Learning Support Division
The mission of the Learning Support Division is to provide support and access to educational opportunities for students, and to maintain a wide variety of resources to meet the informational and educational needs of the NIACC community.
This includes assessment, developmentally appropriate classroom and tutorial instruction, and assistance in utilization of library resources.
Student Learning Center
The Student Learning Center, located in Beem Center, offers opportunities to all college students who wish to:
- Learn or improve existing study skills including but not limited to test-taking skills, note-taking, and time management.
- Improve personal and academic skills in writing, math, and/or reading.
- 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.
- Drop in for tutoring in NIACC class work, or to study individually or in small groups at no charge.
- Study in a comfortable, helpful environment.
- Participate in student-led study groups known as “Supplemental Instruction.”
- Placement Assessments (Accuplacer and ALEKS)
- Pearson VUE and Prometric Certifications
- ASE Certification
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- For questions regarding CLEP, please call 641-422-4101.
- To register for a CLEP exam appointment, call 641-422-4237.
- Test Proctoring
- For students needing testing accommodations, these are arranged through the Disability Services Counselor. For procedures/policies, please call 641-422-4296.
- Proctoring for non-NIACC courses (testing fee)
- Iowa Dental Board Examinations (testing fee)
- Pesticide Applicator Examinations (testing fee)
- High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) (formerly GED):
- HSED Testing Site: NIACC Campus–Beem Center Room 118; five tests including Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Language Arts Writing, and Language Arts Reading.
- NIACC Foundation Scholarship: Available for eligible HSED candidates enrolling at NIACC each fall semester.
- Requirements of HSED Testing: For procedures/policies or questions, please call 641-422-4176.
- Testing Center Schedule
Adult Education and Literacy
Adult literacy provides adults 17 and older accessible, quality instruction that develops life, work, and literacy skills. These skills provide the opportunity for higher learning, better pay and job potential, and a sense of accomplishment. Programs include Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). For more information, call 641-422-4176
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Adult Basic Education (ABE) provides reading, math, writing and English instruction for those who are functioning below a ninth grade level. Instruction is often contextualized around interest of the students and/or the high demand jobs in the North Iowa area.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Students learn the English language and the culture of this country. Classes are student-centered and communication-based. Both oral and written communication are emphasized.
High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)
HSED classes enable adults to acquire their secondary diploma or equivalent. Instructors prepare for and facilitate learning to meet students’ individual needs. Transition to postsecondary and/or employment is emphasized. NIACC scholarships available for eligible HSED graduates enrolling at NIACC.
High School Equivalency Diploma (online)
HSED online classes offer a blended approach for students who cannot regularly attend an HSED class. Students take preassessments and official HiSET practice tests at their local HSED class site, while part of their instruction is online with guidance from an instructor.
Mastery Math, Mastery Writing, and Mastery English as a Second Language (ESL)
Mastery Programs offer students opportunities to develop skills in math, writing, and ESL through individualized, competency-based instruction in a hybrid, arranged schedule format. Students enroll to brush up skills, accelerate learning, prepare for credit courses, or co-enroll as academic support of credit courses. Credit is pass/no pass and does not count towards a degree.
Prior Learning Assesment
Portfolio review is a means for students to earn credit for classes for learning they have acquired through prior work experience, employer training programs, volunteer or community service, or personal experiences.
Students must demonstrate that they have acquired the learning, knowledge, skills, and competencies that match the learning outcomes of the NIACC credit class by completing the requirements of the Alternative Credit Portfolio Rubric to an 80% level or higher. Credit earned will be identified with an “L” grade on the NIACC transcript, indicating credit was from prior learning. Students pay half the tuition costs for the prior leaning credits. The credit will not apply to the grade point average calculation. NIACC offers a one credit hour PLA review class to assist with creating the portfolios. While generally these credits do not transfer to post-secondary institutions, students should check with their academic advisors for transfer information.
Prior Learning credit requests cannot be made to replace a failing grade for a course previously attempted. To be eligible to request prior learning/alternative credit, a student must be currently enrolled and in good standing at NIACC or be eligible for re-admission to the college. For more information, contact NIACC Admissions at 641-422-4245 or visit Prior Learning Assessment.
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.
The Technology Services Division provides technology-related support to the campus in the areas of computer services, media services, online course support, and telecommunications. Technology Services staff members set up and maintain the computers in the computer labs, data networks, Internet, and computer applications. In addition, staff members support classroom presentation equipment such as overhead projectors, video projectors, large screen computer displays, and interactive television classrooms (ICN).
NIACC provides e-mail accounts and on-campus Internet access to all students enrolled in credit classes. Wireless Internet access is available throughout campus and the college residence halls. (See the Technology Policy in the Student Handbook.)
The Iowa Communications Network (ICN)
NIACC is proud to be a part of the ICN, a statewide two-way interactive video/audio/data network with over 800 electronic classrooms, connecting every county in the state. NIACC has three interactive television classrooms on campus in Mason City and one at the NIACC Charles City Center. In addition, there are ICN classrooms at nearly all area high schools. Students can participate in a variety of college classes at the remote sites, communicating with the instructor and other students via two-way video and audio. The ICN also provides Internet and data services to the college.
Online Instruction and Support
NIACC offers many courses that can be taken online via the Internet, which can lead to an Associate in Arts Degree or an Associate in Applied Science Degree. Online courses provide the flexibility to work on course assignments evenings and weekends to accommodate job and family schedules. Most courses start and end on the traditional semester schedule. A student needs to have access to a computer and an Internet connection, or can use the computers in the NIACC computer labs. New courses are in development every year. NIACC is a member of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC). Additional online courses are available to NIACC students through this partnership.
NOTE: The Iowa Community College System is a public system also registered as a private system with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to Minnesota Statute 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the system institutions. Credits earned at the system institutions may not transfer to all other Minnesota institutions.
24x7 Technical Support
NIACC provides a 24-hours a day, 365 days a year technical help desk for NIACC students, faculty, and staff. The help desk is designed as the first stop for issues or questions related to the technical capabilities and services provided by the College.
The help desk can be contacted in a number of ways: by phone, by e-mail, by web form, or by an online chat session. For urgent issues, contact the help desk by phone at 1-866-614-5020; for less urgent issues, the help desk is available via e-mail (helpdesk@ NIACC.edu).