Left to right: Lorine S. Samuels – Chair, GSU Board of Trustees; (standing) Linda Uzureau – Assistant to the President for Community College Partnerships; Elaine P. Maimon – President, Governors State University. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)
University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Governors State University (GSU) is Illinois’ first public university to sign a national call for action pledging increased commitment to increasing the number of community college graduates in the United States. GSU believes strongly in the mission of public universities to support community college partners.
In a unanimous vote, GSU’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution backing the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) “completion agenda.” As part of its call to action, the AACC is asking member institutions to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices, and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certifications by 2020.
“For students who begin higher education at a community college, the completion of both an associate and baccalaureate degree is integral to their success,” said Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, president of Governors State University. “By developing targeted strategies with our community college partners, we can help ensure that the goals of the completion agenda are met.”
Dr. Maimon and GSU Board of Trustees Chair Lorine S. Samuels signed the call to action following approval of the Board’s resolution. Maimon noted that the U.S. was once the world’s leader in the number of young adults with college degrees, but now ranks tenth. She added that only 10 percent of students entering community colleges achieve a bachelor’s degree within six years.
GSU has longstanding partnerships with area community colleges. In the past year, the university has taken a number of steps to strengthen those relationships and boost the number of college graduates, both at the community college and university level. In the summer, the university helped establish the Chicagoland Alliance for Degree Completion. The regional consortium engages in collaborative programs, efforts, and activities that facilitate and enhance student success toward matriculation and degree completion.
GSU, in partnership with six regional community colleges, is offering a Dual Degree Program. The program facilitates the completion of associate and bachelor’s degrees by providing a seamless transfer between community college and GSU. By locking in GSU’s tuition at the student’s freshmen level and providing access to GSU Promise scholarships, the program ensures an affordable college education. The Dual Degree Program goes far beyond traditional articulation agreements between universities and community colleges.
For more information on the Dual Degree Program, visit www.govst.edu/dualdegree or call (708) 534-4494.