Hocking College

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Coordinates: 38°13′11″N 85°42′11″W / 38.21980°N 85.70300°W / 38.21980; -85.70300

Hocking College
Motto Apply Your Passion
Type Public Technical
Established 1968
Undergraduates 2,300
Location Nelsonville, OH, USA
Campus 2,300 acres (9.3 km2); 20 buildings
Nickname Hawks
Website www.hocking.edu

Hocking College is a technical college located in Nelsonville, Ohio, in the Appalachian region of the United States. It offers dozens of associate degree programs and several certification programs.


Hocking College came into existence as the Tri-County Institute. In the 1960s, the need for a vocational school became apparent in Southeast Ohio through demographic studies and population surveys.[1] The Tri-County Institute was built on the campus of the Tri-County Joint Vocational School with the schools sharing laboratory and service areas. Fall 1968 marked the opening of the Institute with approximately 250 students and 28 instructors.[2] In 1969, the Ohio Board of Regents granted a charter to the institute, and they were authorized to grant degrees in 13 technical programs. The first commencement took place in June 1970 with 117 graduates.[3]

In 1972, the official name of the school was changed to Hocking Technical College and 250 acres were purchased for new building and future development. In 1975, the college relocated its main campus to its current site on Hocking Parkway. The same year, residence halls opened on Hocking’s campus, making it the only two-year school in Ohio to have college-owned residence halls available to its students. Hocking College was first accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission(HLC) in 1976.[4] During the 1980s, Hocking College continued to grow and expand, establishing many sister-colleges worldwide, in places such as Taiwan, Japan and Jamaica. In 1990, the Perry Campus in New Lexington opened to serve the needs of Perry County residents.[5] The name changed again to Hocking College in 1991. In 1997, the college purchased Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio and in 1998 renamed it as the Lake Snowden Education and Recreation Park.

In addition to their main campus, Hocking College owns and operates Lake Snowden, a 670 acres (2.7 km2) recreation area in Lee Township. They also own 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of open-space land in the rugged landscape of York Township, west of the campus.


The college offers dozens of programs within the areas of Allied Health; Arts, Business & Science; Engineering and Information Technology; Hospitality; Natural Resources; Nursing; and Public Safety Services.[6]


Also in 2009, Hocking College president John Light retired after 42 years of service to Hocking College.[7] He was replaced by Ron Erickson.[8] In August 2008, the Ohio Auditor's office announced an audit of Hocking College to investigate possible financial irregularities. Light and his wife, who served as a senior vice president, and two other employees were found to have taken money illegally from the college. They were charged with crimes related to these allegations in June 2011.[9] They pleaded no contest to the charges, and were fined and ordered to pay restitution.[10] Erickson was removed from office the same month after sending a campuswide e-mail in which he claimed he was micromanaged by the board of trustees,[11] but was reinstated three months later.[12]

In January 2010, a note threatening that black students would be killed on a specific date the following month was found in a dormitory bathroom. The school increased security measures and offered a financial reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s). Two black students who feared for their safety withdrew from the college.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ Baden, Cynthia S. (2010). Conversations with the Hocking College Community. Nelsonville, Ohio: Hocking College. 
  2. ^ Phillips, Jim (June 29, 2011). "History Offers Peek Into College's Formative Years". The Athens News. 
  3. ^ "2011 Hocking College Higher Learning Commission Self Study Report" (PDF). 2011 Hocking College Higher Learning Commission Self Study Report. Hocking College. Retrieved September 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission". Hocking College Accreditation. 
  5. ^ "Hocking College Perry Campus". Hocking College Perry Campus. Hocking College. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Programs". Hocking College. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Hocking College President to Retire". Hocking College President to Retire. WSAZ. Retrieved September 6, 2008. 
  8. ^ Ludlow, Randy (April 29, 2009). "Hocking College selects Minnesotan for top job". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  9. ^ Ludlow, Randy (July 1, 2011). "Ex-president of Hocking College, wife charged". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  10. ^ Ludlow, Randy (November 5, 2009). "Hocking College officials ordered to repay $28,274". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  11. ^ Jack Stripling (May 31, 2011). "Fearing Dismissal, College President Blasts His Board in Campuswide E-Mail". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ Jack Stripling (September 28, 2011). "Ousted President of Hocking College Is Once More Back in the Saddle". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Message Threatens Death for Black Students on Hocking College Campus Feb. 2". Message Threatens Death for Black Students on Hocking College Campus Feb. 2. CBS News. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Hocking College mobilizes resources in response to racist threat". The Athens News. February 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "College adds $3,000 to reward". The Athens Messenger. January 26, 2010. 

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