NEWARK, Ohio, February 25, 2016 – Heather Spinks is preparing to graduate from Central Ohio Technical College this May with an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology. However, she isn't sending out resumes to look for a job. That's because she already has one. Spinks was recently offered a position as a case manager in Coshocton County Juvenile Court.
"I will work with the adults and some of the juveniles that come through the juvenile drug court," said Spinks. "I am very excited to use the skills I learned in school to help others through difficult times in their lives."
"Heather has been one of our exceptional students who was always eager to get moving and keep moving, and I am not the least surprised that she has already been offered a permanent job upon graduation," said COTC Institute for Public Services and Safety Director Kevin Reardon.
Spinks returned to college three years ago, when she was 36 years old. She had worked in the loss prevention department of a retail store for 10 years and wanted more. Spinks lives in Coshocton, so she started taking classes at COTC's Coshocton campus.
"Being that I was out of school for so long, the Coshocton campus helped me integrate back into learning," said Spinks. "There were a lot of familiar faces. It made the adjustment to college easier."
Spinks spent one year on the Coshocton campus and then started commuting to the Newark campus.
"I came to the Newark campus up to four days a week to take classes," said Spinks. "I was working as many hours as I could, while still being there for my three kids that play soccer, basketball, softball and baseball."
Even though balancing everything was hard, Spinks knew it was worth it. She said the faculty at the Coshocton and Newark campuses were excellent. They gave her the knowledge and confidence she needed to pursue her dream job.
"I look back and think, wow, you can teach an old dog new tricks," said Spinks. "I can honestly say that I have loved being a student at COTC, and I couldn't have asked for better instructors. I have gained a wealth of knowledge that I can apply to my career."
COTC is a family affair now, too. Spinks' 14-year-old daughter is taking classes online through the College Credit Plus program. College Credit Plus allows middle and high school students to take college classes and earn college credit at no cost to them.
"She is hoping to be close to earning an associate degree when she graduates from high school," said Spinks. "I am very proud of her. I wish I would have been this dedicated when I was her age."
Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.