Cuyahoga Community College District or Tri-C (CCC) holds the distinction of being the oldest and largest community college in Ohio. The college was established in 1963. The college’s main campus is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The rest of the college’s campuses are the Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, the Eastern Campus in Highland Hills and the Western Campus in Parma. The college has two Corporate College locations in Westlake and Warrensville Heights.
Through the various locations, the school serves over 55,000 students annually. The distance learning program delivers over 700 courses.
The student population is a mixture of both teenagers and seniors. The average age of the students is 30 but there are students as young as 15 and others above 75. Women constitute over 60% of students at the college and close to 40% of the overall student population is made up of students from minority groups.
The range of programs is extremely diverse as the college has close to 150 study programs. From associate’s degrees to professional certificates and apprenticeships, the college has most of the programs that high school graduates and professionals who need a refresher course will find ideal.
The college offers associate of science and associate of arts degrees in diverse areas such as accounting, anthropology, industrial technology (bricklaying, carpentry, cement masonry, glazing and electrical construction, etc), physical science, psychology and nursing.
Under the Information Technology department, the college offers a number of degree and certificate courses. Students enrolled here could study for an Associate of Applied Business degree in Administrative Office Systems. The course is aimed at students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution but equally comes in handy for those seeking employment after graduation as they are already equipped with the skills needed in an ideal office environment – they are trained in production of various reports and correspondence and the use of software applications for electronic maintenance of files.
The college’s list of short term certificates is also long. The Short Term Certificate in Automotive & General Service, for example, is aimed at students who hope to join the automotive industry as assistant technicians. There are also several professional short term certificates such as the Massotherapy Post-Degree Professional Certificate aimed at holders of an associate or bachelor’s degree who wish to be licensed as massotherapists.
The college also offers associate degrees and certificates in a number of languages including Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Latin and French.
Accreditation is granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Freshmen seeking admission are required to be holders of high school diplomas or satisfactory GED certificates. As evidence of high school completion, the college requires that all official transcripts from schools attended be mailed directly to the Office of the Registrar – faxes and email attachments are not accepted. Once the applicant’s transcripts are received, the college requires applicants to sit Placement Tests. All applicants must sit English and mathematics assessments and they are used to determine the courses to offer the applicant.
Placement tests administered by the college are COMPASS English Test, COMPASS Math Assessment, English as a Second Language (ESL), Ability to Benefit (ATB) and ASSET. Applicants with satisfactory ACT scores are not required to take the COMPASS English and math placement tests.
Students seeking re-admission to the college after a period away from the institution are required to have transcripts from any schools or colleges subsequently attended mailed to the college. Students who wish to return after previously being dismissed from the college are required to complete and submit an Admissions Appeals Board Petition for Readmission to the admissions appeal board which reviews the student’s eligibility to return. Students cleared for readmission by the appeals board are required to register in person at the college’s enrollment center.
International students seeking admission to the college are required to submit a handwritten letter outlining their educational goals. Unlike at most colleges and other institutions of higher learning, international applicants are not required to present their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. On the contrary, all the college needs to confirm is that the applicant has the competence to write simple sentences in English. The college is able to establish this from the applicant’s handwritten letter.
On admission, international students for whom English is not the primary language will be required to take a placement test to test their English as a Second Language. International students who have completed College Composition and obtained grade C or better are exempted from the ESL placement test.
Students have many sources of financial aid from the institution itself as well as from external sources. Internally, the college awards a number of scholarships and the amounts awarded via these scholarships are sometimes quite substantial.
The Academic Excellence Scholarship is awarded to high school students from Cuyahoga County who choose to continue their studies at the college. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 per year and is used to cater for tuition fees. Athletically gifted students attending the college could also benefit from the Athletic Scholarship which is available for students playing in any of the college’s athletic teams.
Other internal scholarships available for students include the Honors Program Scholarship, the Journalism Scholarship, the TRIO-Access Scholarship and the Student Senate Scholarship.
The State of Ohio also eases the financial burdens of students attending colleges in the State through several scholarships. Students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees could apply for the Diversifying Ohio (DO-STEM) Scholarships. The search for beneficiaries of these scholarships begins at municipal high schools in Cleveland and winners could receive amounts up to $3,500 per year.
Under the DO-STEM scholarship is the Student Success in Mathematics Scholarship which is open to students at several colleges in Northeast Ohio. To encourage more students to undertake studies in healthcare and bioscience, the State also awards the Choose Ohio First Engaged Scholarship in Bioscience and Healthcare to offer financial assistance to students in these two areas.
Other State scholarships include the Ohio Integrated Science Training for Northeast Ohio’s Future Biomedical and Biotechnology Workforce and the Discovery Teacher Preparations initiative for both graduate and undergraduate students studying to become STEM teachers.
CCC also participates in the federal work study program which gives needy students the opportunity to make money from part-time employment. In addition to demonstrating financial need, students benefitting from this program must be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours per semester. Through the program, a student can earn up to $5,000 per annum.
Other forms of financial aid available to student include various grants (such as federal Pell grants, the federal academic competitiveness grant and federal supplemental educational opportunity grants) and federal loans. Federal loans that students could apply for include subsidized and unsubsidized direct Stafford loans and PLUS loans.
Apart from pursuing academic excellence, students are encouraged to join the many student clubs and organizations available at the college’s various campuses. There are clubs and organizations modeled on various programs such as the pharmacy club, the mathematics club and the American Society of Interior Design Student Chapter. Others in this category include the history club, the nursing student club, the surgical technology club and the business focus club.
There are also many hobby and special interest clubs and organizations such as the chess club, the drama club, women with voices, the Japanese culture club and the Lambda Gay-Straight Alliance.
While students are encouraged to join the various clubs and organizations to improve their interpersonal and leadership skills, the college also takes more practical measures to encourage students to assume leadership roles.
Every spring, one student on each of the college’s campuses is awarded the Student of the Year Award. The award is valued at $2,000 and winners are students who not only excel in their studies but also demonstrate quantifiable leadership credentials. Academically, winners must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Winners are also required to have served at least 50 documented volunteer hours.
In addition to making their voices heard and sharing ideas through their various clubs and organizations, students have an ideal forum through the Tri-C Voice, the student’s newspaper. This newspaper is written and published by the students themselves.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Athletic students have many teams to choose from as the college is represented in most sports. The teams available include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball, women’s cross country and track, women’s softball, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer. The college’s teams are members of the National Junior College Athletics Association.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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