Other News & Events

Producing Powerful Women Engineers

Only about 5.8% of engineers in the United States are women.  That’s a statistic that helps motivate Emily Keller, a manufacturing technology operations management (MTOM) student at North Central State College.

While working at a local factory she admired the work being done on large machines by the engineers.  “After I had my daughter, I went back to working second shift and worked alongside some of the engineers in the factory,” Keller explains.  “Watching them work and how they operated, fascinated me.”

Keller, a single mom, knew she wanted a better life that would provide her with the training she needed to make her goals a reality.  She enrolled in classes at North Central State College and has been working towards that goal ever since.

“The classes I have taken so far have been amazing.  I’ve learned how to read blue prints, how to use a 3-D printer, and so many other skills I need for my future career,” Keller says.  “I’ve learned so much about software and how the machines work.”

Women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, although to a lesser degree than in the past, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences.

Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.  Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (62%) and biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences (48%) and relatively low shares in engineering (15%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%).

As for being a woman in a predominately male career path, Keller says she sees it as an advantage.  “I have a lot of classes where I am the ONLY female in my class,” Keller says.  “I would tell any female looking into being a part of the MTOM major to not be afraid.  Trust your gut.  You can do anything you put your mind to, whether it’s a male dominated career or not.  I believe I have found my true passion.”

Nearly 100% of NC State graduates in this field are employed.  There is a growing need for graduates with drafting and design skills.  The MTOM program teaches hands on skills that employers need.

Beginning in fall 2019, students may also enroll to complete the Bachelor of Applied Science Mechanical Engineering Technology, the first bachelor’s program approved for NC State College.  The coursework continues the hands-on learning concepts developed in partnership with area businesses.

“I was very interested in engineering.  If you have that motivation, pursue it,” Keller encourages.  “There are so many people at North Central State College that will help you get through it and help you succeed.  Once you make those connections, especially at this college, they are for life.”

Kehoe Grand Prix

Five teams of students enrolled in the College-NOW engineering Academy put their capstone projects on the road this morning at the Kehoe Center in Shelby – literally – competing in the Kehoe Grand Prix.

Each team has been building an electric vehicle throughout the year. They began by researching and designing the types of vehicles they might want to build, including frame, steering, braking, gearing, power and drive options – and the optimal combination to provide the best overall performance and energy efficiency.

The Kehoe Grand Prix was designed as an endurance race with a one-hour time limit. Each team’s vehicle, driven by team members, navigated a five turn circuit laid out in the parking lot at the Kehoe Center. The team completing the most laps in 60 minutes was the Mario Cart team of Caleb Butler, Noah Blum, Spencer Welch and Mayalana Wilson. They completed 6X laps in their vehicle.

“It’s been a great experience,” Welch says.  “Even if you don’t go into engineering, which a lot of us are doing, this program has prepared us for this task.  It’s 100% worth it.”

Four of the five vehicles finished the entire hour of racing. The fifth was sidelined early with a mechanical failure.

Dr. Dorey Diab, president of North Central State College was present for the event, “This is a terrific example of what we do here at NC State. These students, who are all still in high school, combined their study of numerous engineering concepts to build vehicles powered by batteries that just ran for more than an hour. This is a great moment for them as they complete their education in College-NOW. I look forward to handing them their college diploma next month from NC State, even before they graduate with their high school diploma.”

online freedom

Life is busy. With work, family, and other obligations, a quality degree may seem out of reach. North Central State Online is here to help! Our online degrees and certificates are designed for students with busy schedules so you can take the next step toward your future without sacrificing the things most important to you. North Central State Online is committed to providing students with an educational program that is accessible, achievable, and affordable.

Find out more HERE

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TAG – Comedian & Juggler Marcus Monroe

Tuesday, April 9, 12:30-1:30 pm, Eisenhower Student Union, 2nd Floor Eisenhower Center

Marcus Monroe is a New York City-based, award-winning comedian and juggler. His show is a high-energy blend of innovative juggling with in-your-face comedic banter riddled with awkwardness. He has recently appeared on The Late Show, HBO, MTV, Netflix, and Comedy Central. Most recently he has performed at Bonnaroo, TedxBroadway, and Outside Lands alongside with Neil Patrick Harris. This upcoming year Marcus will be releasing his full hour comedy special. Marcus communicates heavily with his fans on social media and has over one million unique views on YouTube.

PN Students Success in Crawford

The opening of the Practical Nursing lab at the Crawford Success Center is providing many opportunities for students.

Emily Christy, practical nursing student, spoke about the blossoming program and the possibilities for her future career.  She explains, “I know a lot of us started maybe not knowing exactly what path we were going to take and I think the majority of us have decided to move forward now after starting the practical nursing program.”

The new medical training lab officially opened in November 2018 when the first cohort of eight students began classes.  Christy says, “We are the first PN students to come out of the Crawford Success Center.  I think it has been a fantastic opportunity and I am sure all of my classmates would say the same.”

