Lorain County Community College’s Student Senate is pursuing a credit rollover program to benefit students. Brendan Bennett, Student Senate President, compares the concept to AT&T’s rollover plan.
“If you’re a student taking 15 credit hours, you would get to rollover three credit hours for the next semester,” said Bennett. Rollover students would receive semester credit to their account.
“For example if you take 15 credits and rollover three you get $355 credited to your account. It’s the same thing with 16 credits, you rollover two and you get $216 credited to your account,” said Bennett. The concept came to Bennett during an Operations Council meeting where state legislators prompted higher learning institutions to decrease the cost of post secondary education by at least five percent. After the meeting was over, Bennett proposed the rollover program to Dr. Marcia Ballinger, the president of LCCC. Bennett suggested the program would benefit the college as well its student population by simultaneously boosting attendance and providing students with a discount. Not long after the ideas proposal, Dr. Ballinger called a meeting with Vice President of Administrative Services and Treasurer, David Cummins, and Dean of Enrollment and Financial Services, Stephanie Sutton, to review the concept.
“It will positively affect students because they will be able to recoup the benefits that are already stated for them,” said Bennett.
Dr. Jonathan Dryden, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic and Learner Services at LCCC, sees potential in the concept. “The conversations just started, but we’re going to have do a little more homework. We think it’s an interesting idea and we’re definitely taking it seriously,” said Dryden.
If implemented the rollover program would aim to incentivize students to take on 15 credit hours a semester until they complete their degree and allow them to take full advantage of the blanket tuition at LCCC. Instead of paying the full price for 13 credit hours, the blanket tuitions permits student to take up to 18 credit hours for the price of 13 credit hours.
“We do want to encourage student to attend full time so that we can help the complete their degree as soon as possible because we know that students who attend full time are likely to persist and more likely to graduate than students who attend part time,” said Dryden
Cummins agreed with Dryden concerning the time it takes students to graduate. As far as number crunching goes, Cummins has a pretty good sense as to what the rollover program might look like, but wonders if it will really provide much of an incentive for students to attend LCCC full time. “In other words I don’t see necessarily changing behavior and I don’t know if it changes behavior like some of the other programs we’ve been kicking around and trying to get started,” said Cummins.
Another program at LCCC, the Summer Achievement Award, uses the same rollover principle, but to a lesser extent. Bennett and Cummins were apart of the team that created and developed the award.
The difference between the two programs is that students wouldn’t have to wait for the summer to utilize the rollover credit. To become eligible for the rollover program students must take 15 credit hours and earn a 2.75 GPA during the qualifying semester.
Before deciding on whether or not the program will be actualized LCCC needs to determine how it will impact the college financially. However, “It’s more than just numbers and scenarios,” said Cummins, who suggested that furthering the programs development means having more conceptually and philosophical conversations.
Currently the rollover program is still an open discussion. Even though it’s still in its infancy, Cummins claims the earliest it could be made available to students would be the Spring 2017 semester or Fall 2017 at the latest.