While we in higher education are very familiar with the concept of dual enrollment and we understand the benefits of such partnerships, there is a segment of the population that seems to be overlooked. Traditional “Dual Enrollment” programs are aimed at full-time students hoping to power through their Baccalaureate within four years or less using the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school. What happens to the night student plugging away one or two courses at a time? After years of connectivity with their local Community College and years of having the support of local staff and community college resources they are pushed out into the world of online degrees which, admittedly, will not be able to replace all of the services rendered by the community colleges simply due to the format of online education and the obvious lack of physical presence. Students need to have a connection. Why not let that connection be maintained, making the transition to the university a slower and easier process for all.
We all know the why: maintaining tuition dollars and enrollment numbers; increasing retention and graduation rates; showing that community college students are better prepared and, therefore, more likely to succeed at the next level. We also know that participation in IAI has made life much easier for the transfer student.
What you may not realize is that students who apply to the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies before their graduation from your institute will:
- have the added benefit of the tuition freeze. maintaining active and continuous enrollment of at least 1 credit per credit will ensure this.
- possibly take fewer courses by double dipping general education courses with upper division courses, 300/400 junior/senior level courses of which they need 40 credits. (Ex: Student A has an applied science degree in Human Services. The applied science courses will transfer in as electives within the BGS program, but the student has decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Of course, being an Applied Science degree holder, they are missing some of their general education requirements. If the student is missing, say Math and a Fine Arts credit, they could potentially finish the math requirement at the community college and take an upper division Fine Arts course, satisfying both the general education requirement and whittling down the 40 credits of upper division courses.
- benefit from the support of the local community college (tutoring/ advisement/counseling career services Proficiency Exams Proctoring)
- advised by WIU advisors (re: Prerequisites for UD, Minors and Graduate School Prep) while continuing to take courses (up to 80 credits) at their community college can remain active longer in community college student organizations (Student Groups, honors societies, Student Governing, etc.)
- will not be limited by the number of open seats and available courses at one particular college or university.