Naomi Nichols

Associate of Arts in Social Work

Student Spotlight
Portrait of Naomi Nichols in front of the COTC Gateway enrollment center.

Naomi Nichols’ educational journey didn’t start at COTC. She originally enrolled in a four-year university majoring in psychology, but she didn’t feel like she was getting the one-on-one attention necessary to be successful. That’s when she found her way to COTC.

“COTC happened to not only be close to home, so I would actually be able to be close to my family and friends, but also my mom, sister and grandpa had gone to COTC and had all spoken so highly of it,” Nichols says.

Nichols struggled with her statistics class at her first university and struggled with it again when she got to COTC. “But it’s because I wasn’t utilizing resources,” she explains. “I ended up meeting with my success coach a few different times throughout the semester. We talked about my study habits and a good way for me to be successful in the class. I ended up passing the class with a B.”

Nichols is now completing an Associate of Arts with a concentration in social work and has started her social work practicum. Originally pursuing psychology, she switched paths to social work at the suggestion of one of her success coaches. “She told me that there were different ways that I could do counseling sooner than I would be able to with my psychology degree. I would also be able to help people in a lot more different ways than just counseling if I pursued social work.”

In between her classes and social work practicum, Nichols works at the Student Success Center in the Gateway, which has helped prepare her for her future career endeavors. “I feel like it’s given me a different perspective,” she says. “When I sit in on student meetings, I have different resources I can offer and different ways I can help them. I think that’s going to help me a lot in my career.”

Before working at the Gateway, Nichols worked two different jobs that competed for attention with her coursework. “I ended up only working at the Gateway at the end of last year,” Nichols says, as it gave her schedule flexibility and time to work on coursework. “I’m grateful they allow me that flexibility,” she adds.

“I think one thing that is unique about COTC is their dedication to their students. Not just academically, but overall,” Nichols states. “They just want to make sure their students are okay and that they’re getting a good education, and they’re willing to do anything needed to assist students in being successful.”

Nichols’ advice for prospective students is to “meet with our wonderful admissions team.” She adds, “COTC makes it really easy for students to be successful in their anticipated careers.” For current students, she advises them to “ask for help when it’s needed and ask for help early.”

When Nichols graduates from COTC, she will have an Associate of Arts under her belt, as well as an addiction studies certificate and behavioral and mental health certificate. “I’m excited to have the opportunity with those certificates to be able to help people with their behavioral health and possibly work with people in addiction studies, which I didn’t know was such a common thing in social work.” She’ll then go on to complete her four-year degree at The Ohio State University.

In her free time, Nichols is interested in art, including felting and embroidery. She also has interests in theater and drama, writing poetry and short stories, and reading fantasy novels.