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HCC signs agreement with NIU and Phoenix Universities for BSN in nursing

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Highland Community College has entered into an agreement with Northern Illinois University (NIU) for HCC nursing students to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

The Articulation Agreement was approved at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Highland Board of Trustees. The dual enrollment allows for an academic articulation from the Associate of Applied Science degrees in Nursing at Highland Community College to a Bachelor of Science degree at Northern Illinois University. It is only the second agreement of its kind in the state between NIU and a community College.

“Partnering with NIU allows our students to take courses simultaneously in our Associate Degree program and Northern’s Bachelor’s degree program,” said Dr. Jen Grobe, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health. “Students who are highly motivated and organized can take advantage of Highland’s quality courses and take all but 10 courses toward the BSN on Highland’s campus.”

The courses through NIU are offered online, allowing Highland students to remain in the region – providing exceptional nursing care to local patients while earning a high-quality education. Students can graduate as early as one semester after passing the NCLEX.

Grobe added, “There are flexible options allowing students to start the program at several points along their journey. This allows students to choose the path that is right for them. We also appreciate this partnership because it allows students who have earned a large number of dual credits through local high schools to seamlessly transfer into Highland’s and NIU’s programs and complete even faster.”

Students are now able to complete Highland’s Associate of Applied Science Nursing degree in four years or less. Students will, in some cases, be able to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing eight weeks after they pass the NCLEX State Board of Nursing exam.

The benefit to high school dual-credit students is profound. Students who attend Highland with a large number of completed dual-credits have an opportunity to graduate in three years with a Bachelor’s degree. The agreement is flexible to serve the highly motivated full-time student, and the busy, working part-time adult student.

The agreement is the result of collaboration between NIU representatives, Grobe, plus support from the academic advisors department at Highland will provide an affordable, dual-enrollment, quality pathway for students.

Highland Community College has also entered into an agreement with the University of Phoenix for Highland nursing students to be able to earn their Bachelor’s degree.

The partnership with University of Phoenix allows for a concurrent enrollment approach. Students can work toward an Associate Degree and Bachelor’s degree at their own pace. Students can take 87 credits at Highland and the remaining 33 through University of Phoenix all online.

This also keeps students in the region and supports Highland’s nursing program goal that 80 percent of our graduates will be seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing by one-year post-graduation. With this program, students take courses on breaks between Highland courses (summer and winter breaks) and then complete the additional seven courses after passing the NCLEX.

Both options allow students to seek the college that is right for their own individual needs. Highland Community College supports continuing education in the nursing program and seeks as many quality partnerships to provide a variety of options for students. The latest two agreements add to a long list of great options for ADN students to seek professional education while remaining local.

For more information on the Highland Community College Nursing program visit