Dec 05, 2021  
2020-2021 College Catalog 
2020-2021 College Catalog

The College

The Mission

Iowa Lakes Community College is a public, comprehensive educational institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The college was established in 1967 under provision of Chapters 260C and 260D, Code of Iowa. "To provide opportunities for quality lifelong learning and promote economic development for [the] communities" of northwest Iowa is the mission of Iowa Lakes Community College. Over 72,000 people reside in this predominately rural five-county district encompassing approximately 2,900 square miles. Through its five campuses and an interactive distance learning system, Iowa Lakes currently enrolls more than 2,200 full- and part-time students. The college offers liberal arts, career and vocational-technical courses leading toward associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. It is committed to continuous quality improvement while serving the changing needs of its constituents.

In 1985, Iowa Lakes became the first Iowa community college to mandate entrance assessment of all new students. The goal of this assessment program is to help all students be successful in college by ensuring development of minimum competencies in mathematics, writing and reading prior to graduation from Iowa Lakes.

The college offers a variety of outreach services to area communities, including a full schedule of continuing education courses, college preparatory courses, support programming, business/industry training and retraining programs, and facilitation of economic development.

Finally, Iowa Lakes collaborates with multiple four-year institutions offering baccalaureate degree programs on Iowa Lakes' campuses to area citizens who are unable to relocate due to job or family commitments.


  • Extend opportunities for personal and professional growth that are responsive to the dynamic needs of the individual and society.
  • Guarantee access to postsecondary education opportunities through an "open door" policy.
  • Ensure all constituents have the opportunity and the support necessary to take advantage of the postsecondary education programs and services offered by the college.
  • Provide appropriate personnel services.

Lifelong Learning

  • Provide learner centered activities that empower individuals to reach their potential and fulfill their personal and career goals.
  • Enable students to complete the first two years of college work, including general education and pre-professional education and upon completion to achieve successful transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
  • Enable students to complete vocational and technical programs designed to prepare them for employment in occupations in a global society.
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to continue learning throughout their lifetime.
  • Provide programs for high school completion and development of the academic foundation necessary for success in college.
  • Enable eligible secondary students to participate in college courses for credit while still in high school.
  • Provide vocational and technical training for persons not enrolled in high school and who have not completed high school.

Economic Development

  • Support partnerships among business, community and labor groups that strengthen the economic health and quality of life for area residents.
  • Deliver programs for in-service training and retraining for workers to help employers maintain a competitive work force.
  • Provide economic development assistance to area businesses, industries, cities and counties in cooperation with federal, state and local agencies.


  • Promote collaborations with communities that support access to college programs and services with sensitivity to diversity and equal opportunities for all.
  • Promote among students an awareness of their responsibilities as citizens in our contemporary and dynamic society.
  • Extend the scope of college resources through active partnerships with agencies in the service area.


Iowa Lakes Community College was officially organized in 1967 when the first Board of Directors met to begin planning for the organization and development of the College. Legislation passed by the Iowa legislature established Merged Area III as a part of a statewide plan. The area included all or parts of the counties of Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth and Palo Alto and encompassed, at the time, 26 community school districts and two parochial school systems.

In 1968, the Board approved the merger of the Estherville Junior College and its facilities into the new district. The College had been operated by the Estherville public schools since its founding in 1924.

The Emmetsburg Community College was merged in 1970 to accomplish the goal of operating two major campuses in the area. The College had been operated since 1930 by the Emmetsburg public schools.

Campuses are located at Emmetsburg, Estherville, Algona, Spencer and Spirit Lake.

The Estherville Campus is located in the eastern part of Estherville at 300 South 18th Street. Facilities serve liberal arts and vocational and technical programs.

Vocational, technical, and liberal arts programs are offered at the Emmetsburg Campus in the northwest part of Emmetsburg at 3200 College Drive.

A facility in Algona was purchased in late 1986 and developed into a college campus with facilities for liberal arts courses, community and education services, a Success Center/library, and RSVP main office. The Algona Campus is located in the northern part of Algona at 2111 U.S. Highway 169.

The Spencer Campus, located at 1900 Grand Avenue includes facilities for liberal arts, technical, vocational courses, community services, education services, a Success Center/library, and the Northwest Iowa Small Business Development Center.

The Spirit Lake Campus opened in 1984. In late 1995, the campus moved into new facilities located at 800 21st Street. The building houses liberal arts courses, a computer lab, community services, education services, and a Success Center/library.

An instructional television system began offering courses to the area in 1983. Beginning with two channels, six sites and four courses, the system now televises 40 to 50 live college courses per semester to college sites. All courses necessary for a two-year Associate in Arts degree are offered on the system.

In addition, Iowa Lakes Community College is a member of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium providing extended online learning opportunities to the local service area and beyond through the World Wide Web,

The Continuing Education department uses classroom facilities at college-owned sites to deliver instruction and services to local residents.

