October 13, 2023

Stark Colleges & Universities Expanding Connections to Local Students 

Colleges Open Their Doors Wide

Local college/university campuses are at the midway point of the fall semester. Stark Education Partnership (SEP) continues to meet with campus leaders to support and encourage linkages between higher education, businesses, and middle and high school students. 

Using results from the YouScience assessment,1 SEP and local middle/high schools will facilitate targeted invitations to students for the six local college/university campuses – Aultman, Kent Stark, Malone, Stark State, Mount Union, and Walsh. Campus faculty and staff are prepared to welcome students for hands-on demonstrations, open houses, internships, and career shadowing. Further, each college/ university is included in YouScience as a potential employer offering hundreds of career paths including student-connected professions, office administration, and physical plant operations. 

Champs Learn About Local Technical & Degree Programs

In August, SEP hired two Career Champions – Susan Hayes and Jaecey Hudson. With heavy emphasis on individual YouScience results, Susie and Jaecey work inside partner school districts2 to encourage and guide students along a career path. Currently, the Career Champions are visiting each of Stark's six higher education institutions in order to better counsel students about the 500+ technical and degree programs offered regionally. Ultimately, whether a student wishes to go directly into a career or enroll in an academic program, the goal of the Career Champions is to provide support and direction towards the chosen career path. 

Coordinating Curriculum Maps & Reverse Transfers

SEP continues to work to clarify the pathway from a technical or associate program to a bachelor program. A major challenge in retaining students is the frustration of not finding a connection to the next step in their educational journey – despite the desire of bachelor-granting institutions to welcome transfer students. 

There are several possibilities for greater coordination, like curriculum maps and reverse transfers. Curriculum maps aid students at the high school or associate level in knowing what courses will seamlessly count toward a degree at other institutions. Additionally, for those students who transfer from an associate or technical institution to a bachelor institution without completing the degree, a reverse transfer may occur. The new four-year program “reverse transfers” credits back to the first institution so that the student can obtain a certificate or associate degree.

By engaging with Stark County’s local colleges and universities, our students and their parents can make better-informed decisions about post-high school plans, thus increasing the likelihood of a meaningful and fulfilling career!

1 The YouScience assessment measures a student’s aptitude and interest in a wide range of potential career paths

2 Partnering districts include Alliance, Canton City, East Canton (Osnaburg), Fairless, Heritage Christian, Louisville, Marlington, Sandy Valley, and Tuslaw

Stark Education Partnership (SEP) provides a much needed support system to local workforce and education entities by acting as a CATALYST for implementing new programs, works as a CONNECTOR of people and organizations, and is viewed as a trusted CORNERSTONE organization in StarkCounty.