“The facility is gorgeous.  The staff and instructors have been incredible working with us.  This is really our first taste into nursing.”

For Sara Cress, a student at the Crawford Success Center, it’s a chance to advance her career as an STNA while taking classes in her own backyard in Bucyrus.  Cress is no stranger to hard work and dedication.  She says, “I was the first of five generations to graduate from high school.   I was able to get my STNA and then after a 15-year break I decided to come back and continue my education.”

Cress is a mother of five children.  Taking classes at North Central State College’s Crawford Success Center was something she was able to work into her busy schedule.  “I looked at some other schools for the PN program, however, they were offering classes that would take 4-5 hours a day and that wouldn’t work for me.  My children are a priority and my husband works the night shift,” she explains.  “I was able to walk into the Crawford Success Center and ask questions.  They explained it to me step by step and here I am now.”

Crawford County is a close-knit community and the Success Center likes provides the same feel for its students.  Dawn Fagan, the practical nursing instructor at the center grew up in Crawford County.  She says it is important for the community to have easy access to higher education.  “Students can now gain a career that will last them a lifetime, by starting in Bucyrus.  Some of the students also want to continue into the registered nursing program so this allows them to go to the main campus to get the rest of the RN program experience,” she says.  “I believe that the close-knit atmosphere here helps them to be successful in the program.”

“We are looking for people who are excited about healthcare,” Fagan encourages. “People who want to become a nurse and want to help others.  We have everything here at North Central from Crawford County to the main campus.  We work together.  We collaborate so we have all the resources that a student needs to help them succeed in the nursing program.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Practical Nursing Program at North Central State College go to https://ncstatecollege.edu/certificates/practical-nursing/ or at the Crawford Success Center https://ncstatecollege.edu/crawford-success-center/.

OTA Students Refresh Recess

Educators, researchers, and parents are realizing how important recess time is for a student’s development.  North Central State College Occupational Therapy Assistant students are using a program called Refreshing Recess which focuses on embedding strategies throughout the day to help all children become mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home and in the community.

The OTA students have brought the initiative into the Colonel Crawford Local Schools.   During the six-week program students from the occupational therapy assistant program meet at Hannah Crawford Elementary School during recess to provide activities meant to bring the students together as a unit.

Cindy Cornell, Occupational Therapist and Fieldwork Coordinator at NC State explains how the program is impacting the students. “The program itself is really centered on children’s positive mental health experiences,” she says.  “So making sure that kids learn ways to work together, build friendships, learn social skills, and how to interact with one another is important.”

OTA students at NC State College learn how to help those whose lives have been disrupted by a developmental or learning disability, a physical injury or illness, aging, as well as social and/or psychological challenges.

“We’ve done activities like a giant tug of war, obstacle courses, and even a parachute activity,” Cornell says.  “We work on a lot of teamwork that makes the kids feel included and a part of recess.  There are studies that show students learn better when they get recess.  It’s important for the physical activity and gives them a break in the day.  So if we can make them productive and positive, they tend to engage more in the classroom.”

Refreshing Recess has helped the students immensely since day one.  Cindy Voss, principal at Hannah Crawford Elementary is grateful for the partnership between the school and North Central State College.  She says, “The Occupational Therapy assistant students are giving us some great ideas of what we might want to try with our students later and implement into our recess program.”

“It’s been a program to help kids develop ways of including everybody at recess.  If someone is sitting by themselves, they are now encouraged to engage and feel included, and that’s one of the main goals of the program whether we are having indoor or outdoor recess.”

Voss says the OTA program with NC State students has also has changed some of the mundane activities the students are used to during recess. “They run, play kickball, and climb on the climbers.  That’s great but there are some kids who get bored with those types of activities and it’s great to change it up a bit.”

Alli Sparr and Zachery Danner are both OTA students participating in the program.  Alli says, “We are implementing occupational therapy into what we are teaching the kids.  We are trying to get all of them involved and engaged.”

Danner says they are able to use the curriculum they learned in the classroom.  “We are implementing the OT process into it,” Danner explains.  “We get the students involved in teamwork.  They are more engaged and it seems to be working very well.”

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program plans to continue the Refreshing Recess activities in the future.

Learning happens at all ages

It’s never too late to follow your dreams. At 56 years old, Boris Cooke began a new journey towards his degree at North Central State College.

After several jobs at local businesses, he realized he wasn’t reaching his full potential. “Some of the employees at my previous jobs were making more money than me, however, they were doing the same job. Most of them had their degrees or certifications that I didn’t have,” Cooke explains. “I wanted to go to school and be the first in my family to get a degree.”

In 2013, Cooke went back to school. That’s when he met Chris Barker, Assistant Professor of Industrial Technology. After a long conversation, Cooke enrolled in the Manufacturing Technology Operations Management program.