Governance and Administration

The College is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees elected by the residents of Merged Area III. Administrative offices are located at 19 South Seventh Street in Estherville, which houses most members of the President's Cabinet, central administrative staff and the college administrative computer center.

In addition to the College President, the President's Cabinet consists of a Vice President of Administration, the Executive Deans of the Emmetsburg and Estherville campuses, the Executive Director of Business & Community Relations, the Executive Director of Facilities Management, the Executive Director of Marketing, and the Executive Dean of Students.

The President's Cabinet, along with supervisory personnel from the Administrative Team, manages the operation of the college district.


Iowa Lakes Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In 1975, Iowa Lakes Community College was granted accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (now known as the Higher Learning Commission or HLC). Iowa Lakes is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education. State accreditation cycles are coordinated with HLC cycles.

The College is an institutional member of the American Association of Community Colleges. Programs are approved for veteran's education and by the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Iowa Board of Nursing. Some academic programs such as the Veterinary Technician Program and the Welding program have individual accreditations. Program web pages provide details of these program-level accreditations.

Equal Opportunity Statement/Policy of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of Iowa Lakes Community College not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age (employment), sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion and actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code §§216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C §§ 1681 - 1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).

If you have questions or complaints related to compliance with this policy, please contact Kathy Muller, Equity & Title IX Coordinator, 19 South 7th Street, Estherville, IA 51334, 712.362.0433,, or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone number 312-730-1560, fax 312-730-1576.

A formal discrimination complaint process is published in the Student Handbook, Employee Handbook, and the Affirmative Action Plan of the College.

Student Services


Iowa Lakes Community College maintains an open-door policy of admission for students who have the ability, character and preparation to benefit from the educational programs offered at the college. Application may be completed online or obtained from any Iowa Lakes Community College campus.

Telephone requests may be directed to 800-346-6018. Online applications can be completed at

Admission Policies-Credit Programs

Iowa Lakes admits students to the arts and science and vocational and technical programs who generally have either a high school diploma or its equivalent as determined by the HiSET testing program. Individuals who have not completed one or the other may be admitted on an individual basis to various programs offered by the college. The college also offers programs to assist with high school completion or the HiSET.

Admission to the college does not ensure admission to all programs offered at Iowa Lakes. The college reserves the right to guide the placement of students on the basis of assessments, pre-enrollment interviews and past academic achievement, as well as available space in programs.

All students applying for admission to credit programs at the college must submit a completed Iowa Lakes application form, a transcript of high school work or the HiSET and official transcripts sent directly from each postsecondary institution of higher education attended. Every entering student at Iowa Lakes completes basic skills assessments of English and math.

The tests used are Accuplacer, SAT and ACT. Those who are underprepared for college level courses may need to take developmental courses which improve skills further before entering college English or mathematics. Nursing applicants must submit ACT program scores and attend an advising session. Some programs require medical examinations and other assessments before admission.

Applicants will be notified of their admission to the college by the Director of Admissions.


Students who have formerly attended Iowa Lakes Community College and who wish to return after an absence of a semester (other than the summer session) should apply for readmission. Students readmitted after an absence will be required to fulfill current graduation requirements.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete all admission requirements including submission of official transcripts directly from every postsecondary school or college attended whether or not credit was earned.

International Students

A student from another country must complete the Admissions application form and provide proof of high school completion, TOELF (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores when applicable, and proof of financial sponsorship.

High School Transcripts of all secondary school and higher education records must be sent directly to the Admissions office.  If the record is in non-English language, notarized translations must be included.  Transcripts must include student and school information along with a date of graduation.  If the transcripts are missing a graduation date, a copy of the high school diploma with the graduation date will be required.  Students who wish to transfer in college credit will need to have their transcripts evaluated by a credential evaluation organization such as WES (World Education Services).

Students required to submit a TOEFL must submit official TOEFL transcripts with a score of 500 or above on the paper version, 173 or more on the computer version, or 61 or more on the Internet Based version prior to acceptance.

International students must also submit evidence of financial ability to meet college and living expenses during the first year of attendance.  A financial sponsorship form provided by the Admissions office must be completed before an immigration I-20 form will be issued.  Visa regulations of the Us Department of Immigration and Naturalization must be followed.  This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.  

Admission-Continuing Education

Admission to continuing education programs is varied and flexible. Adults are encouraged to enroll regardless of past educational achievement or number of years of formal education. Enrollment in adult basic education, high school completion, general adult education, adult vocational supplementary education, adult vocational short courses or professional continuing education is accomplished by contacting the continuing education office at 712-362-7231 or 800-252-5664.

Residency Requirements

Students enrolling at Iowa Lakes Community College are classified as residents or non-residents for admission, tuition and fee purposes. Each student must declare residency correctly under applicable rules and laws of the state of Iowa as well as the policies of the college board of trustees. The primary determination of residency is the reason a person is in the state of Iowa; the second determination is the length of time the person has resided in Iowa. If a person is in the state primarily for educational purposes, that person will be considered a non-resident.

Students who have been classified as non-residents, and who believe they should be eligible for resident tuition, may apply for reconsideration of their cases. The Director of Records and Registration (Registrar) may require two or more written documents, affidavits and other evidence considered necessary to establish the residency of the student. This may include voter registration information, driver's license, motor vehicle registration, an Iowa state income tax return, and proof of Iowa homestead credit on property taxes, signed and notarized documentation from an employer verifying employment in Iowa, or a signed and notarized statement from the student describing employment and sources of support. Documentation must verify residency within the state of Iowa for at least 90 days prior to the term for which the student is enrolling.

Residence for college enrollment and fee purposes may be different from residence for other purposes. The burden of establishing exemption from non-resident status is with the student. The complete Uniform Policy on Student Residency Status is available from the Registrar or from the State Board of Education.

An adverse decision by the Director of Records and Registration may be appealed. The Academic Review Committee acts as the appeals body for residency questions. The decision of the committee is final.

An application form and further information is available from the records office at Emmetsburg or Estherville. A change of status is effective for the next term following the change.

Residency of Federal Personnel and Dependents

A person, or his/her spouse or dependent child, who has moved into the state of Iowa as the result of military or civil orders from the federal government, and the minor children of such persons, are entitled to immediate Iowa residency status.

Veteran's Exemption

A veteran of military service or National Guard, or his/her spouse or dependent child shall be classified as a resident if the veteran is domiciled in Iowa and one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The veteran has separated from a U.S. military force with an honorable discharge or a general discharge, is eligible for benefits, or has exhausted benefits, under the federal Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or any other federal authorizing veteran educational benefits program.
  2. The individual is an active duty military person, or activated or temporarily mobilized National Guard member.

To be eligible for the exemption, a dependent child must be claimed as a dependent on an eligible veteran's internal revenue service tax filing for the previous year.

Registration and Orientation


Registration for incoming freshmen should be completed prior to the start of the term. Students are assigned a faculty advisor to assist with registration and scheduling. Advisors are assigned based on student program or area of study within a transfer degree. Payment of tuition and fees is the final step in registration.


During orientation sessions, each student is assigned an academic advisor.

Orientation continues during the first day of the term, and ends with scheduling, registration and payment of tuition and fees for the next term. All new freshmen who register as full-time day students should plan to attend an orientation session and College 101, which is held prior to the first day of class.

Student Responsibility for College Information

Each student is responsible for information appearing in the catalog, student handbook and other college publications. Failure to read the regulations and other information will not be considered an excuse for noncompliance. The college reserves the right to change policies or to revise curricula as necessary due to unanticipated circumstances. Program or course availability may be affected by enrollments, funding, or instructor availability.

If a student feels that extenuating circumstances might justify the waiver of a particular college policy, procedure, or regulation, a petition may be filed according to established procedures. Contact the director of records and registration for information.

Each student's assigned college e-mail address will be used for all official college business.

Class Participation

To help ensure academic success, students are expected to attend all class meetings for the courses in which they have enrolled. Any absence, regardless of the reason, results in the loss of instruction and interferes with the learning process. Absence does not lessen the student's responsibility for meeting the requirements of any course and it is the student's responsibility to complete the work missed. The specific participation and makeup policies of each instructor are contained in course orientation information and/or course syllabus. Students are expected to complete all class assignments and examinations on time. When a student anticipates missing a test or class, students should contact the instructor.

Academic Honors

The deans' honors list is published each term which includes names of those full-time students (12 or more graded credits) who have earned a grade point average of 3.25 to 3.99. Students with a 4.00 grade point average are placed on the college president's honors list. The lists are released to area news media.

Candidates for graduation who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher are honored at the commencement ceremony by identifying their honors in the printed program. Three classes of recognition are indicated:

  Cum laude 3.25 - 3.49
  Magna cum laude 3.50 - 3.74
  Summa cum laude 3.75 - 4.00

Graduation honors are also posted on the academic record based on the final cumulative GPA.

Academic Probation and Retention

Iowa Lakes Community College provides assistance to stu­dents to help them to succeed academically. The purpose of aca­demic probation at Iowa Lakes is to indicate the need for special or individualized help for the student who has academic difficulty. The college is concerned when a student has problems and faculty and staff are available to provide assistance. Academic probation is somewhat different from financial aid probation, which is also covered in this catalog.

Academic Probation Statuses

A status of probation means that the student and advisor must meet to determine what course of action will lead to success during the next enrollment period. Strict probation means that the student may continue enrollment only with a written contract for performance; failure to meet the terms of the contract results in immediate suspension from classes. Participation in Strategies for Academic Success (or an alternative assignment approved by the facilitator) is usually required of students on strict probation, except during the summer term.

