Message from the President

As an alumna of Indian Hills Community College, a 40-year educator, and a lifetime resident of southern Iowa, I am excited to share the stories and statistics in this publication. As you read and review this information, you will see how education can truly be a catalyst for improving individual lives and communities. You will also see the commitment of Indian Hills Community College to provide quality education and experiences, and you will see many examples of success. Most of all, you will see how proud we are to serve you. Thank you for helping us to be Life. Changing.

-Marlene Sprouse, 4th President

The Life. Changing. tagline was adopted just a few short months into my time at Indian Hills, but I can’t think of anything to better describe the impact that Indian Hills has on the lives of southern Iowans. The stories that follow show exactly the impact, and yes, change, that Indian Hills has had on the lives of non-traditional students, concurrent enrollment graduates and community leaders throughout our region. As the fifth president of Indian Hills Community College, I am honored to carry on the Life. Changing. legacy of providing high-quality, in-demand education at an affordable price to all southern Iowans.

-Matt Thompson, 5th President


Joel Pedersen

Associate of Arts, '96

College was kind of a scary thing for me because no one in my family or extended family had been to college. I knew Indian Hills was going to be the right size for me. It allowed me to learn about the college experience, and I had people who kind of wrapped their arms around me and made sure that I had a great experience. I needed some place that I was going to be cared for, and Indian Hills was that place for me.

Even though it’s been more than twenty years since I attended Indian Hills, the partnership between Cardinal Community Schools and Indian Hills continues to have a positive impact on me as the Superintendent of the Cardinal Community School District. Not only did Indian Hills change my life by helping me start off on the right path in college, but it changes the lives of students throughout our region because of the partnerships we have today.


Connor Riley

Associate of Arts, '20

I chose to attend Indian Hills because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career, but I knew I wanted to find my passion. My parents attended Indian Hills, so I knew that it would be a great place for me to start, have a great experience, and determine what I want to major in. I was able to take some classes in high school through concurrent enrollment and then finish my degree once I enrolled at Indian Hills full-time. I now know that I want to major in Biology thanks to the assistance and guidance from professors. I’m excited about my next step in my education.

Sydney Damerval

Associate of Nursing Degree, '20

I chose to attend Indian Hills because it is close to home, it’s a smart financial decision and it has a great nursing program. I love that we have a lot of clinical experiences as part of the nursing program. We are in clinicals at least two-days a week every week, so that gives us a lot of hands-on learning opportunities. We also have the opportunities to visit a variety of different clinical sites, from long-term care facilities to hospitals and clinics.

I was actually able to start the nursing program at Indian Hills while I was in high school. I completed the CNA program before I graduated from Ottumwa High School, then completed my LPN degree. That has allowed me to work part-time while I also complete my RN degree. It has been a great experience for me!


Hailey Swan

Associate of Arts, '20

I had heard from other friends who went to Indian Hills and from teachers at my High School that it would be a great start to really get that college aspect of learning how to grow in different areas if you didn't really know what you specifically wanted to study yet, it would be a great idea to go there. Then I came here, and my perspecitive changed because the teachers that I met and the people that I have surrounded myself with has shown me that Indian Hills is not just a place where you come to learn, but also makes you a lifelong learner. 


Isaiah Scales

Associate of Arts, '01

Indian Hills was perfect for me because it allowed me to go to college close to home and also gave me a chance to not only continue my education but allowed me to continue furthering my radio career. Indian Hills gave me the opportunity to learn how to be a college student. It gave me the opportunity to get my footing, before transferring to the University of Iowa. I don’t think I would have gotten there without the guidance that I received at Indian Hills. It really prepared me to be the best student I could be.


Jenilee McCarty

Associate of Arts, '02
Cybersecurity & Network Administration, '17

I have a long history with Indian Hills, as I attended several times before finally finding the right program for me and my career. I attended right out of high school and completed my AA and AS while
playing softball. I had intended to go to Iowa to pursue a degree in pharmacy, but life happened and I decided to stay in Ottumwa and work at Hy-Vee. A couple of years later, I thought maybe the Medical
Laboratory Technology program was the right fit for me as it would allow me to make a difference in people’s lives. I worked for a brief time in the lab at Ottumwa Regional Health Center, but the program
just wasn’t the right fit. I went back to Hy-Vee and worked in the pharmacy. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and that pushed me to keep looking for a career that I truly enjoyed. I enrolled in the
Cybersecurity & Network Administration program at Indian Hills and I couldn’t be happier with my career choice. I get to help people every day with situations that frustrate them, and I make a difference in people’s lives. I encourage everyone to not put your dreams off and to take the leap and pursue the degree you really want. Trust me, you won’t regret it!