Other News & Events

Alum Breaking Barriers in Social Work

Each year March is dedicated as National Social Work Month, but the students and alumni from North Central State College continue to break barriers every day.  It’s that passion for helping others break their own barriers that began Lasha Winters journey to becoming a Licensed Social Worker.  “I chose to be a social worker so I could have the knowledge and skillset to help heal the hearts of those in addiction by empowering and advocating for them daily,” Winters says.

Social workers are known for their compassion and ability to break barriers, not only within themselves but their clients as well. “North Central State College taught me how to push through barriers; in my field and my personal life,”  she says. “In my classes at North Central State College, I learned about many theories and ways to help those in need,” Winters explains.  “We learned about all the different components that interact and influence a person’s behavior and thinking.”

Winters is a first-generation student, meaning she was the first in her family to graduate from college. “My mom finished her GED, and my dad didn’t finish high school.   I was lucky to be a part of NC State’s TRiO program, a program that helps first-generation students in college,” Winters says.  TRiO provides and coordinates a variety of educational support services for first-generation students, low-income, and/or students with disabilities.  “Being the first in my family to go to college, TRiO added support that I didn’t have around me in a culture that didn’t emphasize education.  TRiO provided me with the encouragement I needed.”

“At one point, I required help financially, and they encouraged me to apply for a grant that would help pay a bill I was unable to afford at the time,” Winters says gratefully.  “It helped ensure my success in college when I didn’t come from a background that gave me a lot of support.  Being a mom, going to school full-time, and working, I didn’t have time to go out and find another job.  With their help, I didn’t have to choose between my education and my job, TRiO stepped in and I was able to focus on school and finish the semester.”

While attending North Central State College, Winters changed her major from education to social work with the encouragement of her professors.  “While I enjoyed my English classes at the college, I became extremely interested in the Hull House Movement, which I happen to read about in one of my classes,” Winters explains.  The Hull House was Chicago’s first social settlement.  It was not only the private home of Jane Addams and other Hull House residents but also a place where immigrants of diverse communities gathered to learn, eat, debate, and acquire the tools necessary to put down roots in their new country.  “I had a particular professor that saw my interest in helping others and suggested that I pursue a career in social work.”

After graduating from the Human and Social Work program at North Central in 2019, Winters continued her education at Mount Vernon Nazarene University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree.  “The classes I took at NC State transitioned into their program easily,” Winters says. “The professors and staff at North Central helped set me up to be successful in my bachelor’s program as well.”

Winters was part of the North Central State College Honor Society.  By participating in projects at the college, she realized the need for qualified social workers in the Mansfield area.  “I did volunteer work and put together fundraisers for the Harmony House Homeless Shelter,” Winters says.  “We took donations and with the help of my classmates, we donated over 100 pillows to help homeless men, women, and children in our area.”

Winters continues to pay her kindness and compassion forward.  She is currently a Licensed Social Worker at Healing Hearts Counseling Center, a behavioral health and wellness center in Mansfield.  The mission of employees at the center is to provide mental health and addiction services.  “We have a diverse and wide array of clients from all different ages and ethnicities,” Winter says.  “You never know who is going to be impacted by addiction so it’s open to anyone that needs help to begin their recovery journey. I am breaking barriers by helping to be a consistent person for those in need.  In today’s society, we don’t always have consistency, and I want to be that person who is enabling change in our community.”

“As a licensed social worker I want to be a part of reducing the stigma around Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) diagnosis,” Winters says.  A SUD is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to a person’s inability to control their use of substances such as legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. “As a social worker, I want to help share the importance of treating substance abuse as a mental health disorder, as a disease rather than a decision to just go out and use drugs.   It’s a medical diagnosis that needs treatment, so being able to help educate people and provide definitions is actively participating in shutting down those stigmatizing stereotypes.  That’s helping to break barriers!”

College Credit Plus Deadline April 1st

Now is the time to start planning for College Credit Plus.

