Agreement supports students seeking health careers

Representatives of Ohio University and Columbus State Community College (CSCC) signed an agreement to form the Pathways Institute Partnership on Wednesday, April 28, in Athens. This partnership, which involves Ohio University's colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services and Osteopathic Medicine, is designed to encourage and support disadvantaged and minority students interested in health careers and medicine, beginning at CSCC and extending to Ohio University when they transfer.

"This agreement puts in place a process to target Columbus State students who are pursuing health-related careers and, through Pathways Institute Partnership, offer the support, mentoring and career guidance to help them meet their goals. It is anticipated that many of the students will transfer to Ohio University to complete their undergraduate degrees in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, and Health and Human Services, and that several of those interested in attending medical school will apply to the College of Osteopathic Medicine," said Elizabeth Minor, director of the Center for Excellence for Multicultural Medicine at Ohio University.

"This is a great step forward for community college students in having this option to further their college careers," Columbus State Provost Michael Snider said. "This is a phenomenal day in that we are addressing the educational needs of our citizens and their health-care needs, as well."

The agreement builds upon the articulation agreement signed by CSCC and Ohio University in September to allow a seamless transfer of Columbus State students to Ohio University by easing the transfer process and promoting closer coordination of academic courses, programs and degrees offered by both institutions.

The signing creates a formal agreement and partnership consistent with the diversity missions of the colleges and the Center of Excellence for Multicultural Medicine. Program enrollment may begin at CSCC as early as fall 2004. It is anticipated between 20 to 40 students will be involved in the pilot program next fall.

Columbus State Dean of Arts and Sciences David Hockenbery said, "We have big needs in urban and rural education, and this agreement opens doors for students in health care-related fields."

Ohio University Provost Stephen Kopp said, "An interesting part of the impact that higher education has on people is the opportunity to promote and encourage learning every day. Often, it's an impact that can't be assessed until the future when it fully takes root in a person's life. It's when you see the transformation in a person's life over his or her college career and beyond that you realize what a difference a college education makes."

The mission of the College of Osteopathic Medicine is to educate students to become physicians practicing osteopathic medicine in service to the region, the state and beyond. Integral to that mission, the college commits itself to generating and disseminating new knowledge and understanding through research and scholarly activities; serving the health needs of people within the Appalachian region; embracing diversity and public service, with integrity and respect for those served; and emphasizing primary care and improving the well-being of underserved populations.

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