Two central Ohio colleges team up to improve student access and affordability

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – On Thursday, Columbus State Community College (CSCC) and Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) announced new programs designed to improve student access and affordability.

The partnership will help Columbus State students earn their bachelor’s degree faster. It’s a three-part partnership between the two institutions. Not only will this focus on access and affordability, it will also address the teacher shortage that we faced in Ohio and across the United States.

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The three programs will be tuition match, teach now and an expansion of the preferred pathway program.

Tuition Match program:

Beginning this fall, up to 25 qualified Columbus State graduates will be able to enroll at OWU yearly to complete their bachelor’s degree while paying the same tuition they paid during their final semester at CSCC. According to educators, that’s roughly a tenth of the sticker price to attend OWU. This is open to students who have earned an associate degree, they must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 and be in good academic standing.

“I always say that debt is a choice, it is avoidable if folks know the path. A partnership that Ohio Wesleyan has come in with and the tuition match is unprecedented. Again, the ability for students to start at Columbus State and knowing what their bachelor’s degree is going to cost at our tuition rates is something that I don’t think is happening anywhere in the country,” said David Harrison, president of CSCC.

Teach Now program:

This is OWU’s accelerated teacher licensure pathway that addresses central Ohio’s teacher shortage. Starting this fall, qualified high school students will be able to combine College Credit Plus/Dual Enrollment classes completed through Columbus State with Teach Now enrollment in OWU’s education program. This will enable students to graduate from OWU with their bachelor’s degree and Ohio teaching licenses in as little as two years.

“Talking with superintendents has just been thrilled with the possibility of bringing teachers straight into, you know, from their classrooms, into our classrooms and then out into the field in as little as two years,” said Sarah Kaka, associate professor at OWU.

“That’s really what this is all about, is changing lives, but lowering the barriers to entry for teachers so that we can tackle that issue head on,” said Matt vandenBerg, president, OWU.

Preferred Pathway program:

This is an expansion program with OWU that ensures that additional qualified Columbus State graduates are able to enroll at OWU and earn their four-year bachelor’s degrees without credit-transfer concerns.

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