SIUC begins dual enrollment with Shawnee

By Gus Bode

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Shawnee Community College have begun a dual enrollment process administrators said would benefit the region.

The partnership between SCC and SIUC’s department of aviation technologies is the first of its kind for the university and was created in part to spur economic development in and around Cairo, said Mike Burgener, department chair for aviation technologies.

He said the partnership allows students to begin at SCC working toward an associate degree in aviation science and finish at SIUC with a bachelor’s in aviation technologies.


While this is similar to a traditional two-plus-two program where students transfer from a community college to a four-year university, Burgener said the difference is students will be simultaneously enrolled, taking aviation technology courses through SIUC while doing general studies at Shawnee.

Burgener said Larry Peterson, president of SCC and the driving force behind the program, wanted to find a way to stimulate economic development in Cairo. He said SCC is seeking funding to build a new aviation maintenance training facility at the Cairo Municipal Airport, which will provide many jobs for the region during the planning and construction stage.

Once the facility is built, he said, classes would begin in Cairo.

Jean Boyd, dean of instructional services at SCC, said the SCC students meet Wednesday at Shawnee’s Extension Center in Anna to take aviation technologies classes taught by SIUC instructors. On Fridays, the students take a bus to the Southern Illinois Airport near Carbondale for the lab portion of their classes, she said.

Boyd said the program is the first partnership of its kind between SCC and SIUC. However, she said animal science and teacher education dual enrollment programs were also being considered. The school would be open to any ideas of partnering with SIUC, she said.

Boyd said seven students are currently enrolled in the program, and the school is beginning to recruit students for the spring semester. Now that the program is an actuality, she said, students are more willing to participate.

‘It’s starting to garner more interest,’ she said. ‘We feel really good about it.’


Twelve scholarships will be awarded annually to a dozen students within the program, she said. These scholarships will waive all SCC tuition and pay for books for the first two years.

Chancellor Sam Goldman said the dual enrollment process also allows those involved in the program to lock in their SIUC tuition rate the year they enroll at SCC, because of the state’s tuition stabilization plan, Truth in Tuition, which requires a student’s tuition to be locked for four years.

Goldman said in the State of the University address Monday that the partnership between the two schools relates directly to the commitments SIUC has set for itself.

‘By establishing partnerships and embracing innovative approaches, we create new opportunities to serve more students,’ he said. ‘At the same time, we also underscore our commitments to accessibility, outreach and economic development.’

Madeleine Leroux contributed to this report.