College Credit Plus New Student Enrollment Checklist

  • Attend CCP info meeting and meet with your school’s guidance counselor to talk to your interest in the program
  • Apply online at ncstatecollege.edu/ccp
  • Have your school send your transcript/grade report to ccp@ncstatecollege.edu
  • Make sure NC State receives your qualifying test scores
  • Taking NC State courses being offered at your school?
    • Meet with your counselor in spring to plan and schedule your courses
    • If you’re only taking NC State courses offered at your school, you’re done with your checklist!
  • Taking Courses at NC State Campus online?
    • Set up your first meeting by calling 419-755-4765 option 0
How to apply

Scholarships for Success event and auction raises over $30,000

Bucyrus, OH – The Crawford Success Center’s 5th annual giving event “Scholarships for Success” raised over $30,000 in scholarships with a live and silent auction on March 2, 2023.  Scholarships for Success benefit North Central State College students from Crawford County, providing scholarships and vital training.

“This event was truly an investment in the future of Crawford County,” says Nathan Harvey, director of the Crawford Success Center. “The funds we raised will offer resources to help local students have opportunities for higher education and workforce development.”

The North Central State College Foundation announced two new scholarships at the event:

The first was established by Tina Husted, the 2nd Lady of the State of Ohio. The new “Husted Family Leadership Fund for Women” will open doors for Crawford County women to pursue higher education.  The scholarship is in partnership with Cedar Fair Charities.  Husted recently partnered with the North Central State College Foundation and Cedar Fair with the release of a landscape painting of the Cedar Point skyline titled “Cedar Sky”.  Sales from the canvas and poster reproductions helped fund the scholarships and will continue to grow as the partnership expands.  The first scholarship award will be given to a student that will attend North Central State College in the fall semester of 2023.

“I am excited about this scholarship fund,” Husted says.  “I am grateful I can use my talent of art to raise money for scholarships and help the students of Crawford County pursue their education.”

The second scholarship presented at the event is made possible by North Central State College board member and avid Crawford Success Center supporter, Dave Bush in honor of his parents named the Donald J. and Josephine M. Bush Memorial Scholarship.  It will be awarded to a Crawford County student beginning in August 2023.

The North Central State College Foundation will also be awarding $500 scholarships to students from Bucyrus, Winford, and Crestline high schools.

The Scholarships for Success Leadership Award is presented to an inspirational leader in the Crawford County area.  The 2023 recipients, Pat and Janel Hord, have expanded their robust family business, while simultaneously investing in the needs of the community. They have been supporters of the Crawford Success Center from the beginning. Pat and Janel’s gifts to the Crawford Success Center have helped support local students pursue their degrees in higher education.

The Hord Livestock and Family Farms employs more than 200 residents who strive to raise animals with care while utilizing modern and advanced farming practices.  Hord Family Farms is currently celebrating its 5th generation of family farming, while its 6th generation is learning the family business.  The Hords’ commitment to sustainable and responsible farming is demonstrated by their continued travel, study, and investment in the latest design of farm buildings, equipment, and best practices for sustainable farm operations.

“This community should be very proud,” said Vice President for North Central State’s College Foundation and Development Chris Copper.  “With the support of several new scholarships, the Crawford County community will gain the resources it needs to ensure our students have the financial support to graduate with a degree or certificate.  Crawford County really shined at this annual event.”

The 2023 Scholarships for Success was made possible through several sponsorships including OhioHealth, North Central Ohio Media Group, Lind Media, ARK Realty, Avita Health System, Dave Bush, FC Bank, Tom & Pam Holtshouse, Dr. Joe and Susan Shadeed, Mizick Miller, Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, Park National Bank, Stanley Black & Decker, and auction partner Castle Auctions and Appraisals.

First-Gen, First Step

First-generation student Nita De La Cruz is working her way toward being the first person in her family to graduate from college.  She began at North Central State College after attending Pioneer Career and Technology Center studying graphic design.  It was her interest in design that lead her to the mechanical engineering program at NC State.

“North Central was the right choice for me because it is close to home while also leading me to what I want to do in the future,” De La Cruz says.  “I am a first-generation student, so being close to home was ideal for me.  Education is important and so is family.  I realized if you are connected to your family, you don’t have to go far to get a great education.”

First-generation students often experience a number of challenges, including guilt over leaving their families and possible financial responsibilities at home.

