Iowa Western Community College, located in Council Bluffs, was founded in 1966 and offers more than 80 programs of study in both Career and Technical Education and in Liberal Arts. Nestled on 250 beautiful acres in Iowa’s Loess Hills, the college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers students the amenities and atmosphere of a larger institution combined with the comforts and quiet of a smaller campus setting.
Recognizing a need for greater opportunities for higher education in the State of Iowa, area school legislation was approved on June 7, 1965. A proposal for Iowa Western Community College was authorized by seven county boards of education in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby counties for submission to the State Board of Public Instruction. After specific locations of campuses were agreed upon, approval was granted by the State Board in February 1966.
Clarinda Junior College, which was established in 1923 and had a long history of providing a two-year liberal arts education in Southwest Iowa, was selected to serve as one campus, and a new campus location was identified in Council Bluffs. The College expanded into other parts of the district with the establishment of centers in Atlantic (Cass County Center), Harlan (Shelby County Center), and Shenandoah (Page/Fremont County Center).
On January 23, 1967, two vocational-technical programs were started using facilities in Council Bluffs. A major development was the addition of a liberal arts curriculum at the Council Bluffs Campus in the fall of 1968.