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Schools Collaborate In Hopes Of “Greatly Reducing” Cost Of 4 Year Degree

Today, Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) and Southeastern Community College (SCC) have announced the approval of the formation of the Southeast Iowa Higher Education Alliance (SIHEA). While both institutions will continue to operate separately, this unique partnership between a four-year private liberal arts university and a community college will serve as an innovative model for the future of higher education.

“Our two institutions are well-aligned, both strategically and operationally, to make SIHEA a successful partnership,” said Dr. Michael Ash, president of Southeastern Community College and newly appointed Chancellor of SIHEA. “The opportunities that SIHEA students will have access to are tremendous, from seamless and affordable degree pathways to increased professional resources and support.”

“This innovative model is the result of two years of comprehensive work,” said Chris Plunkett, president of Iowa Wesleyan University. “Colleges and universities nationwide are struggling with decreased enrollment, skyrocketing costs and potential closures. Collectively, Iowa Wesleyan University and Southeastern Community College are coming together from a position of strength, and this partnership will secure and protect our bright future and the future of our students.”

SIHEA will offer smooth, affordable academic pathways between IW and SCC, broadening the educational opportunities for students and increasing the talent pipeline for our regional workforce. Through this model, a student could take college-level courses in high school and go on to complete an associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree all within the SIHEA system.


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