Ozarks Technical Community College

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Ozarks Technical Community College is canceling its commencement ceremony set for August 19th at Missouri State University’s JQH Arena.  The ceremony was a make-up event for the graduation that had been scheduled for May 16 and was postponed due to the coronavirus.

OTC chancellor, Hal Higdon, said in a news release they’ve spent months planning and doing everything they could to create a safe space to celebrate the graduates.  But, with a growing infection rate in Greene County, OTC officials believe the event would pose too much risk to attendees.

OTC

Some new scholarships will be available to Ozarks Technical Community College students this fall.

Students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to apply for the OTC Technology Grant.  It provides $500 for education-related technology needs.  Any OTC student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for the fall 2020 semester is eligible to apply.

OTC

Students taking classes at Ozarks Technical Community College this summer are eligible for a new scholarship.  The college is offering $100,000 in scholarships for students impacted by COVID-19. 

OTC will give out 200 scholarships of $500 each on a first-come, first-served basis for the summer session, which starts June 1.

They’re available to current OTC students as well as students from another college whose semester was interrupted by the pandemic.

These criteria must be met to be eligible:

Perry Elkins

Students at Ozarks Technical Community College will pay more for tuition in the 2020-2021 school year.  But the OTC Board of Trustees has voted to eliminate online course fees beginning June 1.  Currently, online students are charged a $65 fee for each course they attend, according to the school.

The board voted to raise the student technology fee that all students pay from $8 to $19 per credit hour.  Board members said that’s because almost all OTC courses have an online element.

Courtesy of Dr. Tiffany Brunner

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Debbie Good speaks with Dr. Tiffany Brunner, director of Middle College at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC).

Today’s discussion explores the evolution of this program from 2008 to present day.  The initial goal was to reduce the high level of dropout rates in area high schools.  Today,  the goal has grown to also provide college and career opportunities to a variety of juniors and seniors. 

An articulation agreement signed Thursday will allow students to seamlessly transfer from Ozarks Technical Community College into Southwest Baptist University’s bachelor degree programs.

OTC Chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon said the agreement will ensure that students’ credits will transfer.  The agreement impacts students pursuing an Associate of Arts at OTC.  That’s a degree designed for students who plan to pursue education beyond the associate degree level.  

OTC offers Associate of Arts programs in seven subjects, including:

OTC

A new Ozarks Technical Community College education center in Republic is set to open in August 2020, and construction is now underway.  Ground has been broken for the 30,000-square-foot facility being built on 7.69-acres on the city’s west side.  The land was donated to OTC by the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families.

The project is possible due to the approval of tax levies last April, according to OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon.

OTC

A new space at Ozarks Technical Community College will prepare students to work in the trucking and manufacturing industries.  OTC held a grand opening for the 12,500-square-foot MHC Diesel Technician Training Center Monday morning.  It’s an addition to the college’s original diesel training facility in the Industry and Transportation Technology Center.

Students in the program can earn either a one-year certificate or a two-year associate degree.  Currently, around 35 students graduate from the program each year, and OTC officials hope to double that number with the new space.

OTC

Ozarks Technical Community College officials are hoping Vatterott College students left without a school after the for-profit institution suddenly closed this week, will consider continuing their education with OTC.  They've invited Vatterott students to meet with OTC Student Services to explore options.  

According to OTC, college staff will be available Wednesday and Thursday (12/19-12/20) from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday (12/21) from 8 a.m. to noon to answer questions regarding the application process, transfer of credit and financial aid assistance.

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A project at Ozarks Technical Community College’s Springfield campus has been ranked by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education as the board’s number one capital funding priority for Fiscal Year 2020.

According to OTC, the board Wednesday voted for budget recommendations that ranked the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) as the number one priority.  It recommended $5 million in state funds go toward CAM as part of its overall budget request of $55.8 million for workforce initiatives in the state.

OTC

The project cost for Ozarks Technical Community College’s Republic Center has been approved by the OTC Board of Trustees.

The total project cost will be $7,295,000 for the center to be built on eight acres of land donated by the Bussey, Cox and Lipscomb families.  The building will be named the Bussy-Cox-Lipscomb Hall.

OTC officials plan to break ground on the project in January and hope to open it for classes in August 2020.

The board also approved a bid to hire Rich Kramer Construction to build the facility. 

Bailey Vassalli / KSMU News

Universities across the country are struggling to combat sexual violence on campus, but Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College are taking new steps towards addressing this issue with Project HEAL. 

HEAL stands for Help, Educate, Advocate, Listen, and the project received grant funding of over half a million dollars from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. 

The grant provides funding for a community centered approach to combating sexual assault. MSU and OTC are teaming up on the project.

Ozark Technical Community College students in the Branson area now have a Technical Education Center.  A grand opening for the facility was held Monday at the OTC Table Rock campus. 

The 10,500-square-foot building, north of that campus, will house classrooms and labs for the college’s HVAC and construction programs. The newly renovated center will open its doors to students Aug. 20.

CoxHealth

A new partnership in Springfield will train students for careers as emergency medical technicians or paramedics.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Ozarks Technical Community College was dedicated Thursday.  The program, co-sponsored by CoxHealth and Mercy, not only trains students for careers as EMT’s and paramedics, it also provides continuing education for those who already work in the field.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

After returning home from active duty, many military veterans choose to attend college, whether it’s a community college, trade school, or a full-fledged university.  And there are people and programs ready to help them take that step. We’re exploring educational opportunities for veterans on this edition of “Sense of Community.”

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