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Arriving at Columbus State straight out of high school, Jayne Ackerman initially sought a way simply to save money. But she found a gateway to the fascinating study of biology and environmental sciences.
After three semesters at Columbus State, Ackerman, a 21-year-old Columbus native, transferred to Ohio Wesleyan University last fall to study biology and environmental science
"The plan was to transfer to a large state university after two years, but after experiencing the small classes at Columbus State I wanted to stick with that," Ackerman said. "I chose Ohio Wesleyan for the small size, location, and science program."
Columbus State's smaller class sizes allowed Ackerman to get to know Biological Sciences Prof. Dr. Michael Bailey, whom she described as "an excellent instructor for that class, with a lot of enthusiasm."
Ackerman took mostly intro courses at Columbus State. (see also Transfer Programs) Easy access to professors allowed Ackerman to earn high marks and an invitation to Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society.
"While I was at Columbus State, I became a Phi Theta Kappa member, which alone earned me a big scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan," she said.
Columbus State aims to accommodate the transfer process with tools like the Preferred Pathway program, which specifically prepares students for life at a four-year college. Although it started with Ohio State, the Preferred Pathway allows students to pre-major for programs at nine four-year schools.
The transfer process was easy, according to Ackerman.
"The hardest part about transferring is picking the school," she said. "Once I decided on Ohio Wesleyan, it was fairly easy. All of my Columbus State classes transferred without a problem, so I fell right into step when classes began."
This summer, she's taking part in a summer science research program with Ohio Wesleyan's Dr. Chris Wolverton.
"We will be studying particular plant species to observe the effects of gravity on lateral root systems," Ackerman said. "Throughout the summer I'll learn to interpret those results statistically and creatively. I am very excited for this amazing opportunity!"
And even though she's an Ohio Wesleyan Bishop now, she's still coming back to Columbus State this summer to complete more prerequisites. (Many students take summer courses at Columbus State to get a jump on their degrees – see Transient / Guest Students)
"I definitely made the most of my education at Columbus State which, I think, made the transition to Ohio Wesleyan a lot easier," she said.