Expansion of UC Distance Learning Program Will Provide Better Statewide Expertise in Treating Addictions

Students in Hillsboro, Washington Court House, Wilmington and Sardinia will be able to earn a University of Cincinnati bachelor’s degree without ever taking the commute to UC’s campus, as the result of three articulation agreements that were signed July 21 in Room 302 of UC’s Zimmer Hall, a distance-learning classroom.

The agreements between the UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services and Southern State Community College will mean that students at four of Southern State’s community college campuses will be able to expand their associate’s degrees in three different programs into UC bachelor’s degrees with a focus in addictions studies. The agreements will bring more professional opportunities to students in Southern State’s human services, corrections, and human services technology/chemical dependency associate degree programs.

Students at Southern State’s north campus in Wilmington, south campus in Sardinia, central campus in Hillsboro and the Fayette Campus in Washington Court House will be miles way from UC as they take their classes, but they’ll still be able to see and hear their UC instructors and even ask them questions. That’s because the UC addictions studies program uses a technology called videoconferencing to deliver the degree program to students across the state of Ohio. Cameras, monitors and microphones on UC’s campus and in distance learning classrooms across the state allow the instructor and the students to see and hear each other. The UC program is the only such program in Ohio to offer a baccalaureate degree in the treatment, understanding and prevention of addictions.

The additional UC learning opportunities come at a critical time for Ohio workers in the fields of social services, explains Lawrence Anthony, director of the UC addictions studies program. The state of Ohio has just established a new law that requires more specialized licensing of counselors who treat people with addictions. Anthony is a member of a new statewide board that will issue licenses and certificates for alcohol and substance abuse counseling and other prevention services.

“We are gratified to be able to provide our district with the means to meet this critical workforce need, even before more populated areas do so,” said Ernest Cronan, vice president of Academic Affairs at Southern State Community College. He added, “Additionally, we are able to offer our students solid associate degree programs which blend seamlessly into highly regarded bachelor’s degrees, at an affordable cost and without a lot of travel.”

“The UC College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services is committed to providing programs that meet community needs,” said college Dean Lawrence J. Johnson. “This is a great opportunity that provides access to rural areas and is addressing a unique community need.”

The new expansion means the UC addictions studies bachelor’s degree will reach distance learners at a total of 14 community college campuses across Ohio. The distance learning program began in 1996 with its first hookup with Columbus State Community College. Now, in addition to Southern State’s four campuses, the UC’s addictions studies program is linking to distance learners from:

  • James A. Rhodes State College in Lima
  • Terra Community College in Fremont
  • North Central State College in Mansfield
  •  Jefferson Community College in Steubenville
  • Central Ohio Technical College in Newark
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Hocking Community College in Nelsonville
  • Sinclair Community College in Dayton
  • Washington State Community College in Marietta and
  • Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.

UC’s addictions studies program graduated its first distance learners in 2001.

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