A Game-Changing Partnership

Fueled by a shared mission of creating educational opportunity for Iowans, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) have entered into a new and historic partnership that will transform the educational landscape of Central Iowa.

Launching fall of 2020 at the DMACC Urban Campus in downtown Des Moines, UNI at DMACC is a 2+2 program designed to provide students a new path to earn a four-year degree. Students will complete their first two years onsite through DMACC, and the remaining two years online through UNI. This is a unique higher education opportunity for students at the Urban Campus, many of whom are location-bound by their work and their families, and will now have the opportunity to earn the advantages of a four-year degree from the convenience of their home city and home campus.

Pathways to Education

This partnership expands on a 20-plus year history of collaboration between DMACC and UNI — an elementary education 2+2 program offered in Carroll and Ankeny has graduated 300 elementary educators since 1995. UNI at DMACC will launch with three degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in criminal justice
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in managing businesses and organizations

All three degrees will help meet emerging workforce needs in the Des Moines metro area, with potential for other academic offerings in the future.

UNI at DMACC is designed to make a four-year degree more affordable and accessible for the 5,000 students who make up Iowa’s most diverse college campus:

  • 52% of Urban Campus students identify as a minority
  • Average Urban Campus student age is 28
  • 75% of Urban Campus students identify as a first-generation college student
  • Urban Campus students represent 70 different countries and speak 95-plus languages

DMACC President Rob Denson and UNI President Mark Nook sign the agreement forging the UNI at DMACC program.

Rob Denson and Mark Nook

Mark and Jill Oman speak at a press conference announcing their $1 million gift to UNI at DMACC Building Community Project Fund.

Mark and Jill Oman

Building Community

UNI at DMACC is part of a larger $24 million fundraising campaign for the modernization and expansion of the DMACC Urban Campus. UNI will occupy space in the new facility, to be completed January 2021, with onsite staff to advise current and future UNI at DMACC students. The two institutions are jointly fundraising for this effort, with financial goals specific to UNI at DMACC outlined below.

UNI at DMACC: $5 Million Goal

  • $2.5 million to support capital needs at the DMACC Urban Campus
  • $2.5 million to support programming and scholarships

Donor partnerships will help create a modern educational space that fosters community, inspires learning, and remains true to the urban core of downtown Des Moines. In addition, your support will be crucial to removing financial barriers for students seeking higher education. More than a quarter of Urban Campus students are single parents seeking the promise of education while working to make ends meet. With your generosity, we can increase access for these students with the following UNI at DMACC scholarship options:

  • Full-Tuition — $7,291 per year* An endowment of $200,000 would generate a full tuition and fees scholarship.
  • Tuition-Neutral (UNI degree at DMACC tuition price) — $3,691 per year* An endowment of $100,000 would generate a tuition-neutral scholarship.

Recognizing that DMACC Urban students may have greater financial need than the typical college student, we endeavor to bridge the gap between community college and university tuition — and, where possible, erase those financial barriers altogether.