Earn a Bachelor of Science from U of Illinois Springfield without ever leaving California
Coastline Community College and the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) have partnered under the Learning 1st initiative to launch an online pathway that allows students to simultaneously earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Science and Math degree and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science degree without ever leaving their home state.
Learning 1st is a collaborative effort between the League for Innovation in the Community College, Coastline Community College, and three major universities supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success Strategy. In addition to collaborative pathway programs with UIS, Coastline expects to launch similar programs with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Pennsylvania State University in 2014.
Through the Coastline-UIS program, students earn their undergraduate units at Coastline Community College either on-site at one of Coastline’s three O.C. campuses, or online via distance learning. Upper division (major) units are completed online through the University of Illinois Springfield at special, locked-in online tuition rates which are frozen throughout the program—ensuring tuition stability for the student as they pursue their Bachelors.
Program benefits include a single program application and no application fee—a benefit that Program Coordinator Jason Ward says is very unique. “Most four-year universities charge between $50 and $100 just to apply to the institution,” said Ward. “In this unique program, you are admitted and considered a student of UIS from day one, even while you’re working on your lower division units at Coastline,” he added.
As part of the program, students are guaranteed enrollment in the classes they need each semester to complete the program, easing the normal stress that is often associated with college course registration. In addition, students are assigned a dedicated program adviser from Coastline and one from UIS that will guide them through the program and towards both degrees.
The goal of the Learning 1st consortium is to enhance the ability of community colleges to provide online baccalaureate degree completion pathways for low-income and working adults. While the UIS program, launching now, provides students with a pathway to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, future programs with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Pennsylvania State University will provide online pathways to Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Psychology degrees.
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