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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!”

Permanent Resident, DACA, or Immigrant Students

DACA, Permanent Resident, and Other Visa Holders

We welcome all students at NCSC!  However, whether you are an undocumented student, Permanent Resident, or DACA recipient, we will need certain documentation from you to determine if you are eligible for in-state tuition or possibly financial aid. Below you will find information specific to your situation. Click on the heading that applies to you and let us know if you have any questions. Our office can be reached at studentrecords@ncstatecollege.edu.

  • These instructions are for refugee, immigrant, asylee, and any other students granted permanent residency in the United States by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).If you are waiting for results of an immigrant petition/pending visa petition with USCIS but not yet adjudicated, please refer to the “Other Visa Holder” process below.

    Step 1: Apply

    Apply by completing the online application. You will need to indicate you are a non-citizen. You will be able to enter a permanent resident number, but will still need to send your documentation to our office.

    Step 2: Submit Proof of Immigration Status

    To determine Ohio residency classification for tuition purposes, submit a copy of the documentation verifying your current immigration status in the United States (both sides of Permanent Resident/Green Card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, or Visa Stamp on passport) to studentrecords@ncstatecollege.edu. Print your name and student ID number on the documentation you send.

    Step 3:  Take a Placement Test, or Submit Test Scores and/or Transcripts

    Submit an official copy of your final high school transcript or GED to our Admissions office as soon as possible. Email your transcript or GED to admissions@ncstatecollege.edu or mail to North Central State College, 2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield, OH 44906.

    You may need to take the Accuplacer placement test to determine your course placements.

    Step 4: Advising Appointment/Complete an Orientation

    Next, a Success Coach will walk you through the rest of the enrollment process.  Call the Student Success Center at 419-755-4536 to schedule your testing or advising appointment.  During your advising session, we will review program requirements and plan your first few semesters of courses.

    Step 5: Registration and Payment

    Once registered, payment will need to be made. You may be eligible for financial aid and in-state tuition based on your specific status. In-state tuition will be determined by what documentation you provide as well as the amount of time you have lived in the state of Ohio.

    Information regarding financial aid can be found here (PDF). It is always best to ask these questions directly with our Financial Aid office.

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students are welcome to pursue their education at North Central State College. Our staff and faculty are committed to help you reach your goals. Please be aware though that undocumented/DACA students could have difficulty completing certain programs of study. Programs that require a practicum or licensure such as Nursing, may be restricted to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents based on Ohio statute or regulation. Contact your academic advisor for more information.

    Step 1: Apply

    Apply by completing the online application. You will need to indicate you are a non-citizen. If you are asked to enter a social security number, you can use 999-99-9999.

    Step 2: Submit Proof of Immigration Status

    To determine Ohio residency classification for tuition purposes, submit a copy of your I-797 Notice of Deferred Action (approval notice only) from USCIS to studentrecords@ncstatecollege.edu. Print your name and student ID number on the documentation you send.

    If your Deferred Action has already expired, you can be admitted to North Central State College, however, you will not be considered eligible for Ohio residency classification and your tuition fees will be calculated at the international student tuition rate.

    Step 3:  Take a Placement Test, or Submit Test Scores and/or Transcripts

    Submit an official copy of your final high school transcript or GED to our Admissions office as soon as possible. Email your transcript or GED to admissions@ncstatecollege.edu or mail to North Central State College, 2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield, OH 44906.

    You may need to take the Accuplacer placement test to determine your course placements.

    Step 4: Advising Appointment/Complete an Orientation

    Next, a Success Coach will walk you through the rest of the enrollment process.  Call the Student Success Center at 419-755-4536 to schedule your testing or advising appointment.  During your advising session, we will review program requirements and plan your first few semesters of courses.

    Step 5: Registration and Payment

    Once registered, payment will need to be made. DACA students are not eligible for any federal government financial aid programs (i.e. Pell Grants, student loans, Federal Work Study). You are encouraged to apply for outside funding that does not require U. S. citizenship, such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and Latino Dollars for Scholars.

  • Please be aware that our school does not participate in the F-1 International Student program and will not enroll any F-1 visa holder.A student is considered Non-immigrant if they meet one of the following:

    • Hold a valid non-immigrant visa/status in the USA, such as F-2, H1B, J-2, L-2, etc.
    • Are “undocumented” with no immigration status
    • Are under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
    • Are “pending permanent resident” or “pending aslyee” (application for permanent residency or asylum status has been submitted to USCIS but has not yet been adjudicated)

    Step 1: Apply

    Apply by completing the online application. You will need to indicate you are a non-citizen. If you are asked to enter a social security number, you can use 999-99-9999.

