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ECC expands ties with Roosevelt U.

ElgCommunity College President David Sam (left) Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton. 9/14/12. | Courtesy ElgCommunity College

Elgin Community College President David Sam (left) and Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton. 9/14/12. | Courtesy Elgin Community College

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Updated: October 17, 2012 6:27AM

ELGIN — Elgin Community College President David Sam said he was “giddy” Friday to expand the college’s partnership with Roosevelt University, which has campuses in both Schaumburg and Chicago.

The presidents of both schools signed an agreement that morning to create a new dual degree program that will guarantee acceptance to Roosevelt for participants who earn an associate’s degree from the community college.

Representatives of both schools, as well as state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, attended the signing Friday at the ECC campus.

“From time to time, you get opportunities that you could consider life-changing,” Sam said. “We see this as a life-changing opportunity for individuals who come through our institution and want to continue their education.”

The dual degree program will offer students counselors at Elgin and advisers at Roosevelt to help them develop and follow four-year academic plans, according to Douglas Knerr, provost of Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus. That will ensure none of their credits is lost when they transfer, he said.

Already, Roosevelt has created a “degree completion articulation” for a bachelor of science degree in business administration — basically, a pathway to provide Elgin students a smooth transition to the university.

And it now is developing other degree completion articulations, including a bachelor of science in computer science, a bachelor of arts in information technology, a bachelor of arts in integrated marketing and a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in chemistry.

Community college students in the dual degree program also will receive a discount on their Roosevelt tuition based on their GPA at Elgin. They also can compete for $15,000 and $12,500 annual scholarships to Roosevelt, as well as $1,000 awards.

And, Roosevelt President Chuck Middleton said, those pathways eliminate “the greatest cost of college” — taking too long to finish a degree. A high school senior can enroll in the program after graduation and, in six years, have three degrees: an associate’s, a bachelor’s and a master’s, he said.

Two of the things the state legislature talks about “all the time” are retention rates and completion rates, Crespo said. That’s something President Barack Obama also has talked about, launching the Skills for America’s Future initiative to help 5 million more community college students graduate and earn certificates by 2020.

That’s why the state representative said he feels “very lucky to serve a district that is served by both Elgin and Roosevelt.”

“I think this is a good model for others as well,” he said.

And it won’t just benefit current students, Sam said, but also future students, “long after we’ve retired to Florida or West Africa.”

More information about Elgin Community College’s partnerships with other four-year universities is at

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