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Iowa Central's certificate programs deliver pathways into new careers

    by Lindsay Murray
    Posted on 6/16/2014

Iowa Central recently began offering certificate programs in Production Welding and Industrial Maintenance, made possible by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. The programs are offered as non-credit but are given advance standing to be translated to credit should the student choose to go on for the full diploma. The classes included are those considered by Iowa Central’s advisory board to be crucial for entry level job placement.  Therefore, these certificates open up two possible pathways for students to pursue.  They can either add them to their resume to seek immediate employment, or turn them into credit, giving them a head start on earning a diploma, which is an option many have chosen so far. 

TAACCCT Case Manager, Lindsay Murray who works as an advisor believes that though the students are initially attracted to the shorter time frame for earning the certificates, by the end they gain enough confidence to pursue the longer diploma or associate’s degree.  She says “For most of our non-traditional students college entry is a little intimidating, both in time and expense. However, our GAP tuition assistance which pays for the classes (for those eligible) is a much simpler process than applying for traditional financial aid, and once they get their feet wet with the certificate, the longer programs seem much more doable.”    

Iowa Central Community College currently has certificate programs in progress in Jefferson, Storm Lake, and Fort Dodge.  Enrollment is open now for the fall semester in Fort Dodge.  For more information, contact TAACCCT Project Manager Tim Heller at (515)574-1972, or email

Production Welding Certificate students, from left to right: Bulmaro Vasquez of Webster City, Richard Davis of Humboldt, and Victoria Grey of Pocahontas. Not pictured: Davion Robinson of Fort Dodge, and also Anthony Camejo who earned a certificate in Industrial Maintenance.