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History of Iowa Lakes Community College Aviation Programs

For those searching for a new, rewarding career, pilot demand is growing rapidly in the United States. If you’ve always wanted to join the exciting world of aviation, you first need the right education. The school you train at will set you up for success down the road, whether you want to be a private pilot, commercial airline pilot, flight instructor or airport manager. If you’ve been browsing flight schools, Iowa Lakes Community College has an aviation program that might be a good fit for you. Let’s take a look at some of the background and future outlook of this college to help you determine whether or not it’s worth attending.

A Background of Iowa Lakes Flight School

Established in 1966, Iowa Lakes Community College serves the communities of Estherville, Algona, Emmetsburg, Spirit Lake and Spencer. With a campus that covers an area of about 3,000 square miles and a population of 75,000, it’s one of the largest community college systems in the state of Iowa. After legislation passed in 1967, several regional schools were consolidated, marking the official start of Iowa Lakes Community College, encompassing 26 community school districts. Serving mostly rural communities, the early days were marked by the merging of schools like Estherville and Emmetsburg Junior Colleges, until in 1972, when official facilities were constructed to serve the new liberal arts and vocational-technical schools. By 1983, the school was growing rapidly, particularly after they implemented innovative instructional courses via television. This delivered four courses across two channels and became so popular that they decided to open The Spirit Lake Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College. Just 10 years later, they moved once again to their new and present home in Estherville.

Iowa Lakes Community College: Into the Future

The future outlook of Iowa Lakes Community College is strong, with it being ranked in the top twenty community colleges in the U.S. Their programs are set up to help students prepare for a four-year bachelor’s degree, adults who are interested in continuing education and those wanting a foot in the door with an entry-level career. With a fantastic student to faculty ratio, students get more one-on-one time with their flight instructors. A 15 percent higher-than-average graduation rate shows that students at Iowa Lakes are poised for success in whatever type of future endeavor they choose to pursue.

What to Expect Attending Iowa Lakes Community College


The main campus of Iowa Lakes Community College is located in Estherville, while several satellite campuses exist in locations like Algona, Emmetsburg, Spencer and Spirit Lake. Recent expansions have taken place, including the construction of the Janice K. Lund Performing Arts Center.


Flight training courses for Iowa Lakes Aviation students take place at Estherville Municipal Airport.


The student-to-faculty ratio at Iowa Lakes Community College is 14:1, so you get a more personal educational experience working with flight instructors and aviation professors.

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to develop professional pilots by providing affordable and high-quality flight training to our students, and we deliver on that promise each day.”


The Aviation & Airport Management program supplies you with private pilot and commercial pilot licenses, multi-engine and instrument ratings, and certified flight instructor licensing. Graduating from this program will give you an associates of applied science (AAS) in Aviation. You’ll be set up for entry-level positions in the aviation field or a chance to transfer credits to a bachelor’s program.

Tuition Cost

At Iowa Lakes Community College, student pilots can expect to pay around $22,000 for their first year and $18,000 for their second year.

Learn more about Iowa Lakes Community College Aviation Program.

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Get personalized, affordable instruction through a reputable group of instructors like Inflight Pilot Training. Our flight training programs are designed entirely around our students, so our graduation rates are incredibly high. Plus, your money goes straight to your certification, not expensive tuition overhead. And with accelerated learning programs, you can get licensed even quicker. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.