Location and History
North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is located just off Highway 122, four miles east of downtown Mason City, Iowa, a community of almost 30,000 which serves as an active business center for northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. The community is served by the Mason City airport and a bus line.
The North Iowa Area Community College District (Area 2) was formed in 1966 in compliance with laws enacted by the 1965 Iowa Legislature, which provided for the delivery of postsecondary education in Iowa.
The NIACC Board of Directors assumed operation of Mason City Junior College, which was the first public two-year college in Iowa and one of the earliest in the country having been established in 1918 by the Mason City Independent School District.
Construction of the present campus began in 1970. A campus directory can be found online.
Accreditation and Approval
North Iowa Area Community College has been accredited since 1919 by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, (800) 621-7440.
Board of Directors
John Rowe, Board President, Financial Advisor, Mason City, 2013-2019
Doug Krabbe, Board Vice President, Senior Lending Officer, Osage, 2013-2021
Dean Cataldo, Retired, Garner, 2003-2019
John Heilskov, CPA, Hampton, 2002-2019
Karen Knudtson, Realtor, Mason City, 1989-2019
Jim Niemants, Financial Advisor, Clear Lake, 2005-2021
Cathy Rottinghaus, Market President, Charles City, 2017-2021
David Steffens, Jr., Norsemen Trucking, Inc., Lake Mills, 2000-2021
Jean Torgeson, Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Manly, 2001-2019
Kathy Grove, Secretary and Treasurer, North Iowa Area Community College
Strategic Plan 2011-2017
Our Mission: To Enrich Lives
North Iowa Area Community College enriches lives through comprehensive educational opportunities, a commitment to learner success, community engagement, and leadership.
Our Vision: To Transform Our Region
North Iowa Area Community College will transform our region into a center of opportunity by creating high-quality learning experiences, providing exceptional services, and forging collaborative partnerships that prepare students, businesses, and communities for success in a diverse, global society.
Our Core Values
- Educational Excellence
- Learner Success
- Community Engagement
- Continuous Improvement
- Collaborative Leadership
Our Strategic Priorities
Increase Student Success and Enrollment
Increase student success and enrollment by offering quality and relevant educational experiences, proactive student support systems, and academic and non-academic opportunities that are both dynamic and diverse.
Improve Student and Stakeholder Experiences
Improve student and stakeholder experiences by providing an environment that is accessible, inclusive, supportive, engaging, and safe for all.
Elevate Organizational Excellence
Elevate organizational excellence through the strategic use of resources and by creating an inspiring and engaging culture for all employees.
Forge and Support Strong Partnerships
Forge and support strong partnerships with schools, businesses, and communities by developing tailored services and programs designed to respond to the educational, workforce, and economic needs of today and tomorrow.
Enhance teaching by supporting faculty development informed by best practice, focused on promoting innovation and implementing effective instructional and assessment techniques.
North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) has identified four core competency areas, each consisting of three measurable student learning outcomes (for a total of 12), that we believe every student who graduates from NIACC will need to be successful as a professional, regardless of academic program.
Core Competencies with Student Learning Outcomes
These are the four core competencies with their corresponding student learning outcomes, as described above:
- Learners will effectively express information and ideas in written, oral and visual forms of communication.
- Learners will compose a well-developed, clearly organized, grammatically correct, and effectively written work that follows specific guidelines.
- Learners will demonstrate effective verbal communication skills through the delivery of a well-structured oral presentation.
- Learners will use visual media to effectively communicate ideas and information.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
- Learners will demonstrate proficiency in conducting research, evaluating information, analyzing problems, and applying the results to construct appropriate responses to questions and/or problems.
- Learners will use social, behavioral, philosophical, mathematical, and / or scientific methods to analyze questions and / or problems.
- Learners will conduct research, using quantitative and qualitative methods, to analyze and evaluate information, phenomena, and/or problems.
- Learners will formulate creative, well-informed, and useful responses to questions and/or problems.
- Life Skills and Professionalism:
- Learners will recognize the nature and importance of the interpersonal, intrapersonal, and professional behaviors necessary to be successful in ever-changing life and work environments, developing appropriate improvement strategies as needed.
- Learners will develop strategies for continuing to enhance their personal wellness, emotional intelligence, and fiscal responsibility.
- Learners will explain the importance of strong interpersonal skills, adaptability, grit, and ethical and legal behaviors to achieving their personal and career goals.
- Learners will describe the professional behaviors that are essential to their success in the workplace.
