ELYRIA — Lorain County Community College students seeking to obtain a four-year degree and interested in what Cleveland State University has to offer now have a pathway to such degrees, thanks to a partnership announced Wednesday.
LCCC students planning to transfer to CSU can now take part in CSU’s UP Express Program, providing them dual admission to both institutions from day one, officials from both institutions announced. The program extends the University Partnership between the two, and is open to all 175 degree programs offered at CSU.
CSU President Harlan Sands and LCCC President Marcia Ballinger traded sweatshirts from their respective institutions following the announcement during the annual Lorain County Superintendents meeting at LCCC.
Ballinger thanked Sands for the “commitment from CSU to education and to our community.”
“This great partnership adds value” for LCCC students, she said.
Sands said Ballinger is a “kindred spirit” invested in the affordability and accessibility of a university education.
“We need to get to the students early,” he said.
CSU already is the No. 1 transfer destination for LCCC students, according to LCCC. From 1999 to 2018, 542 students earned a bachelor’s degree from CSU through LCCC’s University Partnership program, and CSU continues to offer six bachelor’s degree programs through the University Partnership, according to LCCC.
UP Express CSU also will allow LCCC students to get a CSU Viking ID for special events and to access computer labs and recreation facilities on the Cleveland campus.
CSU graduates will teach a first-year experience course at LCCC for potential transfer students, and those in the UP Express program may take up to three classes at CSU while attending LCCC. Academic and career advisers from both colleges will be available to those enrolled in the program.
Ballinger said the partnership offers students “the best of both institutions” and a “direct, precise path” to a bachelor’s degree and increased opportunities for hiring.
“The program is designed for students who want to have that experience to express themselves in a different academic setting — in this case, on Cleveland State’s unique downtown campus,” Ballinger said. “Students will not only save on tuition costs, they will be guided down a streamlined pathway to success — with courses for both LCCC and CSU mapped out from their first semester.”
LCCC’s University Partnership was the first of its kind at an Ohio community college, allowing more than 3,000 students the chance to seek any of 50 bachelor or master degrees from 14 Ohio universities on the Elyria campus at one-third the cost.
CSU has more than 17,000 students in its 10 colleges and schools. Enrollment at CSU also can be a path to attending medical school or help in finding careers in medicine as CSU has partnered with University Hospitals, MetroHealth and the Cleveland Clinic to help train and find jobs for students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in nursing.
Up to 35 seats in each class at the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Portage County also are open to CSU students, in both undergraduate and graduate-track programs. The Cleveland-Region Interprofessional Area Health Education Center at CSU also helps recruit, teach, train and place health professions students in careers in Lorain, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Medina counties.
“We’re incredibly proud of the longstanding partnership between LCCC and CSU,” Sands said in a prepared statement. “Today, we take that partnership to the next level with this bold and brand-new initiative that provides the innovative academic support and mentoring that is critical to helping all students reach their goals.”