Students at Des Moines Area Community College will be able to earn a liberal arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa under a new program announced Thursday.
The “UNI at DMACC” program will allow DMACC students who have completed two years of coursework to fulfill their remaining two years toward a UNI degree by taking courses at DMACC’s Urban Campus in Des Moines.
The program, which would begin with the fall 2020 semester, awaits approval by the DMACC board and the Iowa Board of Regents.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, at a news conference on the DMACC Urban campus, praised the new program as an “innovative” way to help students obtain a bachelor’s degree.
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“It’s good news for students and it’s good news for the many outstanding employers in downtown (Des Moines) and really throughout this region,” Reynolds said.
UNI will privately raise $5 million to help fund the project, president Mark Nook said. Half of that will support the construction of a new building on the DMACC Urban Campus, and half will go to student support.
Nook said UNI will put staff in Des Moines to recruit DMACC students into the program and help any who wish to make the transition, “as effective and as simple and as smooth as possible, and provide support for them while they’re in that program so they continue to get a high-quality education.”
The courses will be offered online in order to accommodate DMACC’s many non-traditional students; the average age of a DMACC student is 28, according to the school. Nook and DMACC President Rob Denson said the program will be designed to help DMACC students who wish to achieve a four-year degree but find it difficult to relocate.
“It will be so convenient,” Denson said.