CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is pleased to announce that EMC Insurance Companies has pledged its support for the College of Business’s new hybrid accounting program. The program, which was unveiled earlier this year, allows busy adult learners with an AA or AAS degree to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The hybrid delivery model offers the convenience of online business-core and elective courses with in-person evening accounting courses at the Des Moines Area Community College’s (DMACC) Urban campus.

EMC Insurance’s support will provide opportunities for more student support, including personal tutoring and student engagement and networking activities. The gift comes as the hybrid accounting program ramps up for its first semester in August.

“EMC is pleased to support the new hybrid accounting program because of what it does for the community,” said Scott Jean, president and CEO of EMC Insurance Companies. “UNI@DMACC offers an important option for earning a bachelor’s degree here in Des Moines at a state university price. This expands the accounting talent pool for EMC and all employers throughout the state, greatly widening that pipeline.”

Joe Ugrin, head of the accounting department for the UNI College of Business, is excited to work with EMC Insurance and leverage its support to help students. The program has also partnered with Big Four accounting firm KPMG on this initiative. EMC Insurance’s partnership will specifically help adult learners in Greater Des Moines gain some on-campus feel to the program.

“Even though these students are in a different location, we want to give them the same type of experience that they would have if they were in Cedar Falls,” Ugrin said. “And tutoring and engagement activities are two of the biggest elements that have helped our learners become successful.

“We now have a foundation and support from alumni and companies that is essential to innovate and successfully start new programs. EMC Insurance is a huge partner.”

UNI is expecting its first cohort of students this fall, and enrollment is expected to exceed initial projections. The program is hosting a networking event in September, which will bring in alumni and accounting firms from the Des Moines region to meet with students. Ugrin said students in the program have already been offered internships, before a class has even been taught, boding well for the program’s long-term outlook and its value among the area’s accounting firms.

“I’m very excited to get started. Excited enough to teach the first class,” said Ugrin, who plans to drive to Des Moines on Wednesdays to teach classes in the first semester. “I’m most looking forward to engaging interpersonally with the students there, and I feel like this is an opportunity for a real life-changing experience for these adult learners.”


Adam Amdor