Established in 1966, NCC was the pilot project for Iowa’s Community College System. At first the College offered three vocational programs to students representing 20 high schools in Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties. On February 10, 1971, Merged Area IV was expanded when two community districts in Cherokee County requested that they be included with the area.
The Board of Trustees purchased the original 146 acre site in 1966 and authorized the construction of a building for mechanical and technical programs – Building D – which was completed in 1968. Adjacent farmland purchased in 1976 expanded the campus to 263 acres.
Buildings B and C were constructed in 1971 to house the business and construction programs. Buildings C and D expanded during projects in 1973, 1977, 1983 and 2002. Building A, which connected Buildings B and D, was built in 1983. The library and learning center facilities grew during an expansion in 1989.
Construction of Building H was completed in 2004 and became home to the Nursing programs. The Radiologic Technology addition was finished in 2008.
The first housing complex, Cherokee Hall, opened in 1992. Additional housing units, Lyon Hall and O’Brien Hall, opened in 2007 and 2009.
Construction is completed for another addition to Building D; which will provide classroom space for the Biotechnology/Lab Technician program and necessary office space. Construction was also completed for the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center in June, 2011.
Northwest Iowa Community College has had three names over the years; from 1966-1975 as Northwest Iowa Vocational School and Northwest Iowa Technical College from 1975-1993. The Board of Trustees voted in 1993 to change the name to Northwest Iowa Community College to reflect the comprehensive mission of the College.
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted candidacy for accreditation status in 1976 and accreditation status in 1980, which was expanded in 1988 to include the Associate of Arts and Science programs implemented in the fall of 1988. The College received 10 years of accreditation in 1994, 2004, and 2014.