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In focus on our nationwide rundown: the TPP has been dubbed the most ambitious trade pact in a generation, but there are concerns when it comes to American jobs and health; a big vote in the Keystone State impacting education; and workers turn out to be the largest group to benefit from Medicaid expansion.

The Fastest Growing Community College in Iowa

December 19, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - Every year, the publication "Community College Week" lists the fastest-growing two-year colleges in the country. This year, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is on that list, at number 15.

DMACC President Rob Denson says enrollment is up 11 percent in one year, and up 20 percent over the past five years.

"It is a challenge, and our administrative staff and all of our support staff work very, very hard to find enough classes and the equipment and faculty members to staff those classes."

While Iowa community colleges are seeing an increase in enrollment across the board, the report shows many across the country are not. Some colleges blame their falling enrollment on declining state appropriations for community colleges.

Denson says the Iowa Legislature has been generous in its community-college funding, but he thinks the main reasons for the growth are the lower-cost tuition of the two-year school and demand for its graduates in the business world.

"The fact is that we have waiting lists for nearly every vocational program we have, and we know there are jobs waiting upon graduation."

The "Community College Week" survey also showed enrollment shot up 54 percent at Iowa community colleges over the last decade, placing Iowa eighth among the 50 states for student growth.

The article is available at

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA