Ozarks Technical Community College

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Ozarks Technical Community College
Ozarks Technical Community College Logo.jpg
Type Community College
Established April 3, 1990
Academic affiliations
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
President Dr. Hal H. Higdon[1]
Location Springfield, MO, USA
Colors Blue and White
Mascot Eagles
Website www.otc.edu

Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) is a community college in Springfield, Missouri, established by Springfield and thirteen surrounding public school districts on April 3, 1990.[2] Students can earn a one-year certificate, two-year Associate of Applied Science degree (A.S.) or Associate of Arts degree (A.A.). In 1996, OTC received accreditation from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In Spring 2007, OTC received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to deliver all of its degree programs online. The college had a fall 2013 enrollment of approximately 15,000 students.

History[edit]

Ozarks Technical Community College celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 to commemorate a critical step taken by voters on April 3, 1990, which approved the establishment of the Junior College District of Central Southwest Missouri.

As a result of the vote in 1990, Heart of the Ozarks Community Technical College was founded as the region’s first open admission, two-year community college with a focus on technical education. Students could earn a one-year certificate, two-year associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.) or associate of arts degree (A.A.).

In September 1991, with 1,198 credit-seeking college students, OTC opened its doors at the Cox Medical Center North and at 815 N. Sherman, which formerly housed the Graff Area Vocational Technical Center and would later become known as Lincoln Hall and Graff Hall. These buildings became the cornerstone of the newly established educational institution. The following year, the college continued to grow and expanded its offerings to include general education courses at the North Town Mall in Springfield.

In 1994, the college shortened its name to Ozarks Technical Community College. The institution received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Community Colleges in 1996. Enrollment grew at the annual rate of 11.4 percent between 1991 and 2014. With this accelerated growth rate, the college expanded in Springfield and beyond to accommodate the need for additional facilities. The Nelson Center opened in Lebanon in 1996 to offer general education and technical programs. At the OTC Springfield Campus, the Norman K. Myers Technical Education Center opened in the summer of 1997.

In February 2001, OTC was given a 10-year reaccreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The renovation of the historic Lincoln Hall was completed the same year, after the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 2000. A plaque recognizing the building’s placement on the National Register ― honoring it as the first Julius Rosenwald School in Missouri ― was unveiled in August 2004. In 2003, OTC adopted a policy that prohibited the consumption of tobacco or tobacco products on campus. OTC was the first college in Missouri, and one of the first higher education institutions in the nation, to become a tobacco-free institution.

In 2002, the college expanded to serve the Branson area through an education center located in the Branson Shoppes. The OTC Richwood Valley Campus, located on Highway 14 between the cities of Ozark and Nixa, opened five years later in the spring of 2007. Named for the historic area where the campus now stands, the Richwood Valley campus was created to house both allied health and general education programs.

As the college continued to grow, the fine arts programs moved to the third floor of the Gillioz Theatre complex in downtown Springfield in 2007. Later that year, the Center for Workforce Development expanded into a new location just west of the OTC Springfield Campus.

In 2008, OTC began offering courses in Waynesville through a new 10,300 square-foot facility located in the Townfield Plaza Center. In the fall of 2011, the Nelson Center in Lebanon was renamed the OTC Lebanon Center and moved into new facilities donated to the college by Reuben and Mary Lou Casey.

The North Central Association granted OTC another 10-year reaccreditation in February 2011. That summer, OTC became the Ozarks Technical Community College system, a transition that put the institution in a better position for future growth and expansion plans.

In the fall of 2013, the OTC Waynesville Center moved to a larger location along Interstate 44. That same year, the OTC Table Rock Campus celebrated its grand opening in Hollister along Highway 65 to offer general education courses.

As of today, the OTC System encompasses three campuses and two centers across southwest Missouri, along with a robust online education center. More than 200,000 citizens of southwest Missouri have taken advantage of one or more of the college’s educational services since its inception in 1990.

Academics[edit]

Technical Education Programs - provide certificates, associate degrees and short-term programs that enable students to pursue or advance their education.

General Education - provide courses which lead to Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Arts degrees that transfer to four-year universities.

Developmental Education - provide courses which improve basic education, reading, writing, mathematics and study skills.

Customized Training - provide training to address specific needs of area businesses and industries to further economic development in the region.

Continuing Education and Community Service - provide a variety of non-credit courses and lifelong learning opportunities, which are responsive to the needs of the region.

Student Services - provide services to assist students in fulfilling their educational goals including orientation, assessment, advisement, financial aid, personal and career counseling, job placement, accommodation services for students with disabilities, a library and fitness center.

Vocational Education[edit]

Beginning its life as Graff Vocational School, OTC continues to offer courses to High School students allowing them to earn college credit prior to graduation.

Center for Workforce Development[edit]

The Center for Workforce Development addresses the ever-changing needs of the Springfield workforce.

OTC Foundation[edit]

The OTC Foundation was established in 1995 to help meet the growing needs of the College by identifying and mobilizing broad-based regional sources and resources.

The OTC Foundation is the fund-raising arm of the college.[3]

Campus[edit]

Springfield (Main) Campus[edit]

Student organizations and groups[edit]

OTC offers over twenty clubs covering wide range interests including:

  • Baptist Student Union (BSU)
  • B.E.S.T.
  • Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship
  • Christian Campus House
  • Computer Programmers and Users Society (CPU)
  • Criminal Justice Society
  • Dental Assisting (DAS)
  • Dental Hygiene (DHY)
  • El Club de Espanol (SPN)
  • Equality - OTC's Gay/Straight Alliance
  • Honors Society
  • Hospitality/Culinary Student Association (HCSA)
  • International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
  • Jazz Club
  • Society for Occupational Therapy Assistants (SOTA)
  • OTC College Republicans
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Physical Therapy Association (PTA)
  • PLANET
  • Respiratory Therapy Association (RTA)
  • Secular Students of OTC
  • Sensational Singers
  • Society for the Awareness of the Natural Environment (SANE)
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
  • Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
  • Student-Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA)
  • Student Nurse Association (SNA)
  • Surgical Technology
  • Veterans at OTC (VOTC)

Student Government Association (SGA)[edit]

SkillsUSA[edit]

Main article: SkillsUSA

OTC students (both secondary and post secondary) participate in the SkillsUSA competition every year. Students brought home six gold medals in 2009.[4]

Athletics[edit]

OTC does not offer athletics in the traditional sense, however numerous intramural teams exist.

Notable alumni[edit]

Phil Robinson (Audio Engineer for Kenny Chesney) [5] Aaron Wahlert- MariCorp US

References[edit]

External links[edit]