NCSC Receives $222,833 National Science Foundation Grant
North Central State College has been awarded a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) grant for $222,833 to expand and support the training of laboratory technicians in the field of Bioscience. The three-year grant titled “Bioscience Expansion Project,” will help NC State meet local, growing demand for skilled technicians, specifically at industry partner Charles River Laboratories (CRL).
The primary goal of the grant will be to create an evening schedule of classes that will allow students to work during the day and take evening courses to expand their knowledge and skills in laboratory techniques. Graduates will possess the necessary skills to advance their careers. In addition, graduates will be prepared to continue their education, following a pathway from Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center, to NC State for an associate degree, to Ashland University or the University of Findlay to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Two NC State employees will lead the grant implementation, Justin Tickhill, associate professor of biology, and Jason Tucker, assistant professor and program coordinator of bioscience. Tickhill is excited to begin working on the grant, “We will be modifying the curriculum to better utilize distance learning, reducing face-to-face lecture time while maintaining in-person lab instruction.”
He also recognizes the importance of the community partners in the success of the program, “Our community partners are crucial to the success of this grant. We are pleased that Charles River is involved, and we are reaching out to other biotechnology companies to explore their workforce needs. We want to ensure that our student outcomes match the needs of companies here in north central Ohio.”
Jason Tucker believes the industry will continue to grow, “Employees with these skills are definitely in-demand. These are rewarding careers with established companies. Anyone who is considering a career change should look at the Bioscience industry. It’s rewarding, challenging, and growing in many, many ways.”
Dr. Dorey Diab, president of North Central State College is already looking ahead, “We are very pleased to receive our first NSF grant, and we know that it is going to provide positive connections between the college and our community partners. We saw a local industry with a need for qualified workers, and we helped work toward a solution to provide those employees. I’m proud of our team, and I hope we can replicate the vision incumbent in this grant to meet the needs of other employers throughout the area.”
Work on the grant will continue throughout the summer in preparation for students to begin the training program as early as this fall semester.
About North Central State College
North Central State is a community college that serves 4,400 students on its Mansfield campus, Kehoe Center in Shelby, and the Crawford Success Center in Bucyrus. The College is preparing this area’s workforce by offering more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs of study, including comprehensive technical education in health sciences, general studies, public service, business, engineering technology, and corporate/community services. In addition to technical studies, North Central State College offers numerous associate of arts and associate of science degrees, which allow students to transfer credits to colleges and universities in the pursuit of advanced degrees.