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Pathway Program Offers Seamless Transition

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North Central State College offers several transfer options that allow students to finish their associate degree and keep their earned credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

Angela Persky’s obtained her associate degree quicker and transferred all of her credits using the North Central State College to Franklin University pathway.  This unique option allows NC State students pursuing degrees in business management, marketing, and accounting to complete their bachelor’s degree at the Kehoe Center in Shelby or online.

Persky says it was a seamless experience.  She worked with an advisor to find the courses she needed to complete her associate degree and transfer for full credit.  She chose the associate of applied business – business administration major.  “Classes were on matters essential to business today such as human resources, logistics, and excel gave me instant real-world application and benefits.”

After graduation from NC State in December 2019, Persky continued with the 3+1 pathway program that allows students to transfer up to 94 semester hours from NC State College toward a bachelor’s degree from Franklin University. “The pathway has been extremely beneficial to me,” she says.  “NC State offers many classes that provide needed flexibility for working adults.  My classes also received the maximum transfer credit to Franklin through the pathway program.”

For students at North Central planning to continue their education towards a bachelor’s degree, Persky strongly recommends this pathway.  “It has been extremely cost-effective for me,” she explains.  “North Central’s tuition is about one-third the cost as other universities, which saved me approximately $22,000 in tuition for a four-year degree.”

“The application to Franklin University was easy.  I would encourage students to transfer credits each semester to closely monitor the overall progress toward their degree.”

Persky will graduate from Franklin University with her bachelor of science in management and leadership in the spring of 2021.  “I plan to apply the knowledge I have obtained through my education to advance the vision and mission of the Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc where I currently work.”


Welcome Back!

Everyone at North Central State College has been working to meet the educational needs of our students while maintaining the safety of everyone.

While some things are changing, our commitment to provide support for you as you continue toward your goals will not change.  We’re ready to help you learn, strive to succeed, and I know your persistence will pay off!

Thank you for your effort, and for joining us at North Central State College.

Dr. Dorey Diab, President & C.E.O.
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Before Coming to Campus

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When Students Arrive on Campus

  • You will be required to enter through a single door for each NC State Building
    • “A1” at Fallerius
    • “A1” at Byron Kee
    • “A2” at Kehoe Center
    • “A1” at Health Science (“C1” for faculty at Health Sciences)
    • “B1” at the Crawford Success Center.
  • Upon entering, your temperature will be taken.
  • You will be required to wear a face mask.
  • You will be asked a series of travel and health screening questions.
  • If you complete the health screening successfully, you will be given a wrist band that will need to be worn for the rest of the day. This visual will signify that you have been screened, however, your temperature will be taken each time your enter a building.
  •  If you answer yes to any of these questions, or if your temperature is above 100.4° F, you will be asked to fill out and submit an expanded form at https://ncstatecollege.edu/health-travel-information/

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Throughout the day while on campus

  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet of spacing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. Use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth throughout the day.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Get plenty of rest, and practice good hygiene habits.

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Learning Environment Fall 2020

  • Whenever possible, classes will be taught in a distance learning format.
  • You will have access to advising, tutoring, financial aid, student records, admissions, career services both online and in person. We encourage you to reach out via phone and email first to see if your needs can be met without meeting face-to-face.
  • Similarly, instructors will provide opportunities to meet one-on-one remotely, or in-person if necessary, to assist you in your studies.
  • Keep classroom doors open whenever possible.
  • Don’t share classroom materials.
  • Water fountains are closed. Bring your own water with you.

infographic of person with face mask

Hands-on learning environment

  • Many programs at NC State require laboratory work, and clinical experiences. We have prepared lab spaces to accommodate students safely, building physical barriers between work stations in some labs, and increasing space between students in other areas.
  • You will be required to wear masks while in laboratory settings.
  • Hand sanitizer and/or hand washing stations will be provided for your use upon entering and before
    exiting the laboratories.
  • Instructors will disinfect any work stations used between classes.
  • Deep cleaning of all laboratory spaces will occur every evening.

For a printable PDF of this information go to: NCState_Fall2020_reopeningV2 (PDF)

Virtual Admissions Event

North Central State College

NC State College Admissions Sessions

Now it’s time to plan for the next step in your education. If we can answer any questions, join us for our Admissions Session on Zoom with NC State College Recruiter April Gregory.  Register by choosing a date below.

No matter where you want to go, you can get there from here.

