Two local educational institutions, Ashland University (AU) and Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center, narrowed the gap between secondary and post-secondary education as they signed an articulation agreement on July 19.

The signing took place in the Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing (RAM) program lab at the Career Center and brings the high school’s RAM program together with the Business Administration and Manufacturing Management programs of study at AU.

Through the agreement, the AU students in those programs and Career Center students in the RAM program may qualify for college credits in the following areas: Manufacturing Processes, Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics, Occupational Safety and Health, and Electrical Circuits and Devices.

"We want to encourage our high school students to consider going on to college and with this collaboration we can offer college credits and a head-start on mastering competencies," said Career Center Superintendent Mike Parry in a news release. "This will certainly give them a smooth and less expensive pathway to either one of the Ashland University courses of study. At the same time, we can provide the laboratory, the instructor and the equipment needed for AU students to pursue degrees that require expertise in the areas of manufacturing and production. It’s a good marriage. This agreement is one-of-a-kind, being the first articulation agreement with AU in manufacturing."