Archbold, OH

Big Changes In Education, NSCC President Reports

Tom Stuckey, president of Northwest State Community College, said efficiency, collaboration and workforce training are the key directives coming from Columbus.

“If you are relating to state government, you understand there is new leadership in Columbus,” Stuckey told members of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce Monday, Nov. 5.

Stuckey said the state has a goal of 230,000 more persons to complete higher education by 2011; currently, he said, in the state’s 23 community colleges, there are 210,000 students.

“If we’re serious about educating 230,000 more… we have got to deal with people, encourage people, find ways to help people that we haven’t helped as an education institution in the past,” he said.

That includes 25- to 35-yearolds, who are changing careers, people who have been told in the past they are not, college material, and retirees who are no longer retiring, but refocusing.

Stuckey discussed several collaborative efforts NSCC participates in.

“We’re working closely with UT (the University of Toledo), we’re going to see a collaborative effort there.

“Many things are being explored with Rhodes State, that’s the two-year college in Lima.

“We’re looking at radiology and respiratory therapy. Those are two very expensive programs, and the way it’s laying out, students from northwest Ohio do their first year at Northwest State, and a good portion of their second year. During the second year, some of their labs will be on Saturday, at Rhodes State, so it will be one trip a week.

“You’re looking at programs that cost $500,000 to $600,000 to start. That’s a significant commitment. That’s not the commitment the state is looking for.”

“The state is saying, ‘How do you help your people collaboratively receive that education?'”

Stuckey also mentioned collaborative efforts with Defiance College, Tiffin University, Bluffton University, and possibly Tri- State University, Angola, Ind.

Stuckey said Northwest State would accomplish worker retraining with the help of the business community.

“Your help is very very important, so we have the right programs,” he said.

He said Custom Training Solutions, part of Northwest State, is providing training online, and taking portable equipment to different sites, to provide training.

The Plan

Stuckey said the college strategic plans call for creating five new programs in the next three years, including massage therapy, warehousing, and logistics, “and we’re also looking in again at what we can do in the medical field.”

Also, NSCC wants to increase enrollment.

A third part of the plan calls for finding new ways to deliver college classes.

“Is that an eight-week course, is that a 15-week course, is that a five-week course? Is it a web Internet course, is it an on-line course, is it a face-to-face class? We don’t know those answers.

“But we do know a third of our students are taking an on-line class this term. Now they may be taking it from their home, they may be taking it from our library, they may be taking it from their local library. Students are saying, “We like online classes.”

Another part of the plan is transfer assurance guidelines, or TAG. A course that has been “tagged,” will transfer equally to any other state college.

Satellite Campuses

Stuckey said the college board of trustees, “is very carefully reviewing the potential,” of NSCC Metamora campus.

“Within 15 miles (of the Metamora campus) there’s a larger population than what is in all five counties. Does that mean renovation, does that mean building, does it mean working in new ways which we have not yet thought of?”

He said Northwest State rented a room from the Defiance Regional Medical Center, “and we have outgrown the room. That center has just blossomed and grown.”

When asked how the area’s economic downturn is impacting NSCC, Stuckey said with expensive gasoline, more students are turning to online classes.

College officials also see the impact in Northwest State food service.

“Our students simply don’t have the money for the quality of lunch they did. They are living much more frugally,” he said.- David Pugh

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