Oct. 26, 2007
By Crystal Lorimor
A new distance-learning agreement between Ohio University's Eastern campus and Jefferson Community College will allow students to pursue an Ohio University bachelor's degree while attending classes on the JCC campus. The agreement was signed by Eastern campus Dean Paul Bibbins Jr. and JCC President Laura Meeks last week.
Ohio University's donation of interactive television equipment, valued at about $50,000 when originally purchased, will make it possible for graduates of applied and technical associate degree programs to complete a bachelor of technical and applied studies degree via interactive television and the Internet. The program will be offered by the Eastern campus in St. Clairsville, but the students can attend classes on the JCC campus 35 miles away in Steubenville.
"Higher education in Ohio is moving in the direction of more partnerships among its institutions, and this is the beginning of more collaboration between JCC and the Eastern campus," Bibbins said. "There has been discussion about other programs we could offer using this method."
The interactive television equipment was used to connect Eastern to the Athens campus and other regional campuses before Ohio University upgraded its entire system in June 2006. It provides additional technical capacity for the community college and, when not in use for Ohio University-Eastern classes, can be used for other JCC purposes.
With interactive television, JCC students can see and talk with their professors and classmates in St. Clairsville. Students will be able to complete the program on a full- or part-time basis, with an evening option.
The bachelor of technical and applied studies integrates the technical skills developed in an associate's degree program with the professional skills, values and dispositions of a bachelor's degree program. The program provides 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; it's often referred to as a 2+2.
With the bachelor's degree attainment level in Appalachian Ohio well below the state average and only about half the national average, this type of program is especially valuable for citizens who want to continue their education, Bibbins said.
No travel should be needed to access services, either. An adviser from Ohio University-Eastern will regularly schedule visits to JCC to advise and assist students, and JCC's transfer coordinator will help students transition between the two schools. Students will be able to use the library at JCC and have options for buying textbooks at a distance.
Installation of the interactive television equipment is under way and should be completed by the beginning of winter quarter.
More information on the program is available by contacting Eastern campus Recruiting Coordinator and Academic Adviser Kristen Burrier at 740-699-2324.