By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — A dual admission agreement between St. Ambrose University and Quad-City area community colleges will make transfers to St. Ambrose more seamless.
On June 4 the leaders of St. Ambrose University, Eastern Iowa Community College and Black Hawk College in Illinois signed an agreement after a three-year-long process that is anticipated to increase the number of students graduating with associate and bachelor’s degrees as well as provide a seamless transfer to St. Ambrose. In addition, students enrolled in the program will be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship beyond other St. Ambrose academic and institutional scholarships and aid.
Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose, noted that in the past 10 years more than 2,500 community college students have transferred to St. Ambrose. Of that total, more than 85 percent came from Black Hawk and Eastern Iowa Community colleges.
With the new agreement, Sr. Lescinski said community college students will know they can transfer smoothly and be on track for a timely graduation.
The dual admission program also offers numerous benefits. In addition to students earning associate degrees from the accredited community college, most general education requirements they take will satisfy St. Ambrose’s requirements.
Once enrolled as a freshman at the community college level, Sr. Lescinski said, students will be paired up one on one with academic counseling and regular contact with a St. Ambrose academic advisor to assist in setting and meeting the student’s academic goals.
By applying for the dual admission program prior to completing 30 credit hours, students are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship once they begin full-time studies at St. Ambrose.
A St. Ambrose ID will give the community college students access to a wide range of services, activities, club meetings, events and facilities at St. Ambrose. This includes the library, fine arts center, physical education center and career development center on the St. Ambrose campus.
“Partnering within our community is of high value,” Sr. Lescinski said.
Thomas Bayrum, Black Hawk College president in the Illinois Quad-City area, said the goal for students is success. He noted that Black Hawk has worked hard over the past three years to make a clearer path to its students’ dreams “and this avenue can help them accomplish this … We have a strong connection with St. Ambrose and Eastern Iowa Community College to benefit our community. This is especially important to make this transition complete.”
He noted that “as a community college, we value our role in providing access to affordable and quality higher education. Helping our students to see how they can extend their education from Black Hawk College to St. Ambrose University is indeed a positive development for us and for our students.”
Donald Doucette, chancellor for Eastern Iowa Community College (EICC), said “Completing a degree makes a difference in lives.”
EICC is made up of community colleges in Clinton, Muscatine and Scott counties, as well as various satellite locations. The agreement, Doucette said, is another tool to lead students on the path to success.
“Many of our students find it difficult to move out of town to continue their education and this partnership is key to their being able to earn their bachelor’s degree while staying close to home. We are very happy to work with St. Ambrose on this dual enrollment partnership, making it even easier to transfer between our institutions.”
Following the press conference, Sr. Lescinski said, “This will be a rich experience for students. They will already feel welcome here at St. Ambrose.”