- Global Awareness:
- Learners will demonstrate an informed awareness of the interconnected world in which they live, how various factors in one area can affect other areas, the existence and value of diverse perspectives, and the importance of respecting all human life in a global society.
- Learners will explain how diverse social, historical, artistic, cultural, environmental, and/or economic factors influence individuals, nations, and global society.
- Learners will describe the reasoning supporting differing perspectives, as well as the significance of diverse viewpoints to local, national, and global contexts.
- Learners will identify the importance of valuing all human life in a global society.
Education is the foundation of a democratic society. While program-specific courses focus on the knowledge and skills required for proficiency in a particular career field, general education courses engage students in the ongoing endeavor to acquire the breadth of knowledge and tools necessary to understand their environment and contribute fully to their communities as informed citizens.
The main campus in Mason City consists of contemporary, attractive facilities located around lakes in a park-like setting. The 500-acre campus provides facilities for instructional, administrative, recreational, and community activities. Up-to-date laboratories offer the latest in technological equipment. Adequate parking is available without charge for students and staff members. The Campus View Housing Complex is located at the north edge of the campus.
Agriculture Technology Lab
The NIACC farm lab consists of a cow/calf operation, farrow/breeding facility, pole barn, swine confinement, pasture, and no-till demonstration fields.
Baseball, softball, soccer, and recreational fields are located on the east edge of the campus.
Career Counseling and Employment Center
The Career Counseling and Employment Center is located in the Pierce Administration Building, Room 106, or can be reached by phone at 641-422-4413. The Center provides NIACC students and alumni resources and support in successfully securing employment and opportunities. A variety of resources, tools, and activities are available to students and alumni as well as one-on-one support. The Career Counseling and Employment Center works in partnership with IowaWORKS–North Iowa through the Workforce Development Partnership to enhance the resources and service available. For more information on the Career Counseling and Employment Center and its services, see the Student Handbook or the NIACC website.
The Muse-Norris Conference Center, located east of the Auditorium and Fine Arts area, serves NIACC and community groups for education-related meetings and activities. A multipurpose recreational area is found on the lower level.
Business Training and Support
The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center provides entrepreneurial training and business consulting services to aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals working in high growth industries. The comprehensive programs are designed to increase successful new business starts, reduce the high failure rate of young ventures, and strengthen business growth opportunities. For more information, call (641) 422-4111.
The attractive facilities available in the Natural Science and Mathematics Divisions are considered unusually complete for a community college. The math lab and the physical and biological science laboratory areas provide for effective learning opportunities.
The laboratories in the Business Division, Buettner Careers Building, and Murphy Manufacturing Technology Center contain the latest equipment and facilities for proper instruction in the career and technical areas.
Computer labs are available throughout campus (including the residence halls) and are available to all students for instructional use, Writer’s Workbench analysis, checking e-mail, or web browsing and research. Lab attendants are on staff to assist students. Students have access to this equipment days and evenings, Monday through Saturday.
The NIACC library provides access to information resources and services that support the success of our community.
The library is open 58 hours per week, and is staffed by the library director and three library assistants, as well as student workers. Students, faculty, and staff may check out materials with their NIACC OneCard, and have remote access to online materials with their MyNIACC login. Other services include interlibrary loan, photocopying, faxing, and group study rooms.
The physical collection includes a wide variety of books, media, and periodicals. Subscriptions include national newspapers, North Iowa area newspapers, and journals. Electronic databases, offering full-text journal articles, newspapers, streaming video, and electronic books, are available through the library’s web page.
The library’s Café Bean provides a casual atmosphere where students can meet and relax with coffee. The Writer’s Workbench Computer Lab is located in the library, offering 30 computers and staff to help students develop their writing skills.
For more information on the Library and its services, see Library .
North Iowa Community Auditorium
A variety of opportunities are available to NIACC students through the North Iowa Community Auditorium, a modern 1156-seat facility located on the NIACC campus. Students perform regularly on stage through the NIACC vocal and instrumental music departments. In addition to student and community shows, performances by nationally and internationally known artists are available to NIACC students, often at reduced prices. Before the show or between classes, students may browse through the Auditorium Gallery where they will see various exhibits created by famous artists and NIACC art faculty and students.
Completed in 2015, the Campus View Housing Complex provides housing facilities to 396 single men and women. Located at the north edge of campus, the housing complex includes a computer lab, laundry facilities, recreational and study area, C-store, and adjacent dining facility.
