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Ohio University-Chillicothe

Sitting atop the hills represented in the Great Seal of Ohio, Ohio University � Chillicothe (OU-C) is a non-residential regional campus with an enrollment of more than 2,500 students. For more than 60 years, OU-C has remained devoted to its mission of preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow and providing service to Chillicothe and the surrounding region. Founded in 1946, OU-C is the first of Ohio University's regional campuses and the first regional campus in the state. It is located 45 miles (72 km) south of the state capital of Columbus.



101 University Dr
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Hunter Green Black And White
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College History


The Chillicothe Campus opened September 16, 1946, with 281 students, 70 percent of whom were veterans, in 41 classes at Chillicothe High School. The faculty of the school consisted of professors from the Athens campus and instructors from the local community. In September 1960, OU-C recorded another first as students walked into the First Presbyterian Church in daylight for the branch's first daytime classes. OU-C was the first regional campus in Ohio to offer a complete daytime program. Eighty-three students enrolled in the daytime experiment, while 400 attended night classes at the high school. After acquiring land and funds, plans were developed for the first central building for the Chillicothe Campus. The three-story brick building that was constructed, a process that took two years, was named after Chillicothe's prominent Bennett family, two sisters and two brothers who earned literary acclaim for novels and poems and were active in civic life. Classes began in Bennett Hall on September 19, 1966 � 20 years and three days after OU-C began night classes in Chillicothe High School. The transformation may have been shaky, but OU-C had scored another first, becoming the first branch campus to occupy its own campus. By the end of 1967, the City of Chillicothe had invested $387,000 in the new campus, much of it in the construction of the four-lane University Drive and the rest in water and sewer lines to serve the area. A survey of OU-C students in winter 1967 resulted in 570 responses, which revealed that 340 of the students were employed while attending school. Women outnumbered men, about 300 of the responders were Chillicothe residents, 295 were part-time students and 267 were carrying a full load. The first of OU-C's technical programs, Law Enforcement Technology, offered classes by the fall of 1972. Many changes affected this first program: Government funding helped it to flourish and then to dwindle. A safety and security program was added to reach yet another need in the community. These programs soon were offered through the Independent Study Program, reaching students throughout Ohio, the U.S. and even other nations. In 1975, the Chillicothe Campus� enrollment surged to its highest level with a 38 percent increase over 1974. Technical programs in law enforcement, human services, secretarial training and real estate all helped to attract new students, but continuing education also had become more attractive because of a sluggish economy and poor job market. There were 820 full-time students and several hundred more in part-time and non-credit courses. By fall 1976, enrollment had increased to 906, including 99 graduate students. This steady enrollment increase continued, until there were 1,200 students by the mid1980s. During the mid-1980s, a strategic plan for OU-C evolved, with the major thrust being to reestablish and to expand the concept of the campus as the center for the community and the region for education and training, culture and arts, information and research. The campus reached out during those years to aid the displaced workers of the Rubbermaid Company, Wear-Ever Aluminum Company and Goodyear Atomic Corporation. The outplacement programs, funded by the employers, were critical to the welfare of the affected individuals. In March 1991, OU-C opened a microwave communications classroom, which allowed students to take classes on the Athens main campus without having to drive. The 900,000 university-wide system came to the Chillicothe Campus with the installation of a short tower and a microwave dish behind Bennett Hall. Student demographics continued to evolve. A 31-year-old woman from Chillicothe was the typical student at the branch in 1991. The campus was 60 percent female, with 68 percent from Ross County and 44 percent older than 25. Students from the closure of the Wear-Ever plant also boosted enrollment, as did 425 from the College Program for the Incarcerated, and 29 graduate students. Inmates at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute and Ross Correctional Institution used grants to pay for their classes at the prisons. The late 1990s saw campus expansion on Pohlman Road with the Technical Studies Building, which opened in spring of 1997. The new classrooms and laboratories served students and companies in the areas of hazardous materials handling, environmental technology, engineering technology and law enforcement. The main campus offered night classes in a new master's degree program in public policy administration. The Internet age brought more changes, with course materials online and available any time, anywhere for students. In September 1997, complementing the earlier microwave classroom, a second interactive video classroom using T-1 high-speed telephone lines was installed. This studio could easily connect to sites outside the university. Retired horse trainer Charles A. Black gifted his 268-acre (1.08 km2) farm and riding facilities to OU-C in May 2002. Black said he had discussed making such a gift with his wife, Daisy, before her death and that she liked the idea, especially if programs at the farm could help disabled children. About eight miles (13 km) outside Chillicothe, the property was envisioned as an OU-C facility for therapeutic riding, recreation, and outdoor education, as well as for enabling a partnership with the equestrian education program of Ohio's southern campus in Ironton. By fall 2002, the Chillicothe campus set another enrollment record, with 1,999 students taking classes � an all-time high for OU-C and the largest enrollment of Ohio's five regional campuses. Traditional programs in nursing and education, with technical programs in areas such as law enforcement and firefighting, led the enrollment boom. The campus initiated wireless Internet access in spring 2003 � becoming the first Ohio University campus to become completely wireless for computer Internet connections. At the same time, OU-C purchased a mobile, wireless laptop lab, which consisted of laptop computers with wireless cards, housed conveniently in one, mobile cart. OU-C staff dubbed the mobile computer lab "MELL," for Mobile Educational Laptop Lab. By simply wheeling MELL into any classroom, students could use 24 laptops. In December 2004, the campus created "Smart Classrooms," which integrate networking, digital and audio-visual technologies and feature ceiling-mounted projectors in a consistent setup in each classroom. A plan, completed in early 2005 by DesignGroup, of Akron, pictured a connecting walkway between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center flowing into a comfortable space where students could gather and work collaboratively. Although funding for construction remained to be secured, the plan clearly represented the future. A Learning Commons is a powerful paradigm shift away from the separate "silos" of different disciplines and into a seamless environment of technology, information and learning. Reflecting and slightly magnifying national trends, almost two-thirds of students on campus were women, and the average age of the students have dropped slightly, from around 30 year of age to 27 or 28. About 60 percent of students were from Ross County.

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