Suspension means that a student is prohibited from attend­ing classes and is dropped from all courses. A suspension is for a full semester; a second suspension is for a year. A semester is counted if the student is enrolled for six or more credits.

After the first semester in college, a new freshman will be placed on probation if the GPA is less than 1.50. The student will be placed on strict probation if the GPA is less than 0.80.

After more than one semester in college, a student will be placed on probation if the cumulative GPA is less than 2.00. A student with more than one semester in college will be placed on strict probation if the cumulative GPA remains less than 2.00 or if the term GPA is less than 1.00 and the cumulative GPA drops below 2.00.

A student on strict probation will be suspended if the term GPA is less than 2.00.

A student on probation or strict probation may continue enrollment if the term GPA is 2.00 or better, even if the cumulative GPA does not reach 2.00.

A student who earns a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better will be returned to academic good standing. The Academic Review Com­mittee will review records of students on continued probation and may revise status based on further information such as absences, excessive number of 'I', 'Q' or 'W' grades, etc. Transfer students will be placed on probation if a similar record at Iowa Lakes would result in a probationary status.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

General Information

The U.S. Department of Education requires each institution to establish and consistently apply standards of reasonable academic progress to all students who want to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. This federal requirement indicates that students must maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree objectives in order to receive financial aid. Iowa Lakes Community College has established their standards, which are based on qualitative and quantitative measures. They require students to:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average at the completion of each term.
  2. Maintain a specific pace of completion at the end of each term.
  3. Achieve their program completion within 150% of the published length of the program in credit hours attempted.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement

You will not be eligible to receive financial aid once you have attempted more than 150 percent of the normal credits required for your degree or diploma program, or once it becomes clear that you cannot mathematically finish the program within the 150% maximum time frame. (For example; programs requiring 60 credit hours for graduation, 90 credit hours would be the 150% program maximum.) All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received or the course work was successfully completed. Standards are established as minimum requirements for students who receive financial aid from any federal, state, and institutional programs administered by Iowa Lakes.

Making Progress Toward a Degree

Students must maintain a minimum 1.75 cumulative G.P.A. at the end of the first term of enrollment. Each subsequent term after the first, students will be required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A.

The student must successfully complete 67% of their attempt­ed credit hours. Successful completion of courses are defined as receiving a grade of A,B,C,D, or P. Courses receiving grades of F,I,W,K,Z or Q are not counted as completed grades. Students must complete their program requirements within a time frame equivalent to 150% of their program length and/or credit hours required for graduation purposes. Transfer credits attributable to the student's degree will be evaluated to determine the student's Satisfactory Progress status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress-Warning Status

Students are placed in a warning status the first time they do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average and/ or pace of completion requirement. During the warning term, students remain eligible to receive financial aid for one term. To remain eligible to receive financial aid in future terms the student must, during the warning term:

  1. Increase their cumulative grade point average to meet the minimum grade point average.
  2. Successfully complete all courses attempted with grades of A, B, C, D, or P.
  3. Be able to reach Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress- Ineligible Status

Students are declared ineligible for financial aid if they:

  1. Do not meet the warning status requirements as listed above.
  2. Do not achieve their program objectives within 150% of the published time frame of the academic program as measured in credit hours.
  3. Complete the semester with only letter grades of "F" and/or "W".
  4. Complete the semester with a G.P.A. of 0.0.
  5. Completing 0.0% of their attempted credit hours.

Regaining Eligibility

  1. Students may earn the necessary grade point average or semester hours while not receiving financial aid (enrolled at their own expense).
  2. Students may submit written appeals documenting extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the standards. Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to
    1. Injury or illness of student.
    2. Death of immediate family member.

Appeals should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at Emmetsburg. The appeal needs to be accompanied by an Aca­demic Plan Worksheet signed by the student and his/her advi­sor. Decisions on appeals will be made and the decision will be communicated to the student within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal. When appeals are approved, students are given specific requirements to meet. Students who do not have appeals approved are declared ineligible for financial aid.

If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on either Probation or on an Academic Plan:

  • If the student is placed on Probation, they are eligible for financial aid for that term. At the end of the term they are re-evaluated and are either making satisfactory academ­ic progress or are ineligible. If they are ineligible, they have the opportunity to appeal.
  • If the student is placed on Academic Plan, they will remain on the plan until they either are meeting satisfactory academic progress or they fail to follow the plan. If the student fails to follow the plan, they will become ineli­gible. They have the opportunity to appeal.

Monitoring of Academic Progress

The academic progress of financial aid recipients is reviewed at the end of each term. Students will be notified of status changes by letter.

