Antioch University Midwest is partnering with Sinclair Community College to help students gain bachelor’s degrees

Corinne Minard

A 3+1 program allows students to complete 90 credits at their community college and the remaining 30 at the university level. This provides the student with a university bachelor’s degree while completing many of their requirements at a community college.

“The goal is to provide students with both an affordable and accessible path to complete their bachelor’s degree,” says Sonya Fultz, undergraduate studies chair for Antioch Midwest.

The 3+1 agreement is made possible through what Fultz calls pathways. These pathways let students know exactly what classes they need to take at both the community college and the university to complete a bachelor’s degree.

“The research says that if students have that information as they have made their decision they are much, it’s something like 65 percent, more likely to actually complete their degree. I think that piece of it, knowing how it’s mapped out, is critically important in terms of moving those students forward,” says Marian Glancy, Antioch University Midwest provost.

Sinclair, which signed the agreement May 3, has 24 different pathways already in place, mostly in the areas of information systems, business and criminal justice. However, Fultz says Antioch is already looking at other areas of interest for expanding the program at Sinclair.

This 3+1 program also does more than make getting a bachelor’s degree easier—it also decreases the student’s expenses.

“(Students) pay our tuition for our credits, they pay the tuition of Sinclair for (its) credits. That’s $13,000 savings to the students,” says Fultz.

In addition, says Glancy, students are receiving a true Antioch degree even though many of the credits are taken at another institution.

“The (21 of the) 30 credits that they do with us are nonnegotiable. They are set to our interdisciplinary core. Those are the courses that are looking at critical thinking, writing, communication and diverse perspectives,” says Glancy. “That interdisciplinary core everybody has to take that and that’s what makes it an Antiochian degree.”

Fultz adds, “Why would we ever compete with our community college partners that do technical programs so well? What we know we do well is the soft skills that our employers are asking (for).”

The remaining nine credits at Antioch connect the technical skills with the soft ones. For example, in the management program students take ethical issues in management.

Sinclair is the largest community college to join the partnership, but Antioch partnered first with Clark State Community College in July last year and then added Southern State Community College in October. While the program is not yet a year old students are already participating.

“We expected it would take a year or two for faculty to be able to create the interest and have students align into our pathways but actually students are quite savvy and they’re shoppers,” says Futz. “They are transitioning quite quickly into becoming advocates for themselves through the pathways.” 

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