SIU Carbondale inks agreement to improve access for Lake Land College
CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale strengthened its commitment to students in central Illinois today (Feb. 1) with an agreement to bring the expertise of a doctoral research university to qualified community college students by providing the option to earn their bachelor’s degrees remotely and at a lower cost in 10 academic programs.
SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane and Lake Land College President Josh Bullock signed an agreement for the Saluki Step Ahead program. 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, nursing (RN to BSN), psychology and radiologic sciences.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Lake Land College to provide another option for place-bound students in this region,” Lane said. “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.”
Lane added this Saluki Step Ahead agreement fits well with the university’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its pillars of student success and partnerships.
The new Lake Land College agreement brings SIU Carbondale to a total of 31 Saluki Step Ahead pacts that the university has with community colleges in Illinois, Missouri and Texas so far.
“This new partnership with Southern Illinois University is a great example of our strategic plan objective to strengthen and expand transfer pathways that provide new and flexible opportunities for area residents to complete their educational goals,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said. “The Saluki Step Ahead program provides Lake Land alumni a high quality, accessible option to earn a bachelor’s degree in high demand programs that lead to high demand careers.”
Founded in 1966 in Mattoon, Lake Land serves nearly 15,000 students a year through transfer ready, workforce ready and non-credit continuing education programs. Lake Land serves a nearly 4,000 square mile district encompassing 53 communities and 31 public school districts. Lake Land also has extension centers in Effingham, Marshall and Pana and provides educational programs to 23 adult correctional and two juvenile centers throughout the state. Lake Land has been named in the top 150 community colleges in the nation five times by the Aspen Institute and offers students wrap-around success services and more than 150 majors that prepare them to transfer or enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
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 an annual $4,000 scholarship. For more about Saluki Step Ahead, read the press release announcing the initiative.