Page 1

F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016  |  01


0 2  |  F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016

Finding Meaning

Cultivating careers and personal growth through the humanities and liberal arts BY S T E V E N OVO T N I

possibilities are far greater.” Strempel says that UC is unique in that while it is a large research institution, its two most prestigious colleges are in the arts — the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Also, many of the people in leadership roles at UC have a background in the arts. “What a lot of numbers folks aren’t good at are precisely what the arts train you to do,” she says. “Listening carefully, telling narratives to convey a story and to write well. And so, to be grounded in that liberal arts education may not immediately give you the starting salary of an engineer but, ultimately, the possibilities are much greater.” There is a certain segment of American culture that focuses strongly on college degree programs that are linear paths to financial success and are extremely practical — engineering, business administration and specific corporate skills. “What I always encourage students to think about are two things,” Strempel says. “You’re going to get out of it what you put into it, and if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to get so much more out of your education rather than if you are just choosing

something because you think you might make money. The second thing I tell students is you should use every last bit of your educational experience. I encourage them not to just go deep — and I think you should go deep and delve into that 10,000 hours — but also go broad. Get another minor. Get another major. You can take what you love and what is unique about you and more broadly position yourself with a broader perspective with the gift of a vantage point of another discipline. I really think that grounding in broad and deep is taking it to a more successful place.” Strempel says having an interdisciplinary orientation is a huge gain personally and makes students more employable. “If you could hire someone who just had a business degree versus someone who graduated from CCM and has an international relations degree or had a minor in information technology or business — they’re going to bring much more creative ideas to the workplace. They’re going to come up with the more creative solutions. There is that interdisciplinary benefit. It’s one of the things that enriches one’s life.” UC works in partnership with a2ru, the Alliance for the Arts in

Research Universities, which is focused on promoting interdisciplinary collaborations at research institutions — that creative edge that Strempel describes. “It’s a national organization of research institutions, all of whom believe in the value of interdisciplinary approaches,” she says. “Of having not just research in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines but of also having the arts used in our approach to these complex problems. It can be anything from creating medical devices, prosthetics that are also works of art, to an interdisciplinary class on bees, where it is based on research but also the artistic aspect of bees — that multi-layered, multifaceted fascination. These are the things that are the most interesting things to think about in the world.” Strempel says she talks about the value of the humanities with her children, to ensure that they see the connections between liberal arts and leadership, public service and personal fulfillment. “That sort of existential questioning really gets at the core of what it means to be human,” she says. “Engagement with the humanities at its most essential core is a focus on the cultivation of beauty.”

F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016  |  0 3

In one way or another, an education in the humanities is the search for the human soul. Not that you have to be religious or even believe in a god, but it is a search for meaning in life, the whys and the big questions of existence. But how do students make sure their humanities degrees pay? How do they make sure that they will make a good salary after graduating from a field that deals in abstractions? It can seem like the process of generating income is an abstraction in and of itself, that you can find the meaning of life in the humanities but not the economic means to live it, but University of Cincinnati Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Eileen Strempel says no matter what, it’s important to pursue a field that you love. “You love what you’re good at and you’re good at what you love,” she says. “As students are confronting their educational opportunities, I think that it is really important to have that grounded in a lifelong passion for what you do.” Strempel paraphrases author Malcolm Gladwell’s saying that it takes 10,000 hours to get good at any skill. “The 10,000 hours can just fly by,” she says. “I think when someone feels the call of the humanities, the pathways can be unclear at the outset but the

Discipline and dreams

Planning and persistence are the keys in setting goals for non-traditional students BY S T E V E N OVO T N I

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine student Sarah Carothers is in her third year of her MD program. In her thirties, she’s older than most of her peers, and she says that she’s had to be very disciplined to realize her dream of becoming a doctor. “Had I planned it right,” she says, “I would be 26 when graduating next year. But, oh well. I think in the back of my mind I had planned on becoming a doctor, but I didn’t always have my act together as much in college and had other things holding me back. ...I earned my college degree the first time and then I worked odd jobs until I decided to go back.” Reflecting on her return to school, Carothers says that she thinks many of the medical students she knows are Type A, career-driven individuals. “The types that know from the get go and go at 22 when they are done with college,” she says. “I’ve always been the type of person where work-life balance was important, so maybe that’s why it

took me longer to get to where I am. I was erring on the side of life at times and hoping for that work-life balance.” Director of Thomas More Accelerated Programs Anthony Schumacher says that balance is a big part of many non-traditional students’ decisions. “The biggest thing for a non-traditional student is being able to find the balance between school and work and family obligations,” he says. Schumacher says about a quarter of his school’s student body is made up of non-traditional students and that a key part of the college’s job is to help these students prioritize and set educational goals that they can meet. “Another thing we talk about is that life happens,” Schumacher says. “A student is not going to quit his or her job. They are not going to take a leave of absence from their family. We want them to graduate as much as they want to graduate.” But when there is strain between the roles a non-traditional student has to play, school is the first thing to go.

