The 2+2 program WILDLIFE AND FISH conservation and management was initiated by faculty at Hocking College. Biologists Al LeCount, Cheryl Mollohan, Joe Cahill, and Lloyd Wright recognized that students completing the associate degree in wildlife and fish science or management who wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree needed an option that did not require relocating. Mindful of educational requirements to earn The Wildlife Society’s certification designation as a certified wildlife biologist, they developed a curriculum that offered both the upper-level biology, ecology, and management-oriented courses future professionals need and the additional general education courses required to achieve a bachelor’s degree at a liberal arts and science institution. And, they crafted it to be “doable”, in most instances, by attending college fulltime for just 2 more years after earning the Hocking College associate degree.
Because of proximity to Nelsonville, a history of offering small class sizes, and the affordable tuition rates for a private 4-year institution, the University of Rio Grande seemed a logical “fit” to launch this 2+2 program. Rio Grande biologists Glenn Anders, Paul Holeski, and Linda Sigismondi provided input to the Hocking College proposal by considering how it addressed the foundations of a typical biology-degree program in the areas of cell, organismal, and systems biology, ecology, genetics, and evolution. From there, Rio Grande Vice President of Academic of Affairs Barbara Hatfield, and Registrar Mark Abell worked closely with the Hocking College faculty, Dean of New College at Hocking Myriah Short, and University Center Coordinator Kensey Love to make the program a reality. In the fall of 2006 Joan Manuel, joined the Rio Grande faculty and served as program coordinator with one immediate task to complete the documentation needed to apply and receive authority from the Ohio Board of Regents to officially offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife and Fish Conservation and Management. That process was successfully completed in 2007. And, the first class of 2+2 wildlife and fish students completed this challenging and dynamic curriculum in spring 2007. For all the faculty and students currently participating in this program, we are indebted to the individuals identified above for creating this “local” degree program.