SIU Carbondale Signs Agreements to Improve Student Access at Prairie State, College of DuPage


Saluki Step Ahead Expands: Saluki Step Ahead gained two more members on Friday, September 16, with deals with the College of DuPage and Prairie State College. At Prairie State in Chicago Heights, (seated left to right) Dan Mahony, president of the SIU system, Austin A. Lane, chancellor of Carbondale, and Michael Anthony, president of Prairie State College, along with representatives from both institutions, applaud “Go Pioneers!” Go Dawgs! (Photo provided)

September 16, 2022

SIU Carbondale Signs Agreements to Improve Student Access at Prairie State, College of DuPage

CARBONDALE, Illinois – Southern Illinois University Carbondale has strengthened its commitment to students in the Chicagoland area with agreements to bring the expertise of a doctoral research university to qualified community college students by offering the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree. remotely and at a lower cost in nine academic programs.

SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane today (Sept. 16) signed agreements with Prairie State College and the DuPage College participate in Saluki step forward. Established in 2021, the program allows students who earn an associate’s degree from community colleges to complete their online bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration, criminology and criminal justice, early childhood education, elementary education, health care management, nursing nursing (RN to BSN), psychology and radiological sciences. Nursing, early childhood and primary education have recently been added to the academic program offerings.

The signing ceremonies, which took place during the Saluki Takeover Tour: Chicago, are part of SIU Carbondale’s commitment to providing Chicagoland students with an affordable, high-quality college education at a research-intensive university. Other initiatives include a partnership with Hope Chicago, which provides a debt-free education for students at five Chicago high schools and one of their parents, and closing the financial gap in tuition for residents of Chicago. Illinois who qualify with the Saluki Commitment and the Saluki Transfer Commitment.

Lane said the latest Saluki Step Ahead agreements align well with the university’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its pillars of student success and partnerships.

“We are proud of the top-notch education and unique opportunities Salukis receive at our beautiful campus,” Lane said. “But we understand that not all Chicago students can move to Carbondale to complete their education, so we will be bringing SIU Carbondale to Windy City. We are committed to providing access and affordability, breaking down barriers for all students, and opening new pathways for those with limited options.

The new agreements will bring SIU Carbondale to a total of 24 Saluki Step Ahead pacts the university has entered into with community colleges in Illinois, Missouri and Texas so far, including eight colleges in Chicagoland.

Prairie State College is a two-year institution serving Community College District 515 and offers associate degrees, technical and vocational certificates, and community college education and workforce development programs . Prairie State is the first community college in Illinois to guarantee that all credits will transfer to other colleges and universities in Illinois, an assurance developed through the Illinois Articulation Initiative.

“This partnership with Southern Illinois University is the epitome of our slogan, ‘Start near. Go far,'” said Michael Anthony, president of Prairie State College. line at SIU We exhaust our resources to prepare our students for success and are excited to provide a pathway from PSC Pioneers to SIU Salukis.

The College of DuPage enrolls approximately 21,000 students each term and is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 vocational and technical certificates in more than 50 fields of study.

“The College of DuPage is thrilled with the breadth of opportunities available to our students through the Saluki Step Ahead program,” said College of DuPage President Brian Caputo. “This agreement provides an invaluable platform for students to gain affordable access to education while pursuing a range of academic goals.”

Students enrolled in the program pay community college fees for their first two years. In the third and fourth years, they receive an annual scholarship of $4,000. The goal is for them to graduate for $25,000 or less. To learn more about Saluki Step Ahead, read the press release the announcement of the initiative.


Celebrating the deal at DuPage College in Glen Ellyn are (left to right) Josi Rawls, SIU Associate Director for Transfer Relations; SIU System President Dan Mahony; SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin A. Lane; DuPage College President Brian Caputo; Mark Curtis-Chavez, COD Provost, and Courtney Hatcher, COD Coordinator for Articulation and Partnerships. (Photo provided)


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