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Antioch, Otterbein launch community of schools to share graduate applications

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Antioch, Otterbein launch community of schools to share graduate applications

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After a yr of finessing the construction of and incomes regulatory approval for a first-of-its form increased training community, two increased studying establishments with very completely different scholar physique demographics have formally joined forces to broaden their college students’ entry to extra tutorial applications.

The Coalition for the Frequent Good is a nonprofit partnership—not a merger— between Otterbein College and Antioch College. On the floor, the 2 non-public establishments appear very completely different: Otterbein is a small liberal arts school in Ohio that largely serves undergraduates, whereas Antioch is a non-public establishment with a number of campuses in 4 states targeted on grownup learners and workforce improvement.

However via the creation of this new, nonprofit partnership introduced Tuesday, leaders of each establishments say the coalition would be the “first nationwide system of upper training of affiliated universities organized round a shared mission,” in keeping with a information launch. By this mannequin, Otterbein, with out abandoning its identification as an undergraduate-focused establishment, will now have the ability to supply its college students extra pathways to graduate {and professional} diploma applications by way of Antioch’s present applications.

Finally, the coalition plans to usher in extra companion establishments and broaden its geographic attain and choices even additional.

William Groves, chancellor of Antioch and the newly appointed vice chairman of the coalition, stated that in its conceptual phases, management checked out comparable fashions between different non-public, nonprofit establishments. These included the Nationwide College System, which absorbed one in all its associates final summer season, and the TCS Schooling System, and is geared toward offering its school companions efficiencies for again workplace companies.

“We needed to do one thing completely different, and a mission wanted to be central to that. Our Antioch mission wanted to be the identical because the mission of the companion or affiliate establishments. It wanted to be what we name ‘the justice league,’” Groves stated. “With a shared mission and a shared tradition round that mission, there was a a lot larger alternative for achievement for all the opposite issues we needed to perform.”

The coalition’s ensuing shared mission entails “educating college students not solely to advance their careers however to advertise our pluralistic democracy, social, racial, financial and environmental justice, and the widespread good,” in keeping with a information launch.

A Sport of ‘Whack-a-Mole’

To make {that a} actuality, Antioch and Otterbein spent roughly $2 million on consulting charges.

In keeping with John Comerford, president of Otterbein and the newly appointed president of the coalition, ironing out the finer particulars of the plan—comparable to reaching affiliation and working agreements—was like taking part in a recreation of “whack-a-mole.” As quickly because it resolved one potential downside or obstacle, “one other would emerge,” he stated. The truth is, the staff labored proper up till the deal closed on June 30 negotiating agreements with insurance coverage firms.

The coalition additionally spent months working with the Greater Studying Fee—each Otterbein and Antioch are already accredited by the HLC—to design a governance and operational construction that ensured that the modern mannequin would meet the accreditor’s requirements.

“HLC welcomes the chance to work with establishments looking for new paths to fulfill scholar wants and guarantee a wholesome future,” Barbara Gellman Danley, the accreditor’s president, stated in a press release. “Brainstorming with HLC allowed us to counsel the establishments on insurance policies, whereas working via the alternatives and challenges. We help innovation and agility. It’s protected to say they realized from us, and we additionally admire the inventive concepts that is likely to be replicable for others.”

The fee has formally authorized the creation of the brand new construction and the Ohio Division of Greater Schooling adopted with its approval; post-closure approvals from the U.S. Division of Schooling are pending. The federal company didn’t reply to requests for remark in regards to the creation of the coalition.

How It Will Work

Because the settlement stands now, a shared board, made up of 4 members from every establishment and one impartial member, will oversee all selections that have an effect on the coalition as a complete. These selections may embody taking up new debt or launching new applications to forestall overlap, particularly within the realm of grownup training.

Below this settlement, in keeping with the Ohio Division of Greater Schooling, “Antioch will then be a enterprise unit of that shared entity, and Otterbein will turn out to be a subsidiary of this new mum or dad entity.” On the similar time, “Otterbein may also stay a separate company and diploma granting establishment,” sustaining its personal board, its present HLC accreditation, state authorization and federal post-secondary identification quantity.

The coalition is able to transfer ahead with realizing a imaginative and prescient that’s been within the works since 2018.

“Our view was: ‘Let’s do one thing distinctive. Let’s do one thing that permits each events to have their very own identities as companions, their very own boards, their very own tutorial applications,” Groves stated. The intent is to “work towards offering alternatives for college students that collectively are past what we may do individually.”

College students can have elevated alternatives to pursue instructional choices at each establishments underneath the coalition mannequin. The establishments will mix their graduate applications (overseen by Antioch) to supply college students entry to extra applications.

For instance, Antioch is within the course of of making a brand new Graduate College of Nursing and Well being Sciences, that in flip will broaden Otterbein’s graduate applications in nursing, allied well being and athletic coaching doubtlessly as early as subsequent fall. The coalition can be designing a grasp’s diploma program in vitamin and dietetics along with making a joint grasp’s in enterprise administration program.

Otterbein and Antioch have already collaborated to convey a Medical Psychological Well being Counseling graduate program to central Ohio, in an effort to cut back the area’s scarcity in psychological well being counselors. Central Ohio at the moment has greater than 1,700 annual job openings for psychological well being counselors in keeping with Lightcast, a market analytics firm, and that quantity is anticipated to rise to 2,200 by 2031.

However Groves emphasised that the entire applications which will come out of the coalition will characteristic curriculums targeted on social justice, with the view that increased training’s position is about “extra than simply educating for careers,” however moderately “an vital facet in sustaining a democracy.”

Future Companions

That’s one attribute the coalition shall be on the lookout for in potential companion establishments. Each Groves and Comerford stated they intend to convey extra establishments into the coalition, although which of them and when aren’t but clear.

“We had a dozen or so faculties attain out with some curiosity, however we’ve largely put these conversations on the backburner as a result of it’s difficult sufficient to get this performed with two events,” Comerford stated. “We couldn’t add a 3rd or fourth social gathering—the regulatory atmosphere doesn’t encourage that.”

Now that the coalition has launched, it’s resuming these conversations.

“We don’t have a method for it but it surely actually entails issues like location. Are they in a spot the place there may be an grownup studying market to be accessed?,” Comerford stated. Different concerns embody the present graduate and grownup education schemes a possible companion already has, and if these are one thing “we don’t at the moment have” and “may leverage nationally.”

Monetary stability is one other vital issue, because it was when Otterbein and Antioch first determined to collaborate. “This isn’t a approach to save a college on the sting of closing its doorways,” Comerford stated. “You might have to have the ability to make investments to make it occur.” However crucial factor, stated Comerford, who characterised status as “a rot” in increased training, is discovering establishments that even have equity- and access-focused missions.

“This isn’t about rankings and status. This isn’t about closing the door on extra deserving college students,” he stated. “There’s a number of faculties on the market that share that alignment with us, however not each faculty will.”

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