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Scholarship Offers Tuition Freedom

There are many advantages of starting your college journey early, including free tuition at North Central State College.  Karson Kimmel is just one of many students awarded the Tuition Freedom Scholarship.  He began by enrolling in our College Credit Plus (CCP) program, which allows college-ready high school students in grades 7-12 to take courses at no cost.

Kimmel got a jump start on his education leading him to an associate degree.  “I had a great experience taking CCP classes at North Central,” he explains.  “I was able to take my classes online while continuing my high school schedule.”

Kimmel stayed on top of his course schedule by planning out his day-to-day assignments for both his college and high school courses.  “If you are thinking about taking CCP classes at North Central State, I would say to go for it.  There is plenty of help at North Central.  Tutors and professors will be there for you as long as you are willing to ask for help.”

While taking CCP classes, Kimmel qualified for our Tuition Freedom Scholarship.  North Central will provide up to an associate degree, tuition-free, to every qualifying CCP or Career Tech student.  “It was an honor to get the Tuition Free Scholarship,” he says.  “It’s a lot of hard work to take college classes while in high school, but to know that your first two years of college are paid for is very rewarding.”

“The scholarship application process is very simple,” he goes on to explain.  “If you qualify for it after you apply, North Central will reach out to you and take you through the process.”

With the cost of living continuing to rise, Tuition Freedom is only one of many scholarships available to help students obtain an associate degree without breaking the bank. “I know that at a lot of universities, the tuition is going up,” Kimmel says.  “If you can go to a school like North Central, I strongly recommend it because it will save you money.  Also, the classes I am taking right now are the same classes students take at any larger university.  The class sizes are a lot smaller so you will be able to get more help if you need it from the professor.”

“I have been able to get my general education courses and my associate degree quicker and debt-free,” Kimmel says proudly.  “I can commute to campus and work at the same time, which is going to be very helpful down the road.”

The last day for students to respond to their Tuition Freedom Scholarship acceptance letter is July 8, 2022.

Kimmel will graduate in the fall of 2024 with an associate degree in liberal arts.  He plans to transfer to a four-year university get a bachelor’s degree in education.

Tuition Freedom Scholarship

Congratulations, Class of 2022

North Central State College’s commencement was held Friday, May 13, 2022, at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).  Two ceremonies were held this year to maintain physical distancing.  This is the first in-person ceremony since the start of the pandemic.  Last year, a drive-thru ceremony was held to honor graduations.

This year, 366 graduates were invited to attend the graduation ceremony.

To view this first ceremony click here.

To view the second ceremony click here.

 

Engineering Students Research Safety

Nickolas Bowser examines the crash test dummy
Nickolas Bowser examines the crash test dummy.

Engineers are significant in shaping society and the future.  They are often on the leading edge of innovation.  The bachelor of applied science in mechanical engineering technology (BASMET) program at North Central State College is helping students prepare for their future careers in engineering with their capstone projects focusing on crash tests and helping those with disabilities.

Students in the program have been working with a Canadian institution studying the impact of a bicycle vs car crash and the effects on the rider.  They are working with crash test dummies to collect data on potential damage to internal organs sustained in the collisions.

Nickolas Bowser, a BASMET student working on the crash test says, “We are taking a crash test dummy, and trying to gather data so that we can better analyze crashes. We ultimately want to understand how much damage the crash causes to the human body.”

The students have been using materials in the classroom to build a brain and arm that will be able to collect data.  Mike Beebe, Assistant Professor of Engineering explains, “The students built a brain transducer and 3D flesh.  This is also teaching them how to do some biomechanics work.”

Chase Mullins, who is also working on the project, explains how they plan to collect the data.  “There are wireless sensors to collect information at the moment of contact during the crash test,” Mullins says. “The brain is injured differently during crashes.  We want to see what that data looks like so we have wireless sensors in the test dummy’s head to collect the data from the crash.”

