Community colleges throughout Illinois are saving SIUC a seat.
In a joint effort, staff in the president’s and chancellor’s offices are setting up outreach centers at nine state community colleges to increase the university’s presence as an option for students.
“I think it will encourage students to not be hesitant to continue their education,” interim chancellor John Dunn said.
The main purpose is to make sure students have information about the university and how to transfer to Carbondale, he said.
John A. Logan Community College President Robert Mees said SIUC and his college in Carterville have always worked closely.
The campuses have agreements with housing, international students, transportation and work together in the 2+2 program – an effort allowing students to complete their first two years of school at John A. Logan and the rest at SIUC.
“It’s very important that that whole program is planned out from day one,” Mees said. “That way, they can probably complete their degree in a more timely basis and not take any unnecessary classes that won’t help them finalize their degree.”
He said the outreach centers would help students in the same way, and give SIUC a greater physical presence on the John A. Logan campus.
“It will allow us to have even better articulation and cooperation with SIU-Carbondale,” Mees said. “A lot of our students go on to SIU, but I think this will definitely increase that number.”
Southeastern Illinois College, Shawnee Community College, Kaskaskia College, Southwestern Illinois College and the four campuses of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges system have also offered space for SIUC to set up outposts, said John Davis, SIU’s special assistant to the president.
“It’s our hope that we’ll be able to move forward as quickly as possible in doing what we’re going to do at Logan,” Davis said.
Dunn said the university hopes to initiate the centers when the new fiscal year starts in July.
“I think that it conveys very nicely that we have a very positive and very strong relationship with our community colleges, and the students that we collectively serve, and that we want to serve them the very best that we can,” Dunn said.
Davis said a closer relationship with local community colleges could help connect SIUC to high schools that already work closely with the community colleges.
Ashley Young, a sophomore from Ava studying special education at John A. Logan, said she is part of the 2+2 program and will transfer to SIUC in the fall. She said she joined the program to ensure the transfer of her credits.
She said the SIUC representative she spoke to about the program answered her questions and made her comfortable with the decision to attend SIUC.
“It was very welcoming,” Young said. “I’m glad they’re bringing people from SIUC into John A. I think it’s a great idea.”
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