New Start

Iowa Lakes Community College offers a "New Start" program for students a) who change programs of study after receiving unsatisfactory grades in a previous program at Iowa Lakes Com­munity College; or b) who re-enroll at the college in the same program after an absence of at least two years.

It allows the student to begin a new cumulative grade point average from the beginning of the re-enrollment or from the begin­ning of the new program. A change to a new program of study is defined as a change in declared major program, such as changing from arts and sciences to a vocational program, or changing from one vocational program to another vocational program.

A "New Start" means that all academic work completed prior to the designated "New Start" term will appear on the academic record but will not be considered for use in the cumulative grade point average.

The "New Start" is a one-time only option. If a student experi­ences difficulty in the new program, the student may not apply for a second "New Start". No grades are removed from the transcript by this program. Passing grades of 'C' or better earned prior to the "New Start" for courses which apply to the new program may be used in meeting graduation requirements but will not be calculated in the student's cumulative grade point average.

Since this program applies to Iowa Lakes Community College only, it will generally not affect decisions made by transfer institu­tions or grantors of financial aid. Such agencies will likely consider the student's complete academic record, not just the "New Start".

A "New Start" petition must be filed in the Records Office before or during the first term of enrollment in the new program, or after the return to a former program following the required absence. The petition for a "New Start" will be reviewed by the Records Office and will be implemented if the student has met all the guidelines. The student may appeal the denial of a "New Start" petition to the Academic Review Committee as provided by the academic appeal procedures listed in the student handbook. Once granted, the "New Start" may not be rescinded.

Academic Support Programs


Advisors who teach in the students' major area of interest help to guide academic programs and achieve educational goals. Students are encouraged to visit advisors.


The mission of the campus libraries is to support the educa­tional programs of the college. The libraries are comprehensive centers designed to meet the diverse needs of students, faculty, staff and area residents.

Developmental Studies

As an open door institution, Iowa Lakes Community College recognizes that some students may need assistance in basic skills areas. New students are assessed in English and mathematics, and for certain programs, reading as well. Students who are underprepared or have been out of school for several years may need to review and sharpen basic skills prior to entering required college courses.

Developmental studies classes are designed to allow students to be prepared for college level coursework and succeed in the program they choose. These courses, however, do add an extra load to student requirements, and may extend the program of study and/or require attendance at summer sessions. Questions concerning developmental studies should be discussed with Ad­vising/Success Center instructors or deans.


A federally funded student support service program is available at Iowa Lakes. This program targets first generation, income eli­gible and disabled students. Services focus on increasing student success in college, including tutoring, college visits for transfer students, counseling and academic advising, scholarships, plus general support.


Peer tutoring is available to all students, by request, through the Advising/Success Centers. Professional tutoring services are also avail­able, and operate on a drop in basis.  Although this service is available during most semesters, it may not be available during the summer, or on all five cam­puses.  Both services are free of charge to current Iowa Lakes Community College students.

Student Assistance Services

College Counseling Services

The Iowa Lakes Community College Counseling Program as­sists students with strategies for academic success and retention. Educational Counselors specialize in student development through proactive programs focusing on personal/ social development, transfer planning, academic development, and career development.

Student Handbook

The student handbook helps students to become informed about the programs and services available at the college. Information about student life and college procedures are provided electroni­cally at the beginning of the term.

Veterans' Services

Services to veterans of the U.S. armed services are provided through the financial aid office. Qualified veterans are eligible to receive educational benefits in approved programs in all areas.

Students with Disabilities

Accommodations are provided based on student need. Servic­es such as tutoring, counseling, note taking, readers and special equipment can be provided. All services are based on requests for services and appropriate documentation provided by the student. For more information, contact Jody Condon at 712-852-5219 or

Rehabilitation Services

An office of the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Service is available on campus in Emmetsburg and Estherville to assist clients of the program.

Student Housing

Housing at Iowa Lakes includes on-campus units in Emmets­burg, Estherville and Spencer. For information about housing, contact the coordinator of housing at Emmetsburg, Estherville or Spencer campus. All students residing in college housing are required to participate in campus-life sessions. To live in campus housing, students must be a full-time Iowa Lakes student enrolled in 12 or more hours. Please refer to the housing handbook to review housing procedures.

Campuses in Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spencer offer bul­letin boards for posting of information for off-campus housing.

Student Centers

The student centers at Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spencer are the social, cultural and recreational hubs of the college. A cy­ber café, meeting rooms, television and game areas are provided. Student areas are available at Algona, and Spirit Lake.

Student centers offer a wide variety of food services rang­ing from cafe service and cafeteria meals to catered meals for dinners. Breakfast, noon and evening meals are served Monday through Friday in Emmetsburg and Estherville. Noon and evening meals are served Monday through Friday in Spencer.

