IVCC partners with SIU Carbondale to offer remote bachelor’s degrees

Students can enroll in Saluki Step Ahead program for discounted rates

Illinois Valley Community College President Tracy Morris (right) signs the agreement for the Saluki Step Ahead program partnership with Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, as Mark Grzybowski, vice president for student services, looks on.

Illinois Valley Community College students will have the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees remotely and at a lower cost in 12 academic programs through a partnership between IVCC and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Austin A. Lane and IVCC President Tracy Morris signed an agreement for the Saluki Step Ahead program May 8 during a virtual ceremony.

Established in 2021, the program enables students who graduate with an associate degree from partnering community colleges to complete their SIU bachelor’s degrees online in accounting, business administration, criminology and criminal justice, early childhood, elementary education, health care management, history, industrial management and applied engineering, information technology, nursing (RN to BSN), psychology and radiologic sciences.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Illinois Valley Community College to provide another option for place-bound students in this region,” Lane said in a news release from IVCC. “If these students cannot come to Carbondale to complete their education, we will bring the experience and resources of a doctoral research university to them.”

Southern Illinois University Chancellor Austin Lane (middle) signs the Saluki Step Ahead agreement with Illinois Valley Community College during a virtual ceremony Wednesday, May 8, 2024, with (from left) Wendell Williams, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management; Sheryl Tucker, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Sarah Jiter, director of undergraduate admissions; and Josi Rawls, associate director for transfer relations.

IVCC, which was established in 1924 and is the second-oldest community college in the state, has 21 associate degree programs, 59 certificate programs and four transfer degree options.

IVCC’s district encompasses more than 2,000 square miles, covering all of Putnam County; a majority of La Salle and Bureau counties; and portions of DeKalb, Grundy, Lee, Livingston and Marshall counties. About 145,000 residents live in the college district.

“This is such a great opportunity for our students to complete their baccalaureate degree completely online. And for our community, this will create even more access to bachelor’s degrees,” Morris said in the release.

Jim Moskalewicz, an IVCC counselor, said the Saluki Step Ahead “offers discounted options for place-bound students seeking a high-quality online baccalaureate degree.”

Students in the Saluki Step Ahead program pay the community college rate for their first two years. In the third and fourth years, they receive annual $4,000 scholarships.

SIU Carbondale has about 50 Saluki Step Ahead partnerships with community colleges in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including pacts with 43 of the 48 community colleges in Illinois.

Have a Question about this article?