Increasing number of OSU students taking classes at Columbus State

Columbus State Community College over the past decade has grown in size thanks in part to a growing number of students who go there first, and then enroll at Ohio State University.

But there is another, sizable group of students taking classes at Columbus State. They are not future Ohio State students, but current Ohio State Students.

In Assistant Math Professor Phil MaClean’s pre-calculus class, about 20 Columbus State students listen as he explains parametric equations

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Mixed in with the Columbus State students is third year OSU student Chris Bossart. He’s one of a growing number of OSU students taking general education and electives at Columbus State. In fact, Bossart, a natural resources major has temporarily left OSU, to save money by doing his learning at Columbus State.

He can save hundreds of dollars per quarter and easily transfer the credits to OSU.

Each year, about 1000 currently enrolled OSU students leave their campus to and take classes at Columbus State. The reasons vary. It’s cheaper Columbus state courses cost about half what OSU classes cost. 4 credit hour course at OSU costs about 800 dollars the came course at Columbus state costs about 300 dollars. OSU students also turn to Columbus State because they get shut-out of OSU classes.

Sophomore Samantha Steffansmeier likes the smaller classes at CSCC.

The schools make it very easy to transfer credits. Columbus State courses are designed with input from OSU faculty; some classes even have the course number. An OSU academic advisor is on campus one day a week to help Columbus State students. Columbus State’s vice president for institutional advancement Will Kopp says working with OSU is a conscious effort.

Kopp insists Columbus State is not trying to steal OSU students, but a recent ad in the OSU student newspaper encourages buckeyes to take electives at Columbus State.

OSU registrar Brad Meyers says while they would prefer their students take all their classes at OSU, administrators will not erect roadblocks for those who want to take classes at Columbus State.

While OSU advisors sometimes suggest their students take a class at Columbus State, Myers says OSU is not intentionally encouraging students to leave campus as a way to free up spots in overbooked classes.

But if an OSU student takes several classes at Columbus State, does it dilute the value of an OSU degree? Myers says no, because most required courses must be taken on campus.

The word on the oval is Columbus State courses are easier. But students and faculty we spoke to disputed that. Columbus State VP will Kopp says they work hard to develop OSU caliber courses

Kopp says studies have shown that Columbus State Students perform at least as well as OSU students in their junior and senior years.

This scenario is not unique to Columbus. Jim Jacobs of Columbia University’s Community College Research Center says modern students see education as consumers,often looking for the best value based on cost and convenience. As a result, Jacobs says many students use a mix of schools to complete their degrees.

Jacobs says the trend is likely to continue in all but the top 100 elite private colleges and universities.

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