Six public colleges and universities in northwest Ohio entered into a compact March 20 reaffirming their commitment to working collectively and collaboratively to educate residents.
Bowling Green State University, Northwest State Community College, Owens State Community College, Rhodes State Community College, Terra State Community College, and the University of Toledo will comprise the Northwest Region Higher Education Compact.
“This signing marks the first step in what will be an ongoing process for our schools in the northwest region,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey. “I look forward to seeing the future results of this partnership as these colleges and universities continue to strive to make a quality education more affordable for all students, and keep us tracking toward our statewide attainment goal.”
The compact will allow the institutions to expand their capabilities by facilitating coordinated and efficient academic, financial, and administrative operations. The model is expected to allow better outcomes for direct from high school, adult, and workforce development student populations. This includes creating pathways from the K-12 system to higher education that will lower the overall cost of higher education in the northwest Ohio region, while providing high-quality educational offerings.
This partnership also will support Ohio’s degree attainment goal. By 2025, it is estimated that 65 percent of Ohio’s workforce will need a post-secondary degree to meet employer demands. That will require 1.7 million more degree-holders; however, at current graduation rates, this goal will not be met. This partnership will support several of the state’s attainment goals priorities, including identifying, validating, and counting all levels of credentials; educating more adults; acting in local communities; and rethinking systems.
As a result, students are likely to see enhanced career counseling, internship and co-op, and academic opportunities. The sharing of resources also is expected to improve and expand the capacity and capability for research and development.
Member institutions are already working together on several initiatives to meet these goals and services, including dual admissions programs, data sharing with K-12 systems, and back-end administrative efficiencies.
The partnership has kicked off immediately, with three working sessions held at member institutions March 22.