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College Partnership To Benefit Honor Students

T.J. Carson
Presidents Lori Sundberg of Carl Sandburg College and Jack Thomas of Western Illinois University sign an agreement on a new program for honor students in Galesburg.

Students who graduate from Carl Sandburg College's honors program will now have an easier path to a four-year school. Honor students will be able to transfer directly from the two-year community college into Western Illinois University's Centennial Honors College.

WIU President Jack Thomas said the partnership will help attract students and boost Western's profile.

“Those students are engaged in honors classes, as well as working with faculty on research. And also many of them are nominated for the prestigious awards across the nation, which really brings a lot of notoriety to our institution, even if they’re just finalists. It really helps in terms of our rankings,” Thomas said.

Carl Sandburg College honor students will also be able to spend time on Western's campus prior to enrolling. Sandburg President Lori Sundberg believes that will help make the transition to Western easier.

“When you go in as a transfer student, you feel like an outsider. And because everyone’s been there, a lot of people have been there for the first two years. We don’t want them to feel that way. We want them to feel very comfortable when they get there, settle in, and graduate,” Sundburg said.

The first discussions on the program came in 2013. Western Illinois University currently has several partnerships with local community colleges to ease the transfer process.