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COTC

DITATION
Central Ohio Technical College

Self-Study
Executive Summary
Spring 2008
Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

S i gn if i cant C han ges & Ac comp l ishme nts s in ce 19 98

PRESIDENT In May 2004, Dr. Bonnie L. Coe, vice president and dean of faculty, was appointed as
interim president, and in June 2004, she was named the first president of Central Ohio
Technical College.

REORGANIZATION In 2007, the president initiated a series of organizational changes to increase effectiveness,
facilitate program delivery, and reflect current academic and organizational priorities. Lines
of authority, responsibility, and accountability were clarified to create an enterprising core
leadership team capable of pursuing the vision, and pivotal administrative functions were
centralized to streamline operations.

STATE-OF-THE- The John L. and Christine Warner Library & Student Center — Scheduled to be completed in
ART FACILITIES July 2008, the new library and student center will feature 25,000 square feet of library
space. The student center will include a modern food court, student affairs offices, student
organization space, a learning commons, various
lounge and activity areas, and a new bookstore.

EXTENDED Coshocton — In 2003, the site was approved by the Higher Learning Commission as a full-
CAMPUSES service campus. In 2008, campus functions were relocated to the renovated facility,
Montgomery Hall. The facilities include 15 new classrooms, laboratory
space, a lecture hall, a nursing laboratory, and a distance learning classroom.
Knox County — For more than 22 years, classes have been offered in Knox County. In
winter 2007, the Knox extended campus began offering a limited number of classes in Ariel
Hall, a former movie theater building donated to the college. The facility is under
renovation, so classes will continue to be conducted in multiple locations within the county
until renovation work is completed.
Pataskala — In autumn 2006, COTC began offering classes in Pataskala. Student
enrollment has consistently exceeded all projections since then. In December 2007, the
college established a Pataskala Campus Advisory Board of community leaders to engage
the community in the planning and development process.

TECHNOLOGY More than $2.2 million has been invested in instructional equipment in recent years.
UPGRADES Upgrades included extensive improvements to the Newark campus infrastructure,
significant investment in Digital Media Design technologies and facilities, comprehensive
radiology suite renovations and equipment, and the expansion and enhancement of
extended campus computer labs and infrastructures.

GATEWAY The Gateway is another indicator of the college’s responsiveness to growth. The one-stop
student service design incorporates three primary areas: Advising, Admissions, and
Customer Services. The goal is to provide efficient, responsive student customer services.

EXPANDED The college’s academic offerings have expanded from the initial six fields of study to
ACADEMIC include 18 associate degree programs with 31 majors/options and 14 certificate programs.
PROGRAMS Nineteen new programs of study were added since 1997-1998.

INTEGRATED In December 2005, COTC purchased Datatel Colleague. It supports automated, institutional
INFORMATION business processes, convenient web access, and self-service for both students and
MANAGEMENT employees. Once Colleague is fully implemented, users will have convenient access to
business-critical historic transaction data. The Degree Audit module, scheduled for
SYSTEM
autumn 2008 implementation, will allow COTC to track course number changes through
an automatic Course Equate process.

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Central Ohio Technical College | Self-Study

INTRODUCTION
Securing the Future
This Executive Summary includes highlights from the 2008 Self-Study for The mission of Central Ohio
reaccreditation, which was submitted as formal application for continued accreditation Technical College is to meet
by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Accreditation, the technical education and
which occurs on a ten-year review cycle, is critical to the college for a number of training needs of students
reasons: it ensures the quality and integrity of programs and services, allows students and employers in the area.
to transfer credits to other accredited colleges and universities, enables students to
obtain financial aid and veteran’s services, and allows the college to participate in
projects funded by federal grants.

The 2008 Self-Study report captures the results of an intensive, two-year process that
involved more than 90 students, faculty, staff, and community members. The report
demonstrates that Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is a strong, vital organization,
with a meaningful mission that guides all college decisions, strategies, and services.

The Self-Study emphasizes the college’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities, along
with its commitment to secure the future of the students, faculty, staff, employers, and
communities served. It demonstrates that COTC is a future-oriented organization
focused on learning and access, with a clear vision. It shows how the college remains
connected to its constituents and reveals the distinct identity that pervades everything
the college does. It includes three change requests to recognize the Pataskala and Knox
County sites as full-service campuses, permit the college to offer full degree programs
online, and authorize the establishment of degree sites anywhere within the service
district.

