Connecting High School Students With College Classes

(Estherville, Iowa) Iowa Lakes Community College partners with multiple local school districts to connect high school students to college classes. A new Iowa Lakes initiative, called Finish with Us, maps out which college classes have been completed and provides the classes needed to complete an associate’s degree at Iowa Lakes.

Iowa Lakes Director of Admissions, Annie Kalous, explains, “The Finish with Us program will help local high school students taking college credits see exactly where they are. Often, students are closer to a degree than they realize, and continuing at Iowa Lakes allows them to see familiar faces and continue connecting to the college and community while saving time and money.”

Iowa Lakes currently offers three programs for high school students: concurrent enrollment, contracted courses, and Career Academy.

Concurrent enrollment courses are taught in high schools by high school instructors who meet the college qualifications to teach college-level courses. With concurrent enrollment classes, students gain exposure to college life by earning college credits while still being in a high school environment.

Contracted courses are courses taught by Iowa Lakes instructors or other college instructors in the Iowa Community College Online Consortium. Contracted courses can be either online or face-to-face classes on an Iowa Lakes campus and often tend to be arts and sciences classes.

Career Academy is designed for high school students to explore career options and gain specific employment skills through Career and Tech Education (CTE) programs. Students who participate in one of the many Career Academies have classes mapped out for the semester based on the program choice.

Iowa Lakes Director of High School Partnerships, Kari Hampe, said, “Career Academy can be particularly helpful because it’s often just as useful for students to learn what they don’t like as it is to find out what they do like in a career.”

All concurrent enrollment classes and programs offer similar benefits, including easing the transition from high school to college, saving money on college tuition and book costs, receiving college credits for completed course work, and obtaining advanced enrollment standing when entering college.

Determining which option is best for individual students and what eligibility requirements may be needed should start with a visit to your local high school guidance counselor.

“Your guidance counselor will help you determine the best program for you and may suggest attending one of our Career Exploration Days.  These events are held on both the Emmetsburg and Estherville campuses and allow students to take three hands-on sessions in different college programs to determine student interest,” explains Hampe.

According to the Community College Research Center, 88 percent of community college dual enrollment students continue in college after high school, and most earn a degree or transfer within five years.

For more information on high school partnerships with Iowa Lakes, contact Kari Hampe at or 712-852-5228; or Kendra Hough at or 712-852-5246.

For More Information:

Iowa Lakes Marketing Office at 712-362-7947