Campus Housing and Food Service Refunds

Students living in campus housing units who withdraw from college, who are asked to withdraw from college, or who move out of student housing for any reason still contractually owe rent for the remainder of the academic year. If students wish to terminate their contract prior to the start of the second semester will be held to the charge for the fall semester and there will be a termination charge of $600. There will be a credit for the unused food plan, minus one week. Termination of this contract after classes begin for the spring semester will result in full charge for the semester for room and credit for unused food plan, less one week.  Students also forfeit their $100 housing deposit if their contract is terminated at any point.

These procedures may be appealed if extenuating circumstances occur; consult the student handbook or the housing director for more information. Any refunds that occur will be applied to out­standing balances with the balance being given to the student

During the regular terms, three meals per day are served in Estherville and Emmetsburg and two meals per day in Spencer, with the availability of weekend meal for students living in Esther­ville and Emmetsburg. Meal cards may be purchased by those students without a meal contract.

College Stores

Campus Stores are located in Emmetsburg and Estherville. Campus Store hours are Monday - Thursday 8:00-4:30; Friday 7:30-4:00; summer hours are posted.  Package delivery for students is available at both Campus Stores. 

Most student textbooks are ordered online via the Campus Store Online site.  Go to and select Campus Store under Quick Links. Prices for Instructor selected textbooks are determined by individual publishers, not the Campus Store. Payment for books is due at time of purchase.  Books for students with Financial Aid vouchers will be ordered by Bookstore staff.  Students MUST bring their registration form and SFA voucher to the Campus Store for purchase assistance.  Please note that Financial Aid Vouchers are only accepted during a specific time period.

Students are encouraged to order books prior to the start of class to ensure timely delivery.  Watch Twitter and Facebook for online store open dates and free ship dates. Free shipping to the Emmetsburg and Estherville Campus Stores is offered one day only for each term. Student books ordered online on this date will be shipped free to the selected campus Store. Students ordering books on all other days are charged shipping and handling. Students with Financial Aid vouchers are STRONGLY encouraged to come to the Campus Store on this day to take advantage of the free shipping.

Book returns are ONLY accepted with an add/drop slip and ONLY for the for the first week of classes. Books with shrink-wrap cannot be returned if removed from wrap. If the book contains a CD, DVD or access code, please do not break the seal. Copyright laws will not allow the Campus Store to accept returns where seals are broken. Book buyback days are the last five days of each semester and the last day of each summer session. Buyback is an online option at any time, but the student will be responsible for return shipping for books not sold back during buyback days. All supplemental materials must be included with books when they are returned.

The Campus Stores also sell various school supplies, logo clothing items, and miscellaneous snacks and drinks.


Ample parking is available at Iowa Lakes Community College. Parking for the handicapped is provided. Parking signs and regu­lations are enforced and tickets are issued for parking violations. Vehicles parked in restricted areas or in other than designated stalls may be towed at the owner's/driver's expense.

Health & Accident Insurance

Iowa Lakes Community College does not purchase or carry health and/or accident insurance on students. Information on pur­chasing a health and/or accident insurance policy from a private vendor is available through local agents. Iowa Lakes Community College nor its employees or representatives will be responsible for medical bills if/or when they advise a student to seek medical attention for an illness or injury.

Iowa Lakes Community College does not carry insurance to cover the theft of a student's personal property. Therefore, neither Iowa Lakes Community College nor its employees or representa­tives will be responsible for the loss of student personal property by theft, fire, or any other means. Students are encouraged to obtain insurance for their personal property from their private insurance agency.

Job Placement

Instructors/coordinators of programs assist graduates in finding full-time jobs on completion of their programs. The financial aid of­fice coordinates information concerning part-time jobs on campus for qualified students while they are attending Iowa Lakes.

Follow Up

The college conducts follow-up studies of graduates in order to ensure that instructional programs and courses are relevant to student needs and that students are adequately prepared for further educational study or entry into the world of work.

Financial Aid

The purpose of financial aid is to assist students with the cost of education. All financial aid is awarded through the financial aid office. Students interested in financial aid must complete all admission requirements and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at Stu­dents are encouraged to file before April 1 of each year.

Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree. For many students, Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which other aid may be added.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

A FSEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional need, that is, students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFC), and gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. FSEOG does not have to be paid back.

Federal Loans

A Subsidized Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. If you qualify for a subsidized loan, the federal government pays interest on the loan ("subsidizes" the loan) until you begin repay­ment and during the authorized periods of deferment thereafter. An Unsubsidized Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. If you qualify for an unsubsidized loan, you will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accumulate. If you allow the interest to accumulate it will be capitalized, that is the interest will add to the principal amount of your loan and will increase the amount you have to repay. If you pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less in the long run.

