IHCC partners with UNI for new initiative

·3 min read

Aug. 2—In a major milestone toward reaching its goals of providing adult and place-bound learners greater access to four-year degrees, the University of Northern Iowa is launching the UNI@IACC (Iowa Community Colleges) initiative.

Starting this fall, Iowans with an associate's degree from any Iowa community college will be able to earn a UNI online degree without having to leave their hometown. UNI@IACC offers a pathway for Iowans who hold an associate's degree from any Iowa community college to pursue a bachelor's degree in several high-demand areas: managing business and organizations; management; business administration; criminal justice; elementary education; human services; technology management; and the Bachelor of Liberal Studies.

To put a bachelor's degree within reach, UNI is also launching the Future Ready Scholarship Program to eligible participants in a UNI@IACC program. The Future Ready Scholarship comes with two years of eligibility and covers the difference between UNI and community college tuition. Information about the program and how to apply can be found at iacc.uni.edu.

The UNI@IACC initiative, which expands a partnership that began in 2020, has received the support of Gov. Kim Reynolds, who authorized $4.166 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support the initiative. In addition to Future Ready Scholarships and enhanced pathways to access UNI's high-demand academic programs, the UNI@IACC initiative will provide on-site student support personnel to prepare learners for academic and career success through advising and career navigation programs, resources and services.

An on-site student support specialist will be located at the Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa Main Campus beginning this spring. Indian Hills President, Dr. Matt Thompson, expressed strong support for the initiative and the opportunities it will create for students.

"This partnership aligns with our mission to change students' lives by providing a clear pathway to success. Having the ability to complete a four-year degree without having to leave southern Iowa will be life-changing for current and future students of Indian Hills and the University of Northern Iowa," Thompson said. "We are excited to partner with the University of Northern Iowa on the UNI@IACC program. We believe the opportunity provides students and families in our region access to a quality, affordable four-year degree."

As work begins to set this partnership in motion for the spring 2023 semester, UNI's Interim Dean of the Graduate College Gabriela Olivares, who will also lead the implementation of UNI@IACC, spoke about the significant impact this initiative will make in the lives of students living in regions where an affordable, quality four-year degree is difficult to access.

"These partnerships value access and remove educational barriers that students have experienced in the past," she said. "We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Iowa community colleges, to strengthen UNI's online presence across the state and to provide a quality education to our students. It will be a game-changer for these students and will prepare them for a lifetime of success."

For more information about the UNI@IACC partnership, program offerings and application instructions, visit https://iacc.uni.edu.