LCCC President Marcia Ballinger (right) and CSU President Harlan Sands exchange gifts after announcing the pathway agreement.

LCCC and CSU had made an agreement to have students start their college path off at LCCC and graduate with their Bachelor’s degree at CSU through a new program called UP Express CSU initiative. The program is an extension of LCCC’s successful University Partnership with Cleveland State University, and will be open to all degree programs at CSU.
It was made official at the Lorain County Superintendent’s meeting held at LCCC on March 6. “From day one, students will be dual admitted to both institutions,” announced by CSU President Harlan M. Sands. “This is a groundbreaking model. There are other places that exist who are doing it, but we’re gonna do it better, faster and more efficiently.”
Benefits students will gain from this program will be joint ID cards for both institutions, allowing students to attend special events at both schools. Other benefits available are taking a first year course taught by a CSU graduate and will be able to take up to three classes at CSU while attending LCCC.
“Cleveland State University was one of our founding partners when we launched the University Partnership in 1995-making it even more meaningful that today we enhanced our partnership with CSU to create this unique transfer experience for LCCC students,” said Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., president of Lorain County Community College. “Together, LCCC and CSU are leveraging the best of both institutions to offer students a direct, precise path to a bachelor’s degree, while also engaging in the exceptional experiences available on both campuses.”
CSU is the number one transfer destination for LCCC students. The new UP Express CSU program will prepare students for an urban school experience through a Future Vikings Learning Community where they will take classes with peers on LCCC’s campus, receive streamlined advising services from both institutions, and have access to facilities such as computer labs and recreation centers at both schools from the beginning of their educational journey all the way through graduation from CSU.
Students still in high school can get a head start on this path to a CSU bachelor’s degree by taking College Credit Plus courses from LCCC, saving more time and money in pursuit of a four-year degree.
“We’re incredibly proud of the longstanding partnership between LCCC and CSU,” said Cleveland State President Harlan Sands. From 1999 to 2018, 542 students earned a bachelor’s degree from CSU through LCCC’s University Partnership program. CSU continues to offer six bachelor’s degree programs through the University Partnership. UP Express CSU will provide additional opportunities for students and help to increase educational attainment both within Lorain and Cuyahoga counties-further strengthening the region’s economy with knowledgeable, prepared talent.
“The program is designed for students who want to have that experience to express themselves in a different academic setting – in this case, on Cleveland State’s unique downtown campus. Students will not only save on tuition costs, they will be guided down a streamlined pathway to success – with courses for both LCCC and CSU mapped out from their first semester,” said Ballinger.