Hocking College

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

Hocking College
TypePublic community college
Established1968; 55 years ago (1968)
Parent institution
University System of Ohio
Endowment$4.8 million (2013)[1]
PresidentBetty Young
Location, ,
United States
Campus2,300 acres (9.3 km2); 20 buildings
ColorsGold, Green, Blue
Sporting affiliations

Hocking College is a public community college in Nelsonville, Ohio.[4] The college offers more than 60 associate and vocational programs and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[5] The college was chartered in 1969 by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Hocking has 3,474 students enrolled (78% of students are full-time). Its 2,300-acre campus is set in a rural setting and uses a semester-based academic calendar.[6] Hocking's athletic teams are the Hawks.[7] The college is a member of the National Junior College Athletics Association.[8]


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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] In 1991, the college's name officially changed for a second time to Hocking College.[14] 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 programs within the areas of Allied Health; Arts, Business and Science; Engineering and Information Technology; Hospitality; Natural Resources; Nursing; and Public Safety Services.[15]


Hocking College became one of two licensed cannabis testing laboratories for Ohio in 2018.[16] In early 2018, the Ohio Department of Commerce licensed Hocking College to test Ohio's medical marijuana before it is passed through the state-regulated supply chain.[17] Jonathan Cachat, Director of Laboratory Sciences, lead the development of these cannabis focused initiatives. The college's medical and chemical laboratory, confirmed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, tests available supplies for common cannabinoids (delta-9-THC, cannabidiol, and cannabinol), purity, potency, and chemical content.[18] In July 2018, The Ohio Department of Higher Education confirmed the college's associates programs in Applied Science and Laboratory Science. The laboratory is located in the historic downtown area of Nelsonville. The lab will also be used in courses related to a new major in the associate degree in Laboratory Sciences program, Cannabis Laboratory, beginning in early 2019.[19]


2008 financial scandal[edit]

In August 2008, the Ohio Auditor's office announced an audit of Hocking College to investigate possible financial irregularities. President John Light and his wife, senior vice president Roxanne DuVivier, were found to have taken money illegally from the college.[20] They pled no contest to the charges, were fined, and ordered to pay restitution.[21]

Light was replaced by Ron Erickson, who was fired within a month for sending a campus-wide e-mail complaining about micromanagement by the board of trustees.[22] Erickson was reinstated three months later.[23]

Racist threat[edit]

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 arrest. Two black students who feared for their safety withdrew from the college.[24][25][26] This prompted the college to review and revise campus security policies. The college installed security cameras throughout each dormitory and hired additional residence hall staff.[27]

Killing of Michael Whitmer[edit]

On July 27, 2021, Hocking College Police Officer Cecil Morrison shot and killed 37-year-old Michael Whitmer while responding to a domestic dispute call as Whitmer attempted to drive away. A Nelsonville officer was hit by ricocheted bullets. Morrison, who was hired by Nelsonville Police after the shooting, later pleaded no contest to a negligent homicide charge. He surrendered his law enforcement powers.[28]


  1. ^ "Hocking College Statement of Net Assets" (PDF). Hocking College. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  2. ^ As of fall 2018. "Headcount Enrollment at University System of Ohio Institutions, Fall 2007 to Fall 2016" (PDF). Ohio Department of Higher Education. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. ^ https://f.hubspotusercontent10.net/hubfs/2446169/Brand%20Guidelines.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. "Carnegie Commission on Higher Education". Carnegie Classifications. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Higher Learning Commission. "Statement of Accreditation Status". Higher Learning Commission. Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  6. ^ Community College. "Hocking College Review". Community College Review. Community College Review. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  7. ^ Hawks, Hocking. "Athletics". Hawk's Homepage. Facebook. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  8. ^ NJCAA. "NJCAA". National Junior College Athletics Association. NJCAA. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  9. ^ Baden, Cynthia S. (2010). Conversations with the Hocking College Community. Nelsonville, Ohio: Hocking College.
  10. ^ Phillips, Jim (June 29, 2011). "History Offers Peek Into College's Formative Years". The Athens News.
  11. ^ Throwback Thursday Blog. "Hocking College's History". Communication Blog. Hocking College. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission". Hocking College Accreditation.
  13. ^ "Hocking College Perry Campus". Hocking College. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  14. ^ "The History of Hocking College".
  15. ^ "Programs". Hocking College. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Teben, Susan (July 3, 2018). "Hocking College To Become Cannabis Testing Lab". WOUB. WOUB.org. Retrieved 22 November 2018. {{cite news}}: External link in |ref= (help)
  17. ^ Borchardt, Jackie (August 19, 2018). "Journalist". Cleveland.com. Cleveland.com. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  18. ^ Ghose, Carrie (2 July 2018). "Ohio awards first medical marijuana cultivator and testing lab licenses". Columbus Business First. Columbus Business First. News. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  19. ^ Brunicardi, Tim (1 September 2017). "Executive Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Community Relations at Hocking College". Press Release. Hocking College. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  20. ^ Ludlow, Randy (July 1, 2011). "Ex-president of Hocking College, wife charged". The Columbus Dispatch.
  21. ^ Ludlow, Randy (November 5, 2009). "Hocking College officials ordered to repay $28,274". The Columbus Dispatch.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Message Threatens Death for Black Students on Hocking College Campus Feb. 2". CBS News. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  25. ^ "Hocking College mobilizes resources in response to racist threat". The Athens News. February 1, 2010.
  26. ^ "College adds $3,000 to reward". The Athens Messenger. January 26, 2010.
  27. ^ "Hocking College Takes Steps to Improve Safety for Students on Campus". WBNS-10TV News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  28. ^ Johnson, Keri (April 5, 2022). "Nelsonville police officer pleads no contest, permanently surrenders badge". The Logan Daily News. Retrieved November 19, 2022.

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