19Sep MTC Helps 2,397 Students Get To Next by Wendy Weichenthal Thousands of students from Marion and around Ohio started Fall Semester classes at Marion Technical College (MTC). As of the first week of class, 2,397 students are enrolled, including 830 high school students attending through the College Credit Plus program, where students take college courses at no cost to them or their families. “It’s exciting to see these dedicated students taking steps to get to their next goal,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, President of MTC. “A certificate or degree can change the lives of the students and their families.” The MTC students are taking 19,400 credit hours this semester, which is a 4% increase over fall semester 2017. The College Credit Plus students are enrolled for 4,854 credit hours this semester, which translates into $873,720 in free tuition, in addition to free books and waived fees. Last year, high school students from 26 partner schools saved $1.7 million in tuition. MTC is focused on helping students succeed. “Our goal is to be a student-ready college,” said Dr. Richard Prystowsky, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services. MTC offers a variety of support to students. Dr. Richard Prystowsky Two new AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches are reaching out to students to connect them to local resources to help with their non-academic needs, such as challenges with transportation or childcare. Chelsea Adams is an experienced AmeriCorps volunteer who recently moved to Marion. She has a bachelor of fine arts from Bowling Green State University. Rod Keller is a Marion native with a master of public administration degree from Norwich University. This former MTC student retired from his first career in the business world and is now working on his doctorate in education. This is the third year of the AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches on the MTC campus. Chelsea Adams, AmeriCorps College Completion Coach Rod Keller, AmeriCorps College Completion Coach MTC also hired its first full-time Director of Student Disability Services. Jenifer Montag will help students with disabilities find the help they need. A group of staff members called Sherpas also offers encouragement and connection to services. In addition, MTC offers free tutoring to students. The start of classes was very busy, especially as students adjusted to new traffic patterns on the Marion Campus. The main entrance now has a roundabout. The construction includes expanded visitor and handicapped parking, a new dedicated drop-off in front of Bryson Hall, and improved student walkways to the parking lots. Several projects are still underway. A new parking lot is being built behind the Library Classroom Building. A walkway and bike path connecting campus to a local neighborhood and shopping center is also being constructed. While Fall Semester has started, MTC offers shorter 8-week classes which start Oct. 22. MTC is also recruiting students for one-night-a-week accelerated business management classes to earn an associate’s degree through the ASAP program. The next section starts in January 2019. MTC also offers free classes through the Aspire program to help students gain a high school equivalency or brush up on skills for a career. More than 90% of MTC students receive financial aid. A Pell grant covers the entire cost of tuition at MTC. The average age of our student is 27 years old. About 60% of MTC students work while they are in college. A total of 97% are working after graduation. Of our graduates, 97% recommend MTC. MTC offers more than 60 different certificates and degrees. About 100 classes are guaranteed to transfer to any public college or university in Ohio. Flexible options include online and evening classes. With tuition at just $180 a credit hour, students can save more than $10,000 a year compared with a main campus of an Ohio public university. MTC has served more than 50,000 students since opening the doors in 1970.