First cohort of Opportunity Scholarship recipients complete first semester at NICC

Making the most of his Opportunity... Waukon High School 2018 graduate Garrett Garin was one of 25 recent high school graduates awarded an Opportunity Scholarship from Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). Garin is pursing a degree in Computer Technology at NICC. Submitted photo.

Ambitious with clear academic and career goals in mind, a group of 25 recent high school graduates in northeast Iowa are members of the first cohort of Opportunity Scholarships recipients selected this year. These students are now enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College and beginning their second semester.

The Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Opportunity Scholarship awards $1,000 to one nominated senior from 28 area high schools. Student recipients have a demonstrated passion and interest for a career and technical program, or transferable degree, at NICC. The students selected the College as the first place to begin their postsecondary education.

Garrett Garin, a 2018 Waukon High School graduate, is one Opportunity Scholar who found the perfect career match in the College’s Computer Technology program at the Calmar campus.

“I have been using computers my entire life and have always wanted to learn more about how they work. Once I visited campus and met with faculty, I knew a Computer Technology degree was the right fit. I’m grateful to have received the Opportunity Scholarship from Northeast Iowa Community College because it has helped me stay financially stable as I start my first year after high school,” Garin expressed.

In academic year 2018-2019, the College awarded a total of $24,000 in Opportunity Scholarships, according to Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of business and community solutions.

“Northeast Iowa Community College is proud of each of our Opportunity Scholarship recipients this academic year. We are honored that these ambitious students, like Garrett, have selected NICC as their first choice to start their college journey and build the foundation of a successful career. By working closely with our Success Coaches and academic advisors, these students are charting their future course, and the College is excited to have the opportunity to work with them,” said Mihm-Herold.

The NICC Waukon Center is a resource for students as they enroll in college credit courses and explore potential careers. Located across the street from Waukon High School, the center is convenient for students, by offering access to online and face-to-face college credit courses, admissions information, course registration, placement testing, financial aid assistance and academic advising. Success Coaches at the center provide the one-on-one attention students may need to help guide their career path and to select the NICC program most suited for their goals, says Erica Nosbisch, Center Director.

“The Opportunity Scholarship is a great way for Northeast Iowa Community College to support students who are driven to achieve their goals. Not only do recipients receive financial assistance, but they also have access to Success Coaches who work closely with students and can customize an academic plan to their objectives, whether these include training for an in-demand career or earning the credits they need to transfer to a four-year college or university,” said Nosbisch.

Concurrent enrollment agreements between the College and high schools in northeast Iowa support students’ future academic and career goals. From 2017-2018, the Waukon Center served 116 high school students who enrolled in 745 college credits. Allamakee County high school students and their families saved an estimated $397,919 in college tuition through concurrent enrollment at the Waukon Center.

For more information on services offered through the NICC Waukon Center, visit or contact Center Director Erica Nosbisch by phone at 563-568-3060.

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