Barker applauds Cooke for his hard work and determination to improve his life. She says, “Boris has grown a lot and his skills have improved significantly. He is very motivated and has a heart for people. He has also helped motivate the other students to finish their studies. He is very inspiring.”

Within the program, Cooke has utilized the virtual welding machine at the Kehoe Center. The computer-based training system is an educational tool designed to allow students to practice their welding technique in a simulated environment.

“I’ve been working on the virtual welding system a lot,” Cooke says. “You can see everything virtually through the helmet and it helps to guide you through the training. It shows you how to weld safely, then it grades your performance. It has helped me improve my skills so I can be prepared for the workforce.”

“The program is great,” Cooke explains. “There’s nothing you can’t do. You just have to strive and want to do it.”

Cooke has utilized the many programs North Central State College provides to help students succeed. He frequents the tutoring center. “I can’t always study at home,” he says. “I have grandkids running around and many distractions. Also, sometimes my computer isn’t compatible with the programs so I visit the tutoring center for help.”

Cooke is also a member of TRIO, a federally funded grant program through the U.S. Department of Education. It provides and coordinates a variety of educational services for students who are first-generation, low income and/or students with disabilities. Cooke says the TRIO staff was instrumental in his success as a student. He says, “The staff and Barb Keener have both been a huge strength behind my learning. I couldn’t have done this without their support.”

Cooke will graduate in May 2019. “North Central State College has helped me make better decisions for my life,” he says. “It’s good to know that there are people that can help if you want to be helped. There is tremendous support from instructors and they never give up on you.”

Internships lead to rewarding careers

Internships can help put students on the fast track to finding a career they love.  Just ask Tansy Stahle, a visual communication and design student at North Central State College.  She recently had an internships at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  As a VCMT student, she was required to find an internship to complete her degree.

“I loved it.  I was able to get out of the classroom and apply the skills that I learned,” Stahle explains.

She and three other students were chosen as a team of interns at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  During the week they would complete office work and make graphics for social media.  “During the week we would have a list of things we needed to accomplish by a deadline.  We got a lot of real world work experience as interns at the company,” Stahle says. Then the fun would begin on the weekends when the team would take pictures at events and post across the social sites for the business.

Stahle also used her classroom experience.  “Our instructor Lynn Damberger taught us to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  Those are all applications I used daily at my internship.  I also got to edit videos, which I learned how to do in the classroom as well,” Stahl says.

“My internship has prepared me in a lot of ways.  Now I know what I am capable of doing.  I feel like I have gone from a student to somebody that can do a graphic design job … like a caterpillar to a butterfly,” Stahl explains.

“I think it’s important for students to have an internship.  It has help me bridge the gap between being a student to being out in the workforce.  Now I know what to expect when I am searching for a job.”

After graduation Stahle plans to find a career in marketing or video production.  She says, “I am really just trying to put myself out there and find something new that I enjoy doing.”


North Central State College wishes to announce that it will host a site review for continuing accreditation of its Associate Degree Nursing Program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

You are invited to meet the site visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled at 4pm on Wednesday March 6th, 2019 in Room 116 of the Health Science building on the NCSC Main Campus.

Written comments are also welcome and should be submitted directly to:

Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850

Atlanta, GA 30326


Or e-mail: mstoll@acenursing.org


All written comments should be received by the ACEN by February 27th, 2019. *

Achieving the Dream

On June 5, 2018, Jimmy Rodriquez’s entire life changed in just a few minutes. It was the day the U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) raided the business he worked for in Castalia, Ohio.

Rodriguez and his father, Eliseo, were part of the raid that found 114 undocumented workers. He was born in Mexico. He and his family came to the United States when he was two years old. Rodriquez has his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permit. However, his father was listed as one of the undocumented workers. That was the moment; Rodriquez became the sole provider for his mother, Beatriz, and his two younger brothers.

“At the moment, my whole life was destroyed. I was heartbroken,” Rodriquez sadly explains.

He had graduated from Willard High School only two days before the raid. He planned to study mechanical engineering at North Central State College. However, the money he had set aside for college was now needed to help take care of his family to survive.

“I had planned on going to NC State. I was working a lot of hours, and with that money, I was going to be able to pay for at least a year, maybe two of college. After this happened, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to further my education,” he says.

When Steve Cummins, vice president of Mansfield Engineering Components, heard Rodriquez’s story he knew he wanted to help. Rodriquez was offered an apprentice-like position at the company. For Jimmy this was the opportunity he needed, “I’m excited to learn from the engineers about design and the mechanical side of it too.”

In addition to the job opportunity, an anonymous benefactor stepped up to pay for Rodriguez’s tuition at North Central State College.

“This means the world to me,” Rodriquez says. “I felt like there was no hope, but I had to keep pushing. Now with this opportunity, I will keep going.”

He will work fulltime at Mansfield Engineering Components while attending classes to get his associate degree in mechanical engineering, eventually earning his bachelor’s degree.

With the help and support of his family and the community, Rodriquez will now be able to achieve his dream.