Clark State Community College announced today it is awaiting approval from the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate to offer students a four-year baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management.
“Governor Kasich has asked for increasing 3+1 partnerships, as well as the development of specific, job focused baccalaureate degrees that fill critical workforce needs in our communities,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, Clark State president. “If the bill passes, Clark State will pursue plans to offer the applied baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management. This degree is supported by industry.”
Blondin said the program will lead to management and supervisory careers at top employers in the region. “Since receiving a Department of Labor grant in 2014, Clark State has kept a laser-focus on training and manufacturing. This industry is the key to our region’s growth.”
Blondin also said the degree in Manufacturing Technology Management will compliment Clark State’s existing certificates and associate degrees. “It is the next logical pathway for our students,” she said.
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Clark State Dr. Amit Singh said after successful implementation of the TAACCCT grant and based on the needs of employers, it became clear that “a four-year applied degree in Manufacturing Technology Management made sense.”
If the House and Senate approve the Bill, the proposed degree program will need to also be approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. Singh said the earliest the degree could be offered is in the fall of 2017.
“If approved, the degree will be awarded by Clark State,” he said. “Our current students who are on the engineering and manufacturing tracks can continue with us to obtain their four-year degree.”
Singh said Clark State will work with industry partners, which include Honda, KTH, McGregor and Cascade, to develop a curriculum.
“Clark State currently plays important roles in serving current and future associates at multiple plants at Honda,” said Scot McLemore, technical workforce development manager at Honda North America. “Our previous work with Clark State…has been especially focused on expanding our work-study program which is a critical part of Honda’s initiative aimed at training and attracting the next generation of manufacturing technicians to our ranks.”
McLemore said Honda offers well-paying positions with opportunity for growth, and he expects a growing demand for applicants as many currently in the field will retire.
This will be the first four-year degree offered by Clark State; 23 states currently allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
“Workforce is in our mission,” said Blondin. “Workforce development is what we do every day. I can’t think of a better place to have the first manufacturing technology management baccalaureate degree than right here in Springfield, Beavercreek and Bellefontaine, Ohio.”