College of Design signs agreement with DMACC

Ashley Green

Des Moines Area Community College transfer students majoring in community and regional planning will soon be able to finish their bachelor’s degrees in four years of study.

On March 28, DMACC and Iowa State signed an agreement in a formal signing ceremony. The agreement outlines a plan that will guide students in the major through their undergraduate degree.

After graduating from DMACC with an associate of arts degree, students will have a clear recommended sequence to follow so they can finish their bachelor’s degree in an additional two years.

Currently, DMACC students who transfer into the community and regional planning program may spend closer to five years completing their degree.

“It shouldn’t take you five years to do a bachelor’s degree just because you started at a community college,” said Carlton Basmajian, associate professor of community and regional planning.

The agreement is a “two plus two” program between the university and the college.

Different departments at Iowa State have similar agreements with DMACC and other community colleges around Iowa, although the new agreement is the first for the College of Design.

Community and regional planning differs from most other majors in the College of Design mostly because students don’t need to apply and submit portfolios to be accepted into the program.

“It made sense for us to be the guinea pigs, so to speak,” Basmajian said.

Community and regional planning aims to help communities by managing changes to their environments and economies, improving quality of life and keeping community members involved in processes.

The Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State “is one of the nation’s largest and longest-established planning programs, and one of only 16 accredited undergraduate planning programs in the United States,” according the the department’s website.

Chair Francis Owusu, professor and department chair, expects an increase in transfer students.

“By having a formal agreement, we would be able to attract more students from DMACC,” Owusu said.