Solving Uncertainly: Local Colleges Offer Options in Unsure Times


While the full impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still unfolding, it is clear that the pandemic has already affected every aspect of our daily lives. And while health and safety remain our primary concerns, prolonged uncertainty also continues to take its toll. 

Will I be safe returning to school or work? Will I get my job back? What will happen if there’s a resurgence in COVID-19?

And for those planning to head to college this fall, whether for the first time or as a returning student, the uncertainty is immense. 

Therefore, parents and students alike should both fully understand that there are still many options for enrollment in college this fall, even though some traditional deadlines have passed. Particularly, living at home and taking classes at a regional campus or community college can be a good fit for many families and students during a time of uncertainty. And notably, regional campuses and community colleges also bring the dual benefits of affordability and transferability.

Locally, Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and The Ohio State University at Newark are both open-enrollment institutions, meaning that enrollment is open to anyone who has earned a high school diploma in Ohio or G.E.D. And for both, yes, there’s still time to apply for autumn semester.

As public institutions of higher education, both also offer courses that will transfer to any public college or university in Ohio. This offers students great flexibility for the future as circumstances change. At Ohio State Newark, students can begin nearly any of Ohio State’s 200-plus majors and need only complete 30 credit hours past high school with a 2.0 GPA to transition to the Ohio State Columbus campus. Or, they can complete some majors entirely at Ohio State Newark. At COTC, students can take transferable general education classes, many of which are available online, or even complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degree.

We are exceptionally proud to say that at both COTC and Ohio State Newark, small class size and personal attention are hallmarks of the academic experience.   

There are many paths in higher education, and certainly, there is no one correct route for all. We encourage each student and family to take stock of their individual goals, resources and comfort levels. While uncertainty will undoubtedly remain with us for some time, we believe that it is critically important to continue taking positive steps toward realizing goals. 

Ohio State Newark and COTC have always been, and will always be, institutions deeply intertwined with the welfare of the local communities we serve. Both are ready to help make the steps to college this fall a bit less stressful. 

And while each student must decide their own best course of action, we hope that understanding the complete slate of options available, whatever the choice, will help all move forward this fall with hope and confidence. 


John M. Berry, PhD


Central Ohio Technical College


William L. MacDonald, PhD

Dean and Director

The Ohio State University at Newark 

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 has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.