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2023 Best Online Community Colleges in Iowa

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 7/17/2023
2023 Best Online Associate Degrees in  Badge

Online community colleges in Iowa provide many benefits, including accessibility, convenience, and affordability for students who appreciate independent study and scheduling flexibility. Iowa's online offerings are broad and include online associate degrees in majors such as Journalism, Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Healthcare, and the Humanities — to name a few options. Alternatively, students eager to enter the workforce even more quickly can opt for online certificate and various diploma programs in Iowa to help hone job-readiness skills. 

We’ve ranked our list of Iowa’s online community colleges by online enrollment to help you identify the online programs most popular with students so you can make the best decision to meet your educational and career goals. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU.

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Online Programs You May Be Interested In

#1 Des Moines Area Community College

  • Salary Score: 67
  • Online Enrollment: 3,977
  • Locations: Ankeny (and 6 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) offers a robust online curriculum, including associate degrees, certificate programs, and diplomas. Online degrees include majors such as English, History, Human and Family Services, Journalism, Liberal Arts, and Communication. Students can earn online job-readiness certificates as well in Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Early Childhood Education, Digital Forensics, and Digital Marketing, for example. Online diplomas include Accounting and Bookkeeping, Computer Languages, Digital Marketing, Medical Billing and Coding, and Retail Management.

DMACC’s accelerated programs offer online courses in the humanities, math, science, communications, and social and behavioral sciences, which can take students anywhere from 5 to 15 weeks to complete. Online student resources include access to the bookstore, advising, tutoring services, accessibility, and tech support.

#2 Hawkeye Community College

  • Salary Score: 58
  • Online Enrollment: 677
  • Locations: Waterloo
  • Accreditation: HLC

Hawkeye Community College is a public institution that offers general education transfer courses online. These courses allow students to fulfill many of their general education requirements in preparation for transferring to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. While enrolled, online students have access to library resources, career services, and academic advising.

Distance education students use the Canvas learning management system to complete their coursework. More than 60% of Hawkeye enrollees study part time.

#3 Northwest Iowa Community College

  • Salary Score: 57
  • Online Enrollment: 820
  • Locations: Sheldon
  • Accreditation: HLC

Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC) offers online degrees and certificates in various industries, such as business, healthcare, and technology. For example, distance learners can earn an online associate degree in Web and Graphic Design, Information Technology, or Business Management. Online diplomas and certificates can also help students develop job-readiness skills for occupations such as pharmacy technicians, medical coders, or emergency medical technicians.

NWICC also offers online transfer degrees so students can earn their associate degrees online in order to accumulate transfer credits that can count toward bachelor’s degrees. A program advisor can direct prospective students to various online services and resources.

#4 Iowa Western Community College

  • Salary Score: 56
  • Online Enrollment: 1,047
  • Locations: Council Bluffs
  • Accreditation: HLC

Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) offers online Business, Education, and General Studies programs. Prospective online students can enroll in associate degree programs in Business Administration, Management and Human Resources, Marketing, and Elementary or Secondary Education. Alternatively, an online associate degree in General Studies can help students earn transfer credits for eventual transfer to four-year institutions.

Online job-readiness certificates are also available in industries such as healthcare, education, business and information technology, trades and manufacturing, and emergency services. Some students may be eligible to enroll in online certificate programs for free through IWCC’s Education 2 Employment program. IWCC also supports online students by providing remote access to library services, tutoring services, writing assistance, and academic advising.

#5 Kirkwood Community College

  • Salary Score: 47
  • Online Enrollment: 1,888
  • Locations: Cedar Rapids
  • Accreditation: HLC

Kirkwood Community College offers synchronous and asynchronous online degrees and certificates to provide flexibility and accommodate various student schedules. Available online associate degree programs include Anthropology, Digital Media, Economics, Journalism, Philosophy, Religion, and Water Environment Technology.

Students who are eager to enter the workforce directly with job-readiness skills can also or alternatively earn certificates in Business Administration - Technical Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, and Project Management. Kirkwood’s FlexForward program is an accelerated, self-paced online program that's offering an online certificate in project management. Additionally, distance learners can access online counseling services, learning services, and Kirkwood’s library.

#6 Iowa Central Community College

  • Salary Score: 43
  • Online Enrollment: 688
  • Locations: Fort Dodge
  • Accreditation: HLC

At Iowa Central Community College, which is a public institution, students can pursue one of seven online associate degrees. Some of the possible majors include business, accounting, health care administration, and human services. Iowa Central's online courses are divided into eight-week blocks, enabling distance learners to earn their degrees quickly and efficiently.

This university accepts all applicants and graduates 37% of students. The school's enrollees are equally divided between full-time and part-time students.

#7 Western Iowa Tech Community College

  • Salary Score: 40
  • Online Enrollment: 712
  • Locations: Sioux City
  • Accreditation: HLC

Western Iowa Tech Community College (WIT) supports distance learning by providing opportunities to earn online associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. Students can enroll in diverse online degree programs, such as Early Childhood Education, Video Game Design, Human Resources Management, Political Science, and Social Work. Those seeking job-readiness skills more quickly can earn online certificates and diplomas for occupations concerning tax preparation, medical coding, interpretation and translation, and payroll processing.

Tutoring, academic advising, library resources, and career services are also available online. Additionally, students can purchase textbooks and supplies online through WIT’s bookstore.

#8 Southeastern Community College - IA

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 576
  • Locations: West Burlington
  • Accreditation: HLC

At the public Southeastern Community College, students can earn both online associate degrees and online transfer degrees in preparation for transitioning to a four-year university. Associate degrees are available in agriculture, health technology management, and business administration. For transfer degrees, students can choose a general studies track or opt to study business, criminal justice, psychology, or sociology.

Southeastern's distance learners use the Canvas learning management system to complete their online courses. Half of Southeastern students are enrolled part time and half full time.

#9 Southwestern Community College - IA

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 511
  • Locations: Creston
  • Accreditation: HLC

Southwestern Community College, which is a public institution, provides several distance education options. Students can choose to earn online associate degrees in agricultural business, business administration, or accounting. They can also choose a general Associate of Arts or Associate of Science transfer degree. These programs are designed for students who plan to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution.

At Southwestern, online classes are offered in various lengths of 4-14 weeks, all delivered on the Canvas learning platform. At this school, 61% of enrollees are part-time students, and 52% earn their degree.

#10 North Iowa Area Community College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 425
  • Locations: Mason City
  • Accreditation: HLC

The public North Iowa Area Community College offers online associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in eight subject areas. Online associate degrees are available in accounting, business administration, and insurance and financial management. The school provides academic advising and career counseling for all students.

Canvas is North Iowa's learning management system, allowing online learners to view course materials and participate in group learning activities. Of all enrollees, 53% attend school part time and 55% earn their degree.

#11 Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 322
  • Locations: Calmar
  • Accreditation: HLC

Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar is a public college offering 14 online associate degrees, as well as certificates and diplomas. Some of the more popular programs include business administration, accounting, criminal justice, and paralegal studies. Online students are eligible for financial aid and have access to services like academic advising and career guidance.

Online students access course materials, complete assignments, and interact with peers and instructors through the Brightspace system. Three-quarters of Northeast Iowa Community College students attend school part time, and the school has a 43% graduation rate.

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