January 22, 2008

'Dawg Days' to help SIC students learn about SIU

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — University staff this month will kick off a series of special events at local colleges throughout Southern Illinois that will reach out to students interested in furthering their academic careers within the Southern Illinois University system.

The events, called "Dawg Days," will feature University students, faculty and employees giving presentations on various programs aimed at increasing the awareness, understanding and comfort level of community college students. The information will remove any perceived barriers to attending the SIU system, which includes the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses and the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

The first Dawg Days event is set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Southeastern Illinois College near Harrisburg. A second SIC Dawg Days session is also set to begin there at 5:30 p.m. the same day.

The programs will focus on the benefits of completing a bachelor's degree after finishing an associate degree at SIC. Presenters also will address the "2 plus 2" program, which helps students ensure their community college credits transfer easily to SIU.

Under the program, an SIU counselor monitors a student's progress and provides ongoing feedback, ensuring the student's work transfers smoothly to the University.

Both sessions are free and open to the public, especially juniors and seniors in high school and community college students and their families. Organizers will provide refreshments and hold drawings for gifts, as well.

The Dawg Days programs are another step in the overall effort by the University to recruit and retain students. Becky Robinson, a researcher with the Department of Workforce Education and Development at SIUC, coordinates the programs with support from the SIU Office of the President.

The programs are conducted through a network of newly opened SIU System Service Centers, established last year at seven area colleges to act as a point of contact between students there and the University while better integrating and expanding education opportunities. Trained staff members at the centers advocate for the University and prospective students while brokering services, acting as ombudsmen and liaisons and creating innovative new approaches for students and the schools work together and ensure a smooth transition.

Robinson said the 2 plus 2 program offers a strong road map for students looking to advance their academic careers.

"Participation in the program ensures the courses students complete at community colleges will transfer smoothly and seamlessly to SIU," she said. "Students and community members interested in learning more are welcome to attend this special presentation."

Brad Simpson, a field representative with SIUC records and registration, and Emma Cauthan, an SIC recruiter, are the scheduled speakers. Admissions and financial aid representatives from SIC, SIUC and SIUE also will be on hand to answer questions.

For more information on this event, contact JoAnna Lane, SIU System Service Center director at SIC, at 618/926-7055.