Upper Iowa University and Northeast Iowa Community College open “Bridge to Success”

Upper Iowa University (UIU) President Dr. William R. Duffy and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) President Dr. Liang Chee Wee officially opened the “Bridge to Success” and welcomed the program’s first cohort of students to UIU’s Fayette Campus Thursday, August 23.

Through the unique program, first-year students who have not met entrance requirements for UIU will enroll in the Bridge to Success program as NICC students. Participating students attend classes at UIU’s Fayette campus, completing general education requirements, enhancing their college-ready skills and completing college credits that fully transfer to UIU. Students in the cohort will live on the University’s Fayette campus, receive academic and advising services from both institutions, and attend classes taught by visiting NICC faculty.

“You are the voices of this program,” said Duffy, while addressing the inaugural Bridge to Success students. “You will continue working with UIU and NICC team members who wish to see you succeed. The most important thing for you to do is integrate both academically and socially. This program enables you to do that right here at Fayette campus. You will achieve your goals and dreams.”

Upon successful completion of the Bridge to Success pathway, students continue their education at UIU to earn a four-year baccalaureate degree. In addition to receiving an education, students receive writing and tutoring assistance from UIU staff. Most important, graduates of this program depart UIU realizing they received a quality education from both NICC and UIU, and their degrees and experiences inside and outside of the classroom are the foundation for future success. As students complete transferable course credit to UIU they enjoy many amenities and benefits, including student residential life, campus living, events, and other educational and career resources.

“This particular program is a way to reaffirm that everyone deserves a place in higher education,” said Wee. “You are going to be the first pioneering class of this bridge-building, and we are going to build this bridge right alongside you. We are going to show the rest of Iowa what young, bright people can do.”

UIU and NICC signed a Letter of Understanding to create the Bridge to Success partnership agreement in January 2018. In addition to benefiting the participating students, the new partnership is expected to have a positive impact on regional economic development by encouraging students in the region to stay in Iowa, stay in college, pursue local careers and contribute to the regional economy of northeast Iowa after graduation.

The Bridge to Success welcome was part of UIU’s 2018 Peacock Experience. August 23, a mass of volunteers welcomed new students to Fayette campus and helped them move into residence halls. Four days of Peacock Experience events, orientation and entertainment followed.

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