Kent State University students could receive associate degrees after completing 60 credit hours of coursework.
(Kent State University)
Kent, Ohio- Kent State University plans to award two-year associate degrees to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree – whether they like it or not.
Provost Todd Diacon said the reason was two-fold: to give students a degree and potentially provide the university with more state funding because it will now be based on degrees and student achievement.
“A growing body of research suggests that when you award the associate degree on the way to a bachelor’s degree, it helps improve student achievement,” he said. “It gives students a significant step to reinforce that they are progressing.”
Most students seeking a bachelor’s degree complete 60 credit hours of coursework in their first two years that would qualify them for an associate’s degree, Diacon said.
An associate’s degree would help students who leave college before earning a bachelor’s degree find jobs, he said. He recently presented the proposal to the Faculty Senate, according to Kent’s stater student newspaper.
Diacon said he agreed with the views of former Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro, who championed the awarding of degrees to students.
the Complete Ohio College The report, released in 2012 when Petro was chancellor, recommends that institutions “grant an associate degree as a provisional degree when a student has met degree requirements after 60 or more hours of meaningful college-level coursework.” .
While the main campus in Kent does not offer associate degrees, its regional campuses do, he said. So the degrees, which never included a regional campus designation of just “Kent State University”, could be given to Kent students, he said. He said he expects the degrees to be awarded at the end of this semester.
The University of Akron and Cleveland State University have not discussed awarding associate degrees, their spokespersons said.
CSU does not offer associate degrees, but the University of Akron offers two-year degrees through its Summit College, located on its Akron campus.
Ohio University offers associate degrees at its regional campuses but has no interest in extending them to its main campus in Athens, President Roderick McDavis said.
“I’m not really excited about this concept,” McDavis said. “The reason you are a four-year university is to award a bachelor’s degree. Community colleges were established to award associate degrees. I’m not criticizing but I don’t want to go that route. I think we’re doing pretty well as a four-year campus.
The Ohio board of directors said Kent State would need its approval.
“We encourage our higher education institutions to seek ways to help students earn their valuable degrees and certificates,” Chancellor John Carey said in a statement. “What Kent State offers would go through the same approval process with the Board of Regents as other degree programs to ensure students receive valid and meaningful associate degrees.”
Diacon responded in an email: “We will be awarding degrees through our regional campuses for Kent students for now. Kent degrees do not discriminate between campuses. We believe we can do this already, but we will clarify with the OBR, and do what is necessary to obtain approval from the Kent campus.”