Decatur, IL – In a new collaboration, most Richland Community College students will be immediately accepted to Millikin University if they have at least a 2.0 GPA and can complete their Millikin bachelor’s degree in two years with a full-time enrollment.

Earlier this week, Richland Community College and Millikin University formed a collaborative partnership to better serve public constituents, ease the transfer process, minimize duplication of instruction, and build upon community college and university learning experiences. The institutions came to two agreements.

The first one states Richland students who have above a 2.0 GPA and have completed an Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), Associate in Engineering Science (AES), or have completed necessary courses (outlined in more detail at will be automatically accepted to Millikin. Richland students wishing to attend Millikin will be provided with a four-year plan, as well as automatic acceptance into the Millikin baccalaureate degree programs. Students will still have to meet specific core requirements and criteria to enter certain programs. Along with this, Richland graduates that have successfully completed the requirements of the Honors Opportunities Program will be automatically accepted into Millikin’s James Millikin Honors Scholars program. Richland students can visit to learn more and submit their free application for admission.

“We are proud to partner with Millikin to provide Richland students a direct pathway to pursue their bachelor’s degree. This collaboration embodies community, showing that when institutions unite, we can create a bridge to degree completion for every student choosing a four-year path. Together, we are forging pathways that empower our students to achieve their academic dreams,” said Dr. Cris Valdez, President of Richland Community College.

Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds stated, “We are grateful to our partners at Richland for joining us in creating pathways for Richland students to complete their four-year degree at Millikin. Our community is fortunate to have collaborating institutions who see education as transformative and choose to help deserving students with their dreams of better lives for them and their families. Partnerships like this take down barriers to success for all students who wish to continue their education and seek a four-year degree and we are proud to be of service to those community members.”

Dr. Isaac Zuniga, Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Success at Richland, said, “At Richland Community College, fostering community transfer partnerships is paramount to empowering students in pursuing their career aspirations. Under Dr. Valdez’s leadership, we’ve focused our efforts to support local industry partners and enhance collaboration with esteemed institutions like Millikin University. This strengthened partnership aims to dismantle educational barriers, providing local students with a direct pathway into Millikin’s programs. Such initiatives not only fortify our community but also cultivate a diverse, skilled workforce, fueling prosperity for all.”

In the second agreement, Millikin students who previously attended Richland without receiving their associate’s degree can apply for a reverse transfer – which would allow them to earn the associate’s while at Millikin. The university will notify former Richland students enrolled at Millikin with a minimum of 32 transfer credits that they can request a reverse transfer transcript request/release form (RTTR/R). If they sign the form, Millikin will forward a transcript to the Registrar at Richland. The Registrar will verify if the student completed an associate degree based on coursework already completed at Richland and Millikin. There will be no cost to the student for these transcripts. If there is a break in attendance at Millikin, the student will need to submit a new RTTR/R when they re-enroll at Millikin.

“This agreement between Millikin and Richland represents the commitment of both institutions to providing affordable and accessible higher education opportunities for students across the region. It will make the transfer process seamless, and make it easier for Richland Community College students to take advantage of the Millikin Tuition Promise and the Big Blue Pledge Illinois Free Tuition programs. The agreement ensures that students who transfer from Richland to Millikin with completed associate’s Degrees can be sure their university studies coursework is already complete. They can focus on the courses required to complete their major, and graduate on-time,” said Mary Black, Millikin University Provost.