On August 3, 1990, Springfield, MO residents and surrounding public school districts voted to establish a technical college which they named Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC). The non-residential college provides the community with a two-year, open admission college that focuses on technical education. OTC is committed to small class sizes and prides itself on the high quality curriculum delivered by professional faculty and staff.
Ozarks Technical Community College provides job-skill training and college transfer preparation for local students. Faculty and staff are highly committed to “providing quality learning experiences that support community, workforce, and personal development.”
The programming at OTC extends beyond its own students into the local community. High school juniors and seniors are given the opportunity to participate in half-day job-skills programs. Local businesses can also contract with OTC to gain support in custom-designed training for their particular industry. In addition, local adult education and literacy classes are also offered so that community members can work toward earning their General Education Diploma or GED.
Ozarks Technical Community College offers students five different types of degrees: AA, AS, AAS Business, AAS Allied Health, and AAS Technical. These degrees, on average, are obtained over the course of two years. Specific fields of study range from teaching, nursing, and dental hygiene to biology, automotive technology, and fire science technology. In all, 38 different degrees are earned by OTC students.
One thing that is uniquely attractive about OTC is the fact that they offer a 43-hour transfer block option, a transfer policy for general education credits. If a participating private or public institution is willing to design a general education block with at least 43 semester hours of credit addressing eight state-defined goals, students who complete the requirements at OTC can transfer to a participating school and have their block count as equivalent since it was initially designed by that institution. This process makes it easy to take OTC credits to another institution without any hassle.
OTC also offers online and hybrid (a mixture of both face-to-face and online) courses to students. The only face time online courses require is one proctored examination. This makes it convenient for students to complete their coursework whenever they choose.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Ozarks Technical Community College does not just provide students with two-year degrees. People in the local community can also tap into OTC’s resources to earn one-year certificates or continuing education credits as well. These certificate and continuing education courses range from more liberal-arts type content to very specific, technical courses. Certificate and non-credit classes and workshops are housed in the Center for Workforce Development.
Community Enrichment Center
OTC’s Community Enrichment Center provides local community members and students with opportunities to further their studies and gain some professional development. The Center offers both seated classroom and online training to accommodate students with busy lives. These courses are great for both community members hoping to gain some new knowledge in an area of interest or for students to explore outside their field. Opportunities are available in the areas of photography, floral design, home repair, foreign and sign language, arts and leisure, among others.
Transport Training Institute
The Transport Training Institute provides classes and training for those seeking commercial driver’s licenses. The institute gears their curriculum toward defensive driving, dispatch, and recruiting training. Information sessions are available throughout the year for those interested.
Keeping up with the fast-growing healthcare industry can be extremely confusing and time consuming. OTC offers support in this area so that local community members can maintain their licenses, obtain new certifications, or simply brush up on their skills. Programs cover a myriad of topics, including dental care, insulin administration training, yoga, certified nurse assistant training, and more.
At Ozarks Technical Community College, manufacturing courses focus on electricity, welding, quality management, and advanced manufacturing.
Offering Green Solutions
OTC offers community members classes that focus on helping local businesses move to greener solutions. Topics include, but are not limited to, energy analysis, weatherization, lead abatement, green homes and businesses.
Leadership and Development.
OTC’s Center for Workforce Development recognizes that there is extremely intense global competition as well as changing labor. They also understand that there is a need for continual employee development and technologies advance at alarming rates. The Leadership and Development Department of the Center focuses on providing community members and students with courses and workshops focused on leadership development, child development, financial training, customer retention, communications, and team building.
Small Business and IT
Ozarks Technical Community College faculty recognize the need for not only supporting community members in developing small businesses, but how to technologically manage their entrepreneurial ideas as well. Classes provided in this area range from small business accounting to Microsoft applications and QuickBooks. It is OTC’s goal to keep students current on all the latest technology as best they can.
Ozarks Technical Community College is an open enrollment school, so students can sign up and begin throughout the year. Fall classes typically begin around the middle of August. There is an online application for prospective students to complete with a confirmation letter provided within 10 business days.
All new OTC students have to complete an orientation session prior to meeting with any advisers or enrolling in any classes. Orientation is also strongly advised for readmitted students who have been absent from OTC for an extended period of time.
Preferably, students will have ACT scores from high school available for OTC admissions officers. If not, a placement test is required. Students with ACT scores that are older than two years will also have to take the placement test. The test scores are used to determine placement in English, reading, and math classes. STAR (STudent Advising & Resgistration) seminars are provided for students who need guidance on how to apply, what to study, and who to connect with for support.
If students happen to be undecided about their college major, a free career assessment can be taken to help guide the way.
Financial aid is available for OTC students through the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) loan program as well as through federal grants such as the Pell Grant. Information, including a five-minute FAFSA video is available, online at the OTC website. In addition to loans and grants, OTC students are also able to apply for local institutional and foundational scholarships as well as find a part-time job through the Federal Work Study Program. At the state level, students can also apply for financial aid through the Missouri A+ Program. The financial aid staff at Ozarks Technical Community College are available to assist students as they pursue their educational dreams. They provide guidance in navigating through all the different forms that need to be filled out.
Student Financial Aid Details
Even though OTC is a commuter’s college, there is still student life happening all around. Students have the opportunity to get involved with campus activities throughout the school year. These different events and organizations help students gain skills in leadership, organization, and communication, which aligns with the OTC philosophy.
Ozarks Technical Community College has a Student Government Association (SGA) that all enrolled students are automatically a part of when they first arrive. How active students become in the association is up to them. Staying actively involved in the SGA is highly encouraged, taking full advantage of student fees spent and more importantly, making a difference serving as a voice of the student body.
Some student organizations include: Criminal Justice Society, Computer Programmers and Users Society, Physical Therapy Association, Jazz Club, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Sensational Singers, and Student Nurse Association. Many more are available for students, giving everyone a place to be involved.
Student Enrollment Demographics
- “Admissions Guide 2011.” Ozarks Technical Community College. 2010. PDF file.
- Boroch, Deborah, et. al. Student Success in Community College: A Practical Guide to Developmental Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.
- Frey, Carol. “Going the Community College Route Can Pay Off.” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, n.d. Web. 6 July 2011.
- Ozarks Technical Community College. Ozarks Technical Community College. n.d. Web. 6 July 2011.