people participating in a virtual meeting

Saluki Step Ahead partnership: Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials, from left, Wendell Williams, associate chancellor for enrollment management; Chancellor Austin A. Lane, and Amanda Everett, undergraduate admissions director, celebrate the signing of a 21st Saluki Step Ahead agreement with Black Hawk College President Tim Wynes and Cathryn Lass, the college’s articulation/transfer coordinator. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

June 30, 2022

Black Hawk College, SIU Carbondale leaders sign Saluki Step Ahead agreement offering new opportunities for students

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale strengthened its commitment to students with agreements to provide an SIU education to qualified place-bound students who attend Black Hawk College.

SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane today (June 30) signed an agreement with Black Hawk College to participate in the Saluki Step Ahead Program.

Following graduation with an associate degree from the community college, students can go on to complete their SIU bachelor’s degrees online and at a lower cost in four academic programs: accounting, business administration, criminology and criminal justice, and psychology.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Black Hawk College to provide another option for place-bound students in this region,” Lane said. “If these students cannot come to Carbondale to complete their education, we will bring the experience and resources of a doctoral research university to them. This agreement fits well with our strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its pillars that address partnerships and student success.”

The new agreement will bring SIU Carbondale to a total of 21 Saluki Step Ahead pacts that the university has with community colleges in Illinois, Missouri and Texas.

“This agreement between Black Hawk College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, two high-quality institutions, provides BHC students the opportunity to continue their studies at SIU Carbondale,” Wynes said. “Not only will they get a great education, but they will graduate without the burden of high student loan debt. We look forward to making this opportunity available to our students.”

Students in the program pay the community college rate for their first two years. In the third and fourth years, they receive an annual $4,000 scholarship. The goal is to allow them to earn their degree for $25,000 or less. For more about Saluki Step Ahead, read the press release announcing the initiative.