To keep graduation as a focus rather than a passing dream, Schumacher says it is important that students avoid procrastination and use their time wisely. This can be a difficult balancing act, but it pays dividends in the long run. “The short-term sacrifice, we believe, has a long-term benefit,” he says. “Time management is a big part.” Alongside the challenges, there is help. Schumacher says before students find themselves overwhelmed, it is important to seek that help. There are writing and math centers available for in-person assistance and students can access live, on-demand online tutoring. Also, academic advisors can help nontraditional students match their academic goals with their career goals. “Most non-traditional students have a pretty good idea what they want to do,” he says. “It comes back to the process of matching that with what we offer.” Financing can also be a unique challenge for non-traditional students, who


80,000 HoUrs of community service completed each year

overall career placement rate

0 4  |  F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016

more than

40 100%




of men’s basketball team seniors have graduated since 1986

may have mortgages, car payments and family expenses that younger students do not. “We try and limit the students’ out-ofpocket costs,” Schumacher says. “The key, I think, is making sure students never feel alone in that process. College or a degree is an investment in yourself — probably one of the largest investments you’re going to make. And you have the ability to determine the return on that investment.” The most important thing a non-traditional student and their advisers have to do, Schumacher says, is consider the context of the student’s life when crafting educational goals and the plan to reach these goals. “As a whole, everybody has a story,” he says. “They may have started college 10 years ago and had a circumstance that led them to leaving college. ...Whatever it is, they have made a determination to improve their lives, and we need to keep that story in mind.”


8 2%

of applicants accepted into medical school

ALL 4,633 undergraduates have access to

professional mentors

The Art Academy of Cincinnati

Year Founded: 1869 Current Enrollment: 215 Student/Faculty Ratio: 10:1 Number of Undergraduate Degrees Offered: 7

1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 513-562-8754 www.artacademy.edu Liberation. It’s what art is all about. It’s what we’re all about. We won’t try to fit you into a box; we’ll push you to build a radical new box and then think outside it. At the Art Academy of Cincinnati you’ll stretch your boundaries and relentlessly roam across disciplines. You’ll belong to a community of artists, designers, seers and innovators who think openly and exchange ideas freely — who support you and challenge you. You’ll explore the possibilities of art and design, both personal and professional, and acquire the knowledge and experience to make them real. Above all, you’ll discover the art that’s inside you—and learn how to let it out. You will establish the rules the future will follow.

Number of Master’s Degrees Offered: 1 Subject Matter Expertise: Art and Design Distance from Downtown Cincinnati: Located in OTR In-State Tuition: $28,252 Out-of-State Tuition: $28,252 Students on Financial Aid: 90% Awards and Recognitions: The Art Academy is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The Art Academy is a charter member of the Association of Independent colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and member of the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities (GCCCU), both of which offer mobility programs. Art Academy students can participate in the New York Studio Program offered by AICAD. Famous Alumni: Charley and Edie Harper, Malcolm Grear, Noel Martin, Petah Coyne, John Ruthven, Joseph Marioni, Tom Wesselmann, Mitchell Sipus, Chris Sickels

Make Art, Make a Difference! At the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Join the ranks of radical, contemporary artists and designers at www.artacademy.edu

F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016  |  0 5

Art Academy of Cincinnati where Make Art, Make a Difference is our way of life! At the Art Academy it’s all about fusion—the merging of diverse, distinct ideas and elements into a unified whole. Those elements and ideas are you, your artwork, your fellow students and the faculty who teach here. We celebrate you the individual, the artist.

LIFE 101 Freshmen get a crash course in adulthood at Cincinnati State

0 6  |  F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016


For many incoming freshmen, the first year of college can be overwhelming for reasons that go beyond academics — for a lot of young adults it’s the first time they have to cook, manage laundry or balance a checkbook for themselves. Welcome to adulthood. Cincinnati State professor and Chair of First Year Experience Julie McLaughlin teaches a course designed to help students get used to this. The First Year Experience course is mandatory at Cincinnati State and has been for almost 15 years. It covers aspects of health, diet, sex, money and careers. “It’s really a course about how to be successful at college and how to be successful at life,” McLaughlin says. “It’s college and life skills. It’s a lot of discussion and activities.” McLaughlin co-authored the textbook used in the course and offers a list of the most important topics covered: “Study skills, time management, goalsetting, finances, diversity, health and wellness, career, communication, personal emotional intelligence (and) school resources.” That’s a lengthy and diverse set of high points to cover in one course, but all are important to a student’s success.

