Clark State Community College poised to offer affordable, high-quality education despite hardships, pandemic

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of this year, Clark State Community College not only pivoted seamlessly to distance learning but has been diligent in encouraging health and safety while ensuring a quality education for every student.

While the COVID-19 uncertainties continue, there is one thing Clark State is certain of: a high-quality, affordable education that results in a transfer or workforce opportunity. With one of the lowest tuition rates in Ohio at $165.33 per credit hour, students are able to save significantly over traditional four-year colleges.

“Parents and students alike recognize the value proposition of saving money during those first two years of college, particularly during these uncertain times,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Community colleges were and are well-positioned to address student needs during and after this pandemic.

“Community college administrators, faculty and staff have built their organizations on the servant leadership of student success, complete with flexibility, accessibility, provision of wraparound services and scaling up or scaling back resources, depending on the situation faced.”

Dayton resident Anarra Williams graduated from Clark State in May of this year with a transfer degree. She is attending Tennessee State University to study food and nutritional sciences this fall. Williams received a full scholarship to continue her education and pursue her four-year degree.

“I encourage all to take the initiative to attend Clark State. It will not only save you money, but prepare you for any major or career you may be seeking,” said Williams. “Furthermore, I feel during this pandemic, Clark State has provided endless resources to ensure success.”

Williams was able to attend Clark State on an athletic scholarship for basketball, while completing her prerequisites for Tennessee State. She said prior to the pandemic, Clark State did everything in its power to ensure a safe environment, giving students a “home away from home” feeling.

“Think about a term used often during this COVID-19 crisis — the ‘essential’ workers,” said Blondin. “Community colleges train most of the essential workers in this economy: police officers, firefighters, healthcare workers and the list goes on. In other words, the community college is also where the workforce will be rebuilt.”

Blondin said community colleges will be positioned to come through this uncertainty in the strongest position to train the current and future workforces and provide transfer options to those students who are unwilling to spend the money and time on a traditional four-year college experience.

“If the goal is the education and the degree, community colleges help students achieve this goal with online classes, user-friendly student services and well-trained faculty and staff whose focus is on the learning that occurs and the technology to enhance it,” she said.

Clark State, in coordination with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), has also launched “Year 1 At Home” to help first-year college students put aside questions about where — and how — they will attend college during this time.

Fall 2020 classes began Aug. 24 and are currently being held online and in hybrid format. Clark State has implemented strict safety guidelines for the few classes and labs held on campus. Registration for spring 2021 semester is now open. Due to the physical distancing Clark State has implemented in classrooms, classes are smaller and meet maximum capacity sooner. Students are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

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