New SIU-C program connects community college students with online 4-year degree

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CARBONDALE, Illinois (KFVS) – A new agreement between Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) will allow some community college students to earn a four-year degree.

The agreement under the Saluki Step Ahead program will enable qualified community college students to obtain a bachelor’s degree remotely and at a lower cost.

The offer covers the following six academic programs: Accounting, Business Administration, Healthcare Management, Radiological Sciences, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

Students will need an associate’s degree from an Illinois community college to participate. In the third and fourth years, through the Saluki Step Ahead program, students will receive an annual scholarship of $ 4,000 to help reduce the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree.

“Many community college students cannot uproot their lives and come to Carbondale to get their bachelor’s degrees,” said Carbondale SIU Chancellor Austin Lane. “We bring them SIU Carbondale in an accessible and affordable way. Students want our mark of diploma. They prefer to take courses at SIU Carbondale.

The the new program has been unveiled at Shawnee Community College in Ullin on September 17, with an agreement signing ceremony with the SIU.

The university is in talks with several other Illinois community colleges regarding similar partnerships.

“This program allows students to immediately accelerate their studies with a guaranteed and seamless transfer of coursework to an established four-year institution at a fraction of the cost,” said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham. “It also gives them great flexibility by allowing them to complete their bachelor’s degree at home while retaining other responsibilities in life.”

According to the SIU, Illinois has the third largest community college system in the country, with 48 colleges statewide. Over 600,000 Illinois residents participate in non-credit and credit courses each year.

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