Higher learning center in the works

The center will help meet a state-set higher education enrollment goal.
LISBON -- Area residents will have more options for continuing education through a partnership between Youngstown State University, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center and Jefferson Community College of Steubenville, officials announced Monday.
Representatives from the three institutions praised the opening of the Higher Education Center of Columbiana County, a joint program to increase enrollment in higher education by residents in the Columbiana area.
Though classes will take place in the CCCTC building during afternoon and evening hours beginning in the fall, courses for the Higher Education Center will be taught by professors from JCC and YSU.
Applications for admission will be filed through JCC and YSU. Tuition for a course will be the same as the tuition for the providing school.
Undergrad classes
In the fall, JCC will offer more than 20 basic undergraduate classes, and YSU will offer at least one graduate-level course. YSU will offer more major-oriented undergraduate courses in the future.
YSU President David Sweet said the Higher Education Center decreases barriers to higher education for Columbiana County. About 11 percent of Columbiana County adults have college degrees, compared to 24 percent nationwide.
Sweet also said the center will help Ohio to meet the goal set by the Governor's Commission on Higher Education and the Economy for the state to increase its number of citizens enrolled in higher education by 30 percent over the next 10 years.
And the university will benefit from increased admission and decreased expenses for remedial courses, which currently cost YSU about $1 million annually, he said.
Exciting addition
The community should be excited to have the influence of a community college because there are none in close range, Sweet said.
JCC spokeswoman Ann Koon said her institution is eager to help the area increase its earning power through greater educational opportunities.
"We're just bringing our product to their doorstep," she said.
And the center offers those opportunities with only minimal costs to the participating schools because the professors are already part of their faculty, CCCTC director Karen Taylor said.
Courses and professors will be phased in as demand increases and more surveys are conducted to determine class types. The center will expand in response to the needs of the community, Taylor said.

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