Panorama Community Schools

Community Colleges' Increasing Popularity

Iowa has 15 community colleges, and they have experienced an increase in popularity that is being witnessed nation wide. News those colleges share and trends that make CC's popular are highlighted on this webpage:
DMACC is Panorama's community college partner -
  1. 'DMACC's Community colleges programs delivered are 
    1. Certificates of Specialization - completing all courses in a particular program (one 15 week semester course or more)
      1. examples: Airbrush Art, Biotechnology Lab Methods, Digital Publishing, Fire Specialist, Landscape Design, Medical Transcriptionist, Wastewater Treatment Technology, Welding, Wine Service
    2. Certificates of Completion - offered through Continuing Education Department or the Transportation Institute  (15 week semester or shorter) 
      1. examples: Commercial Vehicle Operator, RV Safety and Education
    3. Diplomas, minimmum of 30 semester credits (1 Yr full-time) to include 1 communications course, 1 social science or humanities course, 1 math or science course
      1. diploma examples: Machinist Technology (Tool & Die), Mortuary Science, Practical Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Retailing, Surgical Technology, Water & Wastewater Technology, Welding
    4. Associate Degrees (2 Yr full-time)
      1. Associate in Arts/AA - minimum of 64 semester credits to include these credit areas: 9 communication, 9 social science, 9 math & science, 9 humanities, 10 distributed requirements, 3 diversity requirements, 18 elective cr.
        1. examples: Criminal Justice, Environmental Science, Management
      2. Associate in Science/AS - minimum of 64 semester credits to include these credit areas: 9 communication, 6 social science, 6 math & science, 3 humanities, 4 distributed requirements, 3 diversity requirements, 36 elective credits
        1. examples: Human Services, Interpretation & Translation, Management Information Systems (computers) 
      3. Associate in Applied Science/AGS - minimum of 64 semester credits to include these credit areas: 3 communication, 3 social science, 3 math & science, 4 distrubuted requirements, 51 electives
      4. Associate in General Studies/AAS - minimum of 64 semester credits to include these credit areas: 3 communication, 3 social science, 3 math & science, 3 distributed requirements
        1. examples; Information Technology Network Administration, Management, Marketing, Medical Lab Technology, Nursing Advanced Standing, Paramedic Specialist, Respiratory Therapy, Administrative Assistant, Telecommunications Technology, Tool and Die Making, Veterinary Technology, Web Development
  2. DMACC Graduate Status Reports; Review any or each of DMACC's program graduate statistics -
    1. number of students finishing each program
    2. number that decided to continue their education instead of taking full-time employment for each program
    3. number of graduates getting job related to each program
    4. average salary for each program
  3. If you are wanting to take free college courses, see College Courses webpage
    • Our college partner is DMACC
    • See how taking college courses in HS can help you earn a college degree (CW written key on AA Degree Requirements) using the popular DMACC Associate Degree Required Course List  
    • Associate Degrees from community colleges are popular because the can be used to seek employment and/or transfer to 4 year college or university as first 2 years of a Bachelor Degree.
      • The 2013-14 DMACC Graduate Status Report shows 85 percent of the Arts & Science Degree graduates transferred to a 4 year college or university AND graduates who chose to get a job earned an average of $28,000 in their first year of employment.
  4. DMACC Newer Apartments -  Prairie Point; apartment style living next to Ankeny campus, 2019 cost of $620 per person monthly
Related Articles & Videos (download below)
  • Success in the New Economy (youtube video, 9m35sec, - Kevin Fleming, Citrus Community College, Glendale, CA, also written article by K.Fleming - 
    • K.Fleming points out that though 4 year college/university degree is projected as best option for most students, the reality for most students who follow that guidance do not reap rewards publicized for 4 year degree, examples include:
    • high 4 Year college drop out rates
    • for every 1 student earning a Master's Degree there are 2 jobs for person with Bachelor Degree and 6 jobs for persons with certificate or 2 associate degree earners
    • associate degree people often earn more money per year than bachelor degree people
  • (Articles linked at bottom of page or live linked)
    • Community College Grads Out-Earn Bachelor's Degree Holders,  Jon Marcus, @CNNMoney, Feb.26, 2013
    • Why College Grads Are Heading Back To CC’s, David Koeppel, CNN, Fortune Management, Nov.20, 2012
    • Employment Surges for Community College Grads, Paul Davidson, USA Today, Oct. 17, 2012
    • Student Debt for Iowa’s New College Graduates Remains High, Lauren Mills,, May 5, 2013 
    • Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of CollegeBy Trent Hamm Last updated April 09, 2015,
 Several factors have contributed to increased community college participation:
  • Increased number of HS graduate students attending college overall for -
    • liberal arts courses to transfer to 4 year colleges (up to half of the bachelor's degree courses earned at DMACC)
    • vocational training of 2 years or less for employment qualifications
  • Lower tuition costs per credit at community college courses than at 4 year private & state colleges
  • Access to community college courses online; DMACC Online Course Webpage
    • HS students can take wider variety of courses online independently or with assistance from their local school district
    • Community colleges also offer online courses to all for competitive pricing.
  • Closer proximity to a community college campus; 
    • Panorama students could now earn a liberal arts degree at DMACC center in Perry, IA, so that new campus is closer to our graduates than any other college
  • First Lady, Michelle Obama, Speaks on CTE; 12min clip from Whitehouse education webpage
  • CTE (Career & Technical Education) Many of the local occupations needed by communities are service and technology jobs which community colleges prepare people to do. Often these local workers begin their own local businesses and training programs are often formed through company & community college partnerships:
heating & air conditioning technicians (HVAC) machinists morticians
plumbers welders nurses
electricians dental assistants medical assistants
building trade workers cooks childcare providers
diesel technicians information technology networkers legal assistants
  • Related Notes
    • Realtime Reporting - State of Iowa asks DMACC to deliver courtroom/realtime reporting with recent AIB College of Business closing (vocational career abilities needed for "closed captioning" of TV & courtroom legal settings.
    • 4 year college graduates have tougher time finding employment than in the past. Competition has arisen because companies can easily shop for employees from other countries. 
    • Companies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) increasing look to other countries for highly skilled workers because not enough U.S. college graduates are entering the labor pool and highly skilled workers from other countries are often cheaper employees than U.S. workers;
    • Community college partnerships with private business provide specialized training and high employment placements; few examples are DMACC Diesel Catepillar Program, Indian Hills Aviation Programs, & Kirkwood Surgical Technology
    • High school partnerships with community colleges; HS students take community college courses and often avoid waiting lists for popular community college program admission - like nursing at DMACC for PHS who take DMACC Career Advantage Students
    • Community college partnerships with public and private 4 year colleges create easy transfer of Associate Degree towards a Bachelor Degree (students get two degrees in same amount of time it takes traditional 4yr college student to earn 1), Example - ISU/DMACC Partnership Program
    • Community college partnerships with Iowa’s Regent Universities allow community college students to enjoy benefits of being university student; DMACC students can live in ISU dorms, eat in ISU cafeteria’s, pay ISU student discounted prices for events.
    • Southwestern CC (Creston, Iowa) adding bowling and dance as competitive sports programs in 2015-16, scholarships available for all their sports programs.