SIU Carbondale, 3 community colleges in Chicagoland to improve access for students


During the Saluki Takeover: Chicago tour, SIU Carbondale signed agreements with three community colleges in Windy City. Carbondale SIU Chancellor Austin Lane and Harper College President Avis Proctor wave the newly signed pacts. (photo by SIU)

06 October 2021

SIU Carbondale, 3 community colleges in Chicagoland to improve access for students

by Kim Rendfeld

CHICAGO – Southern Illinois University Carbondale has partnered with three community colleges in Chicagoland to bring the expertise of a doctoral research university to students linked to the place. On October 4 and 5, SIU Carbondale entered into agreements with Harper College, Oakton Community College and Harold Washington College, which are part of the City Colleges of Chicago.

“SIU Carbondale is committed to providing access, affordability and removing barriers for all students,” SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane said. “We are proud of our beautiful campus and the top-notch education and unique opportunities that Salukis receives. But we don’t understand all Chicago students can move to Carbondale to complete their studies, so we will bring SIU Carbondale to Windy City. “

The signing ceremonies were part of a larger SIU Carbondale initiative, Saluki Takeover Tour: Chicago. Representatives from SIU Carbondale met with school administrators, alumni groups and other constituents to improve access for students and build partnerships in the Windy City. Coverage of the takeover of Saluki is available on the SIU Foundation website Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Harper College and Oakton Community College have signed Saluki Step Ahead Agreements, which provide qualified community college students the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree remotely and cheaply in six academic programs: accounting, business and administration, healthcare management health, radiological sciences, criminology and criminal justice, and psychology.

After earning an associate’s degree from the community college, students can continue their education online without leaving their hometown. Students in the program pay the community college rate for their first two years. In the third and fourth years, they receive an annual scholarship of $ 4,000. The goal is to enable them to graduate for $ 25,000 or less.

In addition, SIU Carbondale will have a dedicated physical space within the Harper College Academic Center to offer selected undergraduate programs. SIU faculty will teach the last two years of accounting, paralegal studies, and public safety management.

“Partnering with SIU through the Saluki Step Ahead program and our university center offers valuable new avenues to a bachelor’s degree for students, especially adult learners who can handle jobs, families and other commitments,” said Avis Proctor, president of Harper College. “These new ventures present a tremendous opportunity for students, families and, ultimately, our communities.

At Oakton College, students who earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science will also receive automatic general admission to SIU (some programs have separate admission criteria).

“We are extremely grateful for the SIU Carbondale partnership and delighted with the opportunities this offers Oakton students,” said Oakton Community College President Joianne L. Smith. “Seamlessly transferring to SIU Carbondale to earn an online bachelor’s degree removes barriers for many students unable to make it to the SIU Carbondale campus. This aligns with our equity priorities by increasing access to learning opportunities.

At Harold Washington College, the two institutions signed Equity in Accounting and Star Scholar Renewal Agreements.

“City Colleges of Chicago strives for equity and inclusion, and this agreement will help close the gap of opportunity for our black and brown students in this industry. We are extremely grateful to SIU Carbondale for their partnership, ”said Juan Salgado, Chancellor of the City College of Chicago.

The Accounting Equity Agreement is a partnership to improve social equity and provide eligible, underserved community residents an affordable path to a SIU bachelor’s degree in accounting while they stay in Chicago. After earning an associate’s degree, students can complete their Bachelor of Accounting degree online with SIU Carbondale. The program aims to diversify the field of accounting, of which 8.8% identify as black.

Through Star Scholars, City Colleges students can attend for free and then receive a scholarship from the partner university they are transferred to. SIU will offer a scholarship of $ 1,000 to these students, who must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

“People with limited pathways need more opportunities to get their bachelor’s degree,” Lane said. “Our agreements with Harper College, Oakton Community College and City Colleges of Chicago give local students more options to achieve their goals. These agreements fit well with our Imagine strategic plan, which includes pillars to improve student success; improve diversity, equity and inclusion; and build our partnerships.

City College of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado and Chancellor Lane celebrate agreements between their institutions.  (photo by SIU)

Oakton Community College President Joianne L. Smith, Oakton Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs Ileo Lott and Chancellor Austin Lane sign the agreements. (photo provided)

City College of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado and Chancellor Lane celebrate agreements between their institutions.  (photo by SIU)

City College of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado and Chancellor Austin Lane celebrate agreements between their institutions. (photo by SIU)


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