In honor of National Community College Month the following are some of the highlights from Hocking College’s fifty year history of providing pathways to prosperity to students in Southeast Ohio and the neighboring border state of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
About Hocking College’s origins
The origins of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio can be traced back to the Fall of 1968. when its predecessor Tri-County Technical Institute officially opened. Dedicated to providing technical training to local residents, the TCTI was built on the campus of the Tri-County Joint Vocational School-which is now the Tri-County Career Center.
When the Tri-County Technical Institute opened it employed 28 instructors and served 234 students. Then, in 1969 the TCTI received a charter from the Ohio Board of Regents allowing the school to grant degrees in 13 technical programs.
During the 70’s The Tri-County Technical Institute continued to reach a series of professional milestones. The first of these was their school’s inaugural commencement ceremony held in June of 1970. The graduating class consisted of 117 students-making it the largest graduating class for a technical institute in the state of Ohio’s history. Other goals the school met during the 1970’s are as followed:
- The school’s mission statement becomes, “Tri-County Technical Institute’s principal objective is to provide para-professional technical education to high school graduates of all ages”
- The school’s name is officially changed to Hocking Technical College
- HTC reaches 1,005 students
- The school is accredited by the Ohio College Association
- Hocking Technical College officially moves to 3301 Hocking Parkway
- Lang Hall opens making HTC it the only two-year school in Ohio to offer college-owned residence halls
- Hocking Technical College is accredited by the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission
- Student enrollment at HTC reaches 2,250
Throughout the 1980’s Hocking Technical College continued to prosper, gain national attention and meet the following benchmarks:
- Students from HTC’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program work in Lake Placid, New York during the Winter Olympics
- Enrollment at Hocking Technical College reaches 3,240
- Shaw Technical Lab is constructed
- The Ohio Board of Regents grants HTC four Program Excellence awards for Ceramic Engineering, Forestry Technology, Police Science Technology and Recreation and Widllife Technology
- The Hocking Woods Nature Center officially opens
- Over 4,000 students are enrolled at Hocking Technical College
- The new Student Center opens on-campus
In the 1990’s Hocking Technical College got a new name and continued to expand its professional horizons in the following manners:
- A new satellite campus is established in Perry County that offers seven programs to 61 students
- Hocking Technical College officially becomes Hocking College
- Enrollment at HC exceeds 5,500 students
- Students from HC go to Europe to take part in the school’s first student exchange program with Havering College in London, England
- Davidson Hall is constructed
- HC’s Perry Campus opens on a permanent basis
- Hocking College acquires Lake Snowden
- The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at Hocking College as part of his “March for Appalachia” bus tour to bring attention to the economic struggles of people living in this region
- HC begins offering online courses
- Hocking College celebrates its 30th anniversary
- Both the Public Safety Services building and fire tower open
Hocking College started out the new millennium by making renovations on a new recreation center in 2001. Some of the other highlights of this decade for the college include the following:
- Hocking College obtains reaccreditation from the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission
- Rhapsody restaurant opens in historic downtown Nelsonville, Ohio
- The McClenaghan Center for Hospitality is renovated
- Hocking College is added to the “Military Friendly School” list
- The newly expanded Logan Campus and The Visual Arts Center both open.
- The First Annual Hocking College Homecoming is held
- HC forms its first football team, The Hocking College Hawks
- The college’s Ecotourism & Adventure Leadership (formally Ecotourism & Adventure Travel) program is voted one of the top five ecotourism programs by BootsNAll.
- The Inn at Hocking College becomes The Lodge at Hocking College
- HC holds its first Alumni Homecoming
- The college now offers more than 50 programs of study
- The college mission statement becomes, “We serve as a pathway to prosperity, teaching and inspiring all who seek to learn, growing careers and changing lives.”
- Hocking College President Dr. Betty Young becomes one of over 150 community college presidents to sign the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.
- The HC Archery Team places third as a team at the USA Collegiate National Championships
- Hocking College purchases a distillery facility in New Straitsville to house its new fermentation science program
- A new water park opens at Lake Snowden
- In July the college was approved for a provisional license by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.
- In December two ribbon cutting ceremonies are held to celebrate the openings of HC’s new dental hygiene clinic at the school’s Perry Campus and medical cannabis testing lab located in Nelsonville.
- Ohio Govenor Mike DeWine visits the Hocking College campus
- A ribbon cutting ceremony is held to recognize the college’s new Animal Assisted Therapy Building in Nelsonville.
- HC’s new Dental Hygiene program gets accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation
- The theme for Dr. Young’s 2019 State of the College address is Contributing to the Revitalization of our Communities
What does the future hold for Hocking College?
Although Hocking College has experienced many changes over the years one aspect of the school has remained steadfast from the very beginning: it’s ongoing commitment to helping students in Southeastern Ohio and its neighboring border states cultivate success both in and out of the classroom.