Complete two business degrees entirely online with the joint schooling

A new partnership from two of Portland's higher education organizations will widen the range of people able to access studies in business.

The Start-to-Finish Program, accessible to those enrolled in Portland State University and Portland Community College, enabled students to complete two business degrees entirely online.

PCC offers a variety of classes online, including nearly all the prerequisite business courses for the ASOT (Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer).PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTOS  - This autumn, on-campus students will study business in the new Karl Miller center, slated for completion this September.

Under the Start-to-Finish program, students complete the first two years of their bachelor's degree at PCC earning an associate's degree while also completing all prerequisite requirements for the bachelor's degree in business at PSU.

Portland State University offers two fully online undergraduate programs designed for students seeking to complete their junior and senior year requirements for the bachelor's in business.

Both institutions already have a longstanding co-admissions agreement that helps students transition between them, reducing barriers and facilitating academic success.

The two degrees they're able to earn are an associate of science from PCC and a bachelor's in business administration from PSU, with options to concentrate in management and leadership, or supply and logistics management.


Anne Haberkern is PCC's curriculum director, who coordinates articulation and transfer partnerships.

"This collaboration will provide PCC students access to an entirely online curriculum, creating a more seamless and transparent pathway to complete their associate and bachelor's degrees in Business Administration," Haberkern said.

The online classes increase accessibility for non-traditional students: those who work full time, are older than early 20s, or have families.

According to data released in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, online undergraduate education is especially relevant for nontraditional students.

In the 2011-12 academic year, the average age of U.S. undergraduate students was 26.4 years. In this group, 60 percent of them worked and went to school full time, while 54 percent had dependents.

Erica Wagner is the associate dean of undergraduate programs at PSU's School of Business Administration.

"This program developed out of a need we observed for our online degree program: students were interested but didn't meet all the requirements to begin, so we were telling them to come back later," said Wagner. "Now we meet students where they are and when they are ready to engage, and we are committed to helping them through graduation."

Business partnership

The PCC-PSU partnership comes after the institutions teamed up with OHSU and the City of Portland to develop a $100 million, large-scale public health center located along Southwest Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street, at a PSU-owned property that is currently surface parking.

By 2020, OHSU's dental operations will move to the downtown location along with PCC's dental clinic, which is currently located at the Sylvania campus.

As for the Start-to-Finish program, in addition to laying out a clear and comprehensive pathway for students PSU and PCC are supporting retention and completion rates by coordinating academic advising and other services to help students seamlessly transition from community college to university.

Dual enrollment at PCC, also called co-admission, is offered across seven other campuses: PSU, Oregon State University, Oregon institute of Technology, Concordia University, Western Governors University, Marylhurst University and Linfield College.

Dual enrollment allows students to take classes at both schools, tailoring education to individual goals and timelines. Advisors at the colleges make sure the courses count toward the person's degree.

Students can apply for co-admission from the PCC website, and if accepted can take online courses at both schools.

Co-admission provides students with the most flexibility in taking courses as you transition from PCC to PSU. Co-admitted students can choose to register for all of their courses at PCC, all from PSU or take courses concurrently at both schools. Students who join the co-admission program have up to ten terms after admission before they must begin taking classes at PSU.

In total, it's a 72-credit online program.

Learn more online at

By Jules Rogers
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