This online Zoom informational session with NC State Admissions representatives will provide details on:

  • Affordable tuition
  • Scholarship and grant opportunities to those who qualify
  • Transferable credits
  • Financial Aid process
  • Enrollment steps to become an NC State student

Link to Zoom session provided to those who register.

Admissions Session @ 1 p.m.

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CARES Act Emergency Grants FAQs

NC-CARES Emergency Grants Frequently Asked Questions

If you were enrolled in classes on March 16, 2020 and have current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file, there is a good chance you are eligible to receive assistance. These funds were made available as the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We have created the following opportunities related to this funding:

  • Spring degree and certificate graduates will receive a $200 check for their efforts.
  • Students who re-enroll in summer or fall can receive up to $1,200 on top of other financial aid.
  • Students with immediate basic needs may also request a special small grant by filling out a brief application. Please note these funds are limited, and we ask that students consider the weight of their needs before applying.

If you have any questions not answered below, please email nc-cares@ncstatecollege.edu, or call 419-755-4730.

  • These are emergency student grants from the federal stimulus CARES Act designated to assist students disrupted by the COVID crisis during spring term.

    • Paying tuition and fees.
    • Other living expenses such as food, housing, vehicle repair, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.

    • Students enrolled at NC State College as of March 16, 2020 in a major eligible for federal financial aid. The CARES Act requires these students be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program. College Credit Plus students are not eligible. Currently enrolled students must be making satisfactory academic progress in line with federal financial aid rules – including grades for spring term.
    • The student must have a complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the college. Even if a current FAFSA is not on file, a student can still file a FAFSA for fall term. Note that an individual may first wish to check basic eligibility requirements for filing a FAFSA, which includes submission of a high school diploma, GED or equivalent credential.

    Finally, students that were enrolled as of March 16 in a designated fully online program are ineligible per the CARES Act rules. These students would have had a special designated advisor (Brad Dunmire of Casey Kelley) during spring term.

    • NC State does offer other avenues for assistance, though these are more limited than funds from the CARES Act. These include an emergency loaner laptop program, on-campus food program and a small emergency grant program run through the NC State Foundation. Further, NC State is working to develop additional scholarship assistance to persons impacted by the crisis – especially for certificates. We encourage all interested persons to inquire through nc-cares@ncstatecollege.edu even if they feel they do not qualify for CARES grants.

  • Most post high school students will be automatically eligible by virtue of having filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) – even if not awarded a Pell grant. The eligibility data required by CARES is part of that filing. Students enrolled in spring term that do not have a current FASFA on file are encouraged to complete a new one.

  • As long as a student has a last day of course attendance of March 16 or later, and maintains satisfactory academic progress, withdrawal should not impact their ability to take part. However, they would still need to re-enroll for summer and/or fall terms.

    • Spring degree and certificate graduates (financial aid eligible programs only) will receive a $200 payment. This will include spring petitioners whose graduation was delayed until summer due to inability to complete clinical or practicum courses. Certificate graduates had to have been majoring in their certificate, and not a related degree.
    • Post high school students from spring term who enroll in summer or fall will receive an automatic formula distribution based on their enrollment and Pell eligibility. This distribution will be in addition to other financial aid or scholarships. Course attendance will be verified over the first portion of the term, after which students will receive the payment. Students can only receive this stipend once, even if they attend both summer and fall. The majority of CARES funds have been directed to this formula distribution.

    Distribution Formula

    How the funds will be disbursed

    Term Enrollment Level: Full-Time (greater than or equal to 12 credits)
    Pell Eligible: $1,200
    Not Pell Eligible: $800
    Term Enrollment Level: Three-quarter (7-11 credits)
    Pell Eligible: $1,000
    Not Pell Eligible: $600
    Term Enrollment Level: Half-time (6 credits)
    Pell Eligible: $800
    Not Pell Eligible: $400
    Term Enrollment Level: Less than half (less than 6 credits)
    Pell Eligible: $600
    Not Pell Eligible: $200
    • A smaller amount of CARES funds have been set aside as a small emergency grant for basic needs for students enrolled in spring who continue onto summer and fall. Students are asked to fill out an application and take part in a short meeting to help best meet their needs. Students can receive both a small discretionary grant and the formula distribution, though the amount of discretionary grants is limited.

  • Payments to spring graduates will be processed prior to ending of the term. Students receiving the formula award must maintain enrollment through the first part of their terms to qualify. For the discretionary grant, students must be enrolled or at least registered for summer or fall terms.

