Southwestern Community College Enters Transfer Student
Partnership with Graceland University

Presidents signing agreementSEPTEMBER 7, 2009, Creston, IA – The presidents of Graceland University (GU) and Southwestern Community College (SWCC) met September 4, 2009, to make official a new partnership that will benefit SWCC students preparing to transfer to Graceland upon graduation.

Graceland President Dr. John D. Sellars and SWCC President Dr. Barb Crittenden met at SWCC’s main campus in Creston to finalize a partnership that will provide transfer students early academic advising and a shared experience with Graceland from the time they enter SWCC.  With the partnership in place, GU faculty and staff will assist each student planning to transfer in developing an academic program so they can earn a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or bachelor of science in nursing degree from Graceland in a timely manner. GU advisors will work with SWCC students to insure their transfer credits meet GU requirements and are readily accepted by the university. 

The partnership begins this fall. First-year SWCC students planning to transfer to GU as juniors will receive mentoring and academic advising from both institutions from the time they enter the Admissions and Advising Partnership (AAP). Students will quickly develop a four-year graduation plan to expedite their transition to Graceland and timely graduation. SWCC students participating in the AAP will enjoy many of the same benefits as GU students, including access to Graceland facilities and programs, involvement with career exploration programs, participation in clubs and organizations, and admission to athletic, fine arts and cultural events on Graceland’s Lamoni campus.

Sellars and Crittenden both spoke at the signing ceremony, noting the heritage both institutions have in assisting college students in reaching their higher education and career goals. The two presidents commented on the practical, long-term benefits to community development GU and SWCC have traditionally provided the region. They said this new Admissions and Advising Partnership will surely enhance those benefits.

“This joint effort is an exciting new partnership,” said Sellars. “It will offer students expanded opportunities to complete their educations and become successful members of our regional communities.”

Crittenden expressed her support for the new partnership, emphasizing the importance of seamless transfer of credit to senior institutions.  According to Crittenden, she feels partnership agreements such as this demonstrate commitment to students and act as one way to assure a positive educational experience.

In the past year, SWCC has signed similar agreements with Buena Vista University, Iowa State University, Northwest Missouri State University, and the University of Iowa.  Discussion is underway with the University of Northern Iowa as well.  For more information on SWCC’s partnership agreements, visit