Illinois Ranked No. 1 in Bachelor’s Degree Completion by Community College Students

Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY –  A new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows Illinois leading the nation in bachelor’s degree completion rates among community college students – 27.5 percent higher than the national average.

Since 2010, 53.8 percent of new Illinois community college students (both full- and part-time but not including dual credit earners) who transferred to a four-year school successfully completed a bachelor’s degree within six years.

That’s a difference of 15,896 students (or 3.1 percent) between Illinois and the next highest ranking state, Washington.

“This report proves that Illinois is a great state for both successful transfers and degree completion,” said Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Dr. Al Bowman. “Institutions of high learning across the state and the regulatory agencies, like IBHE, work hard to make sure transfers are smooth.

One of the biggest fears for transfer students is that their community college credits won’t transfer, but the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) has changed the game in this state. The IAI creates a smooth process for transferring credits from one Illinois higher education institution to another. 

Paired with articulation agreements and 2+2 programs, transferring after Lewis and Clark has never been easier.

“Lewis and Clark’s 2+2 agreements with four-year institutions are a major factor in helping students complete a bachelor’s degree,” said L&C Vice President of Enrollment Kent Scheffel. “The agreements ensure a smooth and seamless transfer for students. The Illinois Articulation Initiative also plays a key role. It guarantees that courses will transfer throughout the state and enables students to remain on track for a timely graduation.” 

For more information on enrolling at Lewis and Clark with plans to transfer after graduation, visit or speak with an advisor today. To make an appointment, call (618) 468-2222.