The expansion of a central Iowa post-secondary school into Ames won’t mean a showdown with Iowa State University. Des Moines Area Community College president Rob Denson says the community and ISU have welcomed DMACC . “The good news is that the president of Iowa State and I are very good friends,” he says, and they’re looking for ways to partner to serve students. The DMACC board’s approved a new “career academy,” a partnership with 7 Story County schools and a number of regional businesses to train high-schoolers in job skills like construction, nursing and advanced manufacturing. DMACC has a full campus now in Boone, where they’re beginning a five-million dollar addition, and when they can partner with Iowa State or other schools, they do so. Even a lot of Iowa State students who have a scheduling conflict will attend a class at a DMACC campus in their hometown over the summer to pick up the required class that’ll transfer, and he points to that as another example of how education in Iowa “does work pretty well together.” DMACC’s among the community colleges that offer classes compatible with the four-year universities — freshman-level courses that may be too full or a scheduling conflict, so students can take them at the community college and the credit will transfer to their university degree. Denton says they’re proud of how their students do, and of the school’s partnership with state regents institutions and private colleges. Community colleges, created in the mid-1060s, are relatively “new on the block,” Denton says, but fit into the educational spectrum well. Denton says DMACC serves more students, though Kirkwood Community college generates more credit hours, so both say they’re the state’s largest, “And we’re both telling the truth.” Des Moines Area Community College already has campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Des Moines and West Des Moines. The new career academy’s planned for an industrial area on Ames’ southeast side near Dayton Avenue and could begin offering classes by the spring of 2006.
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