Antioch University and Otterbein University are starting a shared catalogue of programs targeting graduate-level students and adult learners, the institutions announced Thursday.
The universities hope to draw in other institutions with progressive missions and develop a nationwide network that prepares students to “advance social justice, democracy, and the common good,” according to a joint announcement from the Ohio schools, both of which will keep their individual brands and run their own programs.
Antioch and Otterbein plan to offer “a variety” of course options, including online, hybrid and “low-residency” — mostly online classes with with minimal in-person work. Antioch already runs a full online campus.
The two schools claim building this new system is “first-of-a-kind,” and hope to get programs running by fall 2023. There are other similar models, like the TCS System, which is made up of five institutions that offer professional education in 12 cities. The Antioch-Otterbein plan has not yet gained full approval from accreditors.
Otterbein is a private, liberal arts university near Columbus, Ohio. Antioch University is headquartered in Yellow Springs, Ohio, but runs a network of graduate and adult education campuses in New Hampshire, California and Washington. Antioch has a larger graduate population, while Otterbein has more undergraduate students.
The partnership is designed to open up opportunities for accelerated degree paths, credentials that stack into a degree and badging, according to the schools’ announcement.
“I am convinced incoming undergraduate students will value the idea of applying once for admission as a first-year student at Otterbein knowing they are already accepted to and on track for a graduate or professional degree from Antioch,” Otterbein President John Comerford said in the press release. “We are thinking innovatively about what we offer to whom, and packaging our academic offerings nationally to provide a seamless learner-centered approach that private higher education says is necessary for future success but doesn’t yet offer.”