Office of the President


President John M. Berry, PhD

President John Berry

John M. Berry, PhD, assumed the role of COTC president on January 1, 2019, and is the college’s second sole president. He was unanimously selected by the COTC Board of Trustees after a nationwide search.

Having previously served as director of student life at COTC, Berry returned to the college after positions at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina; Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio; and most recently, BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Montgomery, West Virginia.

After starting his own education at a community college, Berry went on to earn a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from The Ohio State University.

Celebrating 50 Years of In-Demand Education

Friends of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC),

Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, COTC will celebrate 50 years of providing high-quality education leading to in-demand careers for central Ohioans.

In 1971, when COTC welcomed the first students to our Newark campus, the new college offered six associate degrees. Today, COTC operates four full-service campuses in Newark, Coshocton, Mount Vernon and Pataskala and offers more than 50 associate degrees and certificates. Throughout the decades, COTC’s more than 15,000 graduates have made significant contributions to their professions and communities.

Remaining true to its mission to meet the technical education and training needs of students and employers in the area, COTC proudly continues to grow and adapt to changing workforce and student needs. As the college welcomed more students back to our four campus locations for in-person classes and labs this autumn semester, the welcome return of more on-campus engagement is only part of COTC’s strategic focus to meet student needs and bolster student success.

Supporting Student Success With Flexible Course-Delivery Options

Over the last year, COTC invested substantially in virtual technologies and online course development to support an extensive increase in course-delivery modes. Our goal is to meet students where they are and to do our best to offer each student an educational experience that works best for them – allowing them to choose their preferred academic delivery method – whether that’s on campus, online, or a hybrid model. To meet that goal, the college is offering classes in five delivery options this autumn and moving forward – on campus, hybrid, hy-flex, remote and online. Read more about how COTC is meeting student needs by expanding flexible course-delivery options here.

Enhanced Career-Training Opportunities at New STEM Center

The $32 million, 60,000-square-foot John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology, which opened for classes this autumn semester, brings a Health Science Simulation Center to the COTC Newark campus. This multi-disciplinary space, mirroring an acute care hospital, contains two patient rooms, an emergency room and an operating room with an adjoining scrub-in station so COTC students can experience various “real-life” medical scenarios in a learning environment.

Our thanks to the Alford and Cantlin families and other donors for their generosity – their investment in education is an investment in the future. Watch a video tour of the Alford Center here.

Renovated Pataskala Campus Expands Academic Offerings

Following a $4.2 million renovation, our Pataskala campus has been transformed into a modern learning facility that will help students discover their full potential and realize personal and career success. With this renovation, COTC has expanded associate degree and certificate offerings in Pataskala, making them more accessible to students in western Licking County and neighboring Franklin and Fairfield counties who want to start or advance their career or move confidently into a bachelor’s degree. The facility opened for classes in autumn 2021. Learn about COTC’s expanded academic offerings in Pataskala here.

As we celebrate COTC’s half-century of strengthening our community, the college is poised to continue helping students build successful futures, uncovering workforce opportunities and impacting lives for decades to come. As we reflect on the last five decades of growth and accomplishment, honor the many stakeholders who have helped shape the institution, and celebrate what lies ahead, we look forward to the college’s next 50 years as a leading provider of an accessible, affordable and high-quality education for the diverse community of learners in Licking, Coshocton and Knox counties.

Learn more about COTC’s 50th-anniversary plans and history here.

Watch COTC’s 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Video here.

I am incredibly proud of all that COTC has accomplished during this extremely challenging year. Along with our community partners, local industries and employers, we will continue to build opportunities to address workforce needs and to help our students build successful futures.

Stay Healthy, Stay Helpful, Stay Hopeful,

John M. Berry, PhD


COTC Legends of Loyalty

Legends of Loyalty Logo

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.