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Published 1/6/03
Owens Community College Among Ten Ohio Colleges and Universities To Establish New Agricultural Alliance

Owens Community College is among ten, two- and four-year colleges and universities who are entering into a unique a partnership, establishing a statewide Ohio Collegiate AG Educators (OCAGE) association. The collaboration between Ohioís leaders in agricultural education will provide students with an enhanced academic learning center to acquire information about educational degree programs and career opportunities within agriculture and natural resources.

OCAGEís association also was founded to promote student learning and strengthen partnerships between higher educational institutions offering associate and baccalaureate degrees in agriculture, horticulture, natural resources and the environment. Collectively, OCAGE member institutions offer more than 80 degree programs.

"The development of this new partnership demonstrates each academic institutionís commitment to investing in the economic future of Ohioís agricultural and natural resources industries," said Glenn Abke, Owens Professor of Agribusiness Management. "Combining our collective resources will give business and industry a unified source of reference for employees interested in furthering their education, as well as heightening the awareness among students of the many educational opportunities available throughout Ohio."

As part of the initiative, OCAGE has launched a new Web site, which is dedicated to providing new or transfer students with information about degree programs, as well as links to organizations and associations within the field of agriculture. The Web site also offers a comprehensive listing of more than 1,000 potential careers available in agriculture, natural resources, horticulture, landscape, turfgrass management and food production and processing. Individuals can access the Web site at www.ocage.org.

According to Chris Foley, Owens Associate Professor of Landscape and Turfgrass Management, the most significant impact of the new collaboration is the strengthening of transfer agreements between Ohioís two-year community colleges and The Ohio State University and Wilmington College.

"Owens Community Collegeís long-standing relationships with both of these four-year institutions enables our Natural Science Technologiesí students to seamlessly transfer credits in pursuit of their bachelorís degree," Foley said. "This new partnership will enhance these transfer agreements, offering even more educational opportunities for Owens students and area residents in the surrounding communities."

On the Toledo-area Campus, Owens currently offers associate degree programs in Agribusiness Management Technology, Agricultural Equipment Technician, Landscape and Turfgrass Management and Golf Course/Turf Maintenance. Owens Findlay-area Campus students can pursue an associateís degree in Agribusiness Management Technology and Landscape and Turfgrass Management.

For Joe Kapp of Curtice, a sophomore pursuing an associateís degree in Agribusiness Management Technology, the educational experience at Owens has been very positive.

"Owens Community College is a great place for any student to start their educational career," said Kapp, a Genoa High School graduate who has a 3.9 grade point average at Owens. "One of the reasons I decided to attend Owens is because of the schoolís proximity to home and the affordable cost. By being able to commute from home, I saved a lot of money that would have been spent on housing."

Kapp also is impressed with the Collegeís expert faculty who teach within the Agribusiness Management program. "The instructors are very knowledgeable of the agricultural subjects and are willing to give you help if you need personal attention."

After graduating from Owens, Kapp intends on pursuing his bachelorís degree in Animal Science and Crop Science at The Ohio State University.

In addition to students choosing Owens to earn the first two years of a bachelorís degree in Natural Science Technologies, the College also offers a variety of associate degree programs in Arts and Sciences, which allow for a seamless transfer of credits to any four-year institution.

"More than 35 percent of our students are currently pursuing their associate ís degree at Owens with the intention of transferring to a four-year college or university to earn the final two years of a bachelorís degree," said Dr. Bill Ivoska, Owens Interim Vice President of Students Services. "I only see the trend continuing of students choosing Owens to earn the first two years of a bachelorís degree and transfer those credits to any college or university in the nation."

Among the OCAGE partner institutions are Owens Community College, The Ohio State University, Wilmington College, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Clark State Community College, Columbus State Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, Hocking College, Muskingum Area Technical College and Southern State Community College.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 23 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelorís degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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