Iowa’s community colleges are facing new challenges as more citizens seek classes community colleges provide. According to an article in the Sioux City Journal:

“We’re growing like a weed,” said Steve Ovel of the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents and Trustees. “There are a lot of pressure points.”

Comparing Iowa’s community colleges to an unwanted nuisance plant is a little peculiar. This is perhaps not the simile I would have chosen, particularly in an agricultural state, but still. Community colleges are growing. And they’re growing fast.

According to the article, fall 2010 enrollment in Iowa community colleges rose 14.3 percent, to 133,387 students, the largest number of students that have ever been enrolled in the system.

Echoing sentiments heard across the country, Iowa’s 15 institutions are under pressure from budget cuts occurring at the same time newly unemployed workers are going to community colleges to try and obtain new skills.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer