Education

University of Northern Iowa, DMACC to unveil new '2+2' partnership

'This represents a larger partnership affecting many more students'

A driver drives through the gateway of the University of Northern Iowa on Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
A driver drives through the gateway of the University of Northern Iowa on Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

After a year of negotiations, the University of Northern Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College this week will unveil a new “2+2” relationship providing Des Moines area community college students a ready-made path to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Details of the “new and unique collaboration” will be announced today on the DMACC campus, but it will mark the first of its kind in Iowa, according to a news release Monday.

Pending approval from Iowa’s Board of Regents and DMACC’s Board of Directors, the project “will result in a new educational 2+2 partnership to better serve Des Moines-area students seeking a bachelor’s degree after completing courses at DMACC.”

UNI and DMACC for more than a decade have offered joint degree programs on the Carroll campus, but “this represents a larger partnership affecting many more students.”

“This agreement will provide another affordable option to Des Moines-area students,” according to the Monday news release out of UNI.

Gov. Kim Reynolds will join UNI President Mark Nook, DMACC President Rob Denson and DMACC Urban Campus Provost Anne Howsare-Boyens to present details of the deal at 10 a.m. today on the DMACC Urban Campus.

UNI has been struggling with enrollment declines — as well as a generational drop in state support and the need to keep tuition low to compete — stressing its finances and prompting it to cut course sections, increase class sizes and reduce its number of faculty.

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With dire enrollment projections showing major shifts in demographics shrinking the pool of college-bound prospects in coming years — both regionally and across the country — Iowa’s Board of Regents recently has mulled a variety of responses, including working more collaboratively with private and community colleges.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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