Harper College

Harper College, Rockford University collaborate on bachelor’s degree pathway

Rockford University logoLeaders at Harper College and Rockford University recently signed a memorandum of understanding to make it easier for students to achieve a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity.

This two-plus-two agreement between the two Illinois institutions is designed to streamline students’ education pathways, eliminating excess credit hours, degree costs and time to completion. After two years at Harper and two years at RU, they will come away with a wealth of computer science expertise and a four-year degree centered on a growing industry.

“We are extremely proud to partner with Harper College in advancing education in the important and exciting field of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Patricia Lynott, president of Rockford University. “The signing of this memorandum of understanding for a two-plus-two program in cybersecurity leverages the academic rigor and expertise of Rockford University, with the practical focus and accessibility of Harper College – one of the country’s premier community colleges. This partnership reflects a shared commitment to address the growing demand for skilled professionals in this critical field.”

Here is how it works: Students take their first two years of courses at Harper College, earning an Associate of Science degree with an emphasis in Computer Science or an Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Systems. They can transfer to Rockford University if they have maintained a 2.0 GPA, provided official transcripts and completed the RU application. Students will take their final two years of courses at the university, completing program requirements and the necessary credit hours from RU. After four years, they will earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity from RU.

To bolster this collaboration, Harper is providing advising services to help potential and current students transfer within this program and Rockford University representatives will come to the Palatine campus to recruit students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and beginning a career in cybersecurity.

“We are delighted to partner with Rockford University and its excellent computer science program as a means to help Harper students achieve their bachelor’s degree goals and cybersecurity career aspirations,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College. “This agreement is just one example of how we are intentionally opening doors to programs in high-demand fields to provide our students with sustainable careers, ultimately transforming lives and communities in Northern Illinois.”

The career outlook for students who complete this collaborative pathway is bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 33% employment growth in cybersecurity careers during this decade. Leaders at Harper College and Rockford University are excited about the recruitment and career opportunities that will result from this partnership.

For more information, visit harpercollege.edu and rockford.edu.

Last Updated: 3/14/24