Front entrance to campus. It says Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chartered 1869

June 27, 2024

SIU Carbondale again earns national honors for assisting transfer students

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale once again is receiving honors for its commitment as one of the nation’s top transfer-friendly institutions by an academic honors society for associate-degree granting colleges and universities.

SIU Carbondale is among 228 public and private colleges and universities listed on Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2024 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes excellence in the development and support of dynamic and innovative pathways for community college transfer students. This is the second straight year SIU Carbondale has received the honor.

Wendell Williams, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the honor bestowed on the top 25% highest-rated colleges reflects SIU’s commitment to student success and engagement, a pillar of the Imagine 2030 strategic plan.

“Two years in a row is a great accomplishment,” said Williams, noting that SIU Carbondale does everything it can to eliminate barriers, save students time and money, and provide seamless pathways to an affordable, high-quality bachelor’s degree at a premier doctoral university.

The Saluki Step Ahead program, which brings the education of a four-year research university to place-bound students in community colleges in Illinois and beyond, has also met with success. Announced in September 2021, the program now has agreements with 49 community college campuses in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. More than 200 students have enrolled at SIU through the program, according to Josi Rawls, associate director for transfer relations.

“As the transfer landscape begins to change, SIU Carbondale remains committed to staying on the forefront of innovation in this field,” Rawls said. “Saluki Step Ahead has been our latest project to increase accessibility to transfer students across the nation. The program provides a unique opportunity to pursue a bachelor's degree in a number of fields, at a reduced price. The immediate success of Saluki Step Ahead proves SIU and our degrees are highly sought after, as long as we can meet the students where they are. SIU Carbondale is proud to be recognized as a top destination for transfer students and be named to the 2024 PTK Honor Roll." 

The honor roll is determined by 40 key metrics related to the support and success of transfer students, including college cost and financial aid, campus life, admission practices and bachelor’s degree completion, according to the organization.