  • To maximize this award for the greatest number of people, we ask that requests be reasonable.

  • NC State has made the policy decision to allocate the majority of CARES Act funds to the formula distributions for summer and fall. Therefore, we have allocated approximately $40,000 toward small discretionary grants to meet immediate basic needs prior to the start of summer or fall terms. We ask that students weigh their needs versus those of others when considering these special requests. Further, students in NC State’s TRiO Student Support Services program are asked to first access emergency grants available through that program.

    • Yes, if you choose too. NC State is developing a form that will allow students to indicate the intention to apply all or part of the grant to tuition. This will soon be available online.
    • As noted earlier, the formula grant is not disbursed until after the start of the term. However, NC State is willing to discuss flexibility to holding fall registrations past the standard cancellation deadline for students that wish to apply their formula grant. Students must contact the NC State cashier’s office at 419-755-4722 or cashier@ncstatecollege.edu to make arrangements for payment plans.

    • Spring graduate petitioners eligible for the $200 award will have checks mailed to their home address.
    • Discretionary grant requests will be processed as soon as possible. To speed the request, the application provides options to set up the short telephone or Zoom meeting to best determine needs and additional supports. Please note that as NC State employees are working from home this summer, checks are run once a week.
    • Formula grants for enrolled students in summer and fall will be disbursed in the first half of the semester once attendance patterns have been verified. Since awards are partly based on level of credit hours, it is important for students to maintain enrollment and participation in their classes to avoid being dropped.
    • While the NC State campus is closed, checks will be mailed to a student’s address of record.

  • The Internal Revenue Service has provided information for students who receive money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES Act) program to assist students with expenses incurred as a result of the CORVID-19 closure of the college. For more information, click here.

  • May 8, 2020

    To: All NC State Students (post high school) enrolled for the Spring 2020 Semester

    From: Dr. Dorey Diab, President and CEO

    Re: Announcement of CARES Act funding for NC State Students

    Congratulations on the successful completion of your studies for Spring 2020. It was certainly an unprecedented term in many ways, and I am proud of you for adapting and maintaining your commitment to your education.

    As you finish finals this week, we are finalizing the plans for disbursing emergency grants provided to our students in the COVID-19 Stimulus Package approved by the federal government. These funds were made available as the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). If you were enrolled in classes on March 16, 2020 and have current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file, there is a good chance you are eligible to receive assistance. We have created the following opportunities related to this funding:

    • Spring degree and certificate graduates will receive a $200 check for their efforts.
    • Students who re-enroll in summer or fall can receive up to $1,200 on top of other financial aid.
    • Students with immediate basic needs may also request a special small grant by filling out a brief application. Please note these funds are limited, and we ask that students consider the weight of their needs before applying.

    We invite you to visit our website to review the Frequently Asked Questions about the CARES Act which explain all of the details of the distribution of funds. Funds can be used for a variety of living expenses, including payment of tuition and fees. We would be happy to help you align a portion of your CARES Act award to continue your education, including summer term that starts May 20th. Finally, you can still file a FASFA to become eligible for CARES grants – regardless of whether you qualify for a Pell grant.

    In closing, welcome to your summer break. Our faculty and staff will continue working remotely and doing all we can to meet your needs. We are planning to provide lab and clinical experiences required for students as the summer begins. And we have tentative plans to provide some in-person classes this fall (as allowed by the state of Ohio). Many students are telling us they are becoming more comfortable with distance learning and the flexibility it provides.

    I encourage you to continue believing in yourself, believing in your dream of a college education and a better life, and most importantly, to continue working during these current challenging times. The effort you invest today will prepare you for a brighter future – and I believe that future will be here very soon.

    I am proud of you all, and look forward to seeing on campus very soon!

    Well done one and all,

    Dorey Diab, Ph.D.

    President & CEO

    North Central State College

    Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction

    1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. North Central State College submitted the signed Certification and Agreement for the student aid portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to the Department of Education on April 14, 2020. The Grant Award Notification was received on April 21, 2020. North Central State College intends to use at least 50 percent of its total CARES Act funds to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students. The entire agreement is available here. (PDF)
    2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. $705,064
    3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter). As of 9/2/2020 – $304,150
    4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of 9/1/2020 – 736 Students
    5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of 9/2/2020 – 622 Students
    6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. See “Distribution Formula” and “How will funds be distributed” above.
    7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. This information is provided in numerous sections above.

