Edison State reflects on success, looks toward future


PIQUA — Edison State Community College President Chris Spradlin provided the sixth annual State of the College address on Wednesday, Oct. 4, to update the community with an overview of the accomplishments, strategic initiatives, and vision for the future of Edison State.

“This is an exciting time for Edison State because it is our 50th anniversary,” Spradlin said. “Back in May of 1973, the College was born, and then in the fall of 1973, we opened our doors to students for the very first time.”

Spradlin highlighted the history of Edison State, from the College’s beginnings in the Spring Street School and the construction of the main campus in Piqua to expanding with new campus locations to serve Darke, Preble, Miami, and Shelby counties. The College is approved to offer associate degrees, one-year certificates, and short-term certificates.

“We’re always thinking about the next step for students,” Spradlin continued. “We love our communities, and the communities have been very supportive of Edison State over the years.”

This dedication to students and the communities it serves has allowed the College to continue experiencing growth through the years. Spradlin shared that enrollment for the fall 2023 semester was very strong. “We have 4,500 students enrolled in 37,000 credit hours. That’s up 34 percent from the fall semester of 2007. We’ve had tremendous growth over this time, which is a real credit to our faculty and staff and everyone supporting the College.”

Several programs have also experienced growth, with the College’s Banking, Criminal Justice, Medical Assisting, Medical Lab Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Social Services programs seeing 27 to 77 percent increases in enrollment for the fall 2023 semester.

Another key to Edison State’s success is its partnerships with other institutions.

“We’re very proud of our Pathway Portal partnership with Franklin University,” said Spradlin. “The Pathway Portal is an electronic system that allows students to have one experience with two institutions. They start with Edison State and choose to enter this Pathway Portal, and immediately, it starts tracking their progress electronically through their associate degree at Edison State and then on to their bachelor’s degree with Franklin. It’s a great system built by Franklin, and we’ve enjoyed their partnership.”

The College has also partnered with Upper Valley Career Center to host the career center’s Teacher Academy and First Responder programs on Edison State’s campus.

Spradlin credits Edison State’s strong student retention to its commitment to meeting student needs, both in and out of the classroom. Ways the College meets student needs beyond the classroom include its athletics programs, Charger Station food pantries, and Guided Pathways to Student Success.

Edison State will have its 10-year reaccreditation site visit in February of 2024. “The Higher Learning Commission provides our general accreditation, and they’re the ones who give us access to federal financial aid, so this is big,” Spradlin said. “A lot of folks have been working already to prepare for this visit.”

Looking toward the future, the College is completing several renovations and expansions. The criminal justice classroom is being expanded, the engineering lab will be modernized, the Library and Internet Café were recently renovated, new locker rooms will be added to the west side of the gym, and an addition will be made to the nursing wing.

Edison State will launch a Respiratory Care program and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, both of which are anticipated to begin in the fall of 2024. These programs are being developed to meet the need for respiratory care technicians and nurses in the workforce.

Spradlin was joined by Dr. Andy Runyan, Edison State Dean of Professional & Technical Programs, to discuss the bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“A lot of local organizations were asking us to develop this program,” Runyan said. “There’s a lot of demand and opportunities for students to go on and get the bachelor’s degree in nursing. We surveyed both past and current students and found that if we put it together, they would take it at Edison State. They want something local, close to home, an institution they’re comfortable with, and a good price they can afford.”

When asked how he sees the addition of a bachelor’s degree impacting the College, Spradlin said, “I think it changes the culture of the institution. When we offer that bachelor’s degree and that first graduate comes forward, we’re no longer just a two-year institution—we’re also a bachelor’s degree–granting institution. That’s a big change for any college, and I can even see it possibly opening pathways to other bachelor’s degrees.”

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

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