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 Certifications
- ASE Certification
- Scantron Testing
- Iowa Assessor and Deputy Assessor Exams
- 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
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.
Accelerated Math Program
Students in competency-based (CBI) math courses advance individually as they master specific learning outcomes, or competencies. Curriculum typically is organized in chapters, making it easier for students to advance through learning outcomes at a pace that suits their abilities and schedule while benefiting from one-on-one academic instruction.
These flexible courses allow students to quickly demonstrate mastery of material they already know by completing authentic assessments. The online curriculum of each CBI course allows students to take additional time when necessary to focus on topics or material they find challenging. The courses help students manage work/life/school, as students can work ahead on their schoolwork when they have more time and pull back when life demands it. Faculty work closely with individual students and help keep them on the path to success in their studies.
SI & Guided Study Sessions
Supplemental Instruction (SI) and guided study sessions offer academic assistance for students that increases their academic performance through the use of collaborative learning strategies. SI and guided study sessions target traditionally difficult academic courses and allows students to avoid the remedial stigma often attached to traditional academic assistance programs.
The Student Learning Center provides a place for students to drop in for help or make an appointment with an instructor or peer tutor for assistance in most subject areas. Staff can help students develop study strategies, provide test taking tips, and note taking systems.
Prior Learning Assessment
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 to students and community members 50.5 hours per week and is staffed by the library director, two library assistants, and student workers. Students, faculty, and staff may check out materials with their NIACC OneCARD and have remote access to online materials with their Trojan Home login. NIACC’s library participates in the Open Access program through the State Library of Iowa. This allows individuals with a library card from their local Iowa library “open access” to materials housed at NIACC. Other services provided to library patrons include interlibrary loan, photocopying and faxing, research assistance, and access to computers and printers.
The library’s physical collection includes a wide variety of books, media, and periodicals including 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. These items are available while on campus or studying remotely. As an academic library, patrons are educated on current and historical events through displays and activities created by library staff. Displays are updated several times a month and they encourage further exploration of the topics spotlighted.
The library offers great spaces to study independently or as a group. It houses 30 computers for student use and all computers have access to a printer. Patrons are free to bring their own laptop and have free access to NIACC’s WiFi. Café Bean, located within the library, provides a casual atmosphere with a Keurig machine and microwave for patron use. The library offers a variety of Keurig pods (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) for purchase.
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.)
NIACC Video Conferencing and Online Classes
NIACC uses Zoom for video conferencing and all online classes. Students can participate in a variety of college classes using Zoom and Zoom is free for all NIACC students. Any computer or tablet can connect to Zoom using the Zoom plugin or Zoom application.
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. Some courses may require online proctoring tools or other software programs to be downloaded and installed on computer used for course assessments and activities.
Information Technology Support
NIACC provides information technology support for NIACC students, faculty, and staff. Support is provided by the NIACC help desk as the first stop for issues, questions, classroom support, and other technology provided by the College.
The help desk can be contacted in a number of ways: by phone, by e-mail, or by web form. For urgent issues, contact the help desk by phone at 641-422-4357; for less urgent issues, the help desk is available via e-mail (helpdesk@ NIACC.edu).