Higher Education for All

By Gus Bode

Two plus two no longer equals four. SIU’s Two Plus Two outreach program, which is a preadmission program to help community college students make a seamless transition to SIU, is gaining new recognition for extending its services to several local businesses in addition to seven community colleges and more than one thousand students.

John Davis, special assistant to the president, said the program was started as a recruitment tool aimed at students graduating from community colleges.

“We created the outreach centers because we were losing transfer students to institutions that are outside of the region – Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri based programs,” Davis said. “We have high quality programs at SIU that are not only as good as, but exceed those programs.”


Originally aimed at community colleges, Two Plus Two, which began in 1996, has since broadened its horizons and extended its outreach to include classes at Continental Tire through the John A. Logan outreach office. Facilities at Continental Tire are provided while instructors come from both John A. Logan and SIU.

SIU provides Workforce Education through the College of Education and provides Technical Resource Management through the College of Applied Sciences to the employees at Continental.

Proposals have been made for additional outreach programs at Aisin and General Dynamics in Marion. These programs would also be provided through the John A. Logan outreach office, which provides the largest number of students to the program.

Students in the community college programs had a 68 percent graduation rate according to a study of 528 students by Brad Simpson, the Two Plus Two coordinator and acting director at the John A. Logan service center.

“This is a pipeline program,” Simpson said. “Right now the thousand or so students that we’re serving will be coming to SIU anywhere from this to fall of 2010, and we’ll continue to recruit more. This is going to be a big year for us.”

Program directors have notified the Saluki Volunteer Corp. that they need volunteers to help their students. They have also turned in an application to receive state funds from this year’s budget.

In addition to a director, each center has one to two student volunteers. Suzanne Reese, a graduate student in public communications who serves as an intern assisting in the outreach programs as a final requirement for her degree, said the Two Plus Two program is a great way for students to graduate on time.


“Working to provide students attending these colleges an easy route so that they can continue into a four year program is great,” she said.

Davis said he would like to see more graduate students used in the program – most students in the two plus two program receive their degree in less than five semesters at SIU.

Simpson, though, said offering baccalaureate programs at some of the community college level is a goal for the future. Some of the campuses already offer education, special education and early childcare programs through SIU.

Davis said he won’t know how successful the program was until the tenth day of enrollment, when the transfer figures are available.

“It’s a good program that needed to be supported and used in a more expeditious manner to help transfer students transfer easily from community colleges. It’s their perfect vehicle,” Simpson said.

Brandy Oxford can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 255 or [email protected].