Alternative Loans

Alternative Loan Programs are education funding opportuni­ties that partner with students, colleges, and educational funding organizations such as banks to provide private loans to students and families who do not qualify for adequate amounts of state and federal student aid. Loan funds must be used for educational expenses (tuition, room, board, computer, etc.) or as determined by the school. See the financial aid office for information and /or counseling on whether Alternative Loans are the best option to fulfill your financial aid needs.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents may borrow for dependent undergraduate, graduate or professional students up to a maximum which equals the cost of the student's program each year.


The work-study program provides jobs for students with finan­cial need to earn money to help pay education expenses. The pro­gram encourages community service work related to your course of study.

Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant (IVTG) & Kibbie Grant

Need-based grants are available to Iowa residents who are vocational, technical and career option students at the area com­munity colleges.

Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship

A grant for residents of the state of Iowa and who are enrolled in programs of need as determined by the Iowa Workforce and Iowa Student Aid Commission. This grant is not need based.

Other Financial Aid

Assistance to students needing help in financing education is also provided through veterans' services, vocational rehabilitation, Job Service and the Iowa National Guard.


Over 150 scholarships are available at Iowa Lakes Community College. The process is entirely online. Access the application from the Alumni & Foundation web page. Students and prospec­tive students completed applications are included in various scholarships according to question responses. Recommendations are only accepted online, through the student application.

Presidential Scholar Honors Program

This program is an academic challenge structured for talented students. Freshman applicants recognized as honor students in high school, and returning sophomore honor students who have a cumulative average of 3.50 or above are invited to be members of the Presidential Honors Program.

Awards range from 60 percent to 100 percent tuition, depend­ing upon qualifications. Members gather periodically to take part in cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic activities. They can qualify for Presidential Scholars recognition at commencement exercises.

Student Life

The Iowa Lakes Community College experience is not by any means restricted to the classroom. Students participate in many co-curricular activities that are very much a part of their learning and growth.


The athletics program at Iowa Lakes Community College is an integral part of the total educational program. The program promotes physical growth and fitness, provides organized intercol­legiate sports competition for student participation and community involvement, and allows a competitive feeling of achievement through sports success. Sixteen Intercollegiate athletics operate through the Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spencer campuses. Intramural athletics provide organized competition, individual tournaments and outdoor recreation for all students. Opportuni­ties for fun and enjoyment through participation in sports activi­ties are sponsored at Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spencer.


Iowa Lakes has numerous vocal and instrumental ensembles as well as recitals and coffeehouses to provide students with extensive solo or group performance opportunities. The music organizations in which students may participate are concert band, concert choir, jazz band, jazz singers, hand bell choir, men's choir, women's choir, woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble, and percussion ensemble. Opportunities for private lessons on piano, guitar, voice and many other instruments are available. Lessons are taught by highly qualified faculty. Lessons are open to all students and community members contingent upon the availability of faculty. The college also sponsors invitational jazz band contests, swing choir/jazz choir festi­vals and jazz band clinics which feature nationally known clinicians.

Student Organizations

The college encourages students to be active in college clubs and organizations. More than 30 student organizations reflect the wide range of student interest in pre-professional, social and special interest groups. A variety of clubs and organizations are available for student participation.

Student Senate

Students are provided an opportunity to participate in the operations of the college, both academically and socially. The senate's objectives include providing a comprehensive activities program, addressing issues brought to it by students, encouraging the interaction and cooperation of students, and providing leader­ship in issues of citizenship and student rights.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. Students should expect to exercise their freedom with responsibility. Those rights and responsibilities are published in the Student Handbook along with due process procedures for disciplinary actions.

Iowa Lakes Community College will not tolerate the sexual abuse/violence of students, faculty and/or staff at any campus, facility or activity. The office of the campus dean, or supervisor, or the Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for reports of sexual violence or assault.

Drug Prevention Program

Iowa Lakes complies with the Drug Free Schools and Commu­nities Act of 1989 (PL 101 226) and provides a drug free institution that prohibits employees and students from unlawfully manufac­turing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using a controlled substance on its property or during any of its activities. Details on standards of conduct, legal sanctions, health risks and referral agencies are published in the Student Handbook and are available at

Crime Prevention on Campus and Completion/Graduation Rates:

The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (PL 101-542), require colleges to collect, publish and distribute certain information concerning policies and procedures, includ­ing statistics relating to campus security and criminal actions on campus. This information is provided to all current students and employees in the Student Handbook and to applicants for admis­sion or employment upon request.

Additionally, the law (as amended by PL 102-26) requires colleges to report their completion/graduation rates on an annual basis, as well as specific information concerning athletes. This information is also published in the Student Handbook.

Institutional Record of Student Complaints

To comply with federal regulations, the college maintains re­cords of formal, written student complaints filed with the offices of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Academic Officer, or the Chief Student Services officer. These records are maintained in the office of the Executive Dean of Students.

The Academic Year

The academic year for college transfer and career option consists of two semesters, beginning in August or September and in Janu­ary, plus a summer session. The academic year for vocational and technical students normally consists of two semesters plus a summer term.

