While the halls at OTC are filled with college students, there are a number of students who come to the college still enrolled in high school.
Thanks to the OTC Career Center, they can get a jump on their college education.
More than 500 students learn and develop skills in one of 19 technical education programs the center offers. The credits they earn through the Career Center apply toward their college degree work.
“Many of our students see a benefit in attending through the OTC Career Center, and I have heard students say their high school GPA has also improved since they started at OTC,” said Jackie Jenkins, director of the Career Center.
Many students credit the Center for improving their interest in heading to college after high school graduation.
“I heard of the Center from my counselor,” said Sean McClay, a senior from Bolivar High School who is studying diesel technology. “It’s really a beneficial program. I’ve always been intrigued with mechanics.”
McClay has been attending classes at OTC for two years and has 32 college credits.
“The classes are very hands on and include the physical aspects of the work and what’s it like in the real world,” said McClay, who plans to get a mechanical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
Candace Colley, a senior from Willard, is studying health science through the Career Center. She said she is taking the college courses “to get ahead of the game” on her way to becoming a surgical technician. She has 16 college credits.
“I’ve enjoyed the clinical work. You see a little bit of everything,” she said.
Taking classes at OTC makes Cooley feel like a college student, she said.
“You’re treated with respect. There’s not as much tension here. The teachers are awesome,” she said.
Cody Newell of Clever is a junior and has just started studying construction technology at OTC. He wants to earn his bachelor’s degree in construction management.
“If I wasn’t going to OTC, I don’t think I’d be working as hard in high school. I plan on coming back next year. Im telling all my friends about it,” he said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
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Phone: (417) 447-2666