With the support of The Kresge Foundation, Governors State University (GSU) and its community college partners developed the Dual Degree Program (DDP) to create a guided pathway for community college students to earn quality, accessible, and affordable associate and bachelor’s degrees. The DDP is called “dual degree” because it assists students in the completion of their associate degree, and then enables them to transfer seamlessly to GSU, or another university, to complete the bachelor’s degree. Today, GSU and DDP’s 17 Chicagoland community college partners have assisted hundreds of students with college completion.  Ninety percent of DDP students transferring to GSU have either graduated or are currently enrolled and on track to graduate.

Dual Degree Program students are eligible to enroll in the program once they have completed 12-45 credit hours at the community college. Once enrolled, students have the benefit of locking in the current GSU tuition rate for up to four semesters after transferring. Eligible DDP students may also apply for a DDP scholarship, which cover full tuition and fees for four consecutive semesters, allowing students to earn their bachelor’s degree debt free. Students have access to a DDP Transfer Specialist as soon as they enroll in the DDP, providing intensive advising during their time at the community college. Once they arrive at GSU, they are assigned to a peer mentor to help with their transition to university life.

A requirement of the DDP is that students attend full time at both the community college and university. Study after study has shown that full time attendance increases student success.

In addition to its financial benefits, the DDP provides students with opportunities to socially engage with fellow students from all 17 community college campuses and GSU. These high impact practices include monthly community service events, a semi-annual Induction ceremony to welcome newly enrolled students into the program, and a formal graduation cording ceremonies at the completion of the associate and bachelor’s degree. Students are engaged from the moment they enroll in DDP and continue to be celebrated throughout their journey of obtaining their “dual” degrees!