Complete Ohio State helps students finish their degrees
Program offers case management, advising and financial aid
A new program is working to help former students at The Ohio State University complete their undergraduate education after they’ve stopped just short of the finish line.
Complete Ohio State supports students who return to the university to fulfill their degree requirements after spending time away, providing information and making connections to academic advising and other resources. The program also provides financial assistance for students who meet certain eligibility requirements.
“We started by trying to determine why students who step out particularly close to graduation are doing so, and could we support them, to bring them back and complete the degree?” said Complete Ohio State Program Manager Kris Wethington.
The program is open to first-time degree-seeking students who meet several eligibility requirements, including not currently being enrolled at Ohio State, having a 2.0 GPA or higher and being no more than 30 credit hours away from degree completion.
“We want to make sure we’re equipping students with the resources and supports they need to re-enroll and succeed,” says Beth Hume, vice provost for Student Academic Success. “Complete Ohio State is an important step in that direction.”
Wethington said the students aided by the program are often aware they are close to completion but family responsibilities, health issues or financial commitments get in the way.
“These students know they’re close but there are other life factors going on that just makes school not their top priority right now,” she said.
Aspen Bauman, a food business management major, fit the profile. Bauman left Ohio State short of finishing his degree. He said working too many hours impacted his study habits and he failed a class. Bauman is not sure he would have finished at Ohio State.
“I probably would have been gone longer had they not contacted me and said, ‘Hey, we have a way for you to come back,’” he said.
Bauman qualified for financial assistance, which allowed him to make work more manageable. He expects to graduate at the end of the semester.
“[Complete Ohio State] definitely helped me get back. I don’t have to work as many hours, and I have time to study and focus on class,” he said. “I still have to work a little bit, but it’s not crazy.”
In addition to some financial support, the program provides case management to help students through the re-enrollment process and reconnects students to appropriate academic advising – advisers who understand what the students are trying to accomplish and the challenges they face.
Wethington said it’s important for a university as large as Ohio State to show students they can find the help they need to finish.
“I think it helps the university show its commitment to helping students to see it all the way through,” she said. “For these students, who maybe need a little bit more of a connection or feel like we are important to them, I want them to know that they are important and that their goals are important. Completing that degree can have a huge impact on what they’re able to do in the future.”