Success of RN-BSN Program Highlighted in Globe Gazette Article
Official: Partnership between NIACC, University of Iowa is paying off
By Mary Pieper | Mason City Globe Gazette | 10/5/2015
MASON CITY | Five years ago Don Kamps, who had recently retired after many years as the evening dean at North Iowa Area Community College, returned to campus in a new position: partnership coordinator for NIACC and the University of Iowa.
Part of his job is to help make the process easier for students who want to transfer to Iowa after completing an associate degree at NIACC.
He also encourages those who want to complete a bachelor's degree but don't want to leave North Iowa to do so through one of the U of I online degree programs.
The partnership has paid off.
Five years ago only seven or eight students per year transferred from NIACC to the University of Iowa. Two years ago 21 or 22 students were transferring each semester, according to Kamps. Last year the numbers dipped slightly to around 19 per semester, he said.
Currently 150 students in North Iowa are taking courses toward an online degree from the University of Iowa, according to Kamps. Another 25 have already graduated from one of the online programs.
"People are studying in a different way," Kamps said.
The most popular online University of Iowa program is the bachelor's degree in nursing.
He believes one reason the program is so popular is because hospitals around the state — including Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa — are encouraging nurses to go beyond the associate degree level and get bachelor's degrees due to the increase in responsibilities for nurses.
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