Meeting the Needs of our Students
Friends of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC),
In March, when COTC took the immense and extraordinary step
of shifting all services to remote delivery formats due to the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic, we could scarcely imagine that six months later we would
begin autumn semester continuing most services in that mode.
Throughout the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our
students, faculty and staff have remained our top priorities, as did our
commitment to continue offering exceptional academic experiences for our
students. We were exceptionally gratified, then, that amid widespread health
and economic uncertainty across the state and country, COTC exceeded our summer
semester 2020 enrollment goal. Additionally, enrollment trends for autumn
showed a 7% increase in online enrollment and a 10% increase in transfer
My friends, the message is clear – even during the
challenges brought about by the pandemic, our community members trust COTC to
continue offering high quality, relevant and affordable education that prepares
them to immediately step into local in-demand jobs and transfer to four-year
Affordability, Accessibility, Student First Philosophy Key
I’m also very proud to report that COTC responded quickly to the crisis with
multiple bold and supportive measures. In April, we announced the availability
of more than $1
million in scholarships for the 20-21 academic year – with a special
allocation specifically for displaced workers impacted by the pandemic. Broad
availability of scholarship dollars has long set COTC apart from other area
institutions, an advantage the college enjoys directly because of the
incredibly generous support of our donors.
In continuing our student-first philosophy, COTC also announced
our “We’re Here for Our Students Promise,” in which the college promises to do
everything in our power to ensure that students’ educational paths are not
adversely affected due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further,
COTC announced the temporary modification of our admissions policy to “test
optional” through autumn 2020 to allow all who want to take advantage of
COTC’s career training and upskilling opportunities to enroll without delay.
Finally, COTC is further adapting to meet the current needs of students by
offering a selection of accelerated-format (eight weeks versus 15 weeks)
general education courses during the second term of autumn semester. All
courses will be taught remotely, offering peace of mind during the coronavirus
On-campus safety protocols
For the continued health and safety of students, faculty and staff, COTC is
conducting the majority of our autumn semester classes remotely, with
face-to-face instruction only occurring for classes that require a student’s
physical presence in a laboratory (primarily healthcare program labs). All COTC
student support services and academic advising will remain available remotely
at this time, with limited on-campus services for those needing them. On
campus, COTC is also following CDC guidelines to lessen the spread of COVID-19,
including classroom occupancy limits, physical distancing, enhanced daily cleaning,
safety signage and the use of personal protective equipment. COTC will follow
this academic plan for the entire autumn semester regardless of any positive
developments around the pandemic.
Unfortunately, due to the state-wide economic effects of the
coronavirus (COVID-19), COTC’s state share of instruction for FY20-21 was cut
by 4.38% in early July. After extensive deliberation and careful consideration,
the college has made a number of significant and difficult decisions to respond
to budget shortfalls through organizational changes, academic program
eliminations and restructures, as well as operational budget cuts. These
budgetary adjustments will be combined with a plan to use both institutional
reserves and CARES Act funding allowing COTC to manage the exceptional
financial challenges presented by COVID-19. Although the state of Ohio is
certainly not yet beyond the effects of the crisis, we are confident that the
college’s decisions are right for COTC at this time and that these actions,
while extremely difficult, will help ensure the future fiscal health of the
Lastly, the Office of the Provost will continue to evaluate
all credit program offerings to ensure they are both viable and serving
students in the best and most efficient ways possible. These reviews will be
ongoing for at least the next two academic years and may result in further
restructuring in the future.
Against this evolving backdrop, the urgent calls for social
justice reforms in the United States compelled us to recommit to being a
positive force for change, helping our campus and larger communities listen,
learn, understand and heal during this time.
I am incredibly proud of our college. I again convey my deep
thanks to the COTC faculty, staff and students. I thank them for their
creativity, for their diligence and dedication, and most especially for their
My goal is to maintain the standard of excellence COTC has
always continued to offer. Together, we will move ahead with a singular focus to
help our students build successful futures by engaging with our industries,
communities and employers to uncover opportunities that will address workforce
needs, positively influence communities and impact lives for decades to come.
Stay Healthy, Stay Helpful, Stay Hopeful,
John M. Berry, Ph.D.
The “Legends of Loyalty” award was established by the Office of the President to identify and recognize the recipients' dedication and commitment to the college. It spotlights individuals who have, over the years, made a significant impact on the history of the college, and have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance.
To view all recipients of this award, click here.