Nov. 29, 2007
By Linda Lockhart
More Southeast Ohio students may find it easier to complete bachelor's degrees in the future as a result of a memorandum of understanding Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and Washington State Community College President Charlotte Hatfield signed Wednesday in Marietta.
The document sets the stage for the two institutions to develop articulation agreements that will allow specified Washington State credits to transfer and apply directly to Ohio University degree programs. Such agreements facilitate bachelor's degree completion for more students.
"Today marks for us a new era in our relationship," McDavis said. "By coming together and formalizing what has already been a very good relationship, we show others we are ready to move Ohio forward along with the leadership of this state.
"We are looking for new opportunities, new ways for the citizens of our state to obtain a degree in higher education," he added. "We believe that at the heart of the whole higher-education system is the concept of cooperation and collaboration, and that is really what is bringing us together."
Work is under way for articulated programs in biology, nursing, education, engineering, social work, information and telecommunications systems and criminal justice as well as for the bachelor of technical and applied studies. The first agreed-upon programs could be up and running by fall 2008, according to Carissa Anderson, articulation coordinator for Ohio University Outreach.
Most of the bachelor's degree programs into which students will articulate would be offered on Ohio University's Athens campus, however, the possibility of offering the BTAS on the Washington State campus via distance education is being discussed.
Under the memorandum of understanding, both parties agree to promote the other's programs and support an advising specialist for the Washington State campus.
Washington State Community College, located in Marietta, offers associate's degrees in more than 50 programs, including technical programs and arts and sciences programs designed to transfer to four-year institutions. Washington State was established in 1971 as a technical college and gained community college status in 1991. About 2,500 students attend Washington State, and more 350 complete degrees each year.
Ohio University offers nearly 250 undergraduate majors, 58 areas of master's level study and doctoral degrees in more than 30 areas through nine colleges at the Athens, Ohio campus and five regional campuses across Southeast Ohio. Established in 1804 as the first higher education institution in Ohio, the university currently enrolls more than 28,000 students.
Other Community College Partnerships
The Washington State agreement is the latest in a series of formal community college partnerships Ohio University has forged in the past two years. Programs -- often referred to as two-plus-two's -- vary by partner, but all provide a way for students to complete a bachelor's degree in the equivalent of two additional years of full-time study beyond the associate's degree.
The Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies, offered through all of the community college partnerships, is primarily intended for students who have already completed a two-year degree program from an accredited community college, regional campus or technical college, and who wish to pursue a baccalaureate degree.
Ohio University also has articulation agreements with:
- Lorain Community College, which through a 2006 agreement gives students the opportunity to complete Ohio University bachelor's degrees in communication studies, specialized studies and technical and applied studies on its Elyria, Ohio, campus.
- Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, which in early 2007 signed an articulation agreement allowing Tri-C students to earn a bachelor of technical and applied studies.
- Hocking College, Nelsonville, which in March formalized a partnership to work toward articulation agreements for several programs, including social work, nursing, technical and applied studies, specialized studies and criminal justice, education and communication studies.
- Jefferson Community College, which signed an agreement with Ohio University-Eastern in October to offer the bachelor of technical and applied studies on Jefferson's Steubenville campus via distance learning. That program will be offered beginning in January.