By Beth Emshoff, Director, Oregon Open Campus
We have a lot going on with Oregon Open Campus (OOC) these days, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some exciting news.
On March 18 Oregon State University, through the OOC initiative, and Klamath Community College (KCC) signed a memorandum agreement to pilot a new degree completion program in agricultural sciences.
Over the past year, with leadership from Willie Riggs – the OSU Extension Service regional administrator and director of the Klamath Basin Experiment Station – OOC has been working in partnership with KCC to finalize the details of this program.
Our ultimate goal is improved student success and retention.
Currently KCC students have the option to enroll in the Degree Partnership Program, which allows them to be jointly admitted and enrolled at KCC and Oregon State. Through this new degree completion program, students in Klamath and Lake counties who are interested in pursuing a degree in agricultural sciences can now travel a straight path from high school to an Oregon State degree, all without leaving the Klamath Basin.
The program, which begins this spring, makes it possible for high school students to earn 11 college credits, move to KCC’s agricultural sciences program, then complete Oregon State’s agricultural sciences program offered online through OSU Ecampus.
One unique component of this program is the “high touch” cohort model.
Students will meet regularly with Oregon State and KCC faculty, giving them access to mentoring, advising, ongoing encouragement and tutorials throughout the program.
This seamless approach should significantly reduce the
cost of an undergraduate education. KCC college credits in high school come at no cost, community college credits are about one-third the cost of university credits, and eliminating the relocation costs for students by staying in their home communities further reduces the total cost of an undergraduate degree.
We are currently exploring how this model might be replicated in other communities.
Oregon Open Campus in Tillamook County is in conversation with Tillamook Bay Community College to find a way for their students to transfer into OSU’s fisheries and wildlife sciences online degree program. Similar conversations are taking place on the south coast with Southwestern Oregon Community College.