On April 29, 2022, the students put their capstone project in motion, conducting multiple bicycle vs car crash events.  They were able to collect data that will be analyzed further, and also help shape future educational experiments by BASMET students.

Smoothing the ride for wheelchair users

Students examine the test dummy in a wheelchair
Owen Maynard helps team members examine the wheelchair while testing the suspension system.

Another project students are focusing on in the BASMET program will potentially have a big impact on wheelchair users.  Owen Maynard, a senior, is working with a team on a wheelchair suspension system that will help those in wheelchairs have an easier descent over large bumps.  “We have a shock system on the back of the wheelchair that will bear the load when it goes over a curb or a ledge,” Maynard explains.  “Instead of having to balance the wheelchair and hold the person up, the shocks will catch it and slowly descend to reduce the impact.”

The BASMET program is the first four-year program at NC State College with 150 students enrolled.

Many of the students transitioned into BASMET after being a part of the College-NOW Engineering program.  College-NOW is a two-year program that allows high school juniors and seniors to enroll full-time and earn their Associate degree as they complete their last two years of high school.  “It feels good to be graduating at such a young age,” Bowser says.  “I am getting my bachelor’s degree two years earlier than when I would normally have received it.  Graduating from NC State also save me money. This experience has been great for me.”

“I have been exposed to some interesting systems,” Maynard says.  “I’ve also learned quite a bit about how these systems will help me in the future.”

Beebe says the students will leave the program ready for entry-level engineering positions.  “I graduated from North Central State with my associate degree back in the 70s,” Beebe says.  “That led me to technician and design work.  The students graduating from the program could potentially have the same opportunities while searching for their career.”

“What we try to do in the program is to integrate math and sciences into practical hands-on projects because one of the entry-level jobs could be running test equipment,” Beebe explains.  “We try to expose students to that type of learning so they are prepared.  We want to make it fun but it’s all about learning the engineering process.”

Bowser, Mullins, and Maynard will graduate at the end of the spring 2022 semester.

College-NOW Opens Opportunities

At North Central State College, students have the opportunity to start college classes while in high school through College Credit Plus. Many enroll as full-time college students in College-NOW.

Mason Beam is part of the College-NOW engineering program. College-NOW is a two-year program that allows high school juniors to enter North Central State and Pioneer Career and Technology Center on a track to receiving their associate degree in conjunction with their high school diploma.

Beam is in his final year of the program and explains why he decided to begin his college education early. “Being from Lucas, this was an easy decision to come to North Central State,” Beam says. “I will be able to get my associate degree at the same time I also receive my high school diploma and not have to travel too far from home. The cost of tuition is less than a four-year university but with the same quality of education.”

College-NOW students are exposed to real-life problem-based learning opportunities provided by business partners. Beam is currently working on his capstone project, along with his classmates. Each team is building an electric vehicle that will be tested on the road with the Kehoe Grand Prix. Students began researching and designing their vehicles, including frame, steering, braking, gearing, power, and drive options.

The Kehoe Grand Prix is in its fourth year and is designed as an endurance race with a one-hour time limit. Each team’s vehicle, driven by team members, navigates a five-turn circuit laid out in the parking lot of the Kehoe Center.
“A big part of this class is project management and learning how to work with a team,” Beam says. “We are all making these cars and working with a team designing, producing, and manufacturing. All of those things we are going to be doing on the job one day. It is a very similar process to what I will eventually do for my career.”

Mike Beebe, assistant professor of engineering, says the projects students work on in the College-NOW program are preparing them for their future careers daily. “The whole process teaches them engineering as well as inventing the designs they will use for their projects,” Beebe says. “In 16 weeks the students go from a blank sheet of paper to a complete vehicle to race.”

Another skill Beam has learned in the College-NOW program while building his motorized vehicle is how to utilize a 3D printer.

“We use the lab’s printer for any special parts that are expensive,” Beam explains. “We like to 3D print them and it gives us the freedom of design. You can design any part you want and print it on the printer.”

