CALCUTTA – The Ohio Valley College of Technology hosted the most recent EduTech meeting, welcoming education leaders to the campus including Jim Swoger, mayor of East Liverpool.
EduTech is a collaboration among educational entities that aims to stimulate the local economy in partnership with the business community and government. It was founded by Scott Shepherd, who owns A&I Studios and is a member of the East Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
The main focus of the meeting was prepping for a proposed Education Fair in downtown East Liverpool sometime in August. The fair will concentrate on promoting the area’s educational opportunities and offer fun, interactive exhibits for area residents.
Swoger gave his support of any educational initiative, saying that there are no borders when it comes to educational advancements in the area.
The mayor said he sees great potential in the various education organizations – which sometimes compete – coming together for a greater good. He added he wants to see educational assistance for all residents who can take advantage of the different types of educational opportunities – from on-site job experience opportunities, to certifications, and to associate and bachelor degrees.
“All of our schools have an opportunity,” Swoger said. “We’re good; we just have to work together. Let’s not forget all of our people.”
The EduTech group welcomed Stephen Nameth, dean of Kent State University Columbiana Campuses, at their November meeting at the Ohio Valley College of Technology. Nameth became the new dean of the East Liverpool and Salem campuses August 1.
Nameth gave his endorsement of local education and technology organizations coming together to help better the area.
“I feel strongly about cooperation,” Nameth said. “We (KSU Columbiana County) are behind this 100 percent.”
In addition, progress reports were also shared between the different organizations.
Scott Rogers, OVCT campus president, discussed the success of the new registered nursing program, with many of the first class of graduates having already passed the NCLEX exam. In addition, the school has recently revamped some of the courses in the Medical, Medical Office, Dental and Business programs.
Nameth also echoed the nursing success at his campuses and stated that KSU is interested in a water quality management-type of degree program due to the recent boom of the local gas industry.
Mark Ciccarelli, Eastern Gateway Community College community outreach spokesperson, said their campuses now operate in Jefferson, Columbiana, Trumbull, and Mahoning counties. Vince Drago, board member of the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS), also said his organization is continuing to branch out as well.
Elizabeth Prodonovich, director of New Life Technical Institute, said they are currently undergoing a re-evaluation period to take a look at their software and computer programs. They are looking to best shape a program to help students find a needed job.
Shepherd also said he hopes to update the organization’s web site, http://www.edutechcorridor.com, which has already proven to gain the interest of potential employers.
For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at www.ovct.edu/programs.