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From the moment students come on campus for orientation to the moment they walk across the stage at graduation, Northwest Iowa Community College is committed to providing the best educational experience that can be offered. He wanted to encourage other kids in school now thinking about dropping out not to do it, because later in life you regret it. NCC started the 2013 school year with the second highest enrollments in the college’s forty-seven year history. 1,628 students took college credit courses, which is an 81% increase since the year 2000. With fall enrollments increasing, it is only fitting that NCC also saw the number of graduates rise as well. In December, NCC hosted its first ever Fall Commencement Ceremony. Thirty-seven college graduates and forty-eight General Educational Development (GED) graduates were celebrated at this event. The number of GED graduates was exceptionally high due to upcoming changes in how the GED is going to be administered. The GED graduates ranged from ages 17 to 69, and of the forty-eight GED graduates, ten of them completed the Spanish GED. Statistics like these prove that Northwest Iowa Community College provides lifelong learning opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds. However, even with the highlights like increased enrollments and a higher number of December graduates, NCC still sees students who wish to get skilled training for gainful employment but can’t afford the cost of education. Fortunately, the state of Iowa has put a few programs in place to help individuals in these circumstances. The GAP Tuition Assistance program provides tuition funding for approved Continuing Education certificate training programs in occupations including information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, and transportation. Since Continuing Education certifications are non-credit programs, they are not-eligible for federal financial aid. The GAP Tuition Assistance program bridges the funding gap for those pursuing short-term certificates. Another state-funded program that NCC is implementing is the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Initiative (PACE). PACE works to fund shortages in both college credit and non-college credit programs in areas of local industry need. This program works closely with our Adult Literacy division, encouraging students who just completed their GED to go on for further education and get skilled training in an area where employers are having difficulty finding qualified workers. To qualify for GAP or PACE funding, an application, including income verification, must be submitted. This application process is used to ensure the funding goes toward the most deserving candidates. Dr. John Hartog said, “With numbers increasing and more processes in place to help students in need available, Northwest Iowa Community College is confident that we provide quality educational opportunities to enhance the skilled labor force in Northwest Iowa.” 10 Northwest Iowa Community College Annual Report “ — Ruth Dykstra ” wife of Harold Dykstra, GED graduate


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