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Opinion | Miami students will benefit from sustainability co-op

By Editorial Board
On January 24, 2013

Miami University's Institute for the Environment and Sustainability is partnering with Antioch College, located in Yellow Springs, Ohio in a cooperative-education program called the Ohio Agrarian Trade (OAT) Partnership.

Creators of this program hope it will be a hands-on experience that gives Miami and Antioch students real-world skills and knowledge.

The Miami Student editorial board believes this could be a valuable experience for students. This program can introduce students to real-world jobs, and it can be the stimulus for students from two very different universities to interact and learn from each other.

However, as always, careful considerations must be made when one institution partners with another. Antioch is a privately funded university that has been closed down four times because of funding difficulties.

This could be a symbiotic relationship between Miami and Antioch that gives students a chance to work in their related fields and promote diversity and a true liberal arts education. However, it is rather nerve racking that Antioch has closed several times, leaving a less-than-stable reputation for students to mull over while deciding on whether or not this program would be worth it for them.

So did the school made famous by its business program make a smart business decision? Since the program was a grant, rather than a loan, it seems as though Miami has made a low-risk move in partnering with Antioch. But while Miami may not have much to lose financially, it must also remember that students' trust is on the line. With Antioch's historic instability, it is not unreasonable for students to question whether the school will be open when they decide to participate in this co-op program.

Antioch is a truly diverse university and can offer Miami students a different perspective on work experience and on what other colleges are like. We hope Antioch has put in ample research and uses the grant given to it wisely.

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