NC State is the right college right now!

No matter your situation, NC State has a lot to offer.

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Every student is unique, and at NC State we’re working hard to support our students as they continue working toward their goal of a college education. If you have any questions, contact admissions@ncstatecollege.edu.

    • College Credit Plus and College NOW provide college credit while still enrolled in high school
    • Successful CCP students are offered Tuition Freedom Scholarships
    • Tuition Freedom Scholarships are available for CCP students who meet the TFS guidelines. You could complete a certificate or associate degree tuition-free.
    • NC State offers CCP classes in more than 55 area high schools, online and in-person on our campus in Mansfield, Shelby and at the Crawford Success Center in Bucyrus.
    • The CCP credits you earn while in high school can save you thousands of dollars when you transfer to college after you graduate from high school.

    Click Here  for more information about College Credit Plus at NC State.

    • Don’t take a gap year. Often, students who step away from continuing their studies, have trouble regaining their educational momentum.
    • If your plans are changing during the current crisis, consider staying close to home, and earning quality, transferrable credits – at NC State at a fraction of the cost per credit hour compared to other colleges and universities.
    • We’re committed to helping you secure all the financial aid for which you qualify.
    • In addition to traditional financial aid, we are working to provide new awards for students pursuing short-term certificates and providing emergency funding through the NC State College Foundation and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the federal government.
    • If you took College Credit Plus courses while in high school, you may qualify for a Tuition Freedom Scholarship from NC State – allowing you to earn a certificate or associate degree tuition-free.
    • NC State offers individualized service and support to every student.

    Click here for more  information about available programs and enrolling at NC State!

    • If you’ve been dreaming of a new career, now is the time to pursue that dream. The right certificate or degree can change your life for the better.
    • With more than 60 degrees and certificate programs available, you can update your skills or retrain for a new career.
    • We’re committed to helping you secure all the financial aid for which you qualify.
    • In addition to traditional financial aid, we are working to provide new awards for students pursuing short-term certificates and by providing emergency funding through the NC State College Foundation.

    For more information tailored to the needs of adult students, click here.

    If you would like more information about online learning, click here.

  • COVID-19 has upended our lives. As summer begins we have more questions than answers about the future and when we can all regain some normalcy in our lives. Higher education has been upended too.

    But many institutions are responding and evolving. North Central State College is one of those responding to meet the changing needs of so many. We are committed to keeping students safe while providing them the opportunity to continue their pursuit of a college education.

    For more than 50 years, NC State has been the community college for north central Ohio, preparing tens of thousands of graduates for demanding jobs in manufacturing, business, public service and health care. We’ve also been quietly providing quality credits for thousands of students who are transferring to colleges and universities throughout Ohio with two-fold benefits – accelerating their journey to a college degree and saving their families significant amounts of money as they pursue that goal.

    It’s this second role – providing quality college credits that are guaranteed to transfer to other Ohio institutions – that is perfect for today.

    If your current plan to attend a college or university is uncertain, we offer certainty. Take credits close to home that will transfer and allow you to resume your original enrollment plan without losing a semester, or an entire year, of momentum toward your degree. NC State is affordable, flexible and the credits you earn are transferable.

    If your employment has been interrupted and your future employment seems less certain, we offer certainty. We have tens of thousands of alumni who are deemed essential, even critical, employees, proudly serving the needs of others in health care, safety forces, business and social services throughout the community.

    If the commitment to enroll in a long-term educational program makes you feel uncertain, NC State certificate programs may provide both confidence and certainty. We have dozens of certificates, some that can be completed in a few weeks.

    If you’re uncertain about taking classes online, you need to know how distance learning has changed. Online classrooms today closely resemble in-person classes. You see your classmates, and interact with them, participating in lively discussions with each other and your instructors. If you are still unsure about online education, NC State plans to offer in person instruction and a hybrid mixture of online and in person instruction this fall.

    If paying for college makes you uncertain, NC State has assembled numerous sources of grants and scholarships that provide financial assistance for the majority of our students. NC State’s affordable tuition, coupled with a commitment to help you find sources of financial aid, has resulted in less than 1 in 5 students needing to borrow money to complete their education. In comparison to universities, community colleges have become the “undergraduate scholarship option” to pursue higher education affordably.

