A new report shows community college career and technical education programs provide a good economic return for Iowans earning a degree. The “Iowa Community Colleges Education Outcomes Report” links employment and wage information with students who earned diplomas, certificates and associate degrees from Iowa’s community colleges from the 2010 to the 2012 fiscal years.
Among the report’s findings:
- An overwhelming majority of community college students found employment within a year of graduation. For example, 99% of students who received an Associate of Applied Science in nursing were employed within a year and earned a median annual wage of $44,000.
- The vast majority of Iowa community college students stayed in Iowa the first year after graduation (86%). More than half continued their education at an Iowa college, while more than 34% joined the workforce.
- The two-year completion rate was 57% for students in diploma programs and 62% for students in certificate programs.
There are 123 community college campuses or centers around the state where Iowans can access education or job training. They work with local businesses to find out the skills employers need and then help train workers to fill those job openings. Community colleges have also partnered with over 200 local high schools so students can access training and skills before they graduate from high school.