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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 6, 2009

Western Iowa community college, UI sign bachelor degree agreement

Robert Dunker, president of Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), and University of Iowa President Sally Mason signed a joint agreement Tuesday, Oct. 6, enabling Western Iowa Tech graduates to earn a UI bachelor's degree at WITCC's Sioux City campus.

The signing formalizes an agreement reached earlier this year, which created a historic partnership between the two institutions of higher education. The partnership allows WITCC graduates who obtain an associate degree to complete any of three UI degree programs on the Western Iowa Tech campus: Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) and Nursing.

The nursing program allows WITCC associate degree graduates to earn a Baccalaureate in Nursing. The BLS allows Associate in Arts graduates to complete a baccalaureate degree, and the BAS is a degree option emphasizing transfer options for technical graduates.

The nationally recognized Entrepreneurial Management Certificate will be offered to students on the WITCC campus and is supported by political science and communications courses. Students may also choose from more than 100 online courses to complete their degree requirements and a certificate in Non-Profit Management.

At the signing, Dunker outlined the diverse ways in which the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree while remaining at WITCC's campus will benefit area students. Among the advantages mentioned are convenience and flexibility, as well as access to Western Iowa Tech's wide range of student amenities including library facilities, computer labs, student advising, residential accommodation, the college cafeteria, student clubs and activities, intramural sports, gymnasium and recreational resources.

The agreement also provides for WITCC students enrolled in the programs to access benefits and services available to UI students.

Dunker said the agreement was the fulfillment of a dream for many people in Sioux City.

"Western Iowa Tech is proud to partner with the University of Iowa to make that vision a reality," Dunker said. "We will do whatever is necessary to make this a seamless learning opportunity for participating students. WITCC has always been 'the best place to start' and now it offers the chance to pass the finish line with a Hawkeye bachelor's degree."

Mason said the new agreement extends the reach of UI and liberates people from geographical constraints in the pursuit of an outstanding education.

"These degree programs extend the reach of the University of Iowa to the residents of northwest Iowa, which in turn increases the knowledge base of our state's workforce," Mason said. "We are pleased to partner with WITCC on this initiative."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Chet Rzonca, UI Division of Continuing Education, 319-335-2527,; Maureen McCormick, UI Division of Continuing Education, 319-335-3800,; Fiona Valentine, Western Iowa Tech Community College, 712-274-6400, Ext. 1334; Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,