The full Self-Study report provides a comprehensive and public view of the college that
reflects its mission and values, how these are carried out through programs and
services, and how they are documented and evaluated. The report is available through
the office of the vice president for institutional planning and human resources
development or at http://www.cotc.edu/cotc/SelfStudy/selfstudy.asp.

College Profile
The college has changed significantly since the last site visit. In 2004, for example, COTC merited statewide
COTC merited statewide recognition as the fastest growing technical college in Ohio recognition as the fastest
and national recognition for its 16 percent annual growth rate. Unique partnerships and growing technical college in
collaborations help the college thrive. Ohio and national
recognition for its 16
The college has been accredited since 1975, and its legal service district includes Licking, percent annual growth rate.
Knox, and Coshocton counties within central Ohio. Student enrollment has increased
from 1,716 students in 1998 to more than 3,100 in 2007 (75 percent). The percentage of

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | SECURING THE FUTURE PAGE 3


Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

female students has increased from 65 percent to 73 percent, and a greater ratio of
students attends full time (increasing from 38 percent in 1998 to 47 percent in 2007).

Student body demographics have changed during the past ten years. The college’s total
minority population has grown from 6.53 percent in 1998 to 9.49 percent in 2007. In
the autumn term of 2007, the college drew students from 39 of Ohio’s 88 counties and
enrolled 104 students from 33 other countries. The average student age is 27 years.

We are setting an example Central Ohio Technical College shares a campus with The Ohio State University at
in the state as a cost- Newark. The two institutions have complementary missions and a collaborative
shared campus that works. relationship that benefits all. The co-located status significantly increases the range of
facilities and programs the community and COTC students, faculty, and staff can access
Jerry Besanceney, Chair and utilize. While the governance, mission, curriculum, and faculty of each institution
Ohio State Newark Board remains autonomous, an annual cost-sharing agreement designates shared costs for
select personnel, facilities, operating expenditures, and capital equipment investments.

Cost-shared departments provide services to both institutions; these include building


and grounds, athletic programs, technology services, business and finance, the library,
human resources, purchasing, the Child Development Center, career services, student
support services, financial aid, development, marketing, and public relations.
Currently there are over 180 staff members who work for both institutions and whose
positions are cost-shared.

N ineteen ne w pro g rams o f stud y we re added s in ce 1 997- 1998 .

Advanced Manufacturing Technology — Machining Electrical Trades Technology


(revised 2007) Forensic Science Technology
Business Management Technology — Software
Human Services Program — Gerontology Option
Applications Option (renamed 2007-2008 Office
Administration Option) Human Services Program — Gerontology Certificate
Business Management Technology — Marketing/Sales Law Enforcement Technology
Option Nursing Technology — Practical Nursing One-Year
Digital Media Design Technology Program
Digital Media Design Technology — Digital Graphics Nursing Technology — State Tested Nurse Aids (STNA)
Option Certificate
Digital Media Design Technology — Game Design Surgical Technology — Surgical Technology
Option Alternative Delivery Two-Year Associate Degree
Drafting and Design Technology — Civil Design Option Surgical Technology — One-Year Certificate
Early Childhood Development Technology — Early Surgical Technology — One-Year Certificate
Childhood Development Option Alternative Delivery
Early Childhood Development Technology — Teaching
Option

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Central Ohio Technical College | Self-Study

Se le cted Compa r iso ns: A Sta t ist ica l S umma ry of T hen and N ow Student enrollment has
increased from 1,716
students in 1998 to more
STUDENTS 1998 2007
than 3,100 in 2007.
Total Enrollment 1,716 3,105
% Full-Time 37.82% 47.09%
% Part-Time 62.18% 52.91%
By Campus
Newark 1,571 2,021
Coshocton 45 427
Knox 80 345
Pataskala 20* 312
Diversity (%)
% Men 35.26% 26.70%
% Women 64.74% 73.30%
% Non-Ohio Residents 0.64% 0.39%
% Black/African American 3.50% 6.73%
% American Indian/Alaskan Eskimo 0.64% 0.64%
% Asian/Pacific Islander 0.82% 1.22%
% Hispanic 1.57% 0.90%
Total % Minority Students 6.53% 9.49%
FACULTY & STAFF (FTE)**
Regular Faculty 45 60
Part-time Faculty 96 168
Exec/Admin/Mgr 17 24
Other Professionals 37 57
Clerical & Secretarial 26 41
Service & Maintenance*** 6 4
FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Budget
Total Revenue 7,442,819 19,711,348
State Appropriations as % of Revenue 51.5% 38.9%
Total Expenditures 7,431,008 19,705,783
Tuition & Fees 3,177,000 10,390,401
FACILITIES
Classroom Space (in square feet)

Newark 14,183 19,779


Coshocton (Montgomery Hall) N/A 12,692
Knox (Ariel Hall) N/A 3,150
Pataskala N/A N/A
Laboratory Space (in square feet)
Newark 31,385 30,117
Coshocton N/A 3,730
Knox N/A 866
Pataskala N/A N/A

*The college offered four introductory computer classes at Pataskala in 1998.