    Whether you stay with NC State for a class, a semester, a certificate or a degree, we are here for you and we will help you get exactly what you need to move forward. NC State now offers a baccalaureate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology in addition to dozens of associate degree and certificate programs.

    Those who prepare today will be poised to succeed as the country regains momentum.

    America is the land of opportunity. We have overcome countless obstacles throughout history. I believe COVID-19 will become another challenge that  Americans have risen to meet and overcome; joining countless wars, recessions, natural disasters and crises which have brought us together as a people and made us stronger as a nation.

    NC State is working to be the right college for right now – for each student – for as long as they need us.

    We would welcome the opportunity to explore your needs with you, and return a little certainty to your college education!

    For more information tailored to the needs of adult students, click here.

    If you would like more information about online learning, click here.

TFS Helps Family Focus on Future

Aliyah Burton, a liberal arts major, began her college experience in College Credit Plus (CCP) classes and soared from there.  “My family heard about the CCP option while I was in high school, and we ultimately decided on NC State College because it was close to home, had a lot of options for classes and career paths, and we like the possibility of being able to finish my associate degree through Tuition Freedom after high school.” She completed 20 credit hours of college while still in high school through CCP, which allowed her to qualify for TFS.  By doing so she has been able to complete credits toward her bachelor’s degree tuition-free.

Burton comes from a family of 13 kids and her decision to attend North Central State College has positively impacted her family.  “We have to be creative about the ways we can make higher education work while making sense financially,” she explains.  “NC State has been incredible, and the scholarships they offer have been very helpful as I have made decisions for my future.”

Three of Burton’s younger siblings have now been able to take on-campus classes through CCP.  She says that having the college-level work in high school has set them up for success in a unique way.  “They each have a different path than me, meaning that they might not all transfer to another school or pursue a career like me.  But that is the best part about North Central – it is an option that sets all my siblings, with their unique passions and career plans, on the path leading towards excellence and success.” She has even been able to take a few classes with her sister, Sarah.

Burton Family of 15 poses in front of the camera together for family photo.

Burton says her instructors through the CCP program have been outstanding.  “I appreciate the way instructors have recognized the position of high school students, while still having college-level expectations from them and wanting to excel,” Burton explains.  She says her English Composition classes were the most effective classes she took in preparing her for future college courses.  “Beth Franz and Scott Smith both taught me writing skills that will never be irrelevant in the world of higher education.  I also loved the element of researching and analyzing information for those classes.”

She says NC State is the reason she is now able to transfer to a 4-year university to finish her bachelor’s degree debt-free with honors.  “It was an extremely affordable option for me, but beyond financial benefits, the ability to participate in the Honors College and establish relationships with students on campus was invaluable,” Burton says.  Not only is she part of the Honors College but also Phi Theta Kappa and has worked as a tutor at the Tutoring Center.

For those still looking toward their future goals, Burton says she would encourage others to look at North Central as an important part of their career path, not just their educational path.  “Whatever your future goal may be, I am confident North Central has an option that would be a good fit for their path.  For me, it was the first half of my bachelor’s degree and experiences that were invaluable to my career,” she explains.  “For others, (NC State) offers all-inclusive degrees that can send students directly into the workplace.  Keeping a future-oriented mindset was helpful for me, and the advisors are excellent in keeping students’ future hopes and goals as the priority.”

“I loved my time at North Central State, and a good part of that was due to the open attitude I had towards growth and learning; this gave me good relationships with my instructors and other students.  Mindset is everything!  My final encouragement would be, go for it!”

After graduation, Burton plans on transferring to Liberty University in Virginia to complete her bachelor’s degree in strategic communication.


Koepke named new Criminal Justice Program Coordinator/Instructor

North Central State College has hired David Koepke as program coordinator and instructor for the criminal justice program.  Koepke recently announced his retirement as Chief of Police from the Bucyrus Police Department after 31 years.

“It has been an enjoyable and rewarding career to serve the citizens of Bucyrus,” Koepke said during his announcement at the Bucyrus City Council meeting.  “This teaching position is a fantastic opportunity to continue the calling to serve in a new role in helping students realize their potential and provide a critical service to area communities.”

Koepke worked his way from patrol officer in 1989 to chief of police.  He has also served as an instructor of the Owens Community College Police Academy.  Koepke says he is most excited about joining NC State College because of the opportunity to guide students and prepare them for successful careers in criminal justice.  “One of the traits of a criminal justice professional is being a lifelong learner out of necessity as the issues they face are constantly evolving. Building positive relationships within and among partner organizations and the public is critical to being part of a strong organization and having career satisfaction.”

