Any college student who has transferred from one university to the next knows what a headache it can be with the burden of transfer credits – or lack thereof – that follow.
The “Sorry, that doesn’t fulfill the requirement” response is the last thing a student wants to hear.
But Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee and Columbus State Community College President David Harrison made an announcement Tuesday about a new academic partnership. This affiliation, known as the Preferred Pathway Program, will guarantee qualified students transferring from CSCC to OSU a quicker bachelor’s degree with more opportunities.
The plan was arranged by each school’s Board of Trustees. They devised a joint contract that redefines collaborative coursework and extracurricular activities between both colleges. It consists of six sections that redefine coursework and overall services to accommodate students. Section 1 of the contract states that qualified students with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from CSCC are “guaranteed admission to The Ohio State University, consistent w/ university policy.”
David Wayne, media relations coordinator for CSCC, clarified that this doesn’t ensure every CSCC student admission to OSU.
He said that first, students must meet all requirements, particularly GPA pertaining to their specific major at CSCC. Only then are they guaranteed admission to OSU. After this admission, they must either initially meet or strive to meet the GPA requirements for their desired major at OSU.
But Wayne said both schools have shared advising services to assist students with class choices between the 80 different majors between both colleges.
“This puts students into a direct pathway to show them exactly which path to take from A to B,” Wayne said.
The student body at CSCC is 30,000, including all branch campuses and online. Wayne said for this reason, he appreciated the harmony between both schools.
“I think students will welcome this opportunity to get on the right track, (to go) directly from Columbus State to OSU,” he said.
For some students, this opportunity did not arise in time. Jason Menendez, a fourth-year business marketing major, has taken classes at OSU and CSCC simultaneously since his second year. He said he wished the two colleges would have joined together sooner, as some of his hard work has gone to waste.
“I’ve taken accounting classes that should’ve transferred,” Menendez said. “I still have to get permission and prove that I took them.”
Regardless of the college’s decision, Menendez said he has lost a year’s worth of credit and must begin a fifth year at OSU. He said he has witnessed countless students suffer the same consequences.
But for others, the headache is over. Both Gee and Harrison finalized the Preferred Pathway Program Tuesday during a news conference at the Columbus State Conference Center. Both colleges’ board of trustees must still vote on the agreement to implement it, but it is expected to begin in September.
OSU’s board of trustees are scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday.