2022 Otterbein, Antioch plan national private nonprofit university system

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Dive Transient:

  • Otterbein and Antioch universities, two non-public nonprofit establishments that every enroll a number of thousand college students, are working to affiliate and begin a nationwide college system to share graduate and grownup education schemes, they introduced Thursday.
  • The establishments laid out two targets for the deliberate system which can be typically thought of at odds in increased training: practice college students for careers and pursue a batch of non-economic priorities related to the liberal arts, like advancing the widespread good, social justice and democracy. They will even search to comprise prices by shared providers and develop training choices past what particular person universities can provide on their very own.
  • Members of the system are anticipated to keep up their very own manufacturers and undergraduate packages. It may provide lessons as early as fall 2023.

Dive Perception:

Thursday’s announcement comes at a time of heightened curiosity in mergers, affiliations and closures in increased training. Establishments starting from giant public methods to small non-public nonprofit universities have executed institutional mergers in recent times within the face of economic pressures, falling numbers of traditional-aged faculty college students in lots of markets, and rising worth sensitivity.

However finishing up mergers isn’t simple for leaders at schools. Greater ed establishments have many alternative constituencies that view campuses as mission-driven establishments, and the idea of shared governance means college members elevate their voices about issues affecting lecturers.

Totally different affiliation and partnership fashions have been tried through the years with various success. Top-of-the-line recognized and most enduring non-public nonprofit alliances is the Claremont Schools, a consortium of seven establishments in California. Students enroll in particular person establishments within the consortium however can make the most of tutorial sources from throughout the group.

The plan for Otterbein and Antioch seems to be totally different. Precise particulars have but to be decided, however the system is anticipated to operate underneath a single board that may draw its members from Otterbein and Antioch’s present boards, in addition to elsewhere, in line with William Groves, chancellor of Antioch College.

Leaders say they’ve began talks to herald different attainable companions with suitable missions.

The system would home shared providers like a studying administration system. It could additionally probably have a shared chief government, though that place most likely will not be created instantly.

“This isn’t a contractual affiliation or a contractual articulation settlement,” Groves mentioned in a video name with reporters to debate the announcement. “There may be going to be a authorized and company integration in a method that’s far more than a contractual type of consortium.”

Antioch’s packages embody graduate packages and an undergraduate diploma completion program. It enrolls about 3,800 college students throughout campuses in Yellow Springs, Ohio; Keene, New Hampshire; Seattle; Los Angeles; and Santa Barbara, California. It additionally has college students in low-residency and distant packages. The college doesn’t embody Ohio’s Antioch School, which separated from the college greater than a decade in the past and isn’t a part of the deliberate new system.

Otterbein, situated north of Columbus, Ohio, enrolls about 2,400 undergraduates and 500 graduate college students.

Otterbein is not going to hand over its conventional liberal arts training, mentioned its president, John Comerford, additionally talking on the video name.

“However we’re going to, with Antioch, collectively work within the grownup training area,” Comerford mentioned. “That’s, graduate packages, skilled growth certificates, grownup diploma completion.”

Otterbein and Antioch nonetheless have work to do of their affiliation course of. They have to end vetting the deal after which search regulatory and accreditor approval.

Antioch determined to start out pursuing a multi-institution system three years in the past, Groves mentioned. It evaluated many attainable companion establishments, and Otterbein stood out for its mix of educational packages, historical past and mission.

Right this moment, partnerships with companies and making it simpler for college students to enter and exit training are key components of upper ed entry and affordability, Groves mentioned.

Employers may pay for college students to pursue levels or earn stackable certificates and badges. And this new system may spur accelerated diploma pathways enabling college students to earn bachelor’s and grasp’s levels shortly, in line with Comerford.

Different anticipated advantages of the system embody permitting constituent establishments to supply extra levels and packages in further places. Leaders additionally imagine the plan may assist members provide totally different types of studying, comparable to on-line, hybrid and low-residency packages.

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