SCC, Buena Vista University Ink Partnership for Onsite Offerings


West Burlington, Iowa – On Sept. 9, Southeastern Community College (SCC) and Buena Vista University (BVU) entered into an agreement that will enable BVU to offer bachelor’s degree classes on SCC’s West Burlington campus.

BVU will offer four degree options: Elementary Education, Criminal Justice and Criminology, and History and English with grades 5-12 teaching licensure.  Classes will be offered in the evenings on SCC’s West Burlington campus and will be taught by BVU faculty.

“This is a great opportunity for SCC students to further their education. Over 60 percent of our students intend to transfer to a four-year college, and now they’ll have the option of earning a bachelor’s degree in a face-to-face setting without having to go anywhere,” says SCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Carole Richardson.

Buena Vista University’s main campus in Storm Lake, Iowa, was founded in 1891, and through its Graduate & Professional Studies (GPS) program, the University now extends to 16 learning locations across Iowa, plus online. BVU's GPS locations have graduated more than 15,000 students since it started almost 40 years ago.

“Our GPS programs offer convenient learning options for students. They receive the benefit of a quality education delivered within the local community, which results in successful careers and meaningful community engagement, important in today’s competitive, information-driven global society,” said Dr. Jill Rhea, dean of Graduate & Professional Studies at BVU.

“The programs also enable students to enrich their lives and lifestyles, as research shows that students pursue bachelor’s degrees to get different jobs, get promotions at their current jobs, or for personal satisfaction.”

Richardson continues that nearly 75 percent of SCC students have jobs, so leaving the area to complete their schooling can be a considerable challenge.

“It’s often not feasible for students to uproot their families to finish their degrees. That means many have to stop short of their goals. Finding ways to help them stay on track and finish what they started is very important to us,” explains Richardson.

Rhea says that it’s possible for undergraduates with 60 or more credit hours or an associate’s degree to earn a bachelor’s degree from BVU in as little as two years, and that BVU works closely with students to help them complete their goals at a pace that’s right for them.

“For students seeking bachelor’s degrees from BVU, our advisors will facilitate a smooth transfer from SCC into our programs and help guide them on educational paths that will work for them and their busy schedules,” said Rhea.

In addition to BVU’s face-to-face course offerings, students can choose from a variety of online classes and programs as well.

As part of the agreement, SCC will provide BVU with office space for an onsite admissions/recruitment person and faculty members.

BVU staff plan to begin working with students yet this fall, with classes slated to begin in early 2015.

For more information about Buena Vista University, visit or

To learn more about Southeastern Community College, visit