New alliance with Iowa Wesleyan keeps a bachelor’s degree within reach
As graduation day approached, SCC’s Andrew Huhuyana faced a worry that most students have when they plan to earn their bachelor’s.
How would he afford it?
The answer was through SCC’s new agreement with Iowa Wesleyan University (IW).
Called the Southeast Iowa Higher Education Alliance (SIHEA), the alliance is designed to open doors for outgoing SCC grads to earn a bachelor’s degree at a cost comparable with 4-year public schools.
“Colleges and universities nationwide are struggling with decreased enrollment, skyrocketing costs, and potential closures,” said Chris Plunkett, president of Iowa Wesleyan University, adding that the alliance is designed to make each institution more competitive and poised for growth.
An international student from Zimbabwe, Huhuyana hoped to find a 4-year school in the region.
“I’ve made friends who are now like family to me, and I didn’t want move far from them,” he explained. “I wanted to transfer to a school that was close to Burlington.”
SCC/IW Alliance Advisor Mary Hofmann says that in just six months of existence, a dozen SCC students have taken advantage of the new alliance.
“It has brought students into my office who may never have thought about IW and staying in the region to complete their education.”
With cost and location at the top of Huhuyana’s wish list, he was happy when he spotted a promotional flyer on campus.
“I read that it would be a smooth transition and that scholarships were available. I thought I should give it a try.”
Students who complete their SCC degree and transfer to IW are eligible to receive the new Soar & Roar Scholarship in the amount of $1,800 per year for two years and a special IW transfer scholarship for $6,000 each year.
“The opportunities that alliance transfer students have access to are tremendous, from seamless, more affordable degree pathways to increased professional resources and support,” said Dr. Michael Ash, president of Southeastern Community College and newly appointed chancellor of SIHEA.
Operational benefits of the alliance allow the institutions to leverage buying power, share resources and expertise, and provide financial incentives for students who choose to attend each institution.
Although the scholarships are why Huhuyana can afford IW, he speaks enthusiastically about the support and resources each school has provided to make his education possible.
“Iowa Wesleyan really looks after students from SCC. They take care of you.”
Hofmann adds that ensuring a smooth transition is an important part of her role.
“I assist with the admissions to IW and work with the warm handoff to our success coaches. Being an extra person for each student to connect with on their educational journey is an important part of my role that I enjoy,” she says.
To learn more about the alliance, contact Hofmann at (319) 208-5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.