Northern Illinois University recently signed an agreement with Kishwaukee College Wednesday making it easier for students studying manufacturing to earn a four-year degree. Kishwaukee students can take additional courses online and after a third year of instruction, transfer to NIU. After the final two semesters, they will receive a Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree.
NIU Technology Department Chair Cliff Mirman says nearby manufacturing interests have expressed their support for the program. “They have a lot of students that have come to them after completing an AAS degree. They can now turn that into a four year degree, very easily taking courses at night, virtually no stress on the system, and it turns out to be at a lower cost also.”
Ultimately, NIU wants to create similar arrangements with all 35 Illlinois community colleges. Mirman says this process is already under way.
“For this specific applied manufacturing technology program, we have agreements with about 10 of those community colleges signed, most of them in the northern part of the state,” he said.
Currently, about 120 Kishwaukee students are enrolled in NIU's program.