SAU, community college team up for affordable education

Then-St. Ambrose University (SAU) President Sister Joan Lescinski, SJC, who retired Aug. 7, and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) President Rob Denson sign an articulation agreement Aug. 4 ensuring that DMACC students who earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree can transfer to SAU in Davenport.

For The Catholic Messenger

The presidents of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and St. Ambrose University (SAU) signed an articulation agreement ensuring students who earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree can transfer to SAU and affordably earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in two years.

A second articulation agreement ensures students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree can enroll in an online SAU degree program and earn a Bachelor of Applied Management Studies degree within two years. This agreement creates pathways for students looking to advance their careers or change careers.

The signing took place Aug. 4 on the DMACC Ankeny campus. Present were then-SAU President Sister Joan Lescinski, SJC, who retired Aug. 7; DMACC President Rob Denson; MD Isley, DMACC vice president of Academic Affairs; and Paul Koch, SAU’s provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs.


“Dr. Koch and myself are here because we value our partnerships with Iowa community colleges and the students who enroll at St. Ambrose with associate’s degrees,” Sister Lescinski said. “Articu­lation agreements such as these are important in a time where affordability is top of mind for students and their families.”

“The timely completion of a bachelor’s degree is something community college graduates want. As students look for such opportunities, we hope they also will see how valued St. Ambrose graduates are in workplaces across the region, including in greater Des Moines.”

President Denson welcomed the new level of partnership with SAU, a private, 139-year-old Catholic institution. “Many of our graduates learn best through hands-on academic experience and the accessible faculty found at small, private universities such as St. Ambrose,” he said. “St. Ambrose graduates are embraced by employers throughout the greater Des Moines region and the state of Iowa. These articulation agreements add value to a Des Moines Area Community College degree.”

Earlier this year, St. Ambrose became the second Iowa private university to join the statewide Transfer Majors Associate Degree program. That program allows community college graduates from DMACC and other Iowa community colleges to enroll in 11 SAU degree programs and complete required courses in their chosen major through their community college curriculum.

For additional information, visit www.sau. edu/admissions/transfer or


Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, offers 200 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. For more information, visit

About St. Ambrose

Founded in 1882 by the Diocese of Davenport, St. Ambrose is a private, coeducational, comprehensive university with a firm grounding in the liberal arts, accredited by the Higher Learning Com­mission and a member of the North Central Asso­ciation. For more information, go to

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