October 21, 2014

Medina
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Franklin University now offering 4-year programs in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK — Students at Brunswick’s Cuyahoga Community College University Center now can receive four-year degrees at three universities without leaving the city limits.

On Wednesday, Tri-C’s Brunswick campus celebrated its latest partnership — with Franklin University.

Franklin, which has its home campus in Columbus, joins Tiffin and Cleveland State universities in offering a bachelor’s degree at the Brunswick center.

Franklin will offer a bachelor’s in accounting and forensic accounting and a master’s degree in accounting.

“Our faculty worked together to get an associate’s degree through Tri-C in accounting. Students then take a third year at Tri-C and transfer to Franklin for the fourth year to get their bachelor’s degree,” said Terri Hradek, university center director.

The new program has an added benefit in that the first three years are through Tri-C and courses are priced at a community college rate.

“With the economy being where it is, it’s a huge savings for students,” Hradek said.

Jane Robinson, vice president of Franklin University, said the program appeals to students who might otherwise not be able to afford a four-year degree.

“For a family trying to find an affordable pathway, this is it,” she said.

Patricia Rowell, president of Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus, said Franklin was carefully selected. The university is a nonprofit, private institution with more than 100 years of operation.

“Where many other community college centers are decreasing, this one continues to grow,” she said. “It’s not just building with new partners; it’s building with the right quality of partners.”

Cleveland State also offers a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and Tiffin University offers bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice.

All the bachelor’s degrees can be completed at the Brunswick campus.

Hradek said the Brunswick campus is at 86 percent capacity in its second year — an indication of the popularity of the program.

“The city really wanted us here,” she said. “The city, the community, they’ve been so welcoming to us.”

As Brunswick, Medina County and the surrounding suburbs continue to grow, Hradek said she expects demand for new classes to increase.

Brunswick Mayor Gary Werner said the university center is one of the city’s top economic developments in recent years.

The push to bring a university campus to Brunswick began about eight years ago. The university center first opened its doors last year and enrollment has surpassed projections. This fall, 1,100 students are enrolled in classes.

“Few things are more satisfying than seeing a good idea take root,” Werner said. “Today’s event is further proof of the wisdom of this idea.”

In addition to the degree programs, the school offers entry-level courses in a variety of subjects.

This semester, 103 classes are offered in subjects including theater, music, business, biology and political science.

Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.