New Agreement Gives COD Human Resources Graduates Transfer Pathway to Continue Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

By: Angela Mennecke

Two students in a classroom studying.

College of DuPage students now have a streamlined transfer opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in Workforce Education and Development (WED) thanks to a new agreement between the College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The agreement allows students who have earned their Associate of Arts degree (AA) and the Human Resource Management (HRM) Certificate from COD to seamlessly transfer to SIU’s online Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development program with a focus in Organizational Training and Development.

The degree partnership provides students with tools to succeed in a human resources career as they work with management across an organization to identify workforce needs and prepare to fill gaps they may identify through training and development. To begin SIU’s online WED program, students must have completed 64 credit hours at COD. Learn more.

COD President Dr. Brian Caputo said the College is committed to creating partnerships that encourage students to advance in their education and prepare for economic-resilient careers.

 “Our graduates are highly valued by our college and university partners, and we are excited that SIU has committed to a seamless transfer for our students,” he said.

Students will receive course credit for past work experience, a way to attract students who already have experience under their belt, said COD Human Resources Professor Jane Murtaugh.

“Through this new partnership, students can earn academic credit for work experience while also gaining and further developing their HR knowledge and competencies, and thus have stronger opportunities to launch or enhance their HR careers,” she said.

COD Associate Vice President of Academic Partnerships and Learning Resources Cynthia Sims served as a professor in SIU’s workforce education and development department for 14 years. Forming a transfer opportunity with SIU has been a passion of hers since starting at the College in 2019.

 “I’m excited to see this articulation agreement come to fruition,” she said. “Partnerships like this create pipelines for students to continue their higher education. It creates an avenue for students who may not want to or can’t attend a four-year school right away. The opportunity to complete the WED program online is an added bonus, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SIU’s School of Education Dean Cecil Smith said the partnership agreement aligns with SIU’s strategic goal to revitalize its WED program.

“COD has long been a valued partner of our university and both institutions share a similar educational mission in our community,” he said. “This articulation agreement further strengthens our partnership, and we look forward to continuing to welcome COD students to SIU.”

Through the new pathway to a bachelor’s degree, Murtaugh said students will now be able to help future organizations better prepare their workforces for competing in the ever-evolving marketplace.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime,” she said. “Employees need to be developed and organizational cultures need to evolve to meet this changing workplace and workforce reality. We can't win in the marketplace if we aren't winning in our workplaces.”

College of DuPage’s Human Resources Management Certificate is designed to provide entry-level human resource generalist and specialist content and competency development for individuals seeking careers in Human Resource positions. The courses and certificate are designed to also be completed by individuals seeking advancement in their HRM careers, refresher for HRM competency skill development, prep for the aPHR certification exam offered through the Human Resource Certification Institute, or recertification credits in an HRM-related content.