Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) is a two-year community college in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Founded in 1967, the school offers over 80 programs for academic, vocational, and technical education. There are over 5,000 program students and more than 42,000 enrollees in continuing education classes every year. The college strives to meet the needs of the local community by awarding associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas in many areas of study.
Offering more than 80 programs of study for students who wish to earn certificates, associates degrees for professional purposes, or associates degrees for the purpose of transferring to four-year institutions is the goal of the school. Students who wish to study in a transfer track receive assistance choosing their coursework, evaluating options for four-year schools in the area, and making a successful bridge from community college to university.
There is a very large continuing education division to serve the needs of the local area. The largest division of continuing education is Health Occupations. Education is provided for nurses, dental technicians, funeral directors, paramedics, firefighters, phlebotomists, medical coders, pharmacy technicians, and more. There are also several CPR classes for anyone in the community who wishes to be certified.
Aside from the health services programs, some of the most popular continuing education programs include:
- Adult Basic Skills and General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- Mediation Training
- Children in the Middle: Most enrollees in Children in the Middle are court-ordered to take parenting classes as part of a divorce settlement.
- Coaching Authorization: This program trains athletic coaches.
- Command Spanish: These online courses teach Spanish for a variety of professionals, including librarians, physicians, nurses, realtors, teachers, law enforcement officers, bank tellers, and pharmacists.
- Computers: Students in continuing education computer classes learn Excel, Photoshop, and other software applications for personal and professional use.
- Drinking and Driving: This is a court-mandated course for people who have received DUIs.
- Driver Education
- Exercise and Well Being: including yoga, zumba, and classes to help participants stop smoking.
- TechDaze: Techdaze is an annual summer technology camp for middle-school children. TechDaze introduces junior high students to the academic study of nursing, forensic investigation, horticulture, sign language interpreting, construction technology, radio and television, culinary work, and college math and physics. Many students who go on to study here after college first encounter the institution through a positive TechDaze experience.
- Weatherization: This program teaches appropriate weatherization tools and techniques for construction purposes.
The Entrepreneurial Center offers free, individualized consulting services for students interested in starting their own businesses. Staff of the Center assist with market research, income projections, financial reporting, and other facets of entrepreneurial work.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In keeping with their mission to offer higher education to anyone who wishes to seek it, the school features open admissions to any adult with a high school education or its equivalent. Some allied health programs have further requirements.
In addition to the usual range of financial aid options open to college and university students in the United States, students are eligible for several need- and merit-based scholarships unique to IWCC. Contact the school for more details and to see if you are eligible for any of these scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
The campus has an unusually large international student population for a community college. With over 220 international students speaking more than 25 languages and from more than 45 countries, around 9% of the student body is from outside of the United States.
On-campus housing is offered for full time students, consisting of suites, apartments, and one traditional residence hall. In all of the residences, every room is equipped with a phone jack and an associated number. Computer laboratories in the residences are open 24 hours a day.
Clubs and Organizations
The Student Activities Board promotes clubs and activities on campus, while the Clarinda Student Senate is the governmental body of the student population and acts as a liaison between the students and the administration. Student clubs and organizations include the Agriculture Club, Automotive Club, Building Trades, Campus Crusade for Christ, College Democrats, Culinary Arts Club, Dental Assistants Club, Electronic Engineering Group, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Supporters (GLASS), Horticulture Club, Phi Theta Kappa, Sign Language Club, Student Nursing Club, and Vet Tech Student Association. There is also a well-reviewed choir, band, and theatre program. The radio station, 89.7 The River, serves the Omaha metropolitan area.
Dining on Campus
The Dining Hall offers food court options, including a pizza station, soup and salad station, burger station, entrée station, beverage station, and dessert station. The college offers sick trays and sack lunches for students on meal plans who cannot eat in the dining hall.
Services for Students
Student Computer Services include the Student Academic Information Link (SAIL) and Student Online Services (SOS). There are computers available for student use in the library. Wireless internet access is available in all academic buildings and residence hall common areas.
The Student Success Center provides short-term counseling and long-term referrals for students struggling with family or roommate conflicts, academic struggles, or mental health issues. TRiO programs, including Student Support Services, support students in their educations through academic advising, career advising, peer mentoring, transfer assistance, financial aid assistance, financial literacy advising, and computer training. TRiO offers more extensive services to minorities.
The Student Health Center is staffed with a triage nurse who can assess flus, fevers, and colds as well as administer pregnancy tests, tests for sexually transmitted diseases, blood pressure tests, and other basic services. Lastly, the Early Childhood Education Center provides child care for the children of students, faculty, and staff.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department is known as the Reivers. (A reiver is a river pirate—the area around Council Bluffs has a rich history of river pirates along the Missouri river.) The Reivers compete in the NJCAA in the following sports: football, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, men’s baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s track and field, and women’s track and field.
Intramurals include flag football, basketball, volleyball, bowling, and disc golf.
Additional School Information
Advising and Tutoring
Each student is assigned an academic advisor with whom they can discuss interests, values, and goals as they relate to their college education. Advisors can help with career planning, transfer planning, and scheduling. Students should see their advisor at the beginning of each semester, at midterm, and before registration for the next semester. The Academic Support Center (ASC) offers tutoring in core subjects. Individual tutoring and group tutoring are both available.
The Cyber Library, on the second floor of the Student Center, is a wireless environment where students can bring their own laptops or check out laptops belonging to the school. This virtual library provides access to online books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and films for student research and enjoyment.
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.