"Transformative partnership" boosts YSU online opportunities

Youngstown State University is teaming with a national academic management organization to help improve accessibility and affordability of online education offerings.

“This is a potentially transformative partnership,” said Jennifer Pintar, YSU associate provost.

The agreement is with Academic Partnerships, a Texas-based company that markets and provides technical support for online courses at more than 60 universities in the United States and in countries around the world, according to the AP website.

YSU currently enrolls about 330 students in 13 fully online undergraduate, graduate and certification programs. AP will be involved in marketing two of those existing programs: the online RN-to-BSN program in Nursing beginning this Fall semester and a streamlined online master’s in Business Administration re-launching in Spring 2020. The partnership also includes seven new online master’s programs in Education beginning this Fall semester.

In addition, the university is expanding enrollment opportunities. Students can start the online programs at any one of the six times throughout the year - two in the Fall, two in the Spring and two in the Summer. Each session runs seven weeks, compared to a traditional 16-week on-campus course.

“We are committed to creating new opportunities for learning, and that’s what this partnership is all about,” Pintar said.

Online college enrollment nationally increased 56 percent between 2010 and 2016, while on-campus enrollment dropped 8 percent, Pintar said. Studies indicate that students typically enroll in online programs from colleges and universities whose campuses are located within 100 miles of their homes, she said, noting that nearly 8 million people live within 100 miles of the YSU campus.

Pintar said students that AP recruits are mostly going to be students who are not familiar with YSU and who would not otherwise enroll online or on campus.

“The marketing that AP is going to provide for our online programs is beyond anything that we as a university could ever afford,” she added. “This allows us to spread the word outside the region about YSU’s excellent academic programs and our track record of student success.”

More information on YSU’s online programs.