“My family has been very encouraging,” she says.  “Unfortunately, when I ask my family about college classes or financial aid, they don’t have any experience.  I have been lucky to have an advisor that is willing to help go the extra mile and get me prepared for my classes.”

“My advisor was the one who encouraged me to apply for scholarships to help ease the pressure of how I would pay for college,” De La Cruz explains.  “I received the Tuition Freedom Scholarship.  If I did not have it I would still be wondering how I would pay for college.  Without the scholarships, I would not be where I am right now.”

De La Cruz eventually wants to pay it forward to her family and community following graduation.  “In the future, I want to be an architectural engineer.  It combines two things I love, which are design and engineering,” she explains.  “I want to design homes for the less fortunate people who cannot afford them.  I just want to make a difference.  You can’t just sit and wait for someone else to do it.  You need to get a great education so you can do it on your own.”  She plans to transfer to a four-year institution after getting her associate degree in mechanical engineering in 2024.

For those experiencing college as first-generation students, she offers this advice, “Don’t let fear stop you from going to college.  You just need to set that fear aside and believe in yourself.  You have the chance to do something in your family that hasn’t been done before, so why not take it.”

If you are a first-generation student and need help navigating the different challenges you might face, the TRIO Student Support Services program provides and coordinates a variety of educational support services for students who are first generation, low-income and/or students with disabilities.

Scholarships Pave Way For Passion

Starting classes early and applying for multiple scholarships helped pave the way for Brianna Felder to find her passion for science.  While taking College Credit Plus (CCP) classes at North Central State College, Brianna chose the Sci-Med program.

The Sci-Med program provides students with the opportunity to complete as many science-focused courses as possible in two years.  Brianna chose the health track, which allows students to focus on courses that will prepare them for a career in health care.

After graduating with her associate of science degree, she realized she wanted to continue her education and enrolled in the NC State nursing program.

“When I chose the Sci-Med program, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do, just that I wanted to be in the medical field,” Felder explains.  “Halfway through my senior year as a CCP student, I realized I wanted to be a nurse.  Staying at North Central for the registered nursing program was my best option.  It is affordable and I know the professors.  Ultimately, I am comfortable right here on the North Central campus.”

“All of the courses I have taken so far are very good.  In many of my science classes, we have lectures online but our labs are in person, and that helps,” she says.

Felder also found financial help for tuition through multiple scholarships at North Central.  She was awarded the Tuition Freedom Scholarship, which she was eligible for as a CCP student, as well as the Smith Family Foundation scholarship and the Choose Ohio First scholarship.  “The scholarships have helped a lot.  I don’t have to worry about money because my first semester has been completely paid for,” she says.  “It has helped take a lot of the stress away and I can focus more on my classes.”

Choose Ohio First is part of a State of Ohio strategic effort to bolster Ohio’s economic strength by ensuring a ready workforce for STEM+M-related (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) industries. North Central State College has been awarding Choose Ohio First Scholarships to students since 2010.

Felder credits North Central State College faculty for helping her feel at ease on the campus and preparing for the future.  “It has challenged me, taking classes at North Central, but I am a better student because of it,” she explains.  “The faculty has taught me how to study properly while also helping me become confident in asking for help when I need it, which has become very beneficial for me as a student.”

Felder hopes to graduate with an associate degree in registered nursing in 2024.

NC State Receives Award to Enhance Student Success

This week, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $2,091,507 in Title III grant dollars to North Central State College for Strengthening Institutions Program North Central State College: FAST (Flexible Access Through Scheduling & Technology).

Flexible Access Through Scheduling & Technology seeks to significantly increase student access and success by a systemic adoption and implementation of advance instructional design, increased online and hybrid instruction, and 8-week terms with related support systems.

The five-year project seeks to build college capacity in student access and success through consistent instructional and technological practices, flexible delivery, and ongoing faculty and staff professional development to ensure that access and success occur for all students, online and face-to-face, including those traditionally underrepresented and first-generation students from diverse populations. The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) has been selected to provide ongoing professional training for faculty and staff in the areas of Effective Online Teaching Practices and Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning. These Title III funds will allow the College to hire additional support personnel for student and staff technological needs and course success counseling to students. The funds will also provide updated technology in order to strengthen needed advising support to help students achieve academic success.

