PIQUA — College Credit Plus, workforce partnerships, and expanded programs were among the priorities and topics covered at Edison State Community College’s State of the College on Wednesday morning, at which time the college also unveiled their new strategic plan for 2019-2022.
“We deliver the quality you promise to the community,” Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson said. She said that everything Edison State does is generated by their mission statement, which is that “Edison State Community College provides the learning opportunities, support services and commitment that enable students to complete their educational goals and realize their dreams.”
“We want our students to dream big, to see their full potential,” Larson said.
Larson touched on Ohio’s new governor, Mike DeWine, saying that DeWine’s focus on workforce development and education is aligned with Edison State’s mission. She added that the college’s infrastructure is poised to implement DeWine’s workforce development goals.
Larson went over how Edison State works with each student on their career goals, establishing those first and then creating an education path for them. She said that the new addition to the Piqua campus, the Robinson Student Career Center, will be a new facility representation of the college’s prioritization of workforce development.
“Career services will be up there front and center,” Larson said.
Along those lines, Larson went over how Edison State can offer registered apprenticeship services to businesses with training in positions for manufacturing to healthcare to banking.
“Whatever your needs are, we respond to that,” Larson said.
New programs coming up for the college also include aviation, cybersecurity, sonography, medical assistant certificate, and veterinary technical programs.
Partnerships also play a role in those new programs as Edison State will be partnering with Castle Air, an international cargo flight company and a subsidiary of American Airlines, along with Sinclair Community College on their aviation program in addition to partnering with Sinclair again with their sonography program and the Upper Valley Career Center on their veterinary technical program. Edison State will also be collaborating with the CISCO network on their cybersecurity program.
Edison State’s new locations in Greenville and Eaton continue to be agricultural hubs, and their new location in Troy, set to open in the fall, will focus on healthcare. The Troy location will include programming for physical therapy, medical assisting, phlebotomy, fire/EMT training, and nurses aid training.
Larson also reinforced their commitment to College Credit Plus programs, saying that they purposely changed their business model to become a large provider of College Credit Plus programs.
“We make it work by volume,” Larson said.
Edison State partners with 64 high schools on their College Credit Plus programs, offering a 100 percent tuition waiver for College Credit Plus students to complete their associate’s degree at Edison State if those students have 45 or more credits. The college also offers a 50 percent tuition waiver if College Credit Plus students have between nine and 44 credits.
“It’s a bargain,” Larson said. “That’s a credential they will have for life.”
Edison State later handed out new documents detailing their strategic plan from 2019-2022, focusing on five key areas identified as “the critical few.” Larson explained that they brought together teams to examine the strengths and weaknesses in each of those “critical few,” finding ways to take advantage of opportunities and to mitigate their weak points. Those “critical few” include academic and co-curricular programming, College Credit Plus, faculty, marketing, and partnerships.
Under their academic and co-curricular programming, the strategic plan highlights how they want to develop additional traditional and online courses as well as increase student and co-curricular activities. College Credit Plus still remains a critical part of their institution, Larson said, as the strategic plan highlights how they want to continue to grow that program. The college also wants to strengthen the faculty experience with students to a “consistently high quality experience” and build upon their marketing and partnerships.
“Community colleges are the embodiment of the American dream. We were meant to achieve that American dream. That dream is still alive in Ohio,” Larson said. “Our mission at Edison State is to open the gates to colleges by removing barriers, particularly financial barriers. State funding and teaching-focused campuses enable Edison State to offer small classes, high quality faculty, and the same college content for courses at a dramatically low cost.”