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NKU, Cincinnati State Sign New
Agreement to Strengthen Pathways


June 22, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College are making higher education more accessible for students on both sides of the river. The reimagined CState2NKU partnership paves the way for students to earn both their associate and bachelor’s degrees.

The CState2NKU partnership reduces many of the barriers to a college education and ensures students have a direct path to a baccalaureate degree. The program offers dual admission to both institutions, which creates a seamless transition for students to earn their bachelor’s degree at NKU once they receive an associate degree from Cincinnati State—saving the student up to $15,000.

“The community college transfer pathway to a 4-year state university is the most affordable route to earning a bachelor’s degree,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “Cincinnati State’s learners bring a rich diversity to the talent pipeline in our region, and NKU’s focus on equity, inclusion and upward mobility for all learners makes this partnership a perfect match.”

NKU and Cincinnati State offer nearly 50 degree pathways to maximize transfer credits through the partnership. The new agreement includes associate-to-bachelor's degree pathways in business, engineering, arts and sciences, education, health, human services, and information technology.

"One of our top priorities is to make college work better for students by creating clear, affordable pathways that help students reach their goals,” said Cincinnati State President Dr. Monica Posey. “This new agreement with NKU does exactly that and creates a wonderful option for local students.”

The partnership provides holistic support for students. While completing their associate degree at Cincinnati State, they will have coordinated advising with detailed course pathways between the two institutions. Students also benefit from access to Cincinnati State's Transfer and Career Centers and many campus resources at NKU, such as the Campus Recreation Center, admissions assistance, career planning and on-campus housing.

The initiative aligns with NKU’s Success by Design strategic framework that identifies three pillars of student success—access, completion and career and community engagement—as well as Cincinnati State's Strategic Plan 2025:Accelerating Potential.

“This partnership amplifies student success by offering coordinated support and using our resources more effectively to unravel transfer issues,” said Kimberly Scranage, NKU’s vice president for Enrollment and Degree Management. “What’s unique about the partnership is that it makes education more affordable. All students will pay the in-state tuition rate once they transfer to NKU, which offers significant savings each year. Additionally, students can take up to four NKU courses on our campus at the Cincinnati State tuition rate while they pursue their associate degree."

Local business leaders praise the CState2NKU partnership for addressing the highly skilled workforce needs in the region.

“We believe that this new partnership is a shining example of regional collaboration,” said Leisa Spears Mulcahy, vice president, Workforce at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “With the economic growth the region is experiencing, the top employers in our high-demand industry sectors consistently tell us they need more talent. Making it a seamless process for students to grow their skills and credentials is a great victory for our region.”

“While transfer issues and tuition are potential barriers for students wanting to make a seamless transition from a community college to a four-year institution, the region is fortunate to have two superior educational partners in NKU and Cincinnati State focused on building a talent pipeline for the companies we are working with to locate or expand here,” said Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO, REDI Cincinnati. We are excited and supportive of this reimagined partnership that will help Cincinnati State students successfully and more easily continue their education at NKU.”

To learn more about the CState2NKU partnership, visit NKU’s Admissions website or Cincinnati State's website.


About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit