Making History ... For 50 Years and Forward

by Dr. David T. Harrison

Dr. David T. HarrisonWhen Columbus Area Technician School opened in 1963 in the basement of Central High School, with 63 students, who could have imagined what it would become within the lifetime of some of those students?

  • The front door to higher education for more Central Ohio students than any other college or university.
  • The producer of thousands of our community's healthcare professionals, first responders, small business owners, chefs, IT workers, and professionals in almost every field.
  • The supplier of more transfer students to The Ohio State University's Columbus Campus than any other institution.
  • The school of choice to help adults retrain for a new career and to help industry secure a well-trained workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
  • A college that offers more than 200 degrees and certificates and has more than 26,000 students on beautiful campuses Downtown and in Delaware County, and nine other sites throughout the region.

The college has a rich history, and as president, I benefit from a legacy of visionary leaders who preceded me. To uphold that heritage, in the year leading up to our 50th anniversary, we have engaged in strategic planning and master planning initiatives to launch Columbus State into the next 50 years with the direction, programs, facilities, and resources to best help this community grow and prosper.

Our Strategic Plan zeroes in the college's attention on student success, workforce development, and civic engagement. These areas represent the three pillars that support our vision: to be the front door to higher education and a leader in advancing our region's prosperity. In the coming years, it will be our responsibility to focus the college's efforts and resources on work in these core areas.

Our Master Plan is more a vision than a blueprint. Yet, it clearly shows that Columbus State will best fulfill its mission through deep and lasting partnerships with business and industry, K-12 and higher education institutions, and community organizations.

This college has risen from the basement of a high school to prominence as one of the nation's premier comprehensive community colleges. How far can we go in the next half century? With the plans we have in place, the dedication and expertise of our faculty and staff, the commitment of our students, and the spirit of partnership and hard work in our community, Columbus State's future is as boundless and bright as the future of Central Ohio.