people attending partnership signing, in person, and online

Saluki Step Ahead continues gaining partners: Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials, from left, Josi Rawls, associate director for transfer relations; Chancellor Austin A. Lane, and Amanda Everett, undergraduate admissions director, celebrate the signing of a 22nd Saluki Step Ahead agreement with Moraine Valley Community College President Sylvia Jenkins (center row middle on monitor) and other MVCC officials. These agreements provide an SIU education to qualified place-bound students. (Photos by Russell Bailey)

August 10, 2022

MVCC, 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 Moraine Valley Community College.

SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane today (Aug. 10) signed an agreement with Moraine Valley Community College President Sylvia Jenkins for the community 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 six academic programs: accounting, business administration, criminology and criminal justice, health care management, psychology and radiologic sciences.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Moraine Valley Community 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.”

This new agreement will bring SIU Carbondale to a total of 22 Saluki Step Ahead pacts that the university has with community colleges in Illinois, Missouri and Texas.

The agreement is SIU Carbondale’s seventh with a community college within Cook County and the collar counties. Moraine Valley Community College is in Palos Hills and covers 139 square miles in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. The district has a population of about 380,000 people and includes 26 communities.

“Transfer agreements create smooth pathways for students to earn additional credentials that will lead them to a successful future, and our new partnership with SIU Carbondale is a wonderful opportunity for our students to do just that. I’m thankful to the TransferBOOST initiative for connecting Moraine Valley with SIU to make this collaboration possible.”

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.