University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Governors State University welcomed its first class of Dual Degree Program (DDP) students to campus during a special orientation session last week.
Forty-three DDP students, who are currently attending area community colleges, toured Governors State, met faculty and advisors, listened to a panel discussion by GSU students, and heard presentations on financial aid, support services, and career services. GSU President Elaine P. Maimon formally welcomed the students to campus.
The Dual Degree Program, established in 2010, is an innovative partnership between GSU and six community colleges designed to increase completion rates for both associate and bachelor’s degrees. GSU’s community college partners are Joliet Junior College, Kankakee Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, and Triton College.
DDP students enroll in the program during their freshman year of community college. Once enrolled, GSU locks in its tuition rate for the next four years. Eligible DDP students can also apply for GSU Promise scholarships, which pay for expenses not covered by state or federal financial aid allowing students to earn their bachelor’s degrees debt free. Students have access to a GSU advisor as soon as they enroll in the DDP, ensuring a seamless transition between community college and university. Participating students must complete a community college associate degree before transferring, and finish their bachelor’s degree in four years.
Jose Reyes, Director of the DDP and Transfer Articulation at Governors State, said the inaugural orientation session was a success. “Based on feedback from our participants, all of them were extremely pleased with the information they received and felt welcome,” Reyes said.
Reyes added that 93 percent of the students in attendance indicated they were likely or extremely likely to transfer to GSU. Ninety percent of the students said they were extremely likely to tell other community college students about the DDP.
“I truly enjoyed yesterday’s orientation and am looking forward to becoming part of the GSU culture,” said Casiano-Bukowski, currently enrolled at South Suburban College. “The students and staff I had the opportunity to meet created a very pleasant, warm and inviting atmosphere. In addition, I felt that the GSU staff displayed a genuine interest in the welfare of all who attended, which in my opinion is priceless.”