“A lot of companies are migrating towards 3D printers,” Beam says. “For any company using plastic or Polylactic acid (PLAs), this is the way to go. They are less expensive and quick. You can make any part that’s feasible to print.”
Beebe adds the program allows students to learn more than just math. “It’s all those skills together that the instructors are trying to have the students put together. The program allows students to weld and drill holes all while understanding the math and science behind it. Students are having fun while learning advanced concepts about the engineering process.”

After College-NOW, Beam plans on staying at North Central State and continuing with the Mechanical Engineering Technology (BASMET) bachelor’s program. BASMET is the advanced practical application of engineering and scientific principles to design and manufacture quality products and systems.

The program utilizes project-based learning to provide students working individually and in teams, with hands-on learning. Additionally, training in innovative computer software is complemented with instruction in mathematics, science, and engineering analysis to provide our graduates with a solid foundation for the implementation of design and manufacturing solutions. Graduates of the (BASMET) program are prepared to compete in a competitive job market and assume a wide range of responsibilities in the industry.

Darcy Carns, College-NOW program director, says the College-NOW program is a perfect introduction to the bachelor’s program. “With the addition of our bachelor’s program a couple of years ago, it has become a very popular route for our students. They can graduate from the College-NOW program, earning their associate degree in integrated engineering technology, and then they can continue very seamlessly into our bachelor’s program in which they earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology with just two additional years,” Carns explains. “I have had students graduate with their bachelor’s degree at the age of 20 with very little debt.”

Bioscience degree leads to cutting-edge medical research

Some of the most versatile career options for NC State graduates begin with the study of STEM+M majors (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine). Alumna Kelly Murray is one of those students.  She started at North Central State College in the fall of 2011 where she enrolled as a bioscience major.  “North Central was the obvious choice for me given the low cost to attend, and transfer options,” Murray explains.  She is a non-traditional first-generation student who never actually planned on going to college, until she discovered her love for science.

As part of her financial aid package at NC State, Murray was awarded a Choose Ohio First Scholarship (COF), which helped her as an undergraduate immensely.  COF is a state-funded program for Ohio residents pursuing a major in one of the STEM+M fields.

The second-year she received the COF award, it allowed her to accept an unpaid internship in a research lab that helped her gain valuable experience in her chosen field.  “I would not have been able to afford to take an unpaid internship without the scholarship,” she says.  “The experience I gained ultimately resulted in my deciding to continue to earn my bachelor’s degree and then begin my doctoral work in 2017.”

Today Murray is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University studying cells and Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), a molecule similar to DNA.  “Any time your cells need a specific protein, the process starts with transcribing RNA, using your DNA as a template. This RNA is then used as a sort of blueprint for making the protein,” Murray explains.  “But there’s a catch. The RNA needs to be processed before it’s ready to be used. I study how machinery in the cell processes that RNA- specifically, how regions of the RNA that need to be removed are identified and cut out of the RNA transcript.”

She goes on to explain, “This process needs to occur very quickly, but also with very high precision. Many diseases in humans are caused by mistakes in the removal of these pieces of RNA. Our cells have the remarkable ability to balance the tradeoff between accuracy and speed, removing these pieces of RNA very quickly, while maintaining a high level of accuracy. My doctoral work is focused on understanding this process.”

It is no surprise that Murray’s favorite class at North Central State College was the biotechnology course.  “It was my first biology lab and I was able to learn so much about lab techniques,” she says.  “We also covered a lot of laboratory math, which I admit was a little frustrating at the time, but has been very helpful for me both in more advanced coursework and my current day-to-day lab work.”

The combination of lab and coursework in the classroom at North Central helped prepare her with a firm foundation in biological research.  “I am especially thankful because I was able to get inside a research lab very early in my undergraduate career,” Murray says.  “I was able to take a wide variety of courses and that helped to broaden my depth of knowledge and was instrumental in my getting a good score on the subject GRE for graduate school application.  After obtaining her associate degree in the spring of 2014, she was able to transfer her credits and continue her education at Ashland University.

