Cleveland State and Cuyahoga Community College team up for “Future Vikings” program
Ohio colleges have a long history of monitoring the changing demographics of the state, as the number of high school graduates in the state is expected to continue to decline.
The pandemic has also amplified concerns about enrollment, as numbers plummeted at colleges in northeast Ohio and across the country last fall. Community colleges have been among the hardest hit.
More and more emphasis has been placed on transfer students. College presidents talk about expanding pipelines. Fourteen of the state’s private universities and two-year public colleges announced a new course partnership this summer. The “Ohio Transfer 36” introduced in May, is a new brand image of an initiative that allows general education classes to move easily from one college to another.
“It was widely accepted that, especially for institutions that relied heavily on traditional freshmen, it was going to be necessary to look beyond,” said Jonathan Wehner, vice president and dean of admissions, admissions management. enrollment and student success. at Cleveland State University.
Cleveland State and Cuyahoga Community College are now collaborating on the “Future Vikings“to simplify the transfer process for their students. National data show that out of 100 people who start at a community college, about a third will go on to a four-year institution, but only 14 will end up getting a bachelor’s degree.
The partnership between two of Cleveland’s largest educational institutions comes as the state aims to have an ambitious goal of having 65% of its residents hold a degree or other degree by 2025.
“There is a dearth of adults in Northeast Ohio with college degrees and the skills needed for current and future jobs,” said Angela Johnson, vice president of access and completion of Tri-C, in a recent release. “Increasing the number of university graduates is essential to the economic vitality of our region and the state.
Community college students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree may face obstacles, according to Melissa Swafford, director of the Tri-C transfer center.
There may be confusion as to the degrees actually transferred from one institution to another. They might not be able to imagine themselves in a four-year college. Credits may not be fully transferred or they may have an unpaid balance with an institution, resulting in the withholding of a transcript.
It can be difficult to navigate, especially since two-year-old students often have a lot of things to do outside of the classroom. The majority of students are women and / or people of color who attend part-time. A third are the first in their family to attend university and 20% have a disability.
“Students don’t necessarily understand what they don’t understand, especially if they’re first generation,” Swafford said.
Officials said the schools have a long history of working together. The largest number of transfers out of Tri-C are from students moving to CSU, in part because the campus is easily accessible for students who use public transportation.
The current push is more of a framework, not an entirely new endeavor. It brings together all existing and related efforts under one roof. This includes Degree Link – an initiative that allows students to take up to three courses at CSU while studying at Tri-C before enrolling at CSU once various requirements are met – as well as the program. Mandel Scholars.
“What we’ve achieved is that we have all of these great journeys, programs and partnerships with CSU,” Swafford said. “For students, it is sometimes difficult to know where they should go.”
It is also planned to put more emphasis on five specific degree tracks between institutions. The list includes associate’s degrees that will line up directly for bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business, nursing, IT, and healthcare management.
These particular offers are “areas of strength” in Cleveland state, the university’s Wehner said, and should also relate to some of the area’s most in-demand positions.
“We really wanted to look at a set of programs that we thought would create a pipeline to successful jobs,” he said.
A new aspect of Future Vikings is the desire to identify Tri-C students who might be interested in participating early in their college career. The goal is then to provide additional programs, such as connecting them with CSU departments or offering targeted counseling, to help them stay engaged and on track.
“You tell us you want to go to CSU, we will determine what is the best program for you based on your program of study, your situation,” said Swafford of Tri-C. “And then you’re a Future Viking. We know you want to go to CSU, CSU knows you want to go to CSU, and we’ll help you navigate whatever path or partnership we’ve established.”
The institutions received a grant of $ 26,000 over two years as part of a program national initiative aimed at increasing transfer rates of students of color, as well as adult and first-generation populations. There is also additional support, such as a monthly call with a coach and more in-depth follow-up efforts.
The goal is to identify cohorts of 100 net students to transfer in the first year of the scholarship, and then double that amount in the second year.