    Step 2: Submit Proof of Immigration Status

    To determine Ohio residency classification for tuition purposes send copies of your current immigration documents to studentrecords@ncstatecollege.edu. Examples of immigration documents include: passport page, visa, I-94 (arrival/departure document), DS-2019, and/or other documents concerning your current immigration status. Print your name and student ID number on the documentation you send.

    Step 3:  Take a Placement Test, or Submit Test Scores and/or Transcripts

    Submit an official copy of your final high school transcript or GED to our Admissions office as soon as possible. Email your transcript or GED to admissions@ncstatecollege.edu or mail to North Central State College, 2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield, OH 44906.

    You may need to take the Accuplacer placement test to determine your course placements.

    Step 4: Advising Appointment/Complete an Orientation

    Next, a Success Coach will walk you through the rest of the enrollment process.  Call the Student Success Center at 419-755-4536 to schedule your testing or advising appointment.  During your advising session, we will review program requirements and plan your first few semesters of courses.

    Step 5: Registration and Payment

    Once registered, payment will need to be made. You will not be eligible for any federal government financial aid programs (i.e. Pell Grants, student loans, Federal Work Study). You are encouraged to apply for outside funding that does not require U. S. citizenship.

Choose Ohio First Scholarships

Choose Ohio First Scholars at NC State

Choose Ohio First (COF) provides scholarships for students pursuing degrees in STEM+M programs, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine. Choose Ohio First Scholarships target these professions and encourage students to pursue training in these demanding fields. NC State offers a number of Certificate and Associate Degree programs that are eligible for COF awards including:

Alumni Spotlight

From NC State Bioscience to Cornell University

As part of her financial aid package at NC State, Kelly 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. Now she is completing her Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Click here to read her complete story. (PDF)

    • Students enrolled in an eligible STEM+M program beginning with your first-term of enrollment at NCSC past high school or current students moving from pre-health classes into their program studies.
    • COF scholars must have a 3.0 high school GPA, 165 on both English and Math GED, or WorkKeys scores of five on each test for Adult Diploma graduates.
    • Students must apply to NC State and submit their high school (or equivalent) transcripts for consideration.

    • COF awards are renewable as long as funding remains available from the state of Ohio.
    • Scholars must remain continuously enrolled (summer optional) in one of the eligible programs.
    • They must maintain a 3.0 cumulative college GPA by the end of their second enrolled semester to continue the scholarship.

    • Choose Ohio First is funded by the State of Ohio
    • Awards range from $1,500 to $2,000 per academic year toward tuition.
    • Students must enroll for a minimum six credits per semester.
    • There is no family income limit for the scholarship.
    • FAFSA is not required, but encouraged, to assist students in finding all available financial aid.

    • North Central State College has been honored to participate in the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program for more than 10 years. COF scholarships have helped thousands of students train for in-demand jobs and rewarding careers.

Lt. Gov. announces Tower Technician Program

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted made a stop at North Central State College today for the announcement of a new Tower Technician Program at the James W. Kehoe Center in Shelby.  The certificate program is a partnership between NC State College and Governor Mike DeWine’s Office of Workforce Training (GOWT).  North Central is one of three sites selected across the state for this new training program.  The goal of the Tower Technician Program is to provide a reliable stream of qualified employees to support the expanding 5G networking needs of multiple utility providers throughout Ohio.

Lt. Gov. Husted believes the addition of the Tower Technician Program will play a crucial part in keeping our state up-to-date with new and improving technology.  “We have a lot of opportunity in our state to grow this industry.  This is the next generation opportunity to expand the 5G Network and high-speed internet,” he explains.  “With all of us working together in collaboration it allows us to get this done and our educational programs are an essential element.”

Dorey Diab, President of NC State was pleased the college was chosen, “The Kehoe Center is perfect for the Tower Tech program.  We have the space available and numerous laboratories already in place to support the training required. In addition, we’re excited to work with new industry partners to provide the qualified workforce they require. NC State is always striving to adapt to meet the evolving needs of our regional partners.”

