How Busy Local People Earn Degrees

Upper Iowa University is known for giving working people and military personnel a way to further their educations without interrupting other duties.

Upper Iowa’s dedication to people with jobs, families, or military service, who are unable to attend or can’t afford full-time college, is especially important in the age of COVID-19, says Pamela Timmons, executive director of the university’s Rockford center.

“Because we have such a strong online presence, it’s easier for us to transition in this time of crisis,” she says.

Most Upper Iowa students are working adults who want to complete a degree they never finished and/or to prepare for a job promotion. Some are just out of high school, others are middle age or older. Those attending the Rockford center are mainly from the stateline area, but some have moved away and continue their education online.

Students sign up for one or two classes during each eight-week session, and can complete as many as six sessions in a year. A self-paced option allows them to finish a course or two within six months. Most classes are online or have portions of online learning, in addition to face-to-face lectures and discussions. Rock Valley College students get a discount to complete their degrees.

In-person classes are limited to 10 or fewer students. This keeps students safer and allows for more individualized attention. Classrooms and bathrooms are cleaned nightly.

Upper Iowa has 25 educational centers throughout the country and the Rockford location is at 1161 Tebala Blvd., where students attend classes and meet with an academic advisor.

Timmons has observed the main reason students don’t finish college is because they don’t focus adequately on meeting requirements for a particular degree when they choose classes.

“Our advisor helps students to see their options, while encouraging them to take classes to help them meet their goals in the shortest time possible,” she says.

Upper Iowa University was founded in 1857 and in the late ’90s started online degree programs. It is a private non-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to students in the U.S. and Asia.

For more information, call the Rockford location at (815) 332-1414 or visit the website at ❚