Continuing education programs are organized and scheduled to meet the needs and convenience of those requesting the pro­grams.

Unit of Credit

The unit of college credit is the semester hour. A semester hour of credit is normally given for a minimum of one academic hour of classroom work for each week of the semester, two hours of scheduled laboratory work, three hours of scheduled clinical practice, or four academic hours of scheduled work experience, or the equivalent.

Classification of Credit Students

Freshman: a student who has completed fewer than 30 semester credits.

Sophomore: a student who has completed 30 or more semester credits.

Full-time: a student carrying 12 or more credits of college work in a regular term. Veterans must carry 12 or more hours to qualify for full educational benefits.

Half-time: a student carrying six or more credits of college work in a regular term.

Credit Loads

Fall/Spring Terms

A liberal arts student may register for up to 19 credits if the previous term's GPA was 2.50 or better; up to 21 credits if the last term's GPA was 3.50 or better. A student is limited to 18 credits or less if the previous term's GPA was between 1.50 and 1.99 and limited to 12-14 credits or less if the previous term's GPA was less than 1.50. A liberal arts student on strict probation will be restrict­ed to 12-14 credits. Students in vocational or technical programs may take the amount of credit required for the program each term.

Summer Term

A student may register for up to 12 credits. For both first and second session courses a student may register for up to 6 credits.

A student may appeal the credit load restriction by preparing a written petition stating the reasons for the proposed exception, securing the signed consent of the faculty advisor and presenting the petition to the director of records and registration at least three days before the last day to add a course in a term.

Grading System

Grades are based on students' levels of achievement in those courses in which they enroll. The following scale is used:

Grades for courses with attempted credits which count to­ward the grade point average:

  A 4 honor points
  B 3
  C 2
  D 1
  F 0

Grades for courses with no attempted credits which do not count toward the grade point average:

  P pass
  Q not passing
  T credit for testing
  L credit for experiential learning

Other grade symbols which earn no credits or honor points:

  I incomplete
  W withdrawn
  N audit
  X repeated course (does not figure into GPA)

Grade descriptions:

  A excellent
  B  above average
  C average
  D below average.
  F fail: counts as attempted credit, no honor points.
  I incomplete: assigned in cases where the student has not completed some portion of assigned course work during a regular term for extenuating circumstances such as illness, family emergency, etc. A change of grade will be accepted up to the end of the next term following the term in which the grade is issued.
  W withdrawn: course formally dropped after the end of the first week of a term.
  N audit: course taken for personal interest only; does not earn credits or grade. Must be elected during the first two weeks of a term.
  P pass: course has been elected to be taken on a pass/no credit basis during the first two weeks in a term. Only one course may be so elected each term, except that all courses designated as developmental may be elected as pass/no credit. In addition, some courses are offered only on a pass/no credit basis. No more than one-fourth of the total credits required for graduation may be earned with P grades. A course which is being repeated may not be elected on a pass/no credit basis. Does not count as attempted credit.
  Q not passing: a failing grade which earns no credit; can be issued only when a course is taken on a pass/no credit basis. Does not count as attempted credit.
  T credit granted for testing. Does not count as attempted credit.
  L credit granted by virtue of prior education or occupational experience. Does not count as attempted credit.
  X only the last grade (ABCDF) will count for GPA and credit. The previous grade is replaced with an "X" to indicate it is a repeat and no longer counts for GPA and credit.

Mid-term temporary grades are distributed to students through advisors and the My Iowa Lakes system at the middle of each regular semester. Final grades are also available to students through the My Iowa Lakes system at Students who would like grades mailed must make that request to the Records Office each academic term. The college may also send grades for Postsecondary Enrollment Option students to the high school.


Candidates for graduation must complete an application for graduation in order to receive their diploma. Students who do not complete requirements for graduation in the term for which they ap­plied must submit a new application. Students who plan to participate in one of the annual commencement ceremonies must indicate their intent on the application for graduation. There is no graduation fee. Students who plan to receive more than one degree, diploma or cer­tificate need to complete a graduation application for each program. The graduation application is available online.

The graduation application should be completed by the following dates:

  Fall October 1
  Spring February 1
  Summer June 1

Commencement ceremonies are held at the end of the spring and summer terms. Students who graduate at the end of fall are invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony in May. Participation in commencement ceremonies is free of charge.

Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates

Iowa Lakes Community College awards degrees, diplomas, and certificates to those individuals who successfully complete programs in arts and science, vocational, technical or continuing education areas. The following degrees are awarded for college credit two-year programs: Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science. Diplomas are awarded for college credit vocational and technical programs of less than two years duration.

To be eligible for a degree or diploma in a credit program, a stu­dent must complete a minimum of 25% of the degree program credits in courses at Iowa Lakes Community College.