Adding to the mix – new programs, equipment and more

Adding to the mix – new programs, equipment for fall, and more for fall

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges prides itself on providing a multitude of opportunities for students, whether that be new in-demand programs, classroom technology or transfer agreements. This fall, we’re excited to be adding even more to our offerings in all three areas.

Medical Assistant Program

Scott Community College’s new Medical Assistant Program provides students both flexibility and hands-on learning with its hybrid model. The first group of students started taking classes last August and graduated in May.

“I have a son who is 18-month-old and I started the program to better myself and provide for him,” student Lacie Lerch said.

Medical Assistant students in lab

Being able to learn the fundamentals online at home and then take evenings classes in the lab has been beneficial, especially since the class time is used mostly for practical application.

“It’s fun, the teacher is great, we do a lot of hands-on procedures. I’m looking forward to helping people,” Lerch said.

“There is a great need for medical assistants,” Program Coordinator Barb Diveley-Wiedenmann said. “I think what’s driving it is there is such a need for nurses, so they’re splitting out the basic nursing duties and having medical assistants do those and the nurses are doing the higher complexity types of tests.”

With a median annual of salary of $15 to $16 dollars an hour, the nine-month program is a great option for students looking to enter the medical field or for certified nursing assistants interested in furthering their education.

“There are a lot of options where students can work,” Diveley-Wiedenmann said. “They can work in traditional clinics, retirement centers, insurance companies, ambulance services and more. Because they have basic knowledge they can branch out into a lot of different healthcare careers.”

Find out if this is the right career path for you at

Turf and Landscape Management, Agriculture

Systems Technician and Precision Ag

46774167175_c41e0d8a30_z (1)Muscatine Community College’s (MCC) Agriculture Department is growing with the addition of a new Turf and Landscape program, plus Agriculture Systems Technician and Precision Ag options. Students enrolled in the new two-year Turf and Landscape Management Program will learn everything from horticulture basics to pesticide management to landscape design to machinery maintenance.

“I think the coolest thing is you get to be outside doing a lot with your hands, but yet you still get to talk to people and be around people,” said Program Director Shane Mairet.

Mairet said the classes will all be very hands-on, with students taking on real-life projects.

“I’m sure the campus will notice our presence,” he chuckled.

The Associate’s Degree will lead to employment with golf courses, indoor sports facilities, landscaping companies or athletic teams with turf.

The current Agribusiness Management Program’s two new options, Agriculture Systems Technician and Precision Ag, will also provide students with a variety of employment opportunities.


The Agriculture Systems Technician option, which combines the current Agribusiness Management Program with MCC’s Engineering Technology Program, prepares students for analyzing, developing, building and troubleshooting agriculture technology systems. Meanwhile, the

Precision Ag option shows students how to increase farming efficiency, profitability and sustainably by utilizing data collection and new technology.

For more information on all of MCC’s Ag Programs, visit

Into the future – VR welders hit the classroom

The John T. Blong Technology Center and Muscatine Community College will now offer training with virtual reality welding simulators. They allow the student to rapidly hone basic welding skills, and learn proper welding techniques. The Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360 is capable of simulating Stick, MIG and TIG welding.

It accurately scores the user in up to five areas of welding, such as tip to work distance, torch angle and speed of welding. This helps the beginning student develop proper technique and create muscle memory to become a better welder quicker, while saving excessive material usage. By scoring each virtual weld, it creates a game environment that many of our students are already familiar with, while improving their knowledge and skill as a welder.

Transfer Agreements

For students interested in transferring on to a four-year college or university, more options are available than ever before. Within the last year, EICC has added the following transfer agreements:

Bellevue University: EICC students can now easily transfer credits to Bellevue University, a private, non-profit college located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bellevue provides opportunities for students to complete their Bachelor’s Degree online or at their main campus. Bellevue will take student’s Associate’s Degree in full, including career and technical degrees. From there students must complete 18 credit hours of electives and they can take the 18 credit hours at Scott, Muscatine or Clinton Community Colleges or at Bellevue. Scholarships are even available for EICC transfer students!

University of Iowa RN to BSN 3+1.5: EICC nursing graduates can seamlessly transfer to the University of Iowa (UI) and complete their Bachelors of Nursing Science (BSN) degree online in a year and a half. This degree is significant for both EICC nursing students who wish to pursue their BSN and the healthcare community as the need for nurses continues to rise.

Joint Enrollment with St. Ambrose University:

This agreement allows Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ students to simultaneously enroll in pre-approved courses offered by St. Ambrose University and receive earned credit. A big benefit is that students pay their same EICC tuition rate for the courses. The Joint Enrollment Program currently serves students in Business, Education and Early Childhood programs.

Purdue University Global: With this new partnership, students can apply their EICC Associate’s Degree credits towards one of eight online Bachelor’s Degree programs, creating a faster pathway to graduation and the workforce. EICC graduates will also be eligible for a higher level of tuition reduction from Purdue Global.

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