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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017

Patches Fog Fog/Mist, 62 °F

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Peter Mather (Center) and Shawn Ostermann talk with representatives from Residential Housing at the Your Passport The OHIO Guarantee.

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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Faculty and staff view new videos that accompany the Your Passport to The OHIO Guarantee initiative.

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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Representatives from the Bursar's office talk with Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit (Center Left) and Associate Professor of English & Chair of Faculty Senate Beth Quitslund (Center Right) at the Your Passport to The OHIO Guarantee event.

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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University community invited to “Your Passport to The OHIO Guarantee™” event


Ohio University is preparing to switch to an innovative tuition and fee structure beginning in fall 2015 and as part of those preparations, the University community is invited to an interactive workshop designed to answer basic questions about this new structure, named The OHIO Guarantee™.

“Your Passport to The OHIO Guarantee” will be held three times during fall semester – Sept. 10, Oct. 7 and Nov. 12 -- to allow for maximum participation. The event is meant to be informative and interactive, explains University Communications and Marketing (UCM) Executive Director Renea Morris.

“The Passport event planning team, under the guidance of the communication subcommittee of the Tuition Guarantee Implementation Team, wanted to offer a student’s perspective to the OHIO faculty and staff who will be helping our students adjust to and understand this brand new tuition and fee structure,” Morris said. “We thought taking a journey in the student’s shoes would really help bring the program to life. We’re excited to share this with the entire University community.”

A sneak preview was held Tuesday, Aug. 26 for a select group of invitees. Approximately 50 people attended the preview, allowing for a dress rehearsal before the three fall events are open to the University community.

Participants in the Passport event received a card containing the details that make up the persona of a fictitious OHIO college student under The OHIO Guarantee. Each student has a different background and set of challenges they may face as they navigate the new tuition and fee program. These personas include:

  • A multi-campus student taking classes at a regional campus and the Athens Campus
  • A part-time student who would like to finish her degree in six years
  • A nontraditional student who leaves for military service
  • A student who begins in 2015, but takes a leave of absence and returns in 2021
  • A transfer student from a community college
  • A regional campus student relocating to the Athens Campus
  • An international student who has finished the OPIE requirement
  • A traditional, residential four-year student

“It’s almost like you actually get to walk through the process. I learned so much that I didn’t know about the program, even though I had heard about it and read about it. It’s really good to do this first hand,” said Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion Shari Clarke during the sneak preview event.

Tables set up in the Walter Hall rotunda represent the different offices each student will need to work with to ensure they understand how The OHIO Guarantee works for them. Staff members from Admissions, Housing, Culinary, Registrar, Bursar, and Financial Aid will answer questions and provide advice for each student persona. Participants can move through the room at their own pace, spending as much or as little time on a topic.

“I like that the Passport is an interactive workshop. You can try on different personas to experience perspectives of different students to see what The OHIO Guarantee may mean for each of them,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. “All of the offices that will work with students and families to administer The OHIO Guarantee are represented here.”

Associate Director of Admissions Joe Stone is fairly familiar with The Guarantee, having already participated in some department-level training about the program. He says he found the event useful even with his prior knowledge.

“It reiterates certain things we’ve gone over in our training, so I think it’s good for us. But I would definitely recommend it for someone who isn’t as in touch with The Guarantee because it’s a monumental program,” Stone said.

As participants visit each table and learn more, they receive a stamp on their persona card. Upon completing their journey around the room, they end at the final table, called “The First Day of Class,” to receive a special reward for completing the Passport event, as well as their official passport. The spiral-bound passport contains each of the personas from the event, as well as information to answer questions about The OHIO Guarantee. It serves as a quick reference tool when advising real-life students about The OHIO Guarantee. For some sneak preview participants, the event itself served as a good reference tool.

“What I’ve been doing is trying to hear what questions people are asking,” said Beth Quitslund, chair of OHIO’s faculty senate. Quitslund said she thinks it will also help faculty become familiar with the different offices involved.

Tom Perry, third party systems manager in OIT, said as a member of the Tuition Guarantee Implementation Team he’s familiar with the program. He used his time at each table a little differently than most participants.

“I tried to stump them,” Perry said with a laugh. Perry said he believed the event would be useful for his colleagues. “You’re going to get stopped on campus, whether you are faculty, staff, or a student, you’re going to get asked questions. Are you going to know all the details? Probably not, but you’re going to have a rough idea and you’ll have a good idea of who’s got the correct answer for what they’re asking.” After going through all the tables, he indicated everyone was very professional and it was obvious they were very prepared and knowledgeable about the program.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bob Frank said the event served as a two-for-one for him.

“I feel like I’m helping the staff here test their knowledge and deal with different sorts of circumstances that they’re going to encounter and simultaneously I’m being educated about what we’re going to be facing here shortly,” Frank said.

Adding to the interactive experience, a viewing room next to the rotunda featured a series of short videos recently produced by UCM. The OHIO Guarantee videos address common questions students may ask about the program. The multimedia presentation will play during the event to offer participants another means to understand the various aspects of The OHIO Guarantee. The videos utilized student talent, both on screen and off, under the direction of the UCM video team.

Attendees at the three Passport events will be asked to fill out a survey rating their experience and their familiarity with The OHIO Guarantee. To register to attend one of the three events offered in fall semester, please use this link to RSVP.

What would a passport be without a passport photo?

In keeping with the theme of Your Passport to The OHIO Guarantee, a photo booth from Class A sounds will be set up in the Walter Hall rotunda during the September, October and November events for participants to capture the memory of their journey. The souvenir serves as a reminder of their trip around the rotunda in advance of a pioneering new program.