Highland and Western Illinois University sign Linkages partnership

Highland Community College and Western Illinois University have signed a new agreement that will allow students to concurrently enroll at both institutions.

This will allow students from the HCC district to dually enroll at HCC and WIU, taking one course through WIU to complement their HCC course schedule in a range of majors. HCC and WIU will collaborate to provide advising and financial aid services for students under the Linkages partnership. The agreement is designed for the student who declares WIU as their baccalaureate-degree seeking institution, and who meets published admission criteria for HCC and WIU.

According to Andy Borst, WIU admissions director, the Linkages Program allows students to take courses at both Western and Highland during their first and second year of college to ensure a successful transfer. The agreement includes all of Western’s degree programs.

In addition to the Linkages Program with HCC, Western has a 2 + 2 dual admission program established with Highland. Students gain admission to the community college and WIU simultaneously and will receive customized academic advising.

Liz Gerber, HCC associate vice president of student services, said the agreement will allow for an even more seamless transfer experience for Highland's students planning to attend WIU, upon completion of their associate degree.

"At HCC, we work hard to coordinate efforts with four-year institutions to continually improve upon the already strong transferability and articulation of our courses and programs," Gerber said. "And from a student service standpoint, students will benefit from shared advising and other resources."

"We are excited by the educational opportunities that this new partnership brings to Highland students," said vice president of Quad Cities and Planning, Joe Rives. "The University and Highland already signed an Honors agreement and now a dual enrollment. These new programs further serve Highland students' needs and further enhance our successful partnership."

Pictured (left to right) are Joe M. Kanosky, Ph.D., HCC president, Dr. Joe Rives, vice-president for Quad Cities Campus and Planning for WIU, and Thedford Jackson, transfer coordinator and student advisor at HCC.

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