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SIUC Partners with Illinois Community Colleges on Step Ahead Program

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SIUC is making it easier for community college students in Illinois who can't make it to Carbondale to earn a bachelor's degree.

The Saluki Step Ahead program, announced Monday, allows students who've earned their associate's degree to take remote classes through their local community college in six areas: Accounting, Business Administration, Healthcare Management, Radiologic Sciences, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

“This is a game-changer and provides a valuable option to working adults and other students with limited pathways,” said SIU Chancellor Austin Lane. “Many community college students can’t uproot their lives and come to Carbondale to earn their bachelor’s degrees. We’re taking SIU Carbondale to them. Students want our brand of degree. They prefer to take classes from SIU.”

The program also offers a lower cost to the students and their families. Administrators say they're working on broadening the access to SIU, and giving students more options for the future.

“Illinois community colleges are always looking for ways to increase access and affordability for its students and the Saluki Step Ahead partnership does both. This program allows students to immediately accelerate their education with guaranteed and seamless transfer of courses to an established four-year institution at a fraction of the cost. It also gives them tremendous flexibility by allowing them to complete their bachelor's degree at home while maintaining other life responsibilities,” said ICCB executive director Brian Durham.

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