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Ohio State Opens an Online Extension

t's not particularly well known since Ohio State is across town, but the other campus in Columbus, Ohio is Columbus State Community College, an institution with over 23,000 students. As the result of a partnership forged last year and taking root this year, CCC students can earn an Ohio State bachelor's degree without ever setting foot on the Ohio State campus.

Ohio State has entered into similar partnerships with other community colleges, but the school in Columbus is something of an incubator. It's not an automatic route to a bachelor's degree, but any student in one of Columbus State's 55 career and technical programs can participate, as long as he or she completes an associate degree and has a cumulative 2.0 grade-point average. 113 students have enrolled in the program thus far; what is required for many of them are a student loan and a leap of faith.

Prior to the establishment of this program, Columbus students could obtain an associate's degree in the technical or vocational training programs but not be prepared for moving on to a four year school. Now, this program requires them to take an additional year's courses at CSCC, taught by CSCC professors but counted as Ohio State credits. The final obligation is completing 12 or 13 Ohio State classes online, which completes the general education requirements, or "core courses" for an Ohio State bachelor's degree.

Participants currently can earn a bachelor of technical and applied studies degree, which is focused on providing students the business and professional skills to advance in any career, or a bachelor of criminal justice degree. Ohio University plans to add classes for a bachelor of science degree in nursing program in the winter quarter and an applied business degree next fall.

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