CLEVELAND, July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The leaders of Cuyahoga Community College and Youngstown State University signed an agreement today that could help meet the growing demand for nurses in Northeast Ohio. The partnership allows Youngstown-area residents to pursue an associate's degree in applied science in nursing at Tri-C via distance learning lectures beamed to YSU. The agreement also allows Cleveland-area residents who already have an associate's degree in nursing to complete studies for a bachelor's of science degree in nursing at YSU via distance learning classes transmitted to Tri-C. Benefits of the partnership include expanded opportunities for residents in Ohio and Pennsylvania to obtain a high-quality post secondary degree while minimizing travel. The agreement also gives Tri-C and YSU a competitive edge in the delivery of education by bringing an entire program from one college to another using distance learning technology. "Students benefit by having coursework offered close to home, and this allows both colleges to fulfill the growing employment demand for nursing," Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton said. "Offering distance learning classes and on-hand clinicals allows both colleges to stay competitive while providing students with the training they need to work in the nursing field." Thornton joined YSU President David C. Sweet in a signing ceremony today on the YSU campus to formalize the pact. "This represents yet another example of how colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio can work together to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of academic services," Sweet said. "We're hopeful that our two institutions will expand on this partnership in the future." This is the second joint programming effort between YSU and Tri-C. In January 2002, the two schools started a program that allows Tri-C students to complete their bachelor's degrees in allied health at YSU via distance learning technology. The first two students to go through that program graduated from YSU in May. The demand for nurses continues to grow. Nursing makes up the largest health care occupation with more than 2 million nationwide. Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 21 to 35 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The associate's degree in nursing program at Tri-C provides the opportunity for students to become registered nurses. Students can take general education courses through YSU and nursing courses through distance learning at Tri-C. Students attend Tri-C classes at all three campuses and care for patients at clinical agencies throughout the Cleveland area. Students from YSU will care for patients at health care facilities in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. John Yemma, dean of YSU's Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, said more and more registered nurses are seeking bachelor's degrees today, mostly because the degree is required for most management positions in nursing. To learn more about the Tri-C program, call 216-987-4469. For more information on the YSU nursing program, call 330-941-3293. Opened in 1963, Cuyahoga Community College is Ohio's first community college and now the state's largest, serving 55,000 students each year. More than 700,000 county residents have come through Tri-C's doors. The college offers two-year associate's degrees, certificate programs, and the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. The curriculum includes nearly 900 credit courses in 70 career and technical programs and liberal arts. Courses are offered at three Cuyahoga County campus locations, many off-campus sites, and via television and the Internet. YSU, founded in 1908, is an undergraduate-focused comprehensive university with nearly 13,000 students. Located on a 140-acre urban campus recognized as one of the safest in Ohio, YSU offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 30 master's degree programs.
SOURCE Cuyahoga Community College