** Faculty and Staff statistics are based upon Autumn 1999 and Autumn 2006 IPEDS data.
***Most Newark campus service and maintenance employees are cost-shared and are paid by The Ohio State University. As
such, they are not included in the COTC IPEDS report.

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

CRITERIA FOR EXCELLENCE


Criterion 1 | Mission & Integrity
The mission documents The mission of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) reflects the college’s vision,
define the college and serve values, and goals. It is central to all college endeavors, including budgeting, planning,
to distinguish it from all degree and non-degree programming, development, and expansion. The mission
other two-year and documents define the college and distinguish it from all other two-year and technical
technical colleges. colleges. In 2007, a formal review process was conducted to evaluate, refine, and
update these pivotal elements to ensure they anchored the college to the present and
positioned it for success. At a time when many Ohio technical colleges were revising
their missions or dropping the word “technical” from their names, the college
reaffirmed its commitment, retained its name, and expanded its technical programs.
Since June 2004, the president has communicated a clear vision for the college to define
long-term aspirations.

Strengths
• The mission accurately reflects the college today and into the future. The mission
is succinct, widely disseminated, and readily understood by both internal and
external constituents.
• Multiple critical operations (e.g., strategic planning, budget, human resources,
etc.) are now overtly mission driven, and the relationship between mission and
operations is continuously reinforced and improved.
• The college values integrity as demonstrated by personnel, student, and fiscal
accountability policies and procedures.
• The college recognizes a diverse community of learners and has implemented
policies and practices that create an atmosphere of mutual respect and an
appreciation of differences.

Challenges
• The mission documents should clearly reflect the college’s demonstrated
commitment to diversity.
• The college must continue to find meaningful ways to convey its awareness of
and responsiveness to the issues of diversity in today’s global economy.
• As has been noted, internal communications have significantly improved during
the past five years. The challenge will be to sustain and further refine internal
communication venues and pathways.

Opportunities for the Future


• The college has engaged in a comprehensive review of the mission documents.
The mission was reconfirmed in 2007. The review of the vision, values, and goals
offers an opportunity to involve both internal and external constituents, elicit
feedback, and communicate about the current state and future directions for the
college.
• The new organizational structure provides clear accountability and requires
cabinet-level collaboration to accomplish strategic objectives, respond to current

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needs, and anticipate and prepare for an environment that is constantly


changing.

COTC M iss ion Do cument s

Mission The mission of Central Ohio Technical College is to meet the


technical education and training needs of students and employers in the area.

Vision To be the number one technical college in the state of Ohio both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Values In achieving its mission, the college embraces the following values:
1. Broad access to all programs offered by the College.
2. High ethical standards of honesty, professionalism, and fairness in all operations and
transactions.
3. Continuous improvement of the quality of all its programs and operations.
4. The professional development of students, staff, faculty, and administrators to assist
them in achieving their maximum potential.
5. Community service and the protection of the environment.
6. Maintenance of a healthy economic environment, by targeting access to
employment.
7. Innovation in technical education programming and delivery.
8. Student centered and market sensitive college operations.
9. Prudent fiscal management.

Goals Central Ohio Technical College is committed to fulfilling its mission by striving:
1. To provide high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to
current and emerging employment needs.
2. To provide an appropriate core of general education for technical programs.
3. To provide course work and support services to meet the needs of the under prepared
student.
4. To establish articulation agreements with secondary schools and institutions of
higher education facilitating the transfer of credit for courses and programs.
5. To design and provide site-specific workplace training and development programs to
meet the needs of employers.
6. To provide continuing professional education opportunities.
7. To provide credit and non-credit programs to meet the personal growth and quality
of life goals of the community.
8. To be proactively involved in community economic development.
9. To provide opportunities that enhance students’ personal, professional, leadership,
and cultural development.
10. To establish services that support the academic programs and the larger mission of
the College using innovative, efficient processes that have a student-centered focus.

