18:00 PM

Landmark Ohio State and Columbus State partnership will guarantee access to the bachelor's degree

The presidents of Columbus State Community College and The Ohio State University today unveiled the Preferred Pathway Program, a collaboration that will provide qualified Columbus State students with a guaranteed, guided route to an Ohio State baccalaureate degree.

In ceremonies at Columbus State, David T. Harrison, president of the college, and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee introduced the new joint initiative, hailing it as a symbol of their institutions’ commitment to access, student success, and Ohio’s economic advancement.

“This partnership builds on Columbus State’s open-door admissions and services to diverse students,” said President Harrison. “More selective admissions at public and private universities and pressures on affordability have limited access to the bachelor’s degree for many Ohioans. This partnership guarantees the opportunity for local students to pursue their dream of a bachelor’s degree close to home.”

Through the Preferred Pathway Program, set to launch in autumn 2011, Ohio State and Columbus State will facilitate the transition of Columbus State students into the Ohio State experience and then foster the success of those students.

The resolution formalizing the agreement, to be presented to the boards of trustees of both institutions, says that Columbus State students who have earned an associate’s degree will be guaranteed admission to Ohio State, consistent with university policy. To support those students, the resolution also provides that faculty from the two schools will work together to broaden the Columbus State curriculum so that students have the academic foundation to succeed in a range of Ohio State baccalaureate degree programs. In addition, Ohio State and Columbus State advisors will collaborate in advising students well before they transfer. Participants in the Preferred Pathway Program will also be provided with an enhanced orientation program at Ohio State, and will benefit from early participation in the university’s nationally recognized First Year Experience and other acclimation programs.

Connecting the two institutions through the Preferred Pathway Program will help eliminate uncertainties for central Ohio students and families, promote the higher education goals of the state, increase Ohio’s pool of talented workers, and boost its economic development and diversification.

President Gee recognized the Preferred Pathway Program as a landmark. “Our institutions have long enjoyed a strong working relationship. Today, Ohio State and Columbus State extend that partnership and establish a new model for seamless coordination between two- and four-year institutions. In so doing, we help to both assure that students realize their dreams and strengthen the economic foundations of our community.

“This is a rare win-win-win situation,” President Gee added. “This agreement benefits Ohio State, Columbus State, and most importantly, our students.”