Kori Caughenbaugh

COTC Degree Fulfills Career Goals with Less College Debt


Kori Caughenbaugh made a choice to stand out from the rest. First, she decided to enter the traditionally male-dominated world of architectural engineering. Second, she decided the best way to begin her career was to earn a two-year degree and get started quickly in the workforce.

Now, at only 22, she’s already accomplished both. Caughenbaugh earned her Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Engineering Technology from Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in August 2017. Prior to graduation, however, she had already taken on a full-time position as a junior designer with Northpoint Ohio Architecture in Newark, Ohio, after completing an internship with the firm.

“COTC provided me with the knowledge and training to be able to step right into a career following graduation,” said Caughenbaugh. At Northpoint, she works directly with project managers and individually to design layouts, 3-D conceptual models and construction documents; skills she mastered at COTC.

“COTC’s program gives our graduates a broad base in the technical skills that they’ll practice every day in their jobs,” said Whit Tussing, engineering technology program director. “Our graduates are well prepared to begin a career in variety of construction-related fields, including architectural and civil engineering offices.”

Recent COTC engineering graduates are employed at AEP, Boeing, EMH&T and Red Architecture, as well as many other central Ohio firms and industries. As for Caughenbaugh, college options were plentiful before choosing COTC. Graduating at the top of her Licking Valley High School class, the softball star had her pick of NCAA Division I college scholarships. But she eventually turned them all down. “I saw how beautiful COTC’s Newark campus was and how close to home it was as well. It also gave me the opportunity to watch my younger brother, Colt, finish out his senior year of high school baseball,” said Caughenbaugh. “And, best of all, it relinquished the fear of ever getting in college debt.”

Today, Caughenbaugh has her dream job thanks to her COTC degree. “What I love the most about my job are the opportunities that it provides me in comparison to a large architecture firm,” she noted. “I get to do a wide variety of jobs and have a close relationship with all my co-workers and clients. With so much time to still grow as an individual, though, and with the help of the architecture firm that I work at, I’ve started classes at Ohio State to pursue my goal of becoming a licensed architect while still working.”

Yes, Kori Caughenbaugh made a choice to stand out from the rest, and it started with COTC.