Mission, Values, and Goals — Approved by the Board of Trustees, August 20, 1995

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

Criterion 2 | Preparing for the Future


The average student-to- Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) has a strong commitment to its future and that
teacher ratio is 17:1. This of the community. This commitment is unwavering and accommodates changes in
highly desirable student- college governance and evolving strategies for translating the mission into action.
to-teacher ratio creates
inviting classroom One of the most significant changes occurred in May 2004, when the college appointed
experiences and its own president. This change enabled the college to focus on growth and academic
opportunities for individual programming and maintain a strong, positive working relationship with The Ohio State
academic success. University at Newark. Since then, the college has focused on expanding access to
technical education, providing rigorous academic programming, and solidifying its
financial position. Enrollment growth is an important mission-driven goal. The Ohio
Board of Regents Higher Education Information (HEI) reporting system documented a
continued record enrollment for autumn 2007. Expansion into the service areas
through the extended campuses in Coshocton, Knox, and Pataskala further
demonstrates its commitment to access. The number of faculty has grown and more
than 81 percent hold doctorate or master’s degrees.

The approach to and priorities for higher education in Ohio are evolving. Nonetheless,
the college has strengthened its overall financial position, which allows it to recruit and
retain high-quality faculty and staff, provide a high-quality teaching and learning
environment that includes state-of-the-art technology and instructional materials,
and reinvest reserve funds into development and growth.

St udent body et hnic and ra cia l compos it ion is s ignif icant ly mo re d iverse
tha n the homo geneous th ree- count y se rv ice reg ion .

ETHNIC/ TOTAL WHITE BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN ASIAN/PACIFIC HISPANIC OTHER


RACIAL GROUP AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKAN ISLANDER
NATIVE
COTC Autumn 3,105 84.77% 6.73% 0.64% 1.22% 0.90% 5.73%
2007

Service Region 95.7% 1.6% 0.3% 0.5% 0.7% 1.3%

Strengths
• The college values continuous improvement and assessment, has processes in
place to support these functions for both academic and institutional operations,
and continues to develop means to organize and manage them.
• The college and its faculty, staff, students, and constituents benefit from the
cost-shared, co-located relationship with Ohio State Newark. Shared personnel,
operations, and capital facility and equipment expenses reduce costs and improve
management efficiency and effectiveness.
• COTC is a technology leader and significant investments help the college
effectively deliver state-of-the-art technical education. Improvements include a
10 Gigabit fiber network, secure campuswide WiFi network, technical support

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for students, staff and faculty, and online course delivery through a streaming
server.
• The college has many state-of-the art buildings and facilities. Both the Reese
Center and the Warner Library and Student Center offer leading edge
technological capability. Montgomery Hall on the Coshocton campus was
renovated and opened in January 2008. Ariel Hall on the Knox campus will be
renovated following the completion of the capital campaign in May.
• Access has been a strategic focus since 2001, and while the extended campuses
are one of the best examples, the college has employed a range of access
strategies. These include online registration, the development and online
delivery of a significant number of courses, online service support and delivery,
and a firm commitment to maintaining affordable tuition.
• The college is in solid financial standing with adequate reserves, solid financial
ratios, and a ten-year history of positive annual operating performance to
budget. The college is in full compliance with state fiscal requirements under
Ohio Senate Bill 6. This performance has allowed the college to aggressively
pursue compensation initiatives, expansions and improvements in both facility
and academic offerings, and a competitive position related to technology.

Challenges
• The college is rurally located in an ethnically homogeneous service area. Exposing
students, staff, and faculty to ethnically and culturally diverse events and
environments remains a challenge.
• Providing the same caliber of face-to-face services and similar state-of-the-art
facilities and technological capacity at all extended campuses will be a budget and
planning challenge for the college.
• A key to success will be funding, structuring, and delivering high caliber profes-
sional development for all full- and part-time faculty and staff on all campuses.
• In August 2007, the governor announced the creation of a University System that
encompasses all public two- and four-year institutions. This system focuses on
student access and collaboration among colleges and universities, but the impact
on higher education and individual institutions is unclear. It is imperative the
college find ways to understand, integrate, and respond to this new strategy for
higher education.

Opportunities for the Future


• The college uses a variety of means for promoting institutional effectiveness, and
it must take advantage of opportunities for centralizing and standardizing
planning, continuous improvement, and assessment processes.
• The three-year faculty agreement ratified in autumn 2007 created a sense of
continuity and stability. It established performance and quality standards for
faculty rank and promotion. Implementing this agreement offers opportunities
for quality improvement and enhanced collaboration between faculty and the
administration.
• The college is committed to creating a strategic plan that includes all its stake-
holders. This Self-Study and the research and findings it prompted throughout
the college will be the cornerstone of a more traditional, detailed strategic plan.

