Ohio University to Modify Regional Campus Offerings to Meet Workforce Needs and Student Demand

This month, Ohio University is launching a process to invest in high-demand degrees that meet market needs in the communities served by its regional campuses in Chillicothe, Lancaster, Ironton, St. Clairsville and Zanesville. The commitment to new degree offerings is part of a multi-pronged investment in the University’s regional suburban campuses, all focused on increasing degree completion to meet workforce demand. works in the region in areas such as health care, education and business leadership.

“One of The Ohio University’s greatest strengths is our deep commitment to meeting the needs in the regions we serve, especially in rural and Appalachian Ohio, and our regional higher education campuses are a big part of it,” Ohio University President Hugh Sherman said. “The needs of the communities we serve are constantly changing, and we must keep pace and be responsive to those demands.”

Sherman said part of this response is doubling the University’s commitment to affordability through its regional campuses. This spring, the University launched its OHIO Regional Promise Award, which guarantees that incoming freshmen who achieved a 3.0 GPA in high school and are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant can attend OHIO for free on a scholarship. four-year renewable regional campus. Additionally, students who successfully complete a year at a regional campus may qualify for a $5,000 renewable scholarship to transfer to and complete their degree in Athens. The University is currently working to expand partnerships with high schools to offer more College Credit Plus courses, which can reduce the total cost of a degree for families.

At the same time, the University launched new programs on regional campuses. This spring, OHIO began accepting applications for its accredited Bachelor of Commerce degree, now offered at each of its five regional campuses in a convenient hybrid format. In March, OHIO announced the expansion of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing to the Lancaster campus, making the degree now available on all campuses.

The University is currently investing in additional market research to better identify the degrees needed in each market. As OHIO works to identify and create new programs, it will phase out a small number of degree programs with historically low interest from students. Students enrolled in the programs identified for phasing out will continue to have access to the courses necessary to graduate.

“Our regional campuses have always been innovative in programming,” said Elizabeth Sayrs, executive vice president and vice president of Ohio University. “What’s different now is that we’re thinking more broadly about the whole system, and we’ve invested in market research tools to help us validate assumptions about the needs of students and potential employers. in each of our communities. »

This fall, class schedules will be aligned on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Athens and regional campuses. Sayrs said this system-wide approach allows the University to respond more effectively to student demand. The new process will allow students to access more course options, including online, hybrid and face-to-face options, delivered on and through multiple campuses.

Course alignment will also help the University work across the regional system to create “meta major” pathways for students to take general courses in areas such as pre-biology, pre-STEM or pre-social sciences with clear pathways to a wide variety of bachelor’s degree programs at various campuses, including OHIO’s Athens campus. These new meta-majors will be available to incoming students starting in fall 2023.

During a virtual open forum on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, President Sherman and Provost Sayrs shared additional details with RHE faculty and staff. Follow-up meetings will be held on each campus in August for campus-specific questions and discussions.

“As we make changes to schedules and improve our academic offerings, we will do so in a way that responds to our students and our state,” Sherman said. “I’m excited to see the impact these changes will have on our work to educate more students, to make a degree more affordable for families, and to fuel economic progress in the regions we serve.”

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