Edison hosts annual State of the College address


By Matt Clevenger

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PIQUA — Edison State Community College held its annual State of the College address on Wednesday, Oct. 4, celebrating the college’s 50th anniversary and hosting a special roundtable discussion on its new nursing bachelor’s degree program.

“In the fall of 1973, we opened our doors to students for the very first time,” Edison State Community College President Chris Spradlin said. “We received approval as the state’s first general and technical college.”

“Our goal is to enable students to complete their educational goals and realize their dreams,” Spradlin said.

Faculty, alumni, city and county officials attended the state of the college address, which was held in the Robinson Theater at the Piqua campus. The event is held annually to inform community members and regional leaders about recent endeavors and future plans of the college.

In his address, Spradlin discussed recent accomplishments of Edison State and plans for the future of the college.

“Our fall 2023 enrollment was very, very strong,” Spradlin said. “We’ve done a good job of retaining students.”

Over 4,500 students enrolled for fall, he said, for a total of 37,000 credit hours.

“The college is approved to offer associate degrees, one-year certificates and short-term certificates,” Spradlin said. “We offer 39 associate degrees and 70 certificates, in seven career pathways.”

This year’s address also honored the college’s 50-year anniversary and its first graduate, Miami County Commissioner Greg Simmons, who graduated with an associate of arts degree in 1975. That same year, the college also started construction on the current Piqua campus; until then, classes had been held at the Spring Street School on the corner of Ash Street and Spring Street.

“We needed a permanent home pretty quickly, so construction on the Piqua campus began,” Spradlin said.

The college’s Greenville campus opened in 1979, he said, and the Eaton and Troy campuses opened in 2019.

Spradlin also discussed the school’s 2023-2026 strategic plan, and several upcoming projects including renovations to the engineering lab and criminal justice classrooms, and the addition of new locker rooms.

“We have some renovation projects going on here at the college,” he said. “We understand that we have to keep pressing forward. We can’t sit still; we have to evolve so that we can grow.”

The college also plans to open a new respiratory care program in the fall of next year, Spradlin said, and will add a new 6,000-square-foot nursing wing at the Piqua campus. The college is also currently planning to open a new bachelor’s degree program for nursing.

“We are on-track to open that program in the fall of next year as well,” Spradlin said. “There’s a great need for nurses in the area.”

“A lot of local organizations were asking us to do it,” Dean of Professional and Technical Programs Dr. Andy Runion said. “There’s a lot of demand; there’s a lot of opportunity for students who go on and get the bachelor’s degree.”

“That’s a big change for any college,” Spradlin said. “I could even see it possibly opening pathways to other bachelors’ degrees.”

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