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Wright State, Central State team up on graduate degrees

The presidents of Central State and Wright State universities signed a formal agreement Thursday that will allow CSU students to work toward a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at the same time — the latest in new partnerships created to avoid duplication among schools while increasing opportunities for students.

During their senior year at Central State, students studying geology and water resources will be able to “jump start” their master’s degree at Wright State in earth and environmental sciences, said Wright State President David Hopkins.

“Linking our two universities will create a new path to success for many students who will benefit from the strong academics of both institutions,” Hopkins said. “The new collaboration is yet another example of how institutions of higher education are working together like never before to produce a more talented, educated workforce for the betterment of our region and the state of Ohio.”

To qualify, Central State students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. The agreement also will enable the schools to pursue new grants and other funding, and will set them up to expand into other graduate programs. The programs were selected for their national and international implications, said CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. The CSU program is part of the university’s Center of Excellence in Emerging Technologies.

Jackson-Hammond said the partnership will erase any questions in students’ minds about whether they will go on to graduate school, “because they’ve already acquired some of the knowledge and skills they need to continue that pathway.”

CSU senior Gracewell Mabhena, 23, who is from Zimbabwe, said he will pursue the new opportunity.

“It’s a very good initiative,” he said, adding it will cut down on the time he spends in school. “I feel like it’s a little added advantage.”

Mabhena said he plans to go into petroleum geology or natural gas exploration after earning his master’s degree and he wants to eventually become a teacher.

The new partnership also is in line with goals set forth a year ago in a comprehensive plan established with the Ohio Board of Regents to increase enrollment, course completion and the number of degrees conferred by Central State. It also meets the state’s call for universities to collaborate more.

“We’re constantly looking in this day and age for more opportunities to share services, to share curriculum, to share faculty because the state expects us to be much more cooperative,” Hopkins said.

“And we are on the right track. The more we can educate our population of Ohio and beyond, the better this nation is going to be and the more competitive we’re going to be in the global knowledge economy. So this is a win-win-win for everybody: for Wright State, for Central State and most importantly, it’s a wonderful opportunity for our students.”

Central State also has a new agreement for Clark State Community College students in Springfield to transfer to CSU, which was being finalized today.

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