North Central State College Receives Innovation Grants

  • 6/15/2017 9:18:19 AM
  • Larry Stine
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - North Central State College, in collaboration with Ohio State and Ohio Dominican universities, will develop open educational resources (OER) and other materials with 14 other community colleges in an effort to reduce the cost of textbooks for students.

Faculty teams from the participating institutions will work to create and evaluate OER materials for up to 20 courses that are among the highest enrolled courses at the colleges and offered in high schools as College Credit Plus courses and three upper-level mathematic courses.

OSU will share its research and evaluation strategies and assist community college students taking courses using OER to transition into four-year institutions.

ODU will engage with Ohio’s private nonprofit colleges and universities to expand the project in the mathematics areas, and OhioLink will assist with project implementation, building on its open education strategies and initiatives.

“The cost of textbooks are a huge expense for students in higher education. NC State is excited to lead this exploration of pragmatic ways to reduce the amount of money students require to buy and use textbooks for their studies because often those charges directly increase the amount of debt students accumulate while enrolled. This is especially true for thousands of students who enroll in community college, many of whom struggle to support families, or work while enrolled to make ends meet,” said Dorey Diab, president of NC State. “These students believe in the value of the education they are pursuing; it’s time for colleges and universities to take a hard look at delivering on that idea.”

Other participating community colleges are Clark State College, Central Ohio Technical College, Edison Community College, Hocking College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain County Community College, Marion Technical College, Northwest State Community College, Rhodes State College, Sinclair Community College, Stark State College, Southern State Community College, Terra State Community College and Washington State Community College. The Ohio Association of Community Colleges will provide coordination and administrative support for the project.

Marion Technical College and North Central State College are partnering to expand the Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS) programs in their communities.

The GPS program design provides students in Marion and Mansfield City School Districts with an educational and career pathway beginning at the end of the eighth grade.

These educational pathways align with in-demand careers based on OhioMeansJobs, EMSI data, and local employer needs. Additionally, the GPS program allows students to complete an associate degree while meeting high school requirements, utilizing the College Credit Plus program and doing an internship, thereby earning a degree without incurring any debt, and improve their job opportunities.

Dr. Diab believes these efforts could provide lasting benefits, “We need to help students believe in themselves and in the opportunities which they have before them. By initiating conversations with students in middle school about career opportunities, access to education after high school, available funding, and support for their efforts, we will encourage students to establish the career and educational goals, and help them align their studies to support those goals. Each step is difficult, and there are many steps to be taken from middle school to college graduation – but the opportunity is there, and the rewards can be huge for those who succeed. NC State is excited to partner with MTC and our local school systems to work on this important initiative.”

Department of Higher Education Innovation Program Awards.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has approved $5 million in funding for projects that will enhance the quality of higher education throughout the state while making it more affordable for students by stabilizing or reducing tuition rates at colleges and universities.
According to ODHE, the schools receiving the funds designed collaborative, innovative projects that support academic achievement and economic efficiencies.

The funds are awarded for projects serving students at the community college and university levels.

“The projects supported by these innovation grants will directly impact students as they pursue a successful future in college and their career of choice,” said Chancellor John Carey in a statement. “The projects will explore the implementation of competency-based education, support peer-to-peer mentor programs, and help students earn an associate degree before they graduate from high school, to name just a few highlights.”

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