New SIU Carbondale Program Brings Home 4-Year Degree For Illinois Community College Students


September 27, 2021

New SIU Carbondale Program Brings Home 4-Year Degree For Illinois Community College Students

Saluki Step Ahead Brings SIU Carbondale to Illinois Community College Students

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A new agreement between Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) brings 4-year research university education to place-related students at Illinois community colleges.

The Saluki Step Ahead program offers qualified community college students the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree remotely and cheaply in six university programs: accounting, business administration, healthcare management, radiological sciences, criminology and criminal justice, and psychology.

“It is a game-changer and offers a valuable option for working adults and other students with limited pathways,” said SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane. “Many community college students cannot uproot their lives and come to Carbondale to get their bachelor’s degree. 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.

After earning an associate’s degree from an Illinois community college, eligible students can immediately advance to complete their bachelor’s degree online with SIU Carbondale without leaving their home.

Through Saluki Step Ahead, students pay the community college rate for their first two years of study with SIU Carbondale. In the third and fourth years, they receive an annual scholarship of $ 4,000, which significantly reduces the financial barriers to obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

“Illinois Community Colleges are always looking for ways to increase access and affordability for their students and the Saluki Step Ahead partnership does both. This program allows students to immediately accelerate their studies with a guaranteed and transparent transfer of courses to an established four-year institution at a fraction of the cost. It also gives them great flexibility by allowing them to complete their bachelor’s degree at home while retaining other responsibilities in life, ”said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham.

Illinois has the third largest community college system in the country with 48 colleges statewide. Community colleges annually serve over 600,000 Illinois residents through credit and non-credit courses and many more through their public service programs.

State-wide agreement between SIU Carbondale and ICCB allows individual community colleges to seamlessly join the Saluki Step Ahead program, including Shawnee Community College, which reached an agreement earlier this month .

The university is in talks with several other community colleges in the state about similar partnerships.

About the Carbondale SIU
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a doctoral research university, with several colleges, a law school, and a medical school. With over 200 majors, minors, and specializations, the university offers unique opportunities, including undergraduate research often reserved for graduate students elsewhere, and is committed to fostering student access and success. The beautiful campus includes a lake, forest, college farms, and world-class facilities.

SIU Carbondale Media Contact
Kim rendfeld
[email protected]

About the Illinois Community College Board of Trustees
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is the state’s coordinating organization for the Illinois community college system – the third largest in the country and the primary public trainer in workforce development of State. The ICCB has legal responsibility for administering state and federal grants to community college districts and adult education providers and for administering high school equivalency tests for Illinois. Illinois Community Colleges serve more than 600,000 residents annually through credit, non-credit, and continuing education courses. Illinois is home to 48 colleges in 39 community college districts that provide high-quality, accessible, and cost-effective educational opportunities statewide.

ICCB press contact
Matt berry
[email protected]


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