Murray truly enjoyed the educational experience at North Central State College.  “I loved the small class sizes,” she explains.  “I benefited from having the opportunity to discuss course content one-on-one with my professors, and to talk about career options.  I felt welcomed into the community.”

After earning her doctorate, Murray hopes to enter a teaching-focused career.  “I am very lucky to have gotten experience while tutoring at North Central State and now at Cornell where I am teaching a course I designed myself about RNA,” she says proudly.  “Starting at a community college and interacting with professors who are passionate about teaching inspired me toward my career path!”

Murray’s journey to the cutting edge of medical research began at NC State. 

 

Pursuing Two Majors Pays Off

Some set out on their higher education journey knowing exactly what they want to do.  For some, while the journey is not a straight line, the destination can be just as rewarding.  Hannah White began her college career as a health science major interested in radiological sciences.  “It wasn’t until my second year at North Central State College where I realized that my intended interest wasn’t for me,” White explains.

She then began her search for a new career. “The staff and faculty went above and beyond not only helping me figure out what my next steps were academically but also guiding and connecting me to where I would eventually succeed,” White says.  “I connected with my advisor, Brandel Boyd, who was wonderful.  She had multiple chats with me after class and was able to help me establish and complete my academic goals.  Without her help, I would not have graduated with two degrees!”

White pursued both business management and marketing degrees while working two full-time jobs. She recently graduated with both degrees in December 2021. “I was lucky enough to schedule most of my classes as hybrids or fully online to help with my work schedule,” she explains. “I took a lot of night classes, so after work, I would drive straight to campus for my lectures and labs.”

She chose NC State because it is close to her hometown of Bucyrus.  She began classes at the Crawford Success Center, a satellite campus of North Central. She wanted to attend a college where she could live at home with her parents and work to complete her education.  Coming from a small town, she enjoyed the smaller class sizes and connecting with her professors, as well as other students.  She also mentioned the lower tuition, which helped her financially.

“Thinking back to my first college classes and how I was the quiet kid sitting in the front row, not asking questions, and just trying to figure out what college is,” White says.   “Now flash forward to last year where I was leading many discussions, not afraid to ask questions, and volunteering for any opportunity that came my way.”  She goes on to say that, the only way to learn effectively is to assert yourself into the material.  Whether it is applying items or practicing policies and procedures in the real world, White says you have a better chance of remembering it and even asserting it in your daily tasks.

In terms of personal growth, White has advanced her skills in technology and software and has learned how to work more cohesively in group projects.  Her professional growth can be measured in her increased job responsibilities and assignments as well as the fact that she was able to create connections with a variety of business owners, customers, and representatives. “I was able to develop more of a growth mindset,” she says. “The more opportunities and challenges that are out there, the more I want to experience them and learn from each one.”

Before White began college, she was already working full-time which helped her gain experience as well as financial stability to pursue her academic dreams.  But it was one of her college classes that helped lead her to her future career. “I was able to land my current job through a final exam for one of my business classes,” White says proudly.  “Our instruction was to make a new business model for a local business, present it to the owner, and then conduct an interview to showcase the findings.  After my interview was over, the owner simply asked me if I would like a job at his business.”  She accepted the job opportunity and continues to work in the company’s marketing department.

White offers some words of advice for undergraduate students at NC State College, “Never give up, go into everything with an open mind, and make as many connections as possible with professors, faculty, and other students.”

“Remember that everything happens for a reason,” she says.  “Obstacles tend to show up when you think it’s the worst possible time.  By remembering that these obstacles are very vital in shaping your sense of character, you will be able to make each one a learning experience.”  She wants students to know that the connections you make in college, whether they are friendships or acquaintances, will stick with you for life.  “Keeping a positive attitude is the best attribute one can possess and will take you far in life.  All your hard work will pay off in the end!”