SIU Announces Saluki Step Ahead Program for Community College Grads

By Benjamin Cox on September 28, 2021 at 1:07pm

A new program is aiming to make it easier for community college students to earn a 4-year degree.

The effort is a partnership between SIU-Carbondale and the Illinois Community College Board, the program lets students graduating with an associate’s degree jump into 1 of 6 online bachelor’s degree programs at SIU. ICC Board Executive Director Brian Durham says this will be a big help to students who can’t go away to school. He says it will also ensure that all their college credit will transfer: “[This program] makes [college] more affordable. Community College students would do their first two years at the community college and then, they would go to SIU without ever leaving their home, but they would have access to a $4,000 a year scholarship from SIU. We want to do everything we can to clear away barriers for students so that they can get their education at the community college and have opportunities at SIU or any other university that might want to talk to us about doing a similar kind of agreement. We really want to empower students to have as much access as possible.”

Community Colleges will have to sign up for the “Saluki Step Ahead” Program. Degrees offered include accounting, business administration, psychology, criminal justice, radiological sciences, and healthcare management. All of the coursework for the program would be performed online, and certain qualified students will be eligible to receive a $4,000 scholarship for each of their last two years significantly reducing any financial hurdles they may face.