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Archives of Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC): General NICC History

Archives of college history. From Area One Vocational Technical School, Northeast Iowa Technical Institute (NITI), Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC)

General College History from our website - https://www.nicc.edu/aboutnicc/collegeprofile/history/

In 1966, the State Board of Education approved the formation of the Area One Vocational -Technical School with Calmar as its administrative headquarters. The merged Area One Vocational -Technical School included the public school districts in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties as well as sections of Bremer, Buchanan and Mitchell counties.

On September 5, 1967, career education programs in Calmar began with 170 students enrolled in 12 programs. Construction of college facilities also began on the 210-acre Calmar campus, which now includes: Darwin L. Schrage Administration, Max Clark Hall, Wilder Business and Industry Training Center, Industrial Technologies, Student Center, Agricultural Technologies, Child Development Center and the Northeast Iowa Community-based Dairy Center, a $4.1 million dairy education center and applied research laboratory built in 2000.

The merged Area One Vocational -Technical School was enlarged in 1970 to include the public school districts in Dubuque and Delaware counties and sections of Jones and Jackson counties. In 1971, career education programs in Dubuque began at several locations throughout the city including the Roshek building.

In April 1979, the Area One Vocational -Technical School changed its name to Northeast Iowa Technical Institute. This same year, the Peosta campus was established. The Peosta campus has experienced several expansions over the years and now includes: the main building, the Gas Utilities and Construction building, a child development center, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety and the Industrial Technologies building, which opened in August 2010.  In 1997, the College formed a partnership with the National Safety Council to construct and operate the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) on the Peosta campus. This center is dedicated to educating the public on farm safety and reducing farm-related injuries and fatalities.

In 1988, the College was authorized by the Iowa Board of Education to award the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well as diplomas and certificates. The College also changed its name from Northeast Iowa Technical Institute to Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC).

The College has since expanded to include centers in Cresco, Dubuque, Manchester, Oelwein and Waukon. The purpose of these centers is to bring education and training to students where they live and to serve as a catalyst for economic development.  In the summer of 2008, the Regional Academy for Math and Science (RAMS) opened in Oelwein. Likewise, the Town Clock Center for Professional Development in Dubuque was expanded in 2008 to include a one-stop center with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA).

In December of 2007, taxpayers overwhelmingly passed, by supermajority, a $35 million renovation and construction bond levy for NICC. The funds supported construction and renovation of the industrial technologies buildings on each campus and a student center on the Calmar campus, which was completed in spring 2011. Similarly, renovations to the health and science labs and a new library on the Peosta campus were funded by the bond levy and completed in the summer 2011.

In fall 2011, the Aspen Institute Community College Excellence Program named NICC to the top ten of community colleges in the nation for the college’s graduation rates, academic excellence and successful graduate outcomes. Also in 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration provided more than $1.1 in matching federal grant funds to renovate the current Wilder Resource Center on the Calmar campus into a new Wilder Business  Center.  The center opened in January 2013.

College Profile

History

In 1966, the State Board of Education approved the formation of the Area I – Vocational-Technical School with Calmar as its administrative headquarters. This included the public school districts in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties, as well as sections of Bremer, Buchanan and Mitchell counties.

On September 5, 1967, career education programs in Calmar began with 170 students enrolled in 12 programs. The school also broke ground on construction of college facilities on the 210-acre Calmar campus, which now include Darwin L. Schrage Administration Building, Max Clark Hall, Wilder Business Center, Industrial Technologies, Student Center, Agricultural Technologies, Child Development Center and Iowa’s Dairy Center, a $4.1 million dairy education center and applied research laboratory built in 2000.

The merged Area I Vocational-Technical School was enlarged in 1970 to include the public school districts in Dubuque and Delaware counties and sections of Jones and Jackson counties. In 1971, career education programs in Dubuque began at several locations throughout the city including the Roshek building.

In April 1979, the Area I Vocational-Technical School changed its name to Northeast Iowa Technical Institute. This same year, the Peosta campus was established. The Peosta campus currently includes the main building, the Gas Utilities and Construction building, a child development center, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety and most recently the Industrial Technologies building, which opened in August 2010.

In 1988, the College was authorized by the Iowa Board of Education to award the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well as diplomas and certificates. The College also changed its name from Northeast Iowa Technical Institute to Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC).

NICC has since expanded to include service locations in Cresco, Dubuque, New Hampton, Manchester, Oelwein and Waukon. The purpose of these locations is to bring education and training to students where they live and to serve as a catalyst for economic development. In 2008, the Town Clock Business Center in Dubuque was expanded to include a one-stop center with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA).

In December of 2007, taxpayers passed, by supermajority, a $35 million renovation and construction bond levy for NICC. The funds supported construction and renovation of the industrial technologies buildings on each campus, the student center on the Calmar campus, renovations to the health and science labs and a new library on the Peosta campus, Darwin L. Schrage Administration building in Calmar, and the Wilder Business Center, which opened in January 2013.

In fall 2011, the Aspen Institute Community College Excellence Program named NICC to the top ten of community colleges in the nation for the College’s successful graduate outcomes, academic excellence and community impact.

Under the leadership of its current President, Liang Chee Wee, Ph.D., Northeast Iowa Community College celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 2015-2016 academic year and remains committed to transforming and honoring its communities one student at a time.