Local Collaboration Entices Ohio High School Students to Give College Classes a Try

New report celebrates five successful partnerships of community colleges and local school districts


COLUMBUS, OH – Five Ohio community colleges that have paired with local school districts to help students succeed at college-level courses are highlighted in a recent report by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC).


The association, through its Success Center, completed case studies on five local College Credit Plus initiatives that are transforming lives and communities. These best-practices programs make college classes available free to high school students who might never have considered higher education and give them the robust support they need to succeed in those classes. Their communities are beginning to see the benefits too, as employers eager for qualified employees find that the programs help fulfill their workforce needs.


Each program is unique.

  • Marion Technical College’s Graduate Pathways to Success offers students classes and support during all four years of high school. In 2020, that meant 12 participants graduated with both a high school diploma and an associate degree.
  • Zane State College’s 12th Grade Redesign allows Zanesville City Schools high school seniors to take prerequisite courses for college-level English and math classes and then take credit-bearing college courses along with intensive coaching and career exploration.
  • Cuyahoga Community College attracts high school students from the Cleveland City Schools as well as other districts to its STEM-focused Youth Technology Academy, which originally began as a youth workforce robotics program.
  • Edison State Community College in Piqua provides academic advisors who help students from nearly 50 area high schools with their College Credit Plus classes.
  • Northwest State Community College in Archbold has developed the STEM Public-Private Partnership Program, which provides high school students in nine districts with hands-on technical education while they earn credits toward an associate degree.  That’s helped local manufacturers fill jobs and has given program participants job opportunities after high school graduation.

“Ohio’s community colleges are helping many high school students get a jump start on college and earn college credit through these innovative dual enrollment programs,” said Jack Hershey, president and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.  “These case studies of successful College Credit Plus programs in Ohio represent a sampling of the good work happening on our campuses and provide a blueprint for how to develop and grow dual enrollment programs.


College Credit Plus began six years ago as an initiative to encourage Ohio high school students to take college classes, allowing them to earn credit at no cost while meeting their high school graduation requirements. The state pays for the classes, with tuition rates negotiated with colleges.


The Joyce Foundation, which supports policies to ensure that underserved K-12 students can prepare for college, funded the case studies, which detail how strong College Credit Plus models are developed, launched and expanded to serve students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests. The models are the result of a state decision six years ago to pay for college classes in high schools as a way of encouraging more student participation.


About the OACC Success Center: The OACC is dedicated to advancing Ohio’s community colleges through advocacy, policy and professional development. Under the umbrella of the OACC, the Success Center works to align reform efforts to help colleges strategically advance student success from initial connection, entry and progress in college through completion and successful entry to the workforce or the transition to a four-year institution. Through this work, the Center helps Ohio’s 23 community colleges align national and state initiatives with institutional strategies, make data-driven decisions, implement evidence-based practices and scale whole-college reforms to increase student success.


For more information about the OACC case studies, please visit https://bit.ly/ccp_case_studies.

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