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Matthew Johnson ’18 is wrapping up a successful academic career at Marietta College. The International Leadership Studies and Political Science major, who will also earn a minor in Spanish, didn’t begin his college studies at Marietta.

Rather, he spent his first two years at nearby Washington State Community College.

“Marietta College has been integral in my academic and professional development, only furthering the foundation that I received during my (Post-Secondary Education Opportunities Program) experience at Washington State Community College,” says Johnson, who earned an associate’s degree from WSCC. “WSCC was my first introduction to higher education, and its incredible faculty and staff thoroughly prepared me for the rigor of a bachelor’s degree.”

A new partnership with Washington State Community College is aimed at preventing dedicated and driven students like Johnson from transferring out of the area to earn bachelor’s degrees. Ohio changed the PSEO program to College Credit Plus, and high school students are eligible to take classes at both Washington State and Marietta, as well as other colleges and universities around Ohio.

The Washington State to Marietta College (WS2MC) dual admission program creates a high-quality, affordable option for students who want to earn baccalaureate degrees. High school and transfer students accepted to the program begin their undergraduate education at Washington State, and then transfer after two years to Marietta College.

Those students are eligible to live in one of Marietta’s residence halls, participate in campus dining options and enjoy student life options for all four years. Over the course of that time, students earn an associate’s degree from Washington State and a bachelor’s degree from Marietta.

“Marietta College is committed to helping talented students achieve their education goals,” says Marietta College President and Professor of Management Dr. William N. Ruud. “The opportunity to partner with Washington State on a dual admission program allows us to attract and keep quality students in this community for all four years of their undergraduate education.”

High school and transfer students who apply to the WS2MC program must meet Marietta College’s eligibility standards before being accepted to the 2+2 program. Once admitted, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn 25 transferrable credits before beginning their final two years at Marietta College. Academic advisors from both institutions will collaborate to ensure the courses taken at Washington State transfer to Marietta.

“This partnership will expand bachelor degree access to students in the Mid-Ohio Valley, many of whom are juggling work and families while going to college,” says Washington State Community College President Dr. Vicky Wood. “Having the opportunity to finish an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree while remaining in this area will be a huge benefit for our local students. Working together with Marietta College and the WSCC2MC program, we will impact more lives and increase the number of college-educated citizens in our community.”

Though not all of Johnson’s credits earned at Washington State transferred, he earned enough to complete the general education requirements at Marietta, which enabled him to graduate after two years and save money.

“Choosing Marietta College after graduating from WSCC was the greatest decision I’ve made,” Johnson says, “and I will forever be grateful for the education, experience and growth that I received from both institutions.”

- Gi Smith