York Tech and Columbia College announce new partnership

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comJanuary 10, 2014 

York Technical College and Columbia College have entered into a partnership to allow students to get a bachelor’s degree from Columbia without leaving York County.

York Tech students, or students from any other university, can build on existing coursework or an associate degree to obtain their bachelor’s degrees, school officials announced Friday.

The partnership “increases the level of access for our citizens in York, Chester and Lancaster counties to complete selected baccalaureate degrees from Columbia College,” said Carolyn Stewart, the executive vice president for academic and student affairs at York Tech.

Starting in the fall, Columbia College faculty will teach courses on York Tech’s campus to two “cohorts,” or groups of students, said Laurie Hopkins, the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Columbia College.

There will be at least one cohort for each of the new degree offerings: a bachelor of arts in leadership and professional communication and a bachelor of arts in health communication.

Hopkins said programs such as these allow working adults greater accessibility to educational opportunities.

“Students who come to us from technical colleges have experiences that need to be valued,” she said.

To participate in these programs, students must have 72 hours of coursework. The bachelor’s degree programs will build on existing credits for six consecutive semesters, with three classes each semester. Courses will be a “hybrid” of online and traditional classes.

“We need to provide more opportunities for our students to pursue lifelong education,” Stewart said.

Allowing adults to further their education gives them the ability to build their careers, contribute to the economy and support their families, she said.

The presidents of Columbia College and York Tech said they were thrilled about the new partnership.

“Our purpose, our goal, is to make sure that we have the best qualified, most educated and trained workforce that we can in York, Lancaster and Chester,” said York Tech president Greg Rutherford. “And this is one more opportunity, thanks to Columbia College, to be able to fulfill that.”

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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