OHIO Students Present Policy Recommendations to Ohio Legislature

April 13, 2011

Ohio University students participating in the Ohio Student Education Policy Institute received a rare opportunity Tuesday April 12, 2011 to present their policy recommendations to the House Education Ad-Hoc Committee and the Senate Education Finance Committee.

The Institute, which is in its inaugural year, allowed a select group of students to delve into educational policy issues, particularly those relating to access and retention. Students from Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute, and the Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs and were brought together under the guidance of the Ohio College Access Network.

Mark Weinberg, director of the Voinovich School, said, “The Ohio Student Education Policy Institute is a great learning experience for students from Ohio University, The Ohio State University and the University of Akron to come together to help craft policy solutions to pressing issues of educational access and the contribution of higher education to the economic growth of the State.”

OU’s 10 students participated in the Institute’s culminating event Sunday through Tuesday in Columbus, meeting with their peers from across the state and sharpening their recommendations so they could be presented in front of the committees.

The OU recommendations focused on increasing dual enrollment education in order to cut the time and costs associated with earning a college degree.

The students have worked closely with Voinovich School faculty members Anirudh V.S. Ruhil and Marsha S. Lewis, and Dr. David Horton and Valerie Martin Conley, from the Patton School of Education; to develop their policy recommendations.

Throughout the process, Ohio’s students have developed a better understanding of the realities of developing policy. “I recognize that creating policy is a challenging endeavor. It’s something not to be taken lightly, but at the same time it represents a great opportunity because in creating public policy you’re affecting not only your own future, but the future of millions of Ohioans or possibly people across the nation,” said Jonathan Olivito, a second-year MPA student who is participating in OSEPI.