Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) recognized Assistant Professor Tom Comisford for 30 years of service as a faculty member at the college.
Comisford has spent his entire professional career teaching engineering technology at COTC. A Licking County native, he feels his role as a faculty member at the college provides him the opportunity to give back to the community. By helping students obtain certificates and degrees, Comisford helps them “get a great start and start a great life.”
Seeing students advance and ultimately graduate is what has kept Comisford at the college all this time. “The students change so much in just two years, and it’s very satisfying to see them be successful in obtaining their goals,” he commented. “Last year, a student who graduated 20 years ago saw my vehicle in the parking lot and stopped in to say hello. He is now a successful structural engineer, and he got his start at COTC! Hearing stories like this is a very rewarding part of my job.”
Comisford holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University and stays up to date on current technology by working for and with engineers during academic breaks and over the summer.
He began working at the college in 1992 as an adjunct instructor teaching Landscape Design/Drafting and Introductory and Advanced Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD). He transitioned to a full-time faculty member in July 1995. Today his course load includes Introduction to Engineering, Computer Applications for Engineering, Engineering Graphics with AutoCAD and Engineering Tech Cooperative.
Evolution in Engineering Technology
Comisford has seen a lot of change and evolution in the engineering technology department during his tenure. In 2015, Comisford was part of a team that successfully worked to obtain international accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for COTC’s engineering technology programs.
Last year, he assisted with the major renovation of the engineering technology program to strategically move COTC away from specialized engineering programs. This restructuring was recommended by area industries to better align the academic programming with local workforce needs. Today, the college offers two associate degrees: Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technology and Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology.
COTC introduced a new industrial electrician short-term certificate earlier this year at the Newark, Coshocton and Knox campuses. Most recently, the college rolled out new College Credit Plus (CCP) certificates in both work-ready and pathway-specific programs. A new engineering pathway was developed to facilitate building a pipeline of students for the new Intel manufacturing facility coming to New Albany. About 70% of Intel jobs require an associate degree, and COTC’s associate degree in electrical engineering technology positions graduates well for those technician roles.
“The engineering technology programs at COTC provide a great opportunity for individuals interested not only in Intel and its numerous supporting industries but also in existing local manufacturing, which already has a robust demand for qualified workers,” said Comisford.
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. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.