The COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago. What a year it’s been.
At North Central State College, we have been steadfast in our commitment to keeping our students, faculty and staff safe during the pandemic, while at the same time encouraging our students to continue toward their educational goals. Our faculty and staff worked tirelessly to teach and support our students. And our students have persevered under extremely challenging conditions.
In addition to supporting students in the classroom, we are helping them connect to community services and partners that provide support for their emotional and physical needs, such as housing, food, utilities, and access to technology, while they continue their studies. These connections have become crucial to helping many students stay in school and make progress toward their dreams.
We’re proud that so many NC State alumni have provided leadership in healthcare, social services, business and safety forces during these challenging times. This spring, more than 310 graduates will join their ranks, and enter the local workforce as employees of myriad companies and institutions as they embark on rewarding careers. For the first time this spring, eight graduates will receive a bachelor’s degree from North Central State College.
Tomorrow’s leaders are training right now
The employment needs of area businesses are far greater than these new graduates can fill. As we all embrace the post-pandemic recovery that seems to be developing, now is the time for students to prepare to enjoy the benefits of that recovery – by training for a better job. There are dozens of ways to begin your education – some lead to associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees. But there are dozens of programs that lead to certificates, and industry-recognized credentials and these programs can often be completed in a few weeks. These programs equip students with skill that prepare them for good jobs with great companies – and there are a lot of jobs available throughout the region.
Tremendous scholarships are available, and more are in the planning stage
Investing in your future through education has never been more affordable, because so many sources of grants and scholarships are available to students of all ages – whether they are seeking a short term certificate or a degree. This year, NC State has awarded more than $7.5 million dollars to students through federal, state and local grants and scholarships.
Additional support for education funding is occurring at the state and federal level, and there is renewed interest in many areas:
- Aligning student resources for students to provide access to more underrepresented students.
- Ensuring that the education students receive is affordable, so they are not burdened with high levels of college loan debt. At NC State, only one in five students require a student loan to pay for their education.
- Perhaps most importantly, that graduates receive skills that are needed in the workforce today, so that there is a clear connection from training opportunities to career opportunities.
Moving forward together
I have confidence in our future, and know that the skills we have learned as a result of COVID-19 can be enhanced as we move forward. This fall, NC State will return to more face-to-face learning. But we will also continue offering the flexibility of online learning to students who are carving out time for their education in addition to meeting work and family commitments.
Our students require this flexibility. Their learning styles are changing so we must continue to evolve. We must adapt what we teach, where we teach, when we teach, and how we teach.
North central Ohio needs NC State to provide graduates who are ready to go to work and be productive, as well as graduates who can transfer to another school and complete an advanced degree. No matter which path they choose, NC State will provide quality instruction while helping them save thousands of dollars on their education.
NC State is committed to providing valuable and affordable access to higher education for students throughout north central Ohio. We continue to change and adapt, as we continue to celebrate the success of every graduate.
North Central State College is truly the right college for right now!
2021 is a time for hope and a time to act. It’s time to take the first, positive steps toward a brighter future – for you, for your family, and for our community.