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Partnerships Between 2- and 4-Year Schools Could be Good for Both Students and Schools

photo of Stark State College
Stark State College announced a partnership with the University of Akron last week, just days after Kent State and Eastern Gateway Community College announced a similar partnership.

This month, both the University of Akron and Kent State University announced partnerships with 2-year colleges.  It’s part of a growing trend in higher education.

Kent State is partnering with Eastern Gateway Community College, while the University of Akron announced an agreement Friday with Stark State College.  In both cases, the schools have said the goal is to make it easier for students getting an Associate’s Degree to transition seamlessly into a 4-year program.

That’s the advantage for students, according to Seppy Basili, executive director of The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which has studied the future of higher education.  He says for the schools, such partnerships help to boost enrollment and graduation rates.

“When you have a better articulated program, students transfer with more credits in [and] they are more likely to graduate.  So that's a huge benefit for those schools."

The schools’ state funding is based on how many students graduate.  Basili adds that his foundation is also about to release a report later this year on how well community college students perform when they transfer to 4-year schools.