Northwest State Community College hosted a “State of the College” Address at the Voinovich Auditorium on Sept. 29. In attendance were state officials, business and community leaders, and area educators.
Following introductions from NSCC Board of Trustees Chair Lisa McClure, NSCC President Dr. Todd Hernandez provided an important update on the College’s mission, vision and values, its enrollment success and its economic impact among other topics.
At the conclusion of Hernandez’s speech, Jack Hershey from the Ohio Association of Community Colleges shared his “OACC Top 10” presentation. The event’s closing speaker was Dr. Tiffany Johnston, a 2005 NSCC graduate and a 2021 NSCC Distinguished Alumni.
Hernandez provided a 30-minute speech that included a number of topics that showed the strengths of Northwest State.
He said NSCC proudly serves its six-county service area with dedication and compassion, providing life-changing education, training and services. Among the 5,746 total students, 21% come from Fulton County. That is the second highest, behind Williams County with 23%.
Hernandez said he “fully anticipates” enrollment growth.
He also said the school has made progress in retention of students. That number was 72.4% compared to the national average of 52.4%.
“That’s a number I wanna get on the rooftops and shout and dance and get all excited about that,” he said.
Hernandez also noted that NSCC is a major asset to northwest Ohio, as outlined by its impressive economic study, its dedication to improving the lives of individuals and strengthening communities, and much more. The total economic impact of NSCC, per the recent study, is nearly $59 million.
Looking ahead, he said the future looks bright for NSCC and community colleges in general. NSCC has a strong workforce development team, faculty and staff whose mission is to help students succeed, and is also preparing a full-service campus in Van Wert to serve Paulding and Van Wert county learners.
Hershey, President and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, noted he was fulfilling a bucket list item by paying homage to David Letterman with his own “OACC Top 10 list.” In the informative presentation, Hershey noted that 80% of adults who have never enrolled in college believe higher education is important, showing that the ideal career path still may require some form of post-high school education and training.
Another note from Hershey referenced the growing need for a skilled workforce, and how community colleges are poised to continue to close that skills gap. Hershey also touched on the College Credit Plus expansion, and congratulated NSCC for their work with those students.
The entire “State of the College” presentation is available for viewing, by visiting the College’s YouTube page at YouTube.com/NorthwestStateCC.