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Complete an associate degree at Stark State College while preparing to transfer here to complete your bachelor’s degree. We'll help you every step of the way!

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Direct Connect means a great education and an incredible student experience, including:

  • The opportunity to take advantage of amenities at both institutions including libraries, career services, computer labs, sporting events, parking, email, and more
  • Attention from academic advisors and faculty who will help you transition from Stark State to UA.


You may participate in Direct Connect directly out of high school or if you are currently enrolled at SSC.

UA students researching geckos and fish in Tahiti as part of a vertebrate zoology course

UA students researching geckos and fish in Tahiti as part of a vertebrate zoology course.


  • If you are currently taking college courses at SSC but have not graduated high school yet, you will be eligible to participate in the program after you graduate from high school.
  • If you previously attended UA, you are not eligible for this program.
  • Your eligibility to participate in Direct Connect aligns with the standard admission requirements for SSC.

How to join Direct Connect

Direct Connect details

  • When you participate in Direct Connect, you will have catalog rights at UA from the term your program application is accepted.
  • You will sign an agreement to allow your education records information to be shared between SSC and UA, in manners consistent with information security requirements.
  • In the program you must:
    • Plan to complete your associate degree at SSC, while purposefully planning to transfer to UA to complete your bachelor's degree.
    • Submit an intent-to-enroll form one semester prior to matriculation to UA.
    • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a minimum of 24 credit hours (non-developmental) at SSC prior to enrolling at UA.
    • Be in good standing at SSC.
  • Academic advisors from UA will work with SSC advisors and faculty members to conduct appointments on each of SSC’s campuses with students participating in the program.
  • In the program you will receive a Stark State/UA Zip Card allowing you to use facilities and services offered to regularly admitted students at both SSC and UA (e.g., libraries, career services, computer labs, sporting events, parking, email and internet access, etc.)



  • Helpful to prospective transfer students for choosing courses that satisfy the general education requirements at UA.


  • Provide an outline for what coursework can be taken at Stark State for a specific degree before transferring to UA to complete the Bachelor's degree.

See what guides and pathways are available.

Whitney Tarr, with Zippy, is the first Start State student to transfer to UA through Direct Connect

Whitney Tarr with Zippy. Whitney is the first Start State student to transfer to UA through Direct Connect, a partnership between the schools that make it easy to transition to Akron.


At first, Stark State student Whitney Tarr was intimidated by the idea of transferring to The University of Akron.

"I felt anxious," she said. "UA is so big."

But she was surprised by how easy it was. And by how helpful everyone was.

Now Whitney is excited to start here in January. She will be the first Direct Connect student at Stark State's Akron campus to transfer to UA.

Direct Connect makes it easy for Stark State students to transfer here.

"I didn't know where I stood, what credits transfer or how I would pay for it," she said. Answers came in meetings with Sarah Hoge, an advisor in the College of Applied Science and Technology, and Jennifer Harpham, director of student financial aid.

A student-led campus tour gave her confidence that she could feel at home here.

Whitney received a $100 Direct Connect Enrollment Award for completing the advising and financial aid sessions, and attending a campus event (athletics, career fair, ZPN movie, etc.). All Direct Connect students are eligible for the award.

Whitney will take most of her classes online, giving her the flexibility to continue working full time. Still she'll be on campus a lot, attending football games and career fairs, and exploring the library, which she calls "ginormous."

"I'm looking forward to starting at Akron," Whitney said. "I really feel welcome there."