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Accreditation / History


Itasca Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504/ph 800-621-7440). Diplomas, professional certificates and associate degree programs are approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The college is also approved for veterans educational benefits. Itasca Community College received a ten-year re-accreditation status in October 2009. The next Higher Learning Commission visit will be scheduled for the 2018-2019 academic year.


Itasca Community College, on U.S. Highway 169 on the eastern edge of Grand Rapids, shares a campus with both the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center and the North Central Research Station of the USDA-Forest Service.

Originally established in 1922, Itasca was regarded as the state’s first comprehensive community college in 1967 when occupational programs offered by the local area vocational school were combined with the college’s transfer and pre-professional programs. Since then, the college has constructed several new buildings, the most recent being a new residence hall in 2005; has completed extensive remodeling projects; and has linked all facilities with heated, enclosed walkways. These enhancements, together with its scenic wooded setting and extensive landscaping for wildlife, make ICC one of the most attractive community college campuses in the state. 

Itasca became part of the Arrowhead Community Colleges in 1981 with the merger of five northeastern Minnesota community colleges: Itasca, Hibbing, International Falls, Ely and Virginia. This regional structure was dissolved in 1996 with the creation of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the resulting merger of Minnesota’s state universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

In 1999, the Northeast Higher Education District (NHED) was formed for the purpose of “providing better services to students, expanded partnerships with business and industry, stronger community connections and improved institutional stability.” Current members of the regional district are Itasca and four other northeastern Minnesota colleges: Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Vermilion Community College in Ely, Mesabi Range Community & Technical College in Virginia and Eveleth, and Hibbing Community College.

One of Itasca’s great strengths continues to be meeting the educational needs of its students through innovative instructional programs, technology upgrades and collaborative projects between the college and community businesses, organizations and individuals.

Students who attend ICC have several academic choices: two year transfer programs (AA and AS degrees); pre-professional courses; vocational diploma programs (AAS degree); professional certificate programs; and certificates of completion. In addition, the Continued Learning Center provides customized training and computer education for business and industry, open enrollment computer classes, community education and SeniorNet classes, and enrichment programs for children.

Itasca Community College has strong partnerships throughout the region and the state. ICC is a partner in the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence. The center was established by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in 2005 to build partnerships between higher education, business and industry to stimulate economic development through education, training, and applied research.

Itasca has strong ties with its area high schools, as a member of the Itasca Area Schools Collaborative (IASC), a group made up of seven surrounding school districts and the college. In addition, ICC is a member of the Applied Learning Institute, a regional organization of 16 school districts including the IASC team.