education programs is the trans-Atlantic Economic Empowerment for Entrepreneurship program launched in 2011. Through the program, students enrolled in the colleges business programs are put in touch with their counterparts at the Al Quds College of Jordan. The program involves students at both colleges studying business case histories and developing business plans. Viable business plans could then obtain funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development Higher Education and Development program and a host of Jordanian bankers.
MCC operates an open admissions policy enabling any student who demonstrates ability to benefit from the colleges programs to enroll. While possession of a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for most programs, the college admits students who do not have diplomas as long as they are at least 16 years old. Where the admitted student has not yet completed high school, the college has developed additional classes that help make the student college-ready.
Through the colleges Concurrent Enrollments program, students can take the colleges courses while still enrolled at more than one of the three EICCD schools. The program also allows high school students to access the colleges programs.
Students transferring to MCC from other colleges or institutions are required to submit transcripts issued by those institutions. The college accepts transfer credit when the transcripts are issued by an institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For students who have earned credit through a vocational course and wish to upgrade to an associate degree, the college will accept up to 16 hours of earned credit as elective credit so long as the credit is earned at one of the EICCD colleges or other accredited institutions.
When a student who has been dismissed from another institution seeks admission to MCC, the college may admit him or her on a restricted status. Students on restricted status are subject to supplemental assessment and various forms of counseling used to enhance the students chances for success. Moreover, restricted status students are given a lighter work load and may not register for more than 6 credits.
Members of the military have access to the colleges programs as the college participates in the Concurrent Admissions Program (conAP) which allows military officers to enroll in college while still serving in the military.
Financial aid for students attending MCC is available from a wide variety of sources both internal and external. Internally, the MCC Foundation, which has been in existence since 1961, has been collecting gifts from estates and benefactor individuals which are then used to help finance the education of gifted needy students. Through the foundation, over $300,000 is distributed to eligible students. Foundation scholarships cover fees, books and tuition expenses.
Students attending MCC could also apply for the Science, Technology and Engineering Program (STEP) Scholarship which are offered by the three EICCD colleges and St. Ambrose University. The partnership between the colleges and St. Ambrose is funded through grants fro the National Science Foundation and is meant to help students from underrepresented minorities pursue careers in engineering.
The scholarship is open to both incoming freshmen and continuing students and could be as high as $3,000 per year. To be eligible, freshmen must have a high school GPA of at least 3.0 while continuing students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
A host of scholarships and grants are also offered by various associations in Iowa. These include the Iowa Automobile Dealers Foundation for Education, the Iowa Hospital Education & Research Foundation Career Scholarship Program, the Iowa ETV-Education and Training Voucher and the Iowa Foster Child Grant among others.
Students enrolled in the colleges vocational programs could apply for the Iowa Vocational/Technical Tuition Grant.
Apart from college and State sources of aid, students attending MCC could also apply for the federal Pell which is available for undergraduates with demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Pell-eligible students whose needs are considered exceptional could also qualify for supplementary grants in the form of Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
While scholarships and grants are a great way to fund college expenses because they do not have to be repaid, not every student has access to them as the demand is usually higher than the supply. Alternative sources of aid come in the form of federal loans. There are three types of federal loans that students attending MCC could apply for subsidized Stafford Loans, unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans.
To complement the academic programs at the institution, students at MCC are encouraged to join one or several of the many student clubs and organizations at the college. The activities of these organizations are financed through an activity fee that every students pays and is distributed by the Student Senate. In addition, this student body acts as the link between the college administration and the students.
Some of the clubs and organizations present at the college include the Drama Club which stages plays, dramas, musicals and comedies and makes at least one major production every semester. Others are the College Choir, the Ag Tech Club (for students pursuing agricultural studies) and the Business Professionals of America. Honor societies represented at the college include Phi Theta Kappa and Delta Epsilon Chi.
Students at MCC also produce their own newspaper, the Calumet. While this is principally used as the voice of the students, it is also used to provide hands-on experience to students taking courses in mass communication.
Athletic activities at MCC cover womens softball and mens basketball. The college is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Iowa State Association for Community College Athletics.
- Education. Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry. 22nd May 2011
- Muscatine Community College. Eastern Iowa Community College District. 22nd May 2011
- Muscatine Community College teams up with Jordanian college for program. Muscatine Journal (Apr. 6, 2011). 22nd May 2011