PCC joins forces with PSU Business School for innovative project

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Portland State University’s School of Business and Portland Community College are launching a new partnership designed to increase accessibility of business education.

The Start-To-Finish Program enables students to complete two business degrees entirely online. Students start with an associate of science degree at PCC and finish with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with concentrations in either Management & Leadership or Supply & Logistics Management.

In addition to laying out a clear and comprehensive pathway for students, PSU and PCC are supporting retention and completion rates by coordinating academic advising and other services to help students seamlessly transition from community college to university.

“This collaboration will provide PCC students access to an entirely online curriculum, creating a more seamless and transparent pathway to complete their associate and bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration,” said Anne Haberkern, PCC’s curriculum director who coordinates articulation and transfer partnerships.

According to data released in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, online undergraduate education is especially relevant for nontraditional students – those students defined as older than typical high school graduation age, as well as students with family or full-time jobs. In the 2011-12 academic year, the average age of U.S. undergraduate students was 26.4 years. In this group, 60 percent of them worked and went to school full time, while 54 percent had dependents.

“This program developed out of a need we observed for our online degree program: Students were interested but didn’t meet all the requirements to begin, so we were telling them to come back later,” said Erica Wagner, associate dean of undergraduate programs at PSU’s School of Business Administration. “We saw the opportunity to collaborate with PCC as a provider of lower division online courses. PCC has been a wonderful partner in this initiative. Now we meet students where they are and when they are ready to engage, and we are committed to helping them through graduation.”

This isn’t the first time PCC and PSU have joined forces. Recently, leaders of the schools announced a partnership with OHSU and the City of Portland to develop a large-scale public health center located at PSU’s Southwest Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street property. This is in addition to the institutions’ longstanding co-admissions agreement that assists students by reducing barriers, promoting transition between institutions, and facilitating academic success.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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