Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Choose Ohio First Scholarship Funding Awarded

Recently released OBR press release: 

New STEMM Programs to Receive Funding, Join Existing COF Programs

COLUMBUS, OH, May 30, 2012 – Recognizing the potential for eight million new jobs in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine (STEMM), the Ohio Board of Regents is awarding additional funding to 20 Ohio colleges and universities as part of the Choose Ohio First scholarship program.

The Ohio Board of Regents was approved by the Controlling Board to provide $7.5 million in scholarships as part of the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program for fiscal year 2012. The seven-member Controlling Board provides legislative oversight over capital and operating expenditures by state agencies.

“Choose Ohio First is a strategic effort to bolster Ohio’s economic strength by ensuring a ready workforce for STEMM-related industries,” Chancellor Jim Petro said. “Choose Ohio First provides scholarships to students in innovative academic programs.”

The latest round of funding provided in the State budget follows a highly competitive proposal, application and external review process. Applicants must highlight innovations in their STEMM areas, and convince reviewers that their programs are among the best, not just in the state, but in the country. The Ohio Board of Regents received 87 applications from 20 different Ohio institutions and awarded funding to 40 new programs.

The newly approved funding will enhance the existing allocation of $10 million that was already earmarked for 28 programs involving 41 Ohio public and private institutions.

The funding will be distributed by the institutions as scholarships to students beginning in the Fall of 2012. Choose Ohio First funding is typically awarded to STEMM academic programs that are not only cutting-edge, but also aligned with Ohio’s business needs.

Among the institutions that will be part of Choose Ohio First for the first time: Franklin University, Heidelberg University, Notre Dame College, Ohio Northern University, Washington State Community College, and Zane State College.

Returning Choose Ohio First recipient institutions with newly designated programs, are:  Bowling Green State University; Case Western Reserve University; Clark State Community College; Cleveland State University; Hiram College; Kent State University; Marietta College; North Central State College; Ohio University; Stark State College; Ohio State University; University of Cincinnati; University of Findlay; University of Toledo; and Wittenberg University.

Choose Ohio First funds higher education and business collaborations that are expected to have an enormous impact on Ohio’s position in world markets such as aerospace, medicine, computer technology and alternative energy. 

Choose Ohio First scholarships are available to selected undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing a major in a STEMM field.

Newly awarded majors include:

       Associate degree programs in computer information systems, environmental science, geospatial technology, and health information management.
       Bachelor’s degree programs in aeronautics, computer science, environmental science, management information sciences, petroleum engineering, and pharmaceutical sciences.
       Master’s and doctoral degree programs in geological sciences, nutrition, photovoltaics, systems biology, and bioinformatics.

Scholarship awards range from $1,500 to $5,200 per student, per academic year.

During the past four years, more than $60 million dollars has been allocated for scholarships and has leveraged more than $32 million in matching funds from Ohio colleges and universities, and their business partners. Choose Ohio First scholarships have been awarded to more than 4,500 students in 28 programs involving 41 Ohio public and private institutions during the past four years.

According to a report by the Center on Education and the Workforce, eight million new jobs will be available in STEMM-related fields by 2018. The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program is part of the state's strategic effort to significantly strengthen Ohio's position in global markets such as aerospace, medicine, computer technology and energy.

For more information, see:  Choose Ohio First

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ohio Board of Regents Announces Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows

Chancellor Jim Petro announced on Thursday the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows. These Fellows have been accepted into the program at seven Ohio colleges as high-quality math and science teacher candidates for high-need Ohio schools.  Of the 14 Fellows, four are representatives of AICUO member-colleges, John Carroll University (Megan Evans and Alicia Rogers) and University of Dayton (Madeline Dunfee and Brandon Towns).

Partner universities in the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships have redesigned teacher preparation to prepare teachers in local classrooms, the way physicians learn in hospitals and attorneys in law offices. Programs also emphasize specific teaching approaches for the STEM fields. After a year of classroom-based preparation, Fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Ohio school, with ongoing support and mentoring.
The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship recruits accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (the STEMM fields) who will prepare for math and science teaching positions in the state’s urban and rural schools. For a factsheet on the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship, visit

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sale of Real Property Legislation Receives Hearing in Senate Committee

HB 375, legislation that will add independent colleges to a list of entities with the ability to purchase property from school districts (if community schools deny their first-right-of-refusal), received its first hearing in Senate Education Committee today.  The bill-sponosr, Rep. Jim Butler (R - Oakwood), fielded only one question from the panel - Senator Bill Beagle (R - Tipp City) asked whether the codified list of entities had a pecking order; it does not.   The bill adds no preferential treatment to independent colleges, it merely adds them to the codified list of potential purchasers.

The bill, according to Senate Education Committee Chairman, Senator Peggy Lehner (R - Kettering) will receive a second hearing very soon, in addition to a possible vote.

The bill was recently voted out of the Ohio House by a vote of 77-17 and is expected to pass the Senate with as much ease.