Edison State reflects on success and looks toward future

PIQUA — Edison State Community College President Dr. Doreen Larson and President Designate Chris Spradlin provided the fifth annual State of the College address on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to update the community with an overview of the accomplishments, strategic initiatives, and vision for the future of Edison State.

“When students come in, we encourage them to dream big,” said Dr. Larson. “We were very successful through COVID, and I know it was the dedication of our staff, knowing that we were going to change the lives of these students. These students will look back at that COVID time in their life and have a very positive outcome, something that changed their lives for the better.”

Dr. Larson credits the success of Edison State to its “secret sauce,” with ingredients such as enrollment, student success, college life, and quality facilities.

“Affordability is key to the mission of Edison State. It’s the reason we were founded—so everyone could access quality higher education, regardless of income,” said Dr. Larson. “We’ve also dedicated ourselves to College Credit Plus, which allows high school students to take college courses at no cost to parents.”

She continued, “We are a critical workforce partner. From my first day at Edison State, I wanted us to be inescapably critical to workforce development in our region, and we are getting there.”

Looking toward what comes next for student success at Edison State, Spradlin highlighted the College’s two most recent 100 percent tuition waivers: the College Credit Plus/Career-Technology and 25&UP tuition waivers. He then spoke about the cradle-to-career program.

“That is a special program we’ve become involved with,” Spradlin said. “The West Central Ohio Regional Education Partnership is a group that, through grant support, has developed a committee that’s looking at a continuum of care for students all the way down into the kindergarten level and helping them to connect with careers.”

Spradlin added that Edison State is always looking to see what programs should be added to meet the workforce needs of the community. The college is currently developing a Respiratory Care program, as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

College life is also critical to the success of Edison State students. Dr. Larson touched on some of the resources available to students, including the Emergency Assistance Fund and Charger Food Stations, as well as activities such as the Float Learn Feast event, Halloween contests, and athletics events.

“Growing college life coming off a pandemic and seeing a lot of our enrollment go online and hybrid is a challenge,” said Spradlin. “We know that in order to keep students engaged and successful, we need to provide them with a robust college life on campus.”

Moving on to the final ingredient of the “secret sauce,” Dr. Larson said, “Our campuses are worthy of student pride, and that’s extremely important. Our facilities team goes above and beyond maintaining and adding beautiful aspects to the campus under the direction of the Board of Trustees.”

The college has added its own Department of Public Safety, invested in updating the security system at all four campuses, and installed ionization systems at three campuses, including the Piqua Campus. Edison State now has dog-friendly campuses and has started a holiday lighting project as a way to give back to the community.

Looking to the future, Spradlin said, “We’re working on an expansion of our nursing wing, approximately 6,000 square feet that will open up the opportunity for the nursing program to expand their cohort size and give them new space for labs and check-offs for students.”

“We’re also partnering with the Upper Valley Career Center on a renovation of classrooms to support the Criminal Justice program and Peace Officer Academy,” Spradlin continued. “We’ll add an additional lab space that will allow students to conduct mock investigations and home searches.”

Other facilities projects include adding new exterior directional signs at the Piqua Campus, as well as adding two new locker rooms for the athletics program and providing general upgrades to classrooms.

To watch the State of the College address or download the accompanying brochure, visit www.edisonohio.edu/sotc.