Governors State University Honored as a “Model of Excellence” by University Business Magazine
“Universities have not done anything to inspire students to have a coherent experience at the community colleges. We at the universities have a responsibility to partner with the community colleges to make sure the students have the best possible chance of having a coherent, quality experience throughout their four years.”
UNIVERSITY PARK, IL–Governors State University is being honored by University Business magazine in its Winter 2015 Models of Excellence recognition program.
GSU is one of only 17 colleges and universities nationwide named by the program, which honors colleges and universities that have implemented innovative, effective and inter-departmental initiatives that are bolstering student success. GSU is being recognized for its innovative Dual Degree Program (DDP), a partnership with 17 Chicago-area community college partners, including the City Colleges of Chicago.
The DDP creates a seamless and structured pathway for community college students to complete both their associate and B.A. degrees. GSU President Elaine P. Maimon said the DDP puts community college students -- whom she calls an underserved population -- into the best position to succeed. “We are advocating for the community college student,” Maimon said. “We are advocating for the community colleges. Some students are going to benefit more from a four-year experience on a single campus,” she notes, “but there are vast numbers of students who are choosing to begin at a community college and see that as the right pathway for them.”
Research shows that students who earn their associate degrees by attending two-year schools full-time go on to earn their bachelor’s degrees at much higher rates. University Business senior editor Tim Goral said the GSU program stands out for its unique ability to guide students to degree completion. “This is a strong pathway program that truly links a community college to a university. Governors State University’s dual degree program recognizes that the transition from a community college to a university is not instinctual for students, and provides appropriate resources to ensure a smooth crossover.”
Those resources include sending advisers -- not recruiters -- into the community colleges to help students there plan for the transition to a four-year school whether they plan to attend GSU or another four-year school. In addition to collecting and analyzing enrollment, retention and graduation data, GSU regularly conducts focus groups with its DDP students to solicit their feedback on how to improve the program.
Maimon said universities must do more to help make sure community college students remain on track to graduate. “Universities have not done anything to inspire students to have a coherent experience at the community colleges,” she said. “We at the universities have a responsibility to partner with the community colleges to make sure the students have the best possible chance of having a coherent, quality experience throughout their four years.”
Sponsored by Higher One, a leading provider of financial services to college and university campuses across the U.S., the Models of Excellence program recognizes innovative approaches to encouraging and nurturing student success on campus.
“The Winter 2015 MoX honorees demonstrate insight into their student populations, as well as the ability to innovate in creative ways,” says Andrew Crawford, senior vice president of campus services & operations at Higher One. “We are pleased to recognize their efforts alongside University Business.”
Governors State University serves more than 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students with 64 degree and 24 certificate programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality, accessible, and responsible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 40 miles south of Chicago in University Park, IL and offers the most affordable undergraduate tuition and fees in the state. GSU is committed to embracing diversity and academic excellence.