NC State offers first bachelors degree

MANSFIELD, OHIO – North Central State College has received approval to confer a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. NC State becomes one of only four community colleges in Ohio to receive approval to develop and confer a bachelor’s degree.

The opportunity for community colleges to apply to the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to provide a bachelor’s degree, was established by a directive of the ODHE in November 2017. That directive required that the proposals meet numerous guidelines, summarized as answering an established need for employees with in-demand skills to meet the workforce requirements of area businesses. Local employment data was required showing the availability and sustainability of jobs created. The program also needed to be unique to the area served by the community college.

John Carey, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, stated in his letter of July 23, 2018, approving the proposal from NC State, “ODHE observed strong evidence of workforce need, clear testimony that NCSC responded to requests of local employers in curriculum development, and evidence that the students’ needs are best met with program delivery at the NCSC location.”

Dr. Dorey Diab, president of North Central State College, is already looking ahead: “We are very pleased to receive approval of this program and the meaningful training it will provide students who will join the workforce serving our community partners. At its core, this program helps bridge part of the skills gap we have been discussing for years. The Chancellor cited the strong support of businesses throughout the region in their approval of our proposal. I’m proud of our team, and I hope we can replicate the responsiveness and vision of this program to meet the needs of other employers throughout the area.”

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology will provide opportunity for students of all ages – from current high school students taking College Credit Plus courses to currently employed workers who want to expand their knowledge and improve their careers.

Diab reflected on the value of this new degree as part of a pathway for area students: “By taking advantage of CCP courses, the Tuition Freedom Scholarship, and now the baccalaureate degree, students will be able to receive high quality higher education, at a very affordable rate, with less concern about debt.”

NC State is now working with the Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accrediting body, and ODHE for approval of curriculum and course content as well as the learning outcomes.