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

Criterion 3 | Student Learning & Effective Teaching


Learning assessment is Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) provides effective teaching and learning to meet
faculty driven, and the the technical education and training needs of students and employers. This
college is committed to an commitment is reinforced by strategic and tactical planning, faculty development
assessment culture. opportunities, learning assessment techniques, exceptional student services, and
appropriate financial resources.

Learning assessment is faculty driven, and the college is committed to an assessment


culture. It has defined assessment in a clear, meaningful way; benchmarked existing
assessment activities, tools, and strategies; evaluated and refined existing student
learning outcomes; and fostered communication to support outcome-based
assessment. It has supplied essential resources to improve teaching effectiveness and
learning assessment activities.

The Student Learning Assessment Steering Committee (SLASC) is the coordinating body
for academic assessment. The co-chairs have the option for reassigned time to support
focused efforts and continued improvements, and they have access to and meet
regularly with critical decision makers, such as the vice president for academic affairs,
regarding assessment strategies.

Curriculum des ign and st udent learning assessme nt a re


inte grated p roce sses .

Curriculum Design & Learning Outcomes


• Program faculty and academic administrators develop and submit
• Plans of study
• Program learning outcomes
• Course syllabi
• Curriculum committee reviews submission and makes recommendations
• Vice president for academic affairs conducts review/issues final approval

Analysis
• Program faculty and academic administrators collect and analyze
internal/external data for “next step” or revisions to “current step”

Learning Assessment
• Program faculty and academic administrators develop and submit
• Program Master Assessment Plan
• Program Annual Report
• SLASC reviews submission and makes recommendations
• Vice president for academic affairs conducts review/issues final approval

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Strengths
• Learning assessment is faculty driven, and a substantial infrastructure is in place.
The process promotes vital integration of curriculum development and learning
assessment processes and helps to ensure strong communication between
curriculum development and learning assessment personnel.
• The college has well defined learning outcomes for General Education and for
each technical program.
• The college provides students with extensive options for and access to support
services.
• A structured plan for faculty development is in place.
• All programs incorporate ample real-world experiences designed to enhance
student learning and contribute to successful employment.

Challenges
• Additional training and development will be necessary to support faculty and
ensure continuous improvement of learning assessment and teaching
effectiveness.
• Many faculty members find student advising to be a challenge. A plan is in place
to provide development opportunities to support faculty in fulfilling advising
responsibilities.
• Technical services are too limited during non-business hours and on the
extended campuses.
• Though having cost-shared program labs is cost efficient, non-class-related
access to the labs can be challenging due to conflicting class schedules.
• Like many institutions, COTC makes tough decisions to balance institutional
priorities and budget capacity. The college must continue to ensure all critical
operations are properly staffed.

Opportunities for the Future


• The college’s commitment to continue to improve upon and to institutionalize
learning assessment and teaching effectiveness represents both a challenge and
an opportunity for creative solutions.
• While the college has an established track record with Distance Education, online
degree program options represent a new frontier and offer opportunities for
expansion and fulfillment of the access mission. The change request to offer
degree programs online has been submitted; when it is approved, the plans need
to be translated into continued action.

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

Criterion 4 | Acquisition, Discovery & Application of Knowledge


The college promotes and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is fully committed to educating the whole
supports practices that help person. To this end, the college promotes and supports practices that help students and
students and employees employees become or remain inquisitive, creative, socially responsible lifelong learners.
become or remain
inquisitive, creative, socially Specifically, student learning outcomes for General Education and program curricula
responsible lifelong underscore the college’s fundamental commitment to graduate competency in oral and
learners. written communication, critical thinking, mathematical and scientific literacy, and
other academic achievements possessed by educated individuals. Learning outcomes
also emphasize preparing the student to function and succeed in a global,
technologically literate, multicultural work world.

Students, staff, and faculty have access to curricular and co-curricular activities,
programs, and events that promote social responsibility and encourage exploration and
discovery. The college provides professional development for faculty, administrators,
and staff to support continuous learning, and it acts upon its core values to encourage
and protect freedom of inquiry and the good-faith free exchange of ideas.

The co lle ge has s ix fully a c cred ited , approved, or ce rt if ied p rograms


and a n accred ited Ch ild Deve lop ment Ce nte r.

