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Director's Column



Bachelor of Arts in General Studies

WIU, Palmer Enter Partnership

Degree PartnershipSelect students in the Western Illinois University Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program will have the opportunity to earn degrees from both Western and Palmer College of Chiropractic (PCC) in Davenport, IA, thanks to a new partnership between the two institutions, beginning this fall.

Western and Palmer signed a Memorandum of Understanding today (May 7) that allows qualified BGS majors at WIU to earn a doctor of chiropractic degree from Palmer. According to Rick Carter, executive director of Western's School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, the dual degree program requires three years of attendance at Western Illinois University, followed by a minimum of five academic years (eight months each year) of attendance at Palmer.

"This new partnership will provide additional educational opportunities for students. We are excited to sign an agreement with Palmer College of Chiropractic," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "This is a true example of a win-win partnership and the biggest winners are the students. By working together we are able to offer a unique educational opportunity to students."

Students who enroll in the WIU/PCC dual degree program must receive 90 hours of credit in approved pre-requisite courses at Western prior to enrolling at Palmer. Current Palmer students may also earn a BGS degree from WIU by transferring a minimum of 30 credit hours from Palmer toward the WIU degree.

"We're pleased to sign a strategic partnership between Palmer College of Chiropractic and Western Illinois University. By signing this articulation agreement, students seeking a chiropractic career can begin their undergraduate training at WIU with an expedited path to achieve both a bachelor's degree from WIU and a doctor of chiropractic degree from Palmer College," noted PCC Chancellor Dennis Marchiori. "In addition to the shared commitment to a high-quality student learning and educational experience, this articulation agreement will enhance accessibility and career advising, as well as reduce educational costs, for our students."

The general studies program (originally called the Board of Governors program) was created in 1972 to serve adult students who are unable to attend a traditional college program due to family, work or community obligations. Rather than requiring a specific major, the program allows the student to design her or his program to meet individual educational goals. Students may also be eligible for academic credit for college-level learning that was done in a non-collegiate setting, such as the military or on-the-job training.

"The BGS program is individualized and flexible. Our partnership with Palmer allows their students to obtain a general studies degree from Western, and allows our students to work toward a doctorate in chiropractic," Carter added.

For more information on the BGS program, visit or contact Carter at (309) 298-1929 or

Molly Paccione Retirement

Molly Paccione, Director of Non-Credit Programs retired from WIU on June 1st after serving the University for over 29 years. Molly had many rewarding experiences providing academic programs on a non-credit or sponsored-credit basis to diverse groups from many places. Through her leadership NCP was able to offer programs for everyone from economically-disadvantaged at-risk youth; to teachers at all levels; to physical plant workers; to aspiring filmmakers; to state police officers; to French horn players from all over the world - and many more!! Molly has enjoyed representing WIU to the many external partners she met while developing new programs to meet educational needs. Those who have worked with Molly recognize her dedication to providing quality academic programs on a non-credit or sponsored-credit basis to diverse groups from many places. We wish Molly all the best as she begins this new chapter.

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