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Iowa History Daily: September 8 - Iowa's First Community College

Iowa History Daily: September 8, 1918, Mason City Junior College, the first public two-year college in the State of Iowa, started classes. Today’s North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), the opening of the institution represented greater opportunities in higher education for Iowans

The idea for Mason City Junior College grew out of a high school PTA meeting held in the Spring of 1916.The Mason City School Board passed a resolution in 1917 to establish a junior college, with classes slated for the following fall to take place at the downtown high school building.

During September of 1918, twenty-eight students learned five fields of study from six different instructors. Mason City locals enjoyed free tuition, while students enrolling from outside city limits paid $10 in tuition and fees per semester. After the first year, enrollment nearly doubled to 51 students before reaching 300 following the close of World War I.

For the first decades, the school existed within the Mason City High School before moving to the Memorial University building in 1953. When reorganization of the Iowa Community College system took place in 1965, the school officially changed names to North Iowa Area Community College. Preparations came together during the late 1960s for the establishment of a campus east of Mason City, and in 1970 the college moved to its current location. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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