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OTC to begin fall semester with look toward future

Misi McFarland, an incoming first-year student at Ozarks Technical Community College, said it best.

“My first class will be English Comp I on Aug. 23. I think on the night of the 22nd, I will sleep like a kid on Christmas Eve,” she wrote on OTC’s Facebook page.

Misi will be among thousands of nervous and excited students, faculty and staff on campus Monday as OTC welcomes another fall semester at its two campuses and three educational centers.

It seems hard to believe that just 20 years ago, voters approved the formation of the OTC service region and next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the first classes being offered.

Since that time, OTC’s enrollment has grown to the point where having 13,000 students enrolled for the fall is the norm rather than the exception.

The college has grown from one campus in Springfield to two campuses, the second being Richwood Valley, located between Nixa and Ozark. There are three educational centers in Branson, Lebanon and Waynesville. All five locations will experience an increase in enrollment this fall.

Over the years, enrolling at OTC has grown into a tradition for many students.

“As we approach our 20th year of educational service to the Ozarks, we now have students who don’t remember a time when OTC wasn’t here. We have established ourselves as an institution that provides a reasonably priced quality education that students can use to go right to work or continue on to a four-year institution,” said Hal L. Higdon, president of Ozarks Technical Community College.

But OTC is not standing still; changes and improvements are constantly under way at the college.

This fall, a new parking lot on the west end of the Springfield Campus will accommodate another 410 vehicles, helping ease that situation.

A revamped cafeteria, now called Café 101, will offer students a variety of quality food offerings, a full coffee bar and soft drinks that include Coke, Pepsi and Crown products.

Work will begin soon on a second-floor addition to Information Commons West 100 that will add 10 classrooms for fall 2011.

And at the same time, Higdon said, the college also will continue to play a significant role on the region’s economic stage.

“Over the years, we have become a key economic catalyst through training workers and providing vital services to our business partners. Recently, OTC was designated as having the second-largest impact on the Ozarks in the last 30 years,” Higdon said.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at



College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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