Culturally informed and equity based mentoring and coaching services to promote academic success and retention of underserved student populations will be addressed by an equity and access coordinator. The College will also receive a $150,000 endowment for scholarships which will be matched by the NCSC Foundation.

Dr. Dorey Diab, President of North Central State College stated, “A major objective of this grant is a continuous and strategic emphasis at the college to expand and support student learning, enrollment, and completion in an environment that is continually changing to enhance the social and economic mobility of our students, and the prosperity of our community.”


About Title III Grant Program

The program helps eligible institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Title III Funds may be used for planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management, and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion.

North Central State College receives approval for Bachelor of Science in Nursing

North Central State College has received approval to confer a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) as a completion degree for students who have completed their Associate Degree in Registered Nursing.

Approval for the completion program was granted to allow NC State to continue working closely with area healthcare providers to meet the critical need for nurses, and the advanced training required for career advancement.

Dorey Diab, President of NC State has been eager to share this news and begin serving our community partners at this new level. “NC State has always been a leader in preparing Licensed Practical and Registered Nurses. This will allow our students to progress to the bachelor’s level in a place they feel comfortable, with faculty they know — and who know them. I’m proud that our College is one of a handful of community colleges in Ohio who are now granting bachelor’s degrees. Our BSN degree will be affordable, providing tremendous value for our students and their families. I’m also proud of the teamwork this proposal and approval has required. Our community partners, and the residents they serve, will realize the benefits of today’s decision very quickly.”

Students who wish to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing will begin their studies in Fall 2023. Registered Nurses who would like additional information can fill out an interest form at www.ncstatecollege.edu/bsn.


Degree Drives Grad to Automotive Career

As the job market becomes more competitive, the importance of getting an education increases.  It’s one of the many reasons Hayes Bentley started early and enrolled in the College-NOW program at North Central State College. Those experiences lead him to multiple internships for worldwide companies like Tesla and Marathon Petroleum.

“NC State prepared me for my future career by helping me build a strong engineering background while still in high school,” Bentley explains.  “The combination of taking fundamental engineering classes and completing various engineering projects allowed me to be a strong, confident engineer.”

Bentley enrolled in the College-NOW engineering program from 2018-2019 while attending Northmor High School simultaneously.  He says he chose NC State specifically for the engineering program, “It was one of the best decisions I ever made as I was able to gain valuable experience while also developing a great baseline of skills before entering a four-year university.”

He graduated with his associate degree in Integrated Engineering Technology in 2019.

“North Central gave me a baseline knowledge of how Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) function and their role in the industry,” he says.  “I learned how to critically think about problems and how to solve them like an engineer.”

Bentley says he enjoyed the project-focused classes.  “Many of the introductory engineering classes focused heavily on the practical aspects of engineering, while some classes I have been in later in my college career have been theoretical.”

In the College-NOW engineering program, instructors assign projects to students to help them gain hands-on knowledge that will help them in their future careers.  In one class, students learn how to make small-scale electric vehicles.  “This class was the most beneficial for me,” he says.  “Even though I made some mistakes, I truly believe those mistakes made me a better engineer.  That class was the reason why I was selected for internships at Tesla and Marathon Petroleum.”

Bentley has gained experience with both internships as an Information Technology Application Developer intern and a Process Automation and Controls intern at the companies.  “My daily responsibilities included writing code that will directly interface with hardware in the field,” he explains.  “I work primarily with PLCs and the additional devices that interact with them.”  He has recently accepted an internship at Tesla as a data engineer on the cell engineer team in Austin, TX.  “I am extremely excited for this opportunity at Tesla and cannot wait to continue to apply my skillset.”

He is currently attending The Ohio State University and is expecting to graduate in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.  He plans to attend graduate school for his MBA.

As for anyone considering the engineering program at North Central State, Bentley says it is a critical decision in pursuing a career in STEM.  “Taking engineering classes such as DC/AC circuits and statics helped me build a well-rounded knowledge base before I entered my four-year university program,” he says.  “Additionally, completing complex engineering projects at NC State helped me become more confident in my skills as an engineer.”

“My experience at North Central State College has opened doors and allowed me to have many opportunities I didn’t think were possible for myself.”