By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — New articulation agreements between Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and St. Ambrose University aim to provide students with a smooth pathway from associate’s degree to bachelor’s degree for three majors. Don Doucette, chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, and Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose University, signed the new agreements July 15.
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) is comprised of Clinton, Muscatine and Scott community colleges. The new “2+2” agreements allow students who earn their two-year associate of arts degree at one of the three community colleges to transfer to St. Ambrose with a junior standing, Doucette said. “They can apply up to 64 credits from EICC toward completing a St. Ambrose bachelor’s degree,” he noted.
The agreements outline classes the students must complete at each institution and makes it easier for them to understand what they need to do to be successful and complete their bachelor’s degrees in four years. Both schools’ leaders said the agreements can help students make a college degree affordable and increase degree completion rates by providing a seamless transfer to St. Ambrose.
The 2+2 agreements apply to students majoring in elementary education, business sales and healthcare sales. “The sales majors are new additions for St. Ambrose, developed due to growing demand for a well-educated sales workforce,” Sr. Lescinski said. On average, St. Ambrose welcomes about 200 new transfer students each year, with more than 40 percent coming from EICC. The new agreements take effect this fall.
This is not the first time St. Ambrose has signed an agreement with area community colleges. Other agreements have been made with EICC, Black Hawk College in Moline and Kewanee, Ill., and Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill., to make it easier for those students to transfer to St. Ambrose without losing credits.
Sr. Lescinski said the university has worked directly with EICC to help advisors encourage students to look beyond an associate’s degree. If a student is interested and a major is offered at St. Ambrose, this new agreement can serve as a roadmap to obtaining a bachelor’s degree. “Education beyond high school is absolutely essential to compete in a global society,” Doucette said. “We want to help make a degree accessible and affordable to all.”