IW, SCC Alliance Expands Online College Opportunities

For the first time in its history, the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC) will add a 4-year university to its membership. Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) will become part of the ICCOC as a Tier 4 partner beginning in the summer of 2021.

As a Tier 4 partner, Iowa Wesleyan will share the ICCOC LMS, Canvas by Instructure, and many of the additional resources available to all ICCOC partner colleges.

Seven Iowa community colleges joined together to form the ICCOC in 1999 as a way to provide online learning opportunities to community college students while reducing overall operational costs.  Eastern Iowa Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, North Iowa Area Community College (Tier 3 Partner), Northwest Iowa Community College, Southeastern Community College, Southwestern Community College and Western Iowa Tech now share educational resources and strive to provide a high-quality online learning experience.

The ICCOC was one of the first higher education consortiums of its kind in the nation and continues to be a leader in providing quality online learning with a focus on student success. In 2020, the ICCOC served 51,535 enrollments in over 2,850 fully online course sections across its partner colleges.

IW now will join that partnership.

“The addition of Iowa Wesleyan University to the ICCOC is a positive move for all involved and we look forward to the new opportunities this partnership will offer,” states Theresa Umscheid, ICCOC's executive director. “Iowa Wesleyan's focus on new and innovative ways to teach students at a distance fits well with the ICCOC's mission and oval strategic plan.”

IW was able to join the ICCOC through its recent alliance with Southeastern Community College (SCC). SCC president Dr. Michael Ash says the addition of IW opens the door to new opportunities for the consortium and its member institutions to share infrastructure and scale with future higher ed partners.

“This is a novel approach for higher education institutions to work together to help all students across our state,” adds Ash. “We're able to leverage our strengths and resources in ways that will directly benefit our students.”

IW president Chris Plunkett is excited about the opportunities it will provide IW students.

“Joining the ICCOC enables IW to provide a broader selection of quality courses to our students that they otherwise wouldn't be able to take.”

Iowa Wesleyan, located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, was recently recognized by US News and World Report for being in the top 200 Best Online Bachelor's Programs nationally, fourth in Iowa. It was ranked first in Iowa for its online undergraduate business administration degree.