By Anne Marie Amacher
A St. Ambrose doctoral graduate who read about Dual Admission Agreements between the Davenport university and other community colleges took the initiative to begin talks to have her community college join the program.
Lori Sundberg, president of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill., graduated from St. Ambrose with a doctorate in business administration. “She heard about the agreement with Eastern Iowa Community College and Black Hawk College and reached out to Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, (St. Ambrose’s president),” said John Cooper, vice president for enrollment management at St. Ambrose.
Because of Sundberg’s initiative, students from the Galesburg community college can get a head start on a bachelor’s degree at St. Ambrose University through a new Dual Admission Agreement Program (DUAPP) announced Nov. 19.
Sundberg and Cooper made the announcement and signed the agreement on the Galesburg college’s campus.
St. Ambrose had previously entered DUAPPs with Eastern Iowa Community College in Scott, Clinton and Muscatine counties and Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill.
Students who transfer and enroll in the DUAPP will receive an additional $1,000 annual scholarship beyond other St. Ambrose academic and institutional scholarships and aid.
Cooper said students also lock in general education graduation requirements, meet regularly with a St. Ambrose advisor while still enrolled at Carl Sandburg and can take advantage of the St. Ambrose Career Development Center, library, athletics facilities, free admission to fine arts events and home games and co-curricular opportunities within their major.
“This is a great opportunity for our students. It allows our students, the moment they start here, to be able to have that final goal of a four-year degree,” Sundberg said. “It helps with (student) retention and completion for us, and it provides for St. Ambrose a student who is ready to be there as a junior.”
The agreement also builds on an existing strength and area of strategic focus at St. Ambrose, which has welcomed more than 2,500 community college transfer students to the university over the past 10 years, Cooper said.
“What it’s intended to do is ensure a smooth transition for students, but also to start building community with those students,” he added. “It’s so important that students feel part of an institution, and it’s great that that community and family-type feeling starts even before they hit the campus.”
Cooper said St. Ambrose is interested in offering the Dual Admission Agreement Program to more community colleges in Iowa and Illinois. “This is a great opportunity for students and we want to take this on the road.”