UT recently entered a partnership with five other northwest Ohio colleges to reaffirm their commitment to educate Ohioans in the region.
The Northwest Region Higher Education Compact includes UT, Bowling Green State University, Northwest State Community College, Owens State Community College, Rhodes State College and Terra State Community College.
The compact allows the members to support this goal by streamlining the communication and transfer of credits between the member institutions. The schools will try to expand their capabilities by facilitating effective academic, financial and administrative operations through collaboration and outreach.
The agreement is one of the ways these schools will help the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Attainment Goal 2025.
According to the department’s website, they aim to have 65 percent of Ohioans, ages 25-64, to have a degree, certificate or other post-secondary workforce credential of value in the workplace by 2025.
By 2025, an estimated 65 percent of Ohio’s workforce will be required to have a postsecondary education to meet employer demands. Current graduation rates are not high enough to meet the expected 1.7 million more degree-holders needed for the goal to be met.
One of the ways the compact will work is by restructuring the transfer of credits between the schools to make the process as simple as possible, said Bill Ayres, vice provost for academic affairs.
“There’s an entire section in the regional compact that talks about transfer credits,” Ayres said.
“Now we have a working model in place where if there is some course or curriculum that Bowling Green offers that UT students would like access to, there’s a way to make it happen.”
The partnership would simplify the administration of transfer students to ensure that their earned credits are transferred.
“We’re getting better at sharing information amongst ourselves and making sure that once a student is eligible to receive an associate’s degree, we’ll make sure they get it,” Ayres said. “And if they’re eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree, let’s make sure they actually get it.”
The partnership solidifies a commitment to education that UT and BGSU have already expanded on.
UT President Sharon Gaber and BGSU President Rodney Rogers signed an agreement to share resources in modern world languages, Ayres said. This compact allows the member institutions to further share resources to expand the capability for education and development.
UT students are likely to see enhanced career counseling and increased academic opportunities as a result of the partnership, according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. There will also be more pathways from the primary to secondary education system that will reduce the cost of higher education in the northwest Ohio region.
“Students on the UT campus, especially those with a lot of transfer credits, will begin to see additional opportunities to make things a lot smoother,” Ayres said.