DES MOINES, Iowa — For some people, a four-year college degree might not fit in their life plans. Obligations like family and work could stand in the way of someone reaching their higher education dreams.
Leaders at DMACC and University of Northern Iowa hope the UNI@DMACC Partnership can erase those barriers.
"Our programs are targeted towards a lot of adult learners," said UNI@DMACC Associate Director of Transfer Admissions, Paul Sapp. "People who have jobs; who own homes here in the Des Moines area and maybe have kids. For whom going up to Cedar Falls to complete a degree is just not realistic."
Through the partnership, DMACC students and alums have the chance to get a UNI Degree from Des Moines. There are currently six online bachelor degrees available including: Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Managing Business & Organizations Bachelor of Applied Science, Criminal Justice Bachelor of Applied Science, Management: Business Administration Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education Bachelor of Arts, and Human Services Bachelor of Arts.
The 2+2 elementary education partnership has been in place for 26 years, originally put in place to fill a demand for teachers in Iowa.
"At that time our interest was to try to provide west central Iowa and rural Iowa with teachers because they were having a demand for elementary teachers," said UNI 2+2 Program Coordinator and Instructor Marc Renning. "Even though it was 26 years ago, we're still have that same desire to produce teachers that can help fulfill the demand for teaching position."
Since the 2+2 partnership was put in place, it's produced over 300 grads.
"All of our elementary education and middle school education classes are offered in the evenings, so that we don't compete with our working adults' daytime work schedules," said Renning.
While the education partners say the program erases barriers like location and time of day for classes, for many students it may also get rid of cost concerns.
"Through different donations and, and foundation money we've been able to scholarship most of the students in the program to the point of tuition neutrality," said Sapp. "There's no price hike. They're paying the same amount, essentially, that they were for when they were taking their DMACC courses."
While UNI staff will be on-site at DMACC's Urban Campus to help students make this transition and be successful, they'll also have access to DMACC's services.
"All of those services wrap around a student to make sure that they are successful inside the classroom as well as outside," said DMACC Urban Campus Provost Anne Howsare Boyens. "So they'll still have access to mental health counseling, to free tutoring, to computer labs, to our library services. We wanted to make sure that that's what really makes this program different."
There is an upcoming virtual session on the UNI@DMACC Partnership on April 11th from 2-2:45 p.m. The session will be held via Zoom. If you'd like to find more information or register for the event, click here and click "yes" to the questions "Are you interested in learning more at an upcoming information session?"
You can also email UNI@DMACC@uni.edu or call 515-248-7219 with any questions.