The College opened the Recreation Center during the fall semester of 2008. The facility is just over 41,000 square feet and houses numerous wellness spaces and equipment for students, staff and faculty:
- A suspended walk/jog track
- A state-of-the-art athletic training room
- Two volleyball/basketball/tennis courts
- Athletic Department offices
- Locker rooms for men and women
- Two golf/baseball/softball hitting cages
- Wrestling room
- Intramural/Recreation Office
North Iowa Area Community College recognizes the value of development of both mind and body. The Recreation Center, along with classes and extracurricular activities, enhances the overall experience for our NIACC community.
Small Business Assistance
The Small Business Development Center offers assistance to small business owners or would-be entrepreneurs in all areas of business management, including sources of capital, loan applications, marketing strategies, and financial planning and analysis. Assistance includes counseling, training, and information. Services are free and confidential.
The SBDC is affiliated with Iowa State University and the U.S. Small Business Administration under Sub-Agreement No. SBAHQ-18-B-0021. For more information, call (641) 422-4342.
Student Activity Center
Located in the heart of campus, the Student Activity Center offers a classy, comfortable atmosphere for studying, dining, lounging, and visiting with classmates and instructors. Meals and snacks may be obtained in the Food Court, Monday through Friday. Vending machines are also available.
Student Learning Center
The Student Learning Center, located in Beem Center, offers opportunities to all college students and potential students who wish to:
- Increase their understanding/learning in NIACC courses through one-on-one or small group academic support.
- Improve their skills in reading, writing, math, and study techniques (for example, note-taking, test-taking, time management) either as brush-up before enrollment or while participating in a NIACC course.
- Gain high school credit/s, in a self-directed study format through the High School Credit Program after approval from the student’s high school.
- Validate their skills by participating in a testing program such as HSED or CLEP. To register for a CLEP exam, call 641-422-4101.
For further information, students should contact their counselor, the Learning Center staff, or refer to the Instructional Resources section of this catalog.
Pursuant to the Iowa Smokefree Air Act smoke/tobacco use, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes & smokeless tobacco is prohibited. The use of e-cigarettes is also prohibited. Smoking is defined as the burning or inhaling of tobacco or other matter that can be smoked or inhaled, or the inhaling of smoke or vapor from an electronic smoking device. Use is prohibited in all North Iowa Area Community College owned property including vehicles, facilities, parking areas, and grounds.
North Iowa Area Community College Foundation
The North Iowa Area Community College Foundation was incorporated in 1968 as the official fund-raising arm of the College. It is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) not-forprofit, tax-exempt corporation operating for the express benefit of the College. It is governed by a Board of Directors who serve in a noncompensated capacity.
The Foundation supports the mission of the College by serving as a financial resource in a variety of areas, including program development, equipment acquisition, building construction, cultural opportunities, and student scholarships. Private gifts through the Foundation have played an important role in the College’s history, and there are many ways that individuals, businesses, and organizations may support the College.
The Foundation is authorized to solicit and receive gifts of cash, property, equipment, and/or bequests and to purchase or lease property for the benefit of the College. Foundation books and records are audited annually.
It is the policy of North Iowa Area Community College to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, creed, religion, actual or potential parental, family or marital status or veteran’s status in its programs, activities or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code sections 216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C.§§ 1681 - 1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).
Individuals having questions or complaints related to compliance with this policy should contact Shelly Schmit, EEO/AA Officer, 500 College Drive, Mason City, IA 50401 or via telephone at 641-422-4211. Inquiries may also be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone number 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576.
North Iowa Area Community College strives to provide an accessible environment for students, faculty, and staff. We provide support to students with disabilities in reaching academic goals and work to ensure equal access to educational opportunities. North Iowa Area Community College employs a Disability Services Counselor who coordinates services between students with disabilities and their interactions with the college. Working in partnership with the student, the Disability Services Counselor will assist in developing an individual plan for services that will include accommodations in testing and instruction.
A student needing accommodations should register with NIACC Disability Services and speak to the Disability Services Counselor in the Student Access Office, AB106. For additional information, contact us at 1-888-466-4222, Ext. 4413, and ask for a brochure regarding Disability Services or to request a meeting with the Disability Services Counselor.
North Iowa Area Community College supports you in your right to file a grievance when you believe you have been denied equal access to NIACC’s services, programs, and activities. For a description of this procedure you may contact NIACC Disability Services or find it on our website.
A Disability Services Student Handbook can be found on our website at or can be provided in hard copy (or an alternate format) upon request, and lists contact information for NIACC’s ADA Coordinator and ADA Compliance Officer, along with other helpful information.
The administrative offices of the North Iowa Area Community College are open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Additional hours by appointment.