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Record 1,043 Latino students choose Owens Community College

Sept. 11, 2009: Owens Community College boasted a record-breaking 23,606 students choosing to attend the academic institution for Fall Semester classes on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses.

The College’s ethnicity/race student enrollment continues to increase. For Fall Semester, 3,063 African-American students are pursuing an Owens education compared to 2,764 last year (10.8 percent increase). Latino enrollment has a recorded a 9.7 percent increase with 1,043 students attending classes compared to 950 during fall term 2008.
The combined Fall Semester enrollment of 23,606 students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses surpasses the previous record of 21,296 students enrolled during Fall Semester 2008. Owens’ Toledo-area
Campus has 20,037 students attending classes during the Fall Semester, while on the Findlay-area Campus 3,569 students are enrolled for the fall term.

On both campuses, Fall Semester enrollment has increased 10.8 percent from last fall.

For Scott Blair of Carey, Ohio, the decision to “take the leap of faith” several years ago and pursue a college education after more than 25 years in manufacturing was an easy one.

“I really want to help others as a registered nurse and pursuing a college education is allowing me to achieve that goal,” said the 47-year-old registered nursing major.

Blair, who carries a 3.29 grade point average at Owens and works in coronary care and intensive care as a practical licensed nurse at Findlay’s Blanchard Valley Hospital, added, “Owens has given me the
opportunity to grow as a person, both personally and professionally. It is truly an uplifting feeling to treat a patient and help in their rehabilitation process. My professors have prepared me to succeed in my new career field and I owe them a debt of gratitude for making my dream a reality.”

Blair’s educational success has now become a family affair as his 24-year-old daughter, Arielle Thiel of Carey, has joined him in obtaining a college education from Owens as she pursues her own associate’s degree in registered nursing.

“The opportunity to take classes with my daughter has been an amazing experience,” stated Blair, who has aspirations of working in health care at an area hospital after graduation. “Owens is making a
difference in both of our lives.”

Owens recently announced the creation of new short-cycle training and job placement opportunities for unemployed and dislocated workers within high growth, high demand occupations that include: “green collar,” health care and construction-based industries through a partnership with The Source, Lucas County’s One-Stop Employment Center, in downtown Toledo. The new initiative is part of a $1.9 million federal stimulus grant at Owens.

The College has expanded its eOwens distance learning education by continuously introducing new academic courses online. To date, Owens offers more than 220 e-Learning courses in such academic areas as accounting, art, business, English, psychology and speech, among other course selections.

For Fall Semester 7,168 students are pursuing e-Learning courses - up from 5,976 last fall (19.9 percent increase).

Owens has increased its academic and support services by making available an array of higher education choices for high school students through partnerships with post-secondary schools, through the Weekend College and at The Source, Lucas County’s One-Stop Employment Center, in downtown Toledo. The College’s enrollment at The Source has increased by 151 students with 739 area residents pursuing higher education in downtown Toledo during the current Fall Semester compared to 588 last fall term (25.6 percent increase).

Two hundred forty-seven graduates in 2009 from Whitmer High School, Findlay High School and all high schools within the Toledo Public Schools district in financial need are receiving a free college education to Owens as part of the College Foundation’s expanded Success Program on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses.

The Success Program is designed to assist students, who receive only partial state and federal financial aid, attend college and bridges the gap between the grant aid a student receives and the cost of an Owens education.

Owens unveiled a new $4.2 million Findlay-area Campus Community Education and Wellness Center in 2007 to complement the $17.7 million Findlay-area Campus, which opened in 2005. To accommodate the record number of students, the College, within the last six years, also opened an $11 million Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area Campus.

In 2007, Owens unveiled a new $20.5 million Center for Emergency Preparedness. The Center is the only state-of-the-art facility of this magnitude within the Midwest.

In the coming year, Owens will broaden access to higher education opportunities for police, fire and emergency services personnel, as well as the military, by formally opening a new $3.2 million Emergency
Preparedness Operations Building
at the Center for Emergency Preparedness in October.

The College is continuing the renovation process at the former Penta Career Center and will open newly named and refurbished Founders and Heritage halls for students in the near future. Owens will also be relocating its Workforce and Community Services division to Arrowhead Park in Maumee for the upcoming spring term.





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