By Steve Koehler
Sitting on Missouri 14 between Nixa and Ozark, the Richwood Valley campus of Ozarks Technical Community College is a stunning structure on the outside and, this month, residents and students are invited for a special look inside.
The Richwood Valley campus, along with OTC’s three education centers, will conduct open houses for students and the public to come and get acquainted with their facilities.
The Richwood Valley open house is Thursday, July 29 from 3-6 p.m.
“We offer students personalized service. We don’t have the crush of students that there is at the main campus. It’s less hectic from the parking lot to the classroom,” said Steve Biermann, administrative dean at Richwood Valley, who added that south Springfield residents can get to the Richwood Valley campus faster than they can drive to the Springfield campus.
Since opening its doors in the spring of 2007, enrollment at Richwood Valley has grown from 478 to more than 1,000 students. While the focus has been primarily on general education courses, Richwood Valley also offers a number of Allied Health programs including Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) and Medical Lab Technician.
With state-of-the-art classrooms, all equipped with the latest audio and video teaching tools, the environment is the perfect setting for the Allied Health programs.
“Those teachers love this environment,” Biermann said.
In addition, the faculty has access to the campus’ 90 acres of land, which they use as a laboratory for science classes. The creek that borders the campus is used for research, and the tree groves are used for practice in identifying various species.
A new FEMA-approved storm shelter is open on campus, too. Biermann said the shelter is being used to conduct some PTA courses and will soon be the home of a state-of-the-art driving simulator for truck driving students. It will also give law enforcement officers training in defensive driving skills.
The shelter was put to practical use when 20 residents, along with faculty, staff and students used the facility several weeks ago when a threatening storm approached the campus.
The other open houses are scheduled for:
• Waynesville Education Center: July 27, 9 a.m. – noon.
• Lebanon Education Center: July 27, 2-5 p.m.
• Branson Education Center: July 28, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications for Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666