Clark State Community College is one step closer in its quest to offer students the option of an applied baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management.
Clark State's application for the applied baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management has been posted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education website, which is the second step in the approval process; the first was the application.
“This degree is a game changer for our manufacturing partners—they are facing record numbers of retirements,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “In addition, it is taking these businesses far too long to fill vacant positions because of a significant skills gap in training.”
Blondin said an applied baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management from Clark State will prepare incumbent workers in the manufacturing industry or those interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing to acquire both technical and supervisory skills that will result in a well-paying job in the region.
“This program has been requested by industry and for industry to fill a specific need,” she said.
Clark State applied to the ODHE for approval of the applied baccalaureate with support from local industry partners including: Bundy Baking Solutions, Cascade Engineering, Champion GSE, Hall Company, Heroux Devtek, Honda of America, McGregor Metalworks, MEVA Formworks, SEEPEX, Tech II, TJAR Innovations, UTC, Valco Industries, Yamada North America, The Chamber of Greater Springfield, Champion Economic Partnership, Dayton Regional Manufacturers Association, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center.
"Clark State's laser focus on identifying tangible solutions to the workforce development shortage rampant in our region will achieve a major milestone with the approval of the applied baccalaureate in Manufacturing Technology Management degree,” said Jamie McGregor, vice president of sales for the McGregor Metalworking Companies. “This degree is the culmination of Clark State's effort to hear what the companies in our region are searching for in prospective candidates. It's an exciting time for Clark State, our community and the many businesses who are in dire need of a trained and competent workforce."
Clark State increased from training fewer than 20 students annually in 2013 to training nearly 300 students in 2014. Blondin said the degree in Manufacturing Technology Management complements Clark State’s existing certificates and associate degrees. “It is the next logical pathway for our students,” she said.
The applied bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Technology Management will be the first four-year degree offered by Clark State. The College may add additional applied bachelor’s degree options in the future, as deemed needed and viable by the local community and industries.
Following approval by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission, Clark State hopes to offer the four-year degree beginning fall semester of 2018.
Clark State’s proposal for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Manufacturing Technology Management will be posted on Friday, December 8. Public comment is welcomed and encouraged.
All comments will be public and available on the website. Following the ten business day posting period and review of publicly posted comments, another meeting with the team at the ODHE and/or with regional business and education stakeholders may be required for further consideration.
Notification of the applications posted will also be given to the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, the Inter-University Council of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.