As current and prospective college students confront multiple barriers in pursuing college degrees, Huntington Bank, Columbus State Community College, and Franklin University have launched an innovative, forward-looking workforce education program to reduce the burdens on students and increase the likelihood of their success.
The Exact Track 3+1 dual degree business program launched in July with a first group of 25 Huntington students whose educational costs with Columbus State and Franklin University are being paid up front by Huntington. The unique program provides a combination of education, support, and real-world experience, and its convenient workplace location helps eliminate some of the hurdles for students hoping to further their education.
In October, Huntington Chairman and CEO Steve Steinour joined Columbus State President David Harrison, Franklin University President David Decker, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Business Roundtable CEO and Chair of the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, Pat Tiberi, alongside Exact Track students to celebrate the program’s launch at The Huntington Gateway Center in Columbus’ Northland neighborhood.
“We are proud to partner with Columbus State and Franklin University to create a unique model that brings higher education directly into the workplace,” Steinour said. “Exact Track is on the cutting edge of workforce education solutions, and it enables Huntington to invest in the future of our colleagues so we can retain and promote top talent from within the bank.”
Exact Track classes are held weekday evenings at Huntington Gateway Center. The program combines eight semesters of Columbus State curriculum and six semesters of Franklin University curriculum, including summer terms, enabling participants to complete college in five years while working full-time. Exact Track participants earn two degrees: an Associate of Applied Science in business management from Columbus State and a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a minor in management and leadership, from Franklin University.
“Pairing our workforce needs and workers’ skills is one of the most important things we can do to help people be successful in their personal goals while giving job creators the talent they need to grow,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The partnership Huntington has formed with Columbus State and Franklin University is a leading example of the type of employer engagement we need to strengthen our workforce and move our economy forward.”
“For the CEOs of the Ohio Business Roundtable, workforce and talent remain persistent challenges,” Tiberi said. “Ohio employers can no longer sit back and assume higher education is going to produce a workforce equipped with the specific skills businesses will need to fill their future in-demand jobs. With Exact Track, Huntington shows us that businesses can help meet their own future employment needs.”
“Exact Track’s scheduling convenience, combined with Huntington’s innovative Pre-Imbursement program, removes important barriers to pursuing the goal of earning a college degree for working adults,” President Harrison said.
“As a result of this unique access to education, Huntington employees will gain the skill sets to advance their company and enrich the lives of their families and themselves,” President Decker said.
Exact Track provides a predictable, manageable class schedule for professionals balancing career, college, and other responsibilities. Knowing the exact sequence of courses at a consistent time and location makes it easier to fit college into a busy schedule. An accelerated three-and-a-half-year program also is open to applicants from the general public at Columbus State’s Delaware campus. More information is available at www.cscc.edu/exacttrack.
“This type of corporate collaboration with higher education is the wave of the future when it comes to meeting current and anticipated needs of Ohio’s workforce,” Steinour said. “We anticipate this will be a very successful program we will expand over time.”