North Iowa Area Community College has the distinction of being the first public two-year college in the state of Iowa, having been established in 1918 as Mason City Junior College. NIACC is an integral part of the educational, cultural, and economic foundation of the nine-county region it serves. The College operates a main campus in Mason City, a progressive community of 30,000 located halfway between Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Des Moines, Iowa. The main campus encompasses over 500 acres of land, including contemporary facilities, an agricultural technology center, athletic facilities, and lakeside student housing. Mason City and surrounding communities provide a strong manufacturing, nursing, and retail base with outstanding schools and cultural and recreational opportunities.