Cohort Success Fosters Expansion

Posted by Paula Paine on June 2, 2014 in "Your OU" All-students-with-Sybil.JPGOn March 12, eight Johnson County Community College (JCCC) students celebrated the completion of their bachelor’s degrees through Ottawa University’s inaugural on-campus cohort. The model proved to be so successful that the agreement between JCCC and OU has been upgraded.
Effective June 30, 2014, Ottawa will offer a tuition scholarship to any JCCC associate degree graduate who transfers to select baccalaureate degree programs at Ottawa University. This scholarship will reduce the per credit hour tuition paid by the new student to an effective rate of $275.
While the original agreement applied only to Business Administration, Health Care Management (non-clinical track) and Human Services majors, the new agreement expands the major options by eight, to include Accounting, Business Economics, Health Care Management, Human Resources, Management, Management of Information Systems, Marketing, and Public Administration.
The new agreement also allows students additional modalities for completing their degree, including online or on-ground at Ottawa University’s Overland Park campus. The cohort model will still be offered for the three original majors; however, the location is being moved from the JCCC campus to the OU campus, with two cohort start terms – Spring II (March) and Fall (August). Students choosing not to participate in a cohort can enroll any of eight terms throughout the academic year.  Once enrolled, all students utilizing the JCCC Transfer Advantage must complete a minimum of one course (three credits or more) per term and remain consecutively enrolled to retain the scholarship.
Danikka Bateman was one of the original cohort students who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and participated in commencement ceremonies on May 31 on OU’s residential campus in Ottawa, Kansas.
As a JCCC student, Bateman had earned plenty of varied credits, but most schools wouldn’t apply them towards a specific bachelor’s degree. The Transfer Advantage and cohort changed that.
“The cohort provided a way for me to wrap all the credits I already had and fit them together into a bachelor’s degree,” Bateman says. “I was able to finish my degree in only one year, going to class only one evening a week and still working my day job.
“The advisors were very on top of things – if I ever had a question, they were very quick to reply. And I loved the small nature of the group. I was able to get close to my classmates since we stuck together through the whole year. I finally got that part of a college experience that I’ve never had.”
Tom Edwards, Ottawa University’s director of business programs, was one of the professors for the cohort who witnessed firsthand the student dynamic that Bateman describes.
 “Most cohort models require the students to meet as teams and work together outside of class, which leads to time management issues for busy adults,” says Edwards. “Our model has two classes meeting on the same evening, with no team projects required outside of the classroom. An unanticipated side effect of the model is the camaraderie these groups of students develop. One cohort group got to campus about an hour before their first class each week. They visited, studied together, and just enjoyed one another’s company. Another group planned whole meals for the break between their two classes. These cohorts, and others, have developed strong friendships through this shared opportunity.”
Edwards, along with other Ottawa University faculty and support staff, celebrated with the cohort graduates during the March 12 event, which also served as an opportunity to network, get assistance with resumes, learn about OU’s alumni association, and explore graduate programs.
To learn more about the JCCC Transfer Advantage, visit or call Katie Latta at 913-266-8661.