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Iowa Lakes Corridor Higher Education

Buena Vista University

Higher EducationBuena Vista University is a unique and welcoming campus in picturesque lakeside surroundings.

The 60-acre campus is situated on the shores of beautiful Storm Lake, a 3,200-acre natural lake. The northwest Iowa city of Storm Lake is an attractive, professional community of approximately 10,000 people. The University is dedicated to providing the best educational facilities in the region, the most recent being the $26 million Estelle Siebens Science Center, which opened in 2004.

Buena Vista University is a nationally recognized leader in innovation. In 2000, the eBVyou program made BVU the first truly “wireless community” in the nation. Buena Vista University provides students with their own notebook computers and wireless Internet access, allowing them to go online anytime, from anywhere on campus. This not only puts a world of information at their fingertips, but also enhances their learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, giving them the skills they need to compete in today’s global economy. Buena Vista University is:

  • Ranked one of the top 20 Midwestern Comprehensive Colleges in U.S. News & World Report
  • Named one of the nation’s leading schools encouraging student leadership in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development
  • Ranked tenth in the nation on the Yahoo Internet Life list of America’s Most Wired Small Campuses

For more information about Buena Vista University visit

Iowa Lakes Community College

Located in the picturesque Iowa Great Lakes Region, Iowa Lakes offers several locations throughout a five-county service area: Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake. Classes are offered either full time or part time; days, evenings or weekends; via television, fiber optics or with a professor in the classroom; and via the Internet with online courses. College transfer, career option, technical or vocational courses, one class at a time, or continuing education classes are possible.

One of Iowa’s premier community colleges, the faculty and staff at Iowa Lakes recognize learning is lifelong. Continuing education is an emphasis of the college. General interest courses are available to adults and older learners. Customized training is specifically designed for area businesses and industry. Training can be provided at the business or at Iowa Lakes – all on a schedule convenient to the business and employees.

Iowa Lakes is also the primary regional supplier of re-licensure courses, Adult Basic Education, high school completion (GED), high school diploma credit courses, the displaced homemaker/single parent program, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and short term vocational training.

Iowa Lakes is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education, the Veterans Administration, as well as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about Iowa Lakes Community College, visit

Iowa Central Community College

It is the philosophy of Iowa Central Community College, as a comprehensive community college, to aid in developing our citizens’ capabilities to the maximum. Iowa Central provides a flexible program to satisfy the needs of the individual and the needs of the community. An educational environment is planned to provide experiences for those who desire pre-professional courses, improvement of educational or technical skills, or developmental programs for self-enrichment. This environment can be on campus or on-site. In concert with this mission, Iowa Central offers:

  • College transfer courses
  • Career and technical training
  • General education
  • Recreation and personal enrichment programs
  • Economic development, community service activities for people with diverse interests, needs, backgrounds and skills
  • Adult basic education

Iowa Central Community College was organized in 1966 with a broad mandate to offer a vast array of educational opportunities to the residents of its nine-county area. Iowa Central was built on the firm foundation of three area junior colleges which had been operating since the 1920s by the local public school systems.

They were Fort Dodge, organized in 1921; Webster City, 1926; and Eagle Grove, 1928. Iowa Central came into being as a result of the Area School Act passed by Iowa’s 61st General Assembly. The legislation authorized two or more county school systems to merge to form an area community college. Nine counties combined to create Iowa Central: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster and Wright. The resulting Merged Area V has some 28,000 students in 31 public school districts. In 1971, a fourth center was added with the completion of a new building in Storm Lake. The Storm Lake Center originally was established to serve 12 public and private school systems in Buena Vista County as a secondary career education center. In the ensuing years, the Storm Lake Center has been expanded so that now it offers the full range of community college programs.

In 1975, Iowa Central joined with Buena Vista College in Storm Lake in a cooperative venture whereby students can earn a bachelor’s degree attending evening classes. The students’ first two years are completed at Iowa Central and the final two years at Buena Vista at the Fort Dodge Center.

Iowa Central Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

For more information about Iowa Central Community College, visit

Educational Attainment (25+)

Educational Level Attained Number
Some High School 2,683
Graduated High School 13,341
Associates Degree 5,775
Bachelor's Degree 6,777
Graduate Degree 2,862
Source: ESRI, 2018-06-22

Education Expenses

Category Amount
College Tuition $25,645,095
College School Books/Supplies $1,181,750
Voc/Tech School Books/Supplies $24,475
Source: ESRI, 2018-06-22

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