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WIU Increases Community College Partnerships

Jimmy Emerson
Flickr Creative Commons

Students at a community college in northwest Illinois will be able to dual enroll at Western Illinois University. That's despite their campuses being more than 170 miles apart.

The new partnership allows Highland Community Collegestudents to take WIU courses either online or on campus while completing their two-year associates degrees.

Western’s Admissions Director Andy Borst says the students who are dual enrolled would be considered part-time at Western.  That would make them eligible just like incoming WIU freshmen to lock in their rates for four years.

“At all of the state universities in Illinois, students can lock in their tuition," Borst said. "But at Western, they can lock in their tuition, fees, room and board for all four years. So it’s a way to take advantage of the cost guarantee one to two years earlier.”

Borst says ideally Highland students will graduate and then attend Western full time. These types of partnerships between Western and community colleges came around after the economy down turn in 2008.

“That’s when we really reassessed our relationships with community colleges as their enrollment spiked,” Borst said.

Western has similar linkage partnerships with: 

More than 100 students from those schools have dual enrolled at Western.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.