Cohort of Columbus City Schools Alumni to Graduate from Otterbein University Sunday

Posted Apr 24, 2019

On Sunday, April 28, a cohort of 26 Columbus City Schools (CCS) graduates will walk across the stage to receive their Otterbein degrees with the Class of 2019.

On April 44, Otterbein hosted a special celebration for the students and their friends, families, teachers and professors. The seniors shared reflections and received specially designed red stoles featuring the CCS and Otterbein logos to wear with their gowns at the commencement ceremony on April 28.

“(The event) was a great example of how two educational institutions can come together and make an impact on the lives of young people and the larger community,” said Tanya L. McClanahan, supervisor of higher education partnerships for CCS.

Photos from that event can be viewed online, and a special video spearheaded by CCS alumna Taran Boone ’19 can be viewed on YouTube.

Otterbein’s partnership with CCS has led to increasing enrollment numbers from the largest school district in Ohio. Partnership programs include:

The Urban Districts Initiative began in 2014 with Columbus City Schools, but was quickly expanded to include Southwest City Schools, Westerville City Schools and Whitehall City Schools and Cristo Rey, all districts with more than 35 percent of students living in poverty. The Initiative is an enhanced need-based aid model that reduces the gap between aid and expected family contribution to the smallest amount possible and has driven significant increases in enrollment of low-income students at Otterbein, as well as sparking a significant increase in student success. Additional support services for students include NEST, an early arrival orientation program and mentoring.

Otterbein participates in the district’s Seniors-to-Sophomores program, usually taking two or three students each year. Otterbein offers a summer College Credit Plus course for CCS students that pairs an academic course with a for-credit study skills course. The University also has a STEM skills refresher course for entering students funded through a grant from Nationwide.

Otterbein also partners with the district to offer Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for district teachers and Otterbein faculty. In PLCs, teachers and faculty come together to discuss issues related to pedagogy and serving students to enhance the work of both institutions.

Recently, Otterbein introduced a scholarship for the dependent children of CCS district (benefits eligible) employees that reduces the cost of an Otterbein education to the average of the state supported universities in Ohio. The Otterbein Scholarship for Children of Columbus City School (Benefits Eligible) Employees is available to any undergraduate under the age of 23 who has not completed a bachelor’s degree, whether they are applying as a new first-time, first-year student, or a transfer student.