PROGRAM/CENTER APPROVAL/ACCREDITATION/CERTIFICATION

Child Development Center National Association for the Education of Young Children

Criminal Justice programs in Law Ohio Peace Officer Training Council


Enforcement

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Joint Review Committee on Education of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
(approved)
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
(accredited)

Early Childhood Development Ohio Department of Education (ODE) under the Prekindergarten
Associate Degree Certification

Radiographic Technology Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiographic Technology

Registered Nursing Commission on National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission,


based upon compliance with the Standards and Recommendations of
the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical
Technology

Surgical Technology Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

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Central Ohio Technical College | Self-Study

Strengths
• Although COTC is a technical college whose faculty is not required to engage in
research activities, a number of faculty members are involved in research
activities and present their findings to internal and external colleagues.
• The college effectively and publicly recognizes faculty and staff achievements.
• The college has developed an excellent balance of technical and General
Education courses that individually and collectively support the mission.
• Programs are carefully designed to provide students with a range of opportunities
for real-life work experience in their chosen fields of study.
• The active involvement of extended campus advisory boards and academic
program advisory committees has helped the college to fulfill its mission.

Challenges
• The college recognizes the need to fund increased participation in professional
development opportunities that help faculty and staff improve their skills and
remain abreast of new advancements.
• The issue of intellectual property (IP) rights has been effectively defined for
faculty and staff, but IP rights for students are not yet clearly defined.
• The college needs to find effective methods for assessing faculty, staff, and
student lifelong learning and its impact on institutional effectiveness planning.
• The college might need to develop capstone General Education courses or other
means by which students can demonstrate, and the college can assess, aggregate
achievement of General Education student learning outcomes.

Opportunities for the Future


• Critical core values, such as freedom of inquiry, are available in print; in the
future, they will also be posted online.
• The college will explore additional opportunities for students to strengthen both
their General Education and technological skills and for faculty members to
strengthen their ability to help students achieve maximum student success. To
these ends, collegewide initiatives, such as writing across the curriculum and the
new communication and pre-college communication labs, provide effective
models.
• The website contains valuable information, and the college strives to make this
information easily accessible. The college has created a website enhancement
committee to improve access; this work is still in the early development stage.
• Faculty and students should seek additional opportunities for scholarly inquiry,
and faculty should pursue grant and funding opportunities accordingly.

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

Criterion 5 | Engagement & Service


The issues of engagement Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is firmly rooted in the tradition of community
and service are central to engagement and service to multiple community constituencies. Founded thirty-five
the college’s success. years ago by local benefactors to serve the needs of the community, the college has
grown to serve the multiple needs of Licking, Knox and Coshocton County residents,
and enhanced its community service and outreach activities accordingly.

Today, the college has built a broad-based coalition of partners representing a myriad of
internal and external constituency groups. The president, the Cabinet, administration,
faculty, staff, and students serve this important mission-driven foundation. The issues
of engagement and service are central to the college’s success, and the college offers a
wide variety of activities, events, programs, initiatives, and services to and in
partnership with our community constituents. These engagement points serve the
greater community and accommodate varied age groups, diverse populations, a wide
range of businesses and employers, and other groups with specific needs and interests.

COTC has estab lis hed pa rtne rs h ips with ot her edu cat ion prov ide rs .

COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES CAREER & TECHNICAL CENTERS

Denison University — A Licking County partner Coshocton County Career Center


Hocking College Delaware Area Career Center
Kenyon College — A Knox county partner Eastland Career Center/Electrical Trades Center
Kent State Tuscarawas Campus— A Coshocton Center Knox County Career Center
partner Career-Technical Education Center (C-TEC)
Mount Union College of West Virginia of Licking County
Mount Vernon Nazarene University — A Knox county Tech Prep Heart of Ohio Consortium —
partner Liberty Union High School
Muskingum College — A Coshocton Center partner South-Western Career Academy
South-Western City Schools
Ohio State Newark — The cost-shared partner of Gahanna Lincoln High School
COTC and co-located at the Newark campus Lancaster High School
Ohio University Watkins Memorial High School
Chillicothe High School
Tech Prep Heart of Ohio Consortium — Circleville High School
Columbus State Community College Lakewood High School
Ohio University-Lancaster Olentangy High School
Ohio University-Chillicothe Paint Valley High School
Pickerington North High School
Westerville Central High School
Westerville South High School

Strengths
• The college has a deeply rooted history of service to its constituents. This
historical context has been a driving force behind a consistent and ever-
increasing commitment to partner with diverse groups and individuals to
strengthen community ties. COTC has clearly demonstrated its dedication to
outreach and engagement activities and initiatives within the communities it
serves.

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• The college participates in economic development activities vital to the region.


