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UNI & DMACC partnership to help minority students earn degrees

UNI DMACC Partnership
From left to right: DMACC President Rob Denson, UNI President Mark Nook, Jill and Mark Oman

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- A new partnership between the University of Northern Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College received a $1 million boost Wednesday from UNI alumni.

The program is aimed at helping location-bound students in Des Moines earn a college degree through UNI. The “UNI at DMACC” 2+2 program launches this fall at the DMACC Urban Campus in downtown Des Moines. The program is part of UNI’s efforts to help multicultural students earn four-year degrees.

DMACC’s campus is the first in Iowa with a majority of minority students, and the “UNI at DMACC” program marks the first partnership of this scale between a Regent university and community college.

Mark and Jill Oman, both UNI alumni and residents of West Des Moines, provided the gift to support the new program. Mark Oman, managing director of Oman Capital, is a first-generation college student who wanted to help others receive the same benefits that a bachelor’s degree provided him.

“UNI changed my life. The ‘UNI at DMACC’ program will bring the same advantages of a four-year degree to students at DMACC’s Urban Campus without requiring students to leave their jobs, families and community," Mark Oman said.

The new program is designed for students to complete their first two years at DMACC, with the remaining two years completed online through UNI. Degree options include a Bachelor of Liberal Studies or Criminal Justice.

“Through their gift, the Omans are creating invaluable, meaningful change for our students. Their generosity will provide necessary support for the Urban Campus building project and help create a modern educational space to help students focus and succeed," UNI President Mark Nook said.

“The Omans mean so much to UNI — they immediately recognized the need and stepped forward to make a tremendous difference in moving this program forward. We’re proud to count them as valuable partners who are helping to remove the obstacles that can prevent access to education," Nook added.

The two institutions are also developing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in managing business and organizations — a program designed for graduates of DMACC’s two-year Associate of Applied Science programs. UNI also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education through online and on-site courses at other DMACC campuses, including in Ankeny and Carroll.

“This collaboration between DMACC and UNI underscores our commitment to better serve place-bound students in the Des Moines metro area by providing them with an affordable and flexible path to earning a bachelor’s degree,” DMACC President Rob Denson said.

For more information about the “UNI at DMACC” program, visit

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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