Ohio has a wide variety of non-profit colleges and universities to choose from, generally divided into categories such as Private or Public, Two-year or Four-year.
Private institutions are colleges and universities, whose governing boards are self-sustaining and may contain representatives from sponsoring organizations. Also called Independent Institutions, they cover the cost of education through sources such as tuition, alumni donations, donor gifts, as well as government supported scholarship and loan programs. Public colleges and universities are organized by and their trustees are appointed by government entities. They receive a State subsidy (some may also receive a local government subsidy) in addition to tuition, private donations, government supported scholarship and loan programs, and other resources, to cover the cost of education.
Four-year colleges and universities can be either private or public. Generally speaking, four-year institutions are those that offer a curriculum leading to at least a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in a specific major, field, or course of study.
Most of Ohio’s two-year colleges are public institutions. Nearly one-third of Ohio college students, representing all ages, attend state-assisted community colleges, technical colleges or university regional campuses. Some of these students enter directly from high school. Others become employed after graduating from high school and later enroll as part-time or full-time students. Either way, by completing a two-year degree program, you can go to work in business, industry, or public service in a variety of occupations. Special transfer-of-credit agreements with four-year colleges allow many students to use the associate degree as a stepping-stone to a four-year baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree. Two-year colleges also offer adult continuing education programs, which may or may not lead to a degree.
Ohio’s community colleges offer three types of educational programs. First is the two-year university parallel arts and sciences program leading to the Associate of Art or Associate of Science degrees. These programs are for those who plan to transfer to a four-year college. Another type of program is the two-year, career-oriented program in one of the agriculture, business, engineering, allied health and public service technologies leading to an Associate degree in Applied Science or Applied Business. Finally, there also are community service and adult continuing education programs, which may or may not lead to a degree or certificate.
Technical colleges offer career-oriented two-year programs leading to an Associate degree in Applied Science or Applied Business. This theoretical and practical instruction has been developed to meet needs created by rapid technological changes. Like community colleges, technical colleges also have a community service component that includes business and industry training and retraining as well as adult continuing education programs and activities.
Ohio has a network of regional campuses affiliated with state universities. Courses generally parallel or complement those offered at the main campuses in the freshman and sophomore years. Many of Ohio’s regional campuses also offer complete bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in a variety of subject areas. Students also have the option of requesting a switch to the main campuses to complete their degrees. In addition, many regional campuses offer two-year associate degrees in general studies and technical program areas.
Growing numbers of students are starting their education at a community, technical, or regional campus and transferring to another college or degree program during the course of their college education. Students planning to transfer should make plans well in advance. You should discuss your plans as early as possible with academic and financial aid counselors at the institution where you start your college education as well as where you plan to finish it.
While many general courses may be applicable toward almost any degree, some degree programs require certain specific and sequenced courses. Consequently, transferring from one degree program to another, and/or from one college to another, frequently means the loss of some course credits, which will no longer count toward graduation. Generally speaking, colleges will accept credits taken in courses which are parallel to those offered in their own programs.
A core of general education courses has been identified by many of Ohio’s 2-year community and technical colleges. Courses that are transferable from one college to another may include English, mathematics, fine arts, humanities, social/behavioral science and/or natural/physical science. The Transfer Module allows for transfer of credits among public colleges and participating private four-year colleges. Contact the college to which you plan to transfer for information. For additional transfer credit information, access the Course Applicability System (CAS) at www.transfer.org.
When making your transfer plans, be sure to check graduation requirements and ask if comparative guides are available. Some schools require two years of on-campus classes before granting a degree; others require less. Most schools will not accept transfer credit for courses with less than a “C” grade. All transfer applicants requesting financial aid will be required to submit a financial aid transcript from their current college and any others previously attended. The form should be obtained from the new college.