SIDNEY — Edison State Community College Vice President of Business and Community Partnerships Rick Haines addressed Sidney Rotary Club members during a recent meeting.
He praised the values, morals and work ethic of the students and the workers in Edison’s service area, which includes Darke, Miami and Shelby counties.
Haines has been vice president of Edison Community College since June 2016. He previously served as superintendent of Piqua City Schools, assistant superintendent of Tipp City Exempted Village Schools and principal of Smith Middle School in Vandalia.
Haines discussed a number of initiatives, including the college’s workforce “connector hub,” dubbed Edison State Works.
“This initiative is intended to facilitate the connection of programs and services with students, staff, businesses, industries and residents of Darke, Miami and Shelby counties and beyond,” Haines told the Rotarians.
“Our area has an unbelievable number of high-quality employers,” Haines said. “Our newly renovated West Hall area serves as a connection hub for area businesses and organizations with the intent to raise awareness, build and strengthen relationships and further develop workforce opportunities to benefit our region. We are committed to generating the workforce our employers need by promoting a method by which our constituents can connect with available opportunities.”
Haines noted that Edison has had a 3 percent increase in enrollment this year and last, a positive sign for the future.
“We are seeing students with two-year degrees earning more than students with four-year degrees,” Haines told the Rotarians, “and we are seeing more nontraditional students.
“The Ohio Department of Job and Family Service’s Ohio Apprenticeship Council has named Edison a registered apprenticeship sponsor in the state of Ohio,” Haines added. “Registered apprenticeship programs teach high-level skills and provide educational resources to prepare individuals for entrance or advancement into today’s workforce. Two local businesses, Ply Gem and Mama Rosa’s, are participating in the program in which eight students are currently enrolled.”
Haines spoke briefly about Edison’s Center for Leadership Development.
“We want to foster the advancement of leadership for individuals so that they can truly make a difference in their community. Outstanding communities are characterized by a quality of life supported by individuals committed to service and stewardship in the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” he said. “The vision of the Center for Leadership Development is to provide Edison students, staff and community individuals with leadership development opportunities through training, courses, conferences and experiential learning opportunities to develop skills that can be utilized within diverse educational, social and business settings. The Center for Leadership Development uses a collaborative approach to build lasting partnerships with leaders and organizations. The ultimate goal of the center is to be the transforming resource for leadership development to power individuals, teams and organizations.”
Of the school’s athletic programs, he said, “Men’s sports include baseball, basketball and cross country. We added baseball last year. Women’s sports include basketball, volleyball, cross country and softball. Softball is a new addition this year. The Edison Chargers have enjoyed success, and as we continue to build our programs, we expect to see even more success.”
He also addressed what it costs to go to college.
“Our average student can earn a year of credit for a cost that is a fraction of what it would cost at a four-year university. A student’s total cost for a year is between $3,500 and $4,100 a year. Compare that to a four-year university where tuition, books, room and board can easily exceed six times that amount at a public institution and more than 14 times that amount at a private institution. It is no wonder that students leave college with such heavy debt burden.”
Haines responded to a number of questions from the audience before awarding Edison merchandise to Rotarians who answered questions about the college correctly.