The University of Toledo and five public colleges and universities in northwest Ohio have entered into a compact reaffirming their commitment to working collectively and collaboratively to educate residents in the region.
The Northwest Region Higher Education Compact includes UT, Bowling Green State University, Northwest State Community College, Owens State Community College, Rhodes State College and Terra State Community College.Presidents from each institution signed the compact March 20 at the Ohio Department of Higher Education offices in Columbus.
“The University of Toledo is pleased to be a part of this regional compact. This builds upon the already strong spirit of collaboration among our institutions. As such, we were able to make excellent progress in a short time to become the first region in the state to finalize our consortium,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Northwest Ohio institutions want to work together to highlight the affordability and efficiency of our colleges and universities. I look forward to the progress we will make working together to build a strong future for Ohio.”
“This signing marks the first step in what will be an ongoing process for our schools in the northwest region,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey. “I look forward to seeing the future results of this partnership as these colleges and universities continue to strive to make a quality education more affordable for all students, and keep us tracking toward our statewide attainment goal.”
This compact will allow the institutions to expand their capabilities by facilitating coordinated and efficient academic, financial, and administrative operations. The model is expected to allow better outcomes for direct from high school, adult and workforce development student populations. This includes creating pathways from the K-12 system to higher education that will lower the overall cost of higher education in the northwest Ohio region, while providing high-quality educational offerings.
This partnership also will support Ohio’s degree attainment goal. By 2025, it is estimated that 65 percent of Ohio’s workforce will need a postsecondary education to meet employer demands. That will require 1.7 million more degree-holders; however, at current graduation rates, this goal will not be met. This partnership will support several of the state’s attainment goal priorities, including identifying, validating and counting all levels of credentials; educating more adults; acting in local communities; and rethinking systems.
As a result of this partnership, students are likely to see enhanced career counseling, internship and co-op, and academic opportunities. The sharing of resources also is expected to improve and expand the capacity and capability for research and development.
Member institutions are already working together on several initiatives to meet these goals and services, including dual admissions programs, data sharing with K-12 systems, and back-end administrative efficiencies.
The partnership kicked off with three working sessions held at member institutions March 22.