This involvement extends beyond memberships in traditional organizations and
is evidenced by activities in Coshocton and Knox counties, Pataskala, and
Newark.
• The college attracts a significant number of transfer students from various
institutions within the state of Ohio. On average, over 10 percent of new students
beginning in the autumn quarter of each year are classified as transfer students.
• The college invites community involvement and receives an extraordinary level
of community support. This support is evidenced by the active participation of
leading business and community members on college boards and committees,
and significant investments represented by contributions to development funds
and capital campaigns along with donations of critical equipment and facilities.

Challenges
• The college continues to strive to find ways to more effectively reach and engage
prospective students through events, direct mail campaigns, and outreach
programs.
• Many students are nontraditional, work at least part time, and have family
responsibilities, so they have commitments that compete with community
engagement opportunities. This represents a logistical challenge when
identifying, developing, and communicating engagement opportunities.
• Similarly, it is a challenge to find the proper personnel, department, and
resources to house, track, and disseminate the plethora of data related to
engagement opportunities.

Opportunities for the Future


• The college recognizes how critical it is that constituents value its role and
contributions in the community. There are notable opportunities to increase
college brand recognition and improve community awareness and understanding
of two-year technical degree advantages by introducing the social marketing
campaign, and encouraging even more community involvement in college
programs and operations.
• The college has a vision to be the number one technical college, both quantita-
tively and qualitatively. All college functions need to find fresh opportunities for
sharing this vision with students, faculty, staff, and the community.
• Career Services is seeking ways to enhance and increase student awareness of
job-related services. Ideally, every student should meet with a Career Services
representative before graduation, but too often, students do not take advantage
of the services the office provides.
• COTC needs to continue to expand programs and services geared toward diverse
students. As the population of non-majority students continues to grow, services
and education programs will continue to be paramount to the success of these
individuals.
• Alumni represent a powerful, relatively untapped resource. In conjunction with
the extraordinary level of community commitment, alumni and new emerging
constituents offer opportunities for creative partnerships and collaborative
relationships vital to securing the future of the college.

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

CHANGE REQUESTS
Change Request 1 | Full-Service Campuses at Knox & Pataskala
Extended campuses provide Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) requested that the Knox and Pataskala sites be
convenient associate recognized as full service campuses, providing a full range of instruction as well as
degree access, allow administrative and support services. Each of these campuses enrolls one hundred or
students to complete a more students (unduplicated headcount) in an academic year. Both campuses will
degree locally, and provide increased access to academic programs for area residents and increased
stimulate economic workforce development initiatives serving employers within the college’s service
development.
district. As full-service campuses, these sites will provide convenient associate degree
access that allows students to remain close to home and work and complete a degree
locally. The new campuses will also stimulate economic development in the respective
communities and relieve some Newark campus space constraints.

Change Request 2 | Complete Degree Programs Online


The primary purpose for COTC requested approval to offer all of its existing programs and degrees online. The
offering online degrees is to proposed change only affects program delivery. Admission standards and processes,
increase access to higher assessment, General Education, and graduation requirements will remain unchanged in
education for students who quality and rigor. The primary purpose for offering online degrees is to increase access
cannot or choose not to to higher education for those who cannot or choose not to pursue degrees on campus,
pursue degrees on campus. such as working adults with demanding work schedules and single parents with
difficult child care situations. In addition, online programming will serve as enrichment
for high school students who may enroll through Ohio’s Post-Secondary Enrollment
Options Program. Online education helps resolve challenges of transportation, time,
and high school activities, and it allows students to enter the workforce sooner or
complete their education more affordably.

Change Request 3 | Degree Sites at Any Location


Approval to open degree COTC requested approval to open degree sites anywhere in its legal, three-county
sites anywhere in the service district (Coshocton, Knox, and Licking counties). Currently the college operates
service district will help two full-service campuses, one in Newark and one in Coshocton. In addition, the
COTC fulfill its mission to college operates two degree sites, one in Knox County and one in Pataskala. Approval to
respond to the technical open degree sites anywhere in the service district will help COTC fulfill its mission to
education and training respond to the technical education and training needs of students and employers.
needs of students and Convenience is an important factor. Distance learning courses are both flexible and
employers.
accessible, but they are not always the optimum solution for potential learners. The
college’s ability to offer degree programs at a variety of locations throughout the service
area will help the college remain vital and responsive, and it provides a solution to the
current classroom space shortage at the Newark campus.

