(Source: US Census Bureau, 2013-2017 ACS 5-year estimates)



The West Des Moines Community School District has deployed a new project-based learning program within its curriculum – the Project Based Learning Network. This tailored curriculum is designed with the end-product in mind, starting with a concept and creating a group project around that concept. These students are encouraged to think critically, collaborate, and communicate throughout this process, with the end result involving a presentation. The Project Based Learning Network is a pathway engaging students in tasks designed to provide the best context for learning.


The Waukee Community School District, which is within the West Des Moines corporate boundary, has launched a program to bring the business experience to the classroom – Waukee APEX. Waukee APEX draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real-world experience to high schoolers. Through passion-based learning, authentic projects, and experiences, students add value to business partners while exploring career possibilities identified by economic trends within the metro area and state.


Norwalk has implemented a Work-Based Learning program within its high school curriculum. The class requires students to shadow a professional in their desired career field, and the foundational principles of the class include resume review, interview skills, and appropriate workplace behaviors.

GoWest Educational Opportunities Text



Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) turns out more than 2,500 graduates annually, has a 98% placement rate, and has 6 campuses throughout the Des Moines Metro, with DMACC West located in West Des Moines. DMACC has community partnerships with several local companies and organizations to efficiently upskill the local workforce to meet the needs of local companies. DMACC also has a Business Resources division that provides skills training, talent development, and business consulting.

Des Moines University

Des Moines University is currently located 3 miles from West Des Moines and is the Metro’s elite medical school.  DMU is one of the top 25 largest medical schools in the U.S. The programs offered at DMU include osteopathic medicine, health sciences, and podiatric medicine and surgery.  DMU has recently announced that it will be constructing a 90 campus located in West Des Moines with plans to move campus operation by 2023.


Drake located 4 miles from West Des Moines, is a mid-sized private university, and boasts a 99% student success rate with more than 5,000 students enrolled. The programs offered at Drake include arts & sciences, business & public administration, education, journalism & mass communication, law, and pharmacy & health sciences. There is also an information technology program at Drake that includes specific programs for actuarial science, data centers and big data management.

Grand View University

Grand View University located 9 miles from West Des Moines, has an average of 2,000 students enrolled and has a job placement rate of 98%. Grand View offers a high-quality education to a diverse student body in a career-oriented, liberal arts-grounded curriculum. Its programs include art & design, biochemistry, business, communications, computer science, leadership, mathematics, nursing, and paralegal studies, among others.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University located 40 miles from West Des Moines, turns out more than 5,000 graduates annually and has a 97% placement rate. While you may know Iowa State for its athletic programs, its academic programs are remarkable. The programs that Iowa State offers include agriculture & life sciences, business, communication, design, education, engineering, human sciences, liberal arts & sciences, and veterinary medicine.

Simpson College

Simpson College located 21 miles from West Des Moines, has an average enrollment of 1,400 students. Simpson’s success in promoting quality programs and providing exceptional value have been recognized nationally by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges and U.S. News. The programs offered by Simpson include art, biology, business administration, chemistry, communication, education, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and sociology & criminal justice. Simpson has a location in West Des Moines.

The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa although located within 2 hours of West Des Moines, graduates more than 4,500 students annually, and the Des Moines Metro is a suitable market for these graduates. The University of Iowa carries out its academic mission primarily through its 11 colleges, which offer undergraduate and graduate education, professional education, and education and training in the health sciences. Its programs include business, dentistry, education, engineering, law, liberal arts & sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health.

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit comprehensive university with a traditional, residential campus in Fayette, Iowa, and 25 off-campus educational centers in the U.S. – one located in West Des Moines. The programs offered at the West Des Moines location include accounting, business administration, communication, criminal justice, financial management, graphic design, information systems, information technology, nursing, and software engineering.

Viterbo University

Viterbo University located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has satellite centers in West Allis, Wisconsin, and West Des Moines. The West Des Moines satellite center is a graduate program in education. Graduates are student-centered reflective practitioners who work toward continuous improvement.


West Des Moines Community Schools

Waukee Community School

Des Moines Public Schools

Norwalk Community School

Van Meter Community School

Van Meter School District works to graduate students who have well-rounded skills beyond mastery of content knowledge. They seek to empower learners who can recognize perspectives and take into account different backgrounds as they work in a collaborative setting. Van Meter Schools give students more responsibilities with their independent learning time and help them foster self-regulation skills.

Winterset Community School

Through a partnership with Des Moines Area Community College and area school districts, WCSD is able to offer college credit courses in Certified Nursing Assistants, Medical Terminology, Building/Construction Trades, Engineering, and Emergency Medical Technician.


Dowling Catholic High School

Al Razi Academy

Sacred Heart

Saint Francis of Assisi School