Sheldon, Iowa — The number of students taking a community college class while still in high school in Iowa continues to rise, according to Department of Education figures.
And the president of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon — Dr. Alethea Stubbe — says they’re seeing that trend, too.
(as said) “We’ve had an increase lately. Last fall we had a twist where the students weren’t really sure what was going on. And so we’re holding on, but this spring we’ve grown over 3% in credits and 2.5% in enrollment on our concurrent enrollment credits. So we are serving 910 high school students in the area right now.
And while that’s a good number, it appears to be a continuing trend, as she says it’s much higher than several years ago.
(as said) “In 2017. We were in the middle of 700. So we saw a pretty big increase.
We asked Dr. Stubbe if more high school students are taking career and technical courses or arts and science courses.
(as said) “It’s really a real mix. NCC is known for its high quality vocational technical education and at the high school level we have, you know, automotive lessons in the afternoons for high school students. We have implemented work-based career exploration opportunities in secondary schools. But we also have this associate of arts transfer class. It’s very popular to start earning a degree while they’re still in high school.
She tells us about a very popular nursing program that high school students can take.
(as said) “Of course, we also have the Certified Nursing Assistant courses, which we can never offer enough of. We had…and these numbers are from ’19-’20…We have 268 CNA participants. We offered it in all secondary schools. This was a 16.5% increase in enrollment from just two years ago, so we saw strong growth. »
Stubbe says NCC is known for its high quality education.
(as said) “We’ve been named number one in the nation for middle class upward mobility recognizing those high-paying careers that graduates can earn and so I think people are realizing that college prep and to career is really important in today’s economy that provides individuals and families with a decent wage and prepares them to follow this path of advancement, so I think the company-wide initiative Future Ready State Iowa has seen increased interest. I believe we are working even more closely with business and industry and our regional planning partners to attract high school students into these necessary career fields so that our region has enough skilled technicians and high school students realize they can get great jobs.”
For more information about concurrent enrollment in high school and community college, you can speak to your high school guidance counselor or call NCC.