The Tower Technician Program is in response to the substantial workforce shortage in several industries.  The program at North Central State College will prepare tower technicians for employment by providing training on numerous fronts including installation, maintenance, and repair on towers, antennas, microwave dishes, and lighting systems.  Students will learn how to perform routine inspections and tests while practicing safety on all levels.

“The program is serving a critical need, giving people the skills they need, and will also lead to great paying careers,” Husted said.  “Individuals who complete the program can earn $50-$60,000 in the first year on the job.”  The areas of training will include safety, basic rigging and fall protection, CPR/First aid, OSHA, RF awareness, capstan hoist, defensive driving, cell component, antenna basic, and NWSA certification training.

Those interested in the Tower Technician Program should visit ncstatecollege.edu/certificates/tower-technician/  or contact the North Central State College Admissions Team at 419-755-4761 or admissions@ncstatecollege.edu.

Rewarding Careers Helping Others

In these tough times, nurses are needed more than ever.  As cases continue to rise from COVID-19 the nation is also battling a healthcare worker shortage.  Nurses are an integral part of the health care team and students in the North Central State College nursing program are eager to get out into the field and help those in need.

Sidney Cassidy is one of those students, eager to help and knows she was born to be a nurse.  “I’ve wanted to be one since childhood,” Cassidy explains.  “I am the oldest child in my family so it was just natural for me to have a caring personality.  Being able to change somebody’s life in the tiniest aspect, makes it that much more fulfilling.”

She is currently pursuing an associate degree in registered nursing at North Central State College.  “I had a child young, so going to a four-year college was not in the cards for me,” she says.  “North Central is allowing me to have the same education, as a four-year institution.  I can take some classes at home and still be able to be a mom and work full-time.”

Cassidy says the faculty and staff at NC State are very accommodating and understand the needs of the students.  “They just know that when students are coming to North Central they are not only coming to get an education but they also have a life outside of it,” she explains.  “Some of us have families and jobs.  We also have other things that are not just school and they understand.  They try to help you through as much as possible.” She says nursing school is tough but appreciates the one-on-one instruction and connection she can get with a small class size.  “They get to know you by your name, but just by a seat in the classroom.”

Cassidy is a mom with many responsibilities, one of the most important is being a good example for her daughter.  “When I first got my stethoscope to start the program, my daughter kept telling everyone I was already a nurse,” she says with a smile.  “I am bettering myself to better her life in the long run.  I want her to see that just because I had a child young it did not stop me from pursuing my dream”

One hundred percent of NC State grads seeking employment in nursing are employed.  In fact, many nursing graduates are employed before they graduate.  Some of our graduates are also encouraged by their employers to continue their education.  For Cassidy, she hopes to get a position at the Cleveland Clinic.  “The Cleveland Clinic would be a great hospital to work for and that is my end goal,” Cassidy says.”

She is on track to graduate in the spring of 2022.

Small Business Big Rewards

Computers continue to change throughout the years, but the education one student received from North Central State College prepared him for the skills to keep up with the changing times.

Jason Eagleston is the owner of Richland PC and graduated with an associate degree in Information Technology – Networking in 2010.  This degree teaches students how to create, administer and secure servers and networking infrastructures while earning information technology certifications.

“The classes I enjoyed the most were programming and network security.  I had so many great teachers while attending North Central,” Eagleston explains.  “It is also close to home for me and offered classes I needed to prepare me for my future.”

Eagleston has been working with computers for over 20 years now.  “Computers have really changed over the years,” he says.  “Service packs used to be released every two years and now it is every month.  In addition, all of these transfer devices are cloud-based. The college was very valuable in the sense that it taught me to continue researching and keeping up with the trends.”

“The knowledge I received from the college included how to diagnose network issues, what programs to use, and skills for this type of market. I can now take apart a laptop and replace the motherboard in less than 12 minutes.”

He worked for Dell as a service technician for many years, traveling across the state replacing parts for computers.  He later opened Richland PC which has been operating for over five years in Ontario, Ohio.  Richland PC is a full-service computer repair company that specializes in computer repairs, virus removal, data recovery, networks, and business service as well as website and web services.

Along with running his own business, Eagleston has also developed software that is used in businesses involving medical transportation.

“North Central also prepared me for running a business,” he says. “I would not have known about some of the resources to take advantage of for small businesses if it was not North Central.   The college definitely pushed me in the right direction for my future.”