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Central Ohio Technical College | Self-Study

CONCLUSION
The Self-Study process provided an opportunity to reflect on institutional strengths,
challenges, and opportunities for the future. The strengths have been captured as best
practices, the challenges have been placed into an action plan for further improvement,
and the opportunities are preserved for future direction for the college. The report
demonstrates that COTC is a strong, vital organization that accomplishes its mission. As
a result, Central Ohio Technical College formally requests continued accreditation from
the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and
Colleges.

Cross-Cutting Themes
In promulgating the new Self-Study criteria, the HLC demonstrated it values four
cross-cutting themes: orientation to the future, focus on learning, internal and
external connectedness, and distinctiveness. COTC used the themes to evaluate and
synthesize findings revealed through the Self-Study process and addressed the themes
in the report. The Self-Study confirmed the college is a future-oriented organization
focused on learning. It is connected to its constituents and aware of its distinctive
identity. Under the leadership of an effective administrative team, it has expanded its
capacity to promote student learning and engage multiple and diverse constituencies. It
has increased engagement with the community and become a more active and
influential stakeholder in the region it serves. Most importantly, it has gained a clearer
sense of its academic purposes, obligations, and capacities to prepare diverse
constituencies for future challenges.

Future-Oriented

The college engages in planning, is driven by its mission, is financially strong, and
maintains adequate reserves. The strong link between budgeting and planning allows
the college to maximize financial resources to improve the institution and ensure
capital funds are available to meet facility needs. Community generosity has greatly
minimized facility debt, and COTC benchmarks very well with state fiscal watch ratios.
For three years, the college has reserved funds in its operating budget, so it is well
positioned to support the Warner Center operation. The recently purchased Datatel
system provides a robust, flexible structure capable of accommodating administrative
computing needs well into the future. The COTC and Ohio State Newark partnership is
the preeminent model for co-located and cost-shared institutions. The arrangement
increases productivity and efficiency in administrative operations, makes resources
available to support the academic mission, and enables a breadth of student services,
including athletics and residence halls, which the college otherwise could not afford to
offer.

Learning-Focused

Effective teaching and student learning are the top priorities at COTC, where the
significant increase in and focus on assessment activities and extensive support services

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | SECURING THE FUTURE PAGE 17


Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

directly contribute to student success. The Gateway integrates customer-oriented


admissions, advising, and initial registration services to support access. New programs
and economic development are interconnected. Experiential learning links students
and programs and employers in a full circle that includes curriculum, labs, locations,
funding, jobs, and employers. Advisory committees connect the college and
community, ensure programs serve both students and employers, and create a
dynamic, responsive curriculum. To help students acquire the skills employers value,
COTC is the only two-year institution in Ohio to require both an internship and
portfolio development for select programs. COTC supports faculty scholarship and
creativity, and it promotes faculty and staff professional development. Outstanding
achievements are recognized with merit raises and awards.

Connected

From its inception, COTC has defined its goals to serve the students, the community,
and the common good. Advisory committees and involved industry leaders connect the
college and the curriculum to the business community. Academic programs reflect the
changing regional economy, and the 2007 Employer Survey results indicate this is a
significant strength. The college embodies cooperation and partnership in action. It
engages with external constituents, collaborates with other organizations, partners
with high schools and institutions of higher learning, and fosters a culture of service.
Students have access to a variety of volunteer and community service activities and
programs, and service is integral to the learning opportunities provided. Faculty and
staff community service and involvement helps the college model these values for
constituents. The college culture and processes support frank and complete
communications. One noteworthy example is the college’s success with Interest Based
Bargaining (IBB), which has had a broad impact on the organization beyond the
contract negotiations and agreement.

Distinctive

The college has an unambiguous, clear, and distinct mission, which pervades
everything it does. It is accountable, operates with integrity, and has processes in place
for self-reflection, continuous evaluation, and institutional improvement. The college
understands the complexity of the diverse society in which it operates, and it strives to
honor the worth of all individuals. The college offers many programs that carry out
these priorities, and its vision for the future allows it to build on its legacy of
educational quality and service. It has been successful in developing unique, innovative,
and distinct programs suited to the individual communities it serves. It secured an
Appalachian Grant to support the Coshocton campus development. It purchased the
historic Roscoe Village Inn in Coshocton and acquired the donated movie theater
building in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon, actions which demonstrate
commitment to each community’s vitality and success. The college has a long-standing
reputation for adding value. It has been able to attract well respected, highly visible
community leaders to support development efforts, and has been entrusted with
valuable commodities such as buildings, resources, and money.

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Central Ohio Technical College | Self-Study

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Self-Study | Central Ohio Technical College

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