He cares most about the people he has served, an example of that is Operation HOPE, a program created through the police department. It is a police assisted addiction recovery initiative that helps people struggling with addiction and drug abuse connect with community resources.  Addiction is another problem cadets will face when they serve communities, and the success of that program within Bucyrus is another example of the great leadership Koepke can bestow on North Central State College students.

“Serving as a peace officer and in criminal justice is a calling to help others, work with people, build relationships, keep the peace, address community problems and work on solutions,” Koepke says.  “North Central State College police academy has an excellent reputation preparing area students for careers in law enforcement.”

Koepke is eager to transition to NC State College to begin a new chapter in his career.  He says he hopes to connect students with local law enforcement, “I look forward to networking with area chiefs and sheriffs in the region to encourage hiring North Central State College graduates and identifying future leaders of their departments that might consider continuing their education towards leadership by completing their associate degrees.”

He will join the staff at NC State College on August 13, 2020 and will be instructing three criminal justice courses in the fall semester.  He will work alongside Police Academy Commander Brad Copeland to become acclimated with the academy duties during the school year.

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Congratulations graduates. You did it!

Your college education didn’t end quite the way you expected. But then again, perhaps it did. You made it. You completed your program. You graduated. Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishment.

As graduates you join thousands of NC State alumni who, during this time, are on the front lines working in healthcare, public service and as first responders. As you move into the world as a college graduate, my wish for you is that your education makes a difference in your life, as you make a difference in our community.

Changing lives and transforming communities is central to the mission of North Central State College. I look forward to the time we celebrate your graduation.

Well done one and all,

Dorey Diab, Ph.D.
President & CEO
North Central State College

Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction

Life Experience Leads to Passion

Through her life experience, Meri Etzwiler found her passion.  She wants to be able to make a difference in others’ lives who may be struggling.  Etzwiler is a human and social work services student at North Central State College.  “I want a career where I can see that I matter to people,” she explains.  “I want to see people improving with smiles on their faces and help make a difference.  It’s important to me.”

Etzwiler has struggled with mental health issues, including substance use disorder, since she was a teenager.  She experienced a lot of tragedy, including the death of her sister.  She felt her life was spinning out of control and began using alcohol as a coping mechanism.  “I never learned any positive coping skills, that is where things hurt me in my life.  I didn’t know how to deal with stress and trauma,” Etzwiler says.  Now in her 40’s, she wants to help people learn that help is available.  That’s why she chose to study human and social work services.  “I want people to know they are not alone.”

Human and social work services is a profession that focuses on helping children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of needs, such as mental health, substance abuse, physical disabilities, and more.  Graduates with an associate degree can be certified as an assistant social worker through the state of Ohio.

Etzwiler tried college several other times before finally finding her place at North Central State College.  While visiting the college as a job shadow with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, I stopped in the TRiO office.  “I didn’t know programs like that existed for students, especially students like me.  It made me realize that if there is this kind of support here I could go back to school and I can graduate.”

The TRiO Student Support Services program provides a variety of educational support services for first-generation students, low-income and/or students with disabilities.  The purpose of the program is to increase college retention, graduation and transfer rates for eligible members.

“I have been through a lot on my own and I have always been able to relate to counselors and social workers who helped me through tough times,” Etzwiler says.  “I know there are some challenges where I will have to be able to separate my experiences from the experiences of my clients.  I feel like those life lessons have helped me empathize and understand what others may be going through.  I know the difficulties people face.  But I know I can’t solely rely on my experiences, that’s why it’s incredibly important to get the education so I can help others in the right way.”

She says she feels comfortable talking to others as a peer but she is looking forward to learning more about the technical side of social work and human services.  She wants to learn as much as she can about being a professional clinician and to work as a member of the treatment team.

“I have two main instructors that are in human and social work services department, Molly McCue and Christine Lynch.  I consider them to be the utmost professionals and I feel fortunate that I get to learn from them,” she says.  “I feel like after I finish my studies, I can contact them and ask for guidance and advice.”

Etzwiler will graduate in the spring of 2021.  She is currently working on completing her chemical dependency course and will be eligible to get a certification for a chemical dependency counseling assistant.  She is planning on continuing her education following obtaining her associate degree.  “I am excited about getting into the field and making as much of an impact as I possibly can on others’ lives.”