Although Ohio has begun to lift some of its restrictions implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic, residents are still urged to maintain distance in social settings and stay at home whenever possible. And with the Buckeye State still averaging around 400 positive COVID-19 cases per week, it would be understandable if students bound for four-year universities feel some hesitancy about moving to a crowded campus setting.
For those students and their parents, Rhodes State College offers an alternative: taking first-year courses online in the safety of your own home, with the certainty of knowing those credits will transfer to a four-year university.
The program, called “Year One at Home,” allows prospective university students to remain on their four-year degree paths without the unease that may accompany moving into a dormitory or studying in lecture halls during a pandemic.
“We understand there are students who have a career plan that requires a four-year degree in a specific major, and we acknowledge that Ohio has many great universities,” says Dr. Cynthia E. Spiers, president of Rhodes State. “So instead of replacing a four-year college goal, Year One at Home, enrolled at Rhodes State College, preserves that goal by keeping students moving forward with certainty — and at a lower cost.”
Staying on the degree path
State leaders require two-year and four-year colleges in Ohio to accept each other’s credits, especially when transferring from a two-year to a four-year institution. Designed initially to help students stay on their degree path while juggling other responsibilities like career and family, the program also allows for a timely alternative for students approaching their freshmen year of college amid a national health crisis.
That means students can rest easy when it comes to the prospect of credits transferring from Rhodes State. “Thanks to transfer assurance from the state of Ohio, courses transfer seamlessly between two-year and four-year public colleges,” Spiers says. “First-year courses are very similar at both institutions, and students can enroll in courses at Rhodes State that will keep them on track for their four-year degree plan.”
They’ll also benefit from an enhanced online learning experience at Rhodes State, which moved classes fully online last spring, and has upgraded video conferencing software to incorporate familiar platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Rhodes State also has advisors who can help students plot an academic path that best leads them to their four-year institution of choice. Financial aid may also be available, on top of the lower costs that make Rhodes State such an exceptional educational value.
“We understand the financial challenge the pandemic has caused for many families,” Spiers says. “So it is important for students and parents to weigh out the cost for the first year at the university, compared to Rhodes State College. Taking courses at Rhodes State can be an affordable option to complete that first year at a much lower cost. Families could save on average $18,000 to $20,000 or more a year depending on the university. This saves families the added expense, right now.”
Safe alternative at a lower cost
Although Ohio has thus far avoided the coronavirus spike that’s accompanied reopening in many other states, there’s still no way of knowing what the educational landscape may look like in the fall. Four-year institutions continue to tinker with social distancing policies, with the knowledge that students who pay large amounts to study in an on-campus residential setting may end up taking online classes anyway if coronavirus caseloads increase.
Programs like Year One at Home remove that doubt — by allowing first-year college students to study safely in their homes, at a lower cost, and with the knowledge that their credits will transfer when conditions eventually allow them to matriculate to a four-year school.
“Do not lose sight of your four-year degree path because of the pandemic,” Spiers says. “Rhodes State simply wants you to know that we are an affordable and safe option during this time of uncertainty. After your first year at Rhodes State, we can send you on your way to complete a bachelor’s degree, because everyone should achieve their educational and career dream. Year One at Home can make that dream certain and safe.”
Interested in the Year One at Home program, or learning more about what online academic options that Rhodes State College can offer prospective four-year university students? Contact the admissions office at (419) 995-8320 or enroll@RhodesState.edu, or visit their website at RhodesState.edu.