The Ohio Board of Regents approved a new Food Science and Technology program to begin at Clark State Community College in the fall semester of this year. Students completing the program - offered through the Business and Applied Technologies Division - will earn an Associate of Applied Science and have a transfer pathway option to The Ohio State University upon completion and graduation.
"This program will help fill the skilled workforce need for the largest industry in Ohio: agriculture,” said Dr. Amit Singh, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Food processing business is a part of that.”
The program was developed from a collaborative analysis of information received from the Global Impact STEM Academy and feedback from industry professionals. The Food Science and Technology program will be housed in the former South High School location in Springfield, Ohio.
“Clark State is responding to the local talent gap, as expressed by our business partners,” said Singh.
The Food Science and Technology program will offer six new courses: Introduction to Food Science, Introduction to Food Processing, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, Food Marketing, Food Laws and Regulations and Advanced Topics in Food Science.
“Advanced Topics in Food Science is a culmination class,” said Tonja Kunzler, Business and Applied Technologies consultant coordinating the program for Clark State. “Students will use all of their information to create a product, package it, create processes, research laws and regulations and present it to the class.” A complementary curriculum of general education requirements has also been developed for students studying food science.
Kunzler said Clark State is reaching out to STEM program students about the new Food Science and Technology program, and it provides a new and exciting avenue of science for students to pursue.
Erica Hillard, Agricultural Education instructor for Springfield Clark Career Technology Center, teaches at Northwestern High School. She said the new Food Science and Technology program at Clark State is a wonderful opportunity for her students. “With so many local food processing and food industries nearby and the growing demand for high quality and affordable food by consumers, this program should benefit our community,” she said.
Hillard said she embeds food science topics, such as consumer awareness, food marketing and quality assurance, into the subjects she teaches. “There is a Career Development (judging) event in food science,” she said. “Northwestern placed eighth in the state last fall. The contest does spark an interest in possible food science careers.”
Clark State is projecting enrollment in the Food Science and Technology program to be 10-15 students this fall semester, with a projected expansion to 20 students within two years. Class registration is now open for the Food Science and Technology courses. Learn more about the Food Science and Technology program online.