John Carey, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor, visited the Fayette Campus of Southern State Community College recently to meet with students and discuss the new community college funding formula that is currently in the Ohio legislature.
The new formula, which leads the nation as a performance-based model, is designed to lead to more college graduates in Ohio and a skilled workforce for high-demand jobs.
“One of Gov. Kasich’s first priorities was to align higher education with workforce,” said Carey. “He called upon your president, Dr. Kevin Boys, and Dr. Roderick McDavis, president of Ohio University, and challenged them to come up with a new formula that is performance based. This was a bold move away from colleges getting their state share of instruction when students enrolled. It didn’t matter if those students completed.
“This new funding formula promotes direct career plans for students, and gives them guidance so they will have the credentials they need to be successful.”
Several student representatives in attendance for Monday’s event were invited to testify in support of Southern State’s programs, and share their personal journeys in attaining higher education.
Alanta Wolf, a senior from Jamestown, is enrolled in Southern State’s dual credit program which allows her to complete high school and college work simultaneously.
“The dual credit program at Southern State is awesome,” she said. “Everyone has been very helpful and I’ve saved so much money—over $1,000 in books alone. I’m ahead of the game.”
Paula Campagna, who calls herself “a seasoned student,” decided in 2011 to go back to school. She will graduate next month and is enrolled in Lindsey Wilson College bachelor’s degree courses at Southern State’s campus in Hillsboro.
“I’m very involved in my education now,” said Campagna. “I’m secretary of Phi Theta Kappa and will be in the theatre department’s production of ‘Almost, Maine’ this weekend. My kids think it’s so cool!”
Kristi Slavens, who holds a work study position and serves as vice president for Phi Theta Kappa, said she was scared out of her mind to start classes at Southern State.
“I don’t’ know what I was afraid of,” she said. “Everyone here has been willing to help me every step of the way. I can’t stress enough the amazing staff at Southern State.”
George Martin, president of SSCC’s Student Government, decided to begin his college journey in 2009 when his wife passed away.
“I am 57 years old and that just proves it’s never too late,” said Martin. “I will graduate from Southern State in May and from Lindsey Wilson College in November.”
Other guests started their journeys in the college’s Adult Opportunity Center where students can take free-of-charge GED preparatory classes or college readiness courses.
“I dropped out of high school when I was 17,” said Alexandra Marion. “I later married and had two children, and it was rough to justify going back to school. But I found Southern State’s GED program and signed up. The program was amazing and the teachers celebrated my decision to make my education a priority.”
“I earned my GED in 2009 and decided to become a full-time student,” said Dan Klein who graduated from Southern State last year. “I then chose to enroll in Ohio Christian University’s logistics program which offers its bachelor’s degree classes on Southern State’s Central Campus.”
“I didn’t think I needed a diploma,” said Brenda Landrum. “I never had a problem getting a job because I work hard. But I saw myself getting overlooked for promotions because I didn’t have my GED. I went through Southern State’s program, got my GED, and I’m now a supervisor at Candle-lite. The sky’s the limit for me.”
“I dropped out of school in the ninth grade,” said Kelly McFadden. “It was a struggle for me to get my GED, but I did it and the very next day I enrolled in college classes at Southern State. I’m now finishing up my associate degree, and will begin my bachelor’s program this fall.”
Dr. Kevin Boys, SSCC President, addressed those in attendance for Monday’s visit.
“It is meaningful to hear your personal accounts,” he said. “Congratulations to each one of you for going after your goals.”
Carey then invited the students to visit https://ohiohighered.org/quality-and-value and share their testimony in support of the programs offered by the state’s community colleges.
To learn more about Southern State Community College, please visit www.sscc.edu, call 1-800-628-7722 (enter extension 2687 for the GED program), or email email@example.com.