Marion Made: MTC Helps Students Get to Their Next Goal

Marion Technical College faculty and staff just kicked off the 2018 academic year. Together, they will work together to educate 2,500 students and help them get to the next goal in their education or career. This is just another step in MTC’s history of helping area students change their lives and our community.

MTC  opened its doors to students in the fall of 1971. Since then, more than 40,000 students have come to MTC to start or advance a career. As Marion’s needs have changed, MTC has grown to meet them.

MTC started holding classes in Morrill Hall. In the late 1970s, the Technical Education Center (now Bryson Hall) opened with typewriters and mimeograph machines.

Helping Laid-off Workers

MTC opened right before the economy hit an economic downturn. In that recession and many since then, laid-off workers came to MTC to find new direction.


“I was shocked when they announced the layoffs,” said Carla Auck, a 20-year employee of Frontier in January 2017. “I was worried. Am I going to lose my house? How am I going to feed my kids?”

Auck was excited to start the path toward a new career at MTC.

“I want a high-demand job. I don’t ever want to go through this again. The medical field is never going to go away,” Auck stated.

Employers like OhioHealth come to MTC to recruit quality graduates.

“OhioHealth is committed to hiring and retaining top-notch associates, and MTC has consistently provided well-prepared… students,” said Davene Yankle, manager for OhioHealth Physician Enterprise.

Changing Lives

AlumniSuccess Mary Graham CMYK300dpiMary Graham of Marengo said an Occupational Therapy Assistant degree from MTC changed her life.

“I had two children and I was working two jobs – renting a house and living paycheck to paycheck,” Graham said. “Now I work one job, I just built a house, I have a reliable car, and I have more time to spend with my children.”

Graham liked the convenient location and supportive faculty.

“Dr. Chad Schneider gave me the confidence that I could go through with it,” Graham stated.

Starting Local Businesses

Jean Obenour used her business degree from MTC to start Custom Professional Accounting in 1992. Twenty-five years later, her business is thriving. She has a staff of eight and is hiring more local workers. Obenour says MTC is a great investment.

“I would recommend MTC to others in a heartbeat,” Obenour states. “I recommend everyone stay in Marion and get an education. Student loans are staggering these days.”

MTC supported the Marion Chamber of Commerce’s new business competition, The Forge. All entrants will receive free non-credit classes from MTC to help these new enterprises succeed.

Saving Money

While MTC has grown, tuition remains affordable at just $170 a credit hour or about $5,000 a year. Many state universities charge about $24,000 a year for tuition, room and board on the main campus. Many private universities charge $45,000 or more.

One even more affordable option for high school students is to take college course for free through the College Credit Plus program.

Samantha Foster graduated from MTC with her associate’s degree before she graduated from Pleasant through the College Credit Plus Program. She started at Capital University as a junior, saving more than $80,000 for two years of college.

“My parents are excited! I saved them so much money,” Foster shared.

Last year, nearly 1,200 high school students saved more than $1.8 million in tuition by taking classes at MTC through this program. This year may hit a new record enrollment.  Many of these classes are guaranteed to transfer to any state college or university.

GPS 2017
The GPS Class of 2021

In addition, an exciting new program called Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS) is helping economically disadvantaged students at Harding High School start a path to a certificate or an associate’s degree by the time they finish high school.

Employers, including Honda of America, Whirlpool, and OhioHealth, have been directly involved in the GPS program development and have committed to provide employment opportunities for students who complete the program. The state recently awarded MTC a $350,000 grant to expand this exciting new program.

Launching CEOs

JohnMetcalfPhotoMarion native John Metcalf enjoyed MTC’s small classes and hands-on learning.

“Professors knew your name and cared if you were there,” Metcalf recalls. “At other institutions, my classes were 150 or more students.”

Metcalf worked his way up to become president and CEO of the Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative.

“I absolutely recommend MTC to others!” Metcalf exclaims.

Changing Programs and an Expanding Campus

From four original programs, MTC now offers more than 50 degrees and certificates. Flexible options including online, night, and one-night-a-week classes. MTC is proud to meet the needs of local students and employers.

The Marion Campus has grown to include the Health Technologies Center, a library, student recreation center and the new Science and Engineering Building. If you haven’t visited the Marion Campus recently, please stop by and see how MTC has grown. MTC is Marion Made!

By: Wendy Weichenthal, Public Relations Specialist

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