A first: Cincinnati State classes to be offered on Miami University's Middletown campus

Dec. 5—An agreement signed Monday sealing a partnership between Miami University and Cincinnati State is unique in Ohio and will soon give local students more education and career options, said officials from both schools.

Officials from both southwest Ohio schools held a joint press conference on Miami's Middletown regional campus and their leaders talked about how Cincinnati State's largest expansion into Butler County in more than a decade will pay off for both students and area businesses.

Monica Posey, president of Cincinnati State, said the historic agreement was "about creating pathways for the future" for area college students who want to intertwine their pursuit of a two-year associates degree with expanded options within Miami's two and four-year undergraduate degree programs at the Middletown campus.

"It's wonderful that we are going to expand and connect what we do with Miami University," said Posey.

Miami University President Gregory Crawford described the new chapter of cooperation between the two higher education institutions as "an exciting day."

"We are so happy this partnership is taking shape. In any modern organization today, any big, complex organization you can't just simply do things on your own, so partnerships are so important," said Crawford.

"And we're delighted to build out this partnership," he said, noting the cooperative effort builds on another ground-breaking agreement with Cincinnati State signed earlier in 2021 allowing both schools to close "equity gaps" for traditionally underserved students by sharing best practices for that goal.

Since 2012, Cincinnati State has offered classes at its downtown Middletown campus building. That location currently serves about 2,000 students annually, residing in Butler County and learning via live classes, online instruction and those taking community college courses at other State locations.

Gary Cates, senior vice chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, said the partnership of a community college offering classes on a traditional four-year university's campus is unique in the state.

"We hope to see this replicated elsewhere in Ohio," said Cates.

Middletown Assistant City Manager Nathan Cahall and other officials said the dearth of qualified young workers needed to fill jobs in the region's fast-growing industries can be alleviated through such partnerships, which brings more higher education pathways to Butler County college students.

"There is a need to meet our students where they are .... and this is an outstanding opportunity," said Cahall.

Cincinnati State courses will be offered at Miami University Middletown in the Fall of 2023.

Photojournalist Nick Graham contributed to this story.