Dublin's brand new Integrated Educational Center houses the two institutions.

Last week, Ohio University and Columbus State celebrated a partnership designed to bring affordable options to students. Ohio University Dublin recently opened the Integrated Education Center to host its College of Health Sciences and Professions, but the space is also home to another institution-Columbus State. The community college is now leasing space to offer various types of classes-from business to healthcare-and currently boasts approximately 1,000 students enrolled at the center.

The move came just in time for Columbus State Dublin as they were looking to leave their Dublin Regional Learning Center that's been a Dublin hub since 1979.

The associate degree offered through Columbus State amounts to an average tuition of $4,000. Though it is not required, students earning their associate degree at the Integrated Education Center can go on to earn a bachelor's degree through Ohio University.

On the trend of earning an associate degree and transferring to a bachelor's program, David Harrison, president of Columbus State Community College, says, "That's a pathway that's open to every student, and we're seeing more and more students take advantage of it and a few companies start to plan around it from a workforce planning perspective."

For more on how Columbus State is tackling student debt, read our feature from Columbus CEO's Sept. issue.