OSU Signing Degree Partnership Pacts with Three Community Colleges


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is signing degree partnership agreements with three more Oregon Community Colleges.

The new agreements are with Klamath Community College in Klamath Falls, Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario and Rogue Community College in Grants Pass.

The signings bring to 18 the number of degree partner agreements the university has struck with other institutions. OSU has pacts with 16 of the 17 Oregon community colleges, as well as two in Hawaii.

OSU’s Degree Partnership Program has served as a model for universities across the nation, said Bob Bontrager, the university’s director of partnership programs.

“The program allows students to concurrently enroll at two-year institutions and OSU,” he said. “It effectively eliminates many of the barriers to attending a four-year university such as Oregon State.”

OSU President Ed Ray was joined in a signing ceremony on Monday, Jan. 22, by Klamath Community College President Fred Smith.

“It is a special privilege for Oregon State University to enter into this new level of collaboration with Klamath Community College,” OSU President Ed Ray said. “We have enjoyed a strong relationship for many years, as students from the Klamath Falls area have started their academic careers at KCC and then completed a bachelor’s degree at OSU.

“As part of this program, we will increase the number of OSU courses and programs available to students in the Klamath Falls area through OSU’s Extended Campus.”

OSU’s partnership program differs from many “co-admission” programs developed by other institutions, which offer students what amounts to a traditional transfer opportunity in a slightly repackaged form. Oregon State’s program has one application, coordinated financial aid, and the flexibility to take courses at the partner institutions at the same time.

The program has enrolled more than 5,500 students since 1998, and 2,400 students were enrolled in the program in fall term 2006. Program students graduate from OSU at a rate of 10 percent higher than traditional transfers, Bontrager said.

“By creating new opportunities for students, the Degree Partnership Program is an important step toward meeting Oregon’s need for an expanded and better-trained workforce,” Bontrager said.