Many students need help using computers, which seems counter-intuitive given how plugged in young people are in the 21st century. But often, this is a weak point. “We expect them to be hooked in technology-wise,” McLaughlin says. “But what they’re hooked into is Instagram, Snapchat, all that kind of stuff. They really don’t necessarily know how to use computers in other ways.” The students also need to learn financial and career literacy, as well as organization. “They tend to not know how to balance a checkbook or manage their time,” McLaughlin says. “I see them coming in with very little. The biggest thing I see them need is help budgeting and understanding the difference between wants and needs — how what you do today affects your credit forever. So, if you want to buy a home, you can do things today that can either help you buy a home in 10 or 15 years or hurt you. They really don’t understand the loans that they’re taking out and that they have to be paid back, that maybe going on spring break with the loan money isn’t the best idea. That is probably one of the things we spend

the most time on — interest rates, what affects your credit, credit cards.” Between being suddenly flushed with deposits of loan money and the lure of high-interest credit card offers, there are many financial pitfalls awaiting new students. “Budgeting is the number-one thing that they need to focus on,” McLaughlin says. “Depending on the home situation, some of them have not been exposed to this, and then some of them really do think that they are invincible and that what they do today doesn’t affect them.” Health and wellness are also an important focal point of the course, McLaughlin says. Diet, exercise, drugs, alcohol and sex choices are discussed. “Avoiding risky behaviors is what we want them to do,” she says. “It has a big impact on students because they may not see how it impacts them in school. Even how much they sleep or when they sleep. Some (freshman) classes need more of a focus on diet and exercise and some need more on the risky behaviors, drugs and alcohol and safe sex. We cover them all, but depending on the group of students, we may spend more time on one than the other. “And one of the other things we focus

on is the victim mentality, that we always have a choice,” she continues. “No matter the circumstance, not making excuses, but dealing with the situation.” In terms of diet and exercise, McLaughlin says she personally has struggled with her weight all her life and mentions that her mother and grandparents are good cooks, but that isn’t the reason she has had this struggle. “It’s much easier to blame our issues on other people, when really the problem was my eating habits and lack of exercise,” she says. “Really, it wasn’t until I accepted my responsibility that I could go on and lose the weight. I had control of the situation, and even though they were great cooks, I didn’t need to have two or three helpings. So, it’s really about taking control of our destiny.” McLaughlin says the course takes a holistic view of students’ lives and that helping them move toward becoming responsible adults is at its center. Taking responsibility for oneself early on makes a big difference, she says. Helping students develop focus, organization and empowerment leads to success in college as well as in life.

Year Founded: 1969

Cincinnati State 3520 Central Parkway Cincinnati, OH 45223 513-861-7700 www.cincinnatistate.edu/admission Cincinnati State is the regional leader in career education and one of its best higher-education values. It provides relevant education geared to local employment needs, with one of the most comprehensive co-op programs in the country. For bachelor-bound students, Cincinnati State is a smart start with tuition at less than half the cost of traditional universities and credits that transfer seamlessly to other colleges and universities. Cincinnati State offers associate degrees and certificates in nursing and health care, engineering technologies, culinary arts, business and information technologies, environmental technologies, humanities and sciences and a wide range of specialized areas. Its Workforce Development Center provides customized training for corporate, governmental and nonprofit clients as well as job-oriented courses for the public. Cincinnati State information sessions are held at the Clifton campus every Tuesday at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Current Enrollment: 10,000 Student/Faculty Ratio: 16:1 (average class size is 14) Number of Undergraduate Degrees Offered: More than 130 associate degrees and certificates Subject Matter Expertise: Health & Public Safety (including nursing, fire and emergency services, health and health information technologies); Engineering Technologies (including civil, mechanical, electrical, manufacturing, welding, laser and construction-related majors); Midwest Culinary Institute; Business Technologies; Humanities & Sciences (transfer programs that apply toward baccalaureate degrees); Environmental Technologies (water quality programs, horticulture, renewable energy, sustainable design); Graphic Design; Audio/Video Production; Transportation Technologies Distance from Downtown Cincinnati: 3 miles In-State Tuition: $148.64/credit hour Out-of-State Tuition: $297.28/credit hour Students on Financial Aid: 77% Awards and Recognitions: A recognized leader in co-op placements; repeat U.S. Department of Labor manufacturing training grants; $2 million estate gift to establish William N. Eickenhorst Memorial Fund supporting scholarships for Administrative Assistant and related degrees and certificates Affiliated Colleges and Satellite Campuses: Middletown; Harrison, Evendale (Workforce Development Center); West Chester (Supply Chain Career Development Center); Great Oaks campuses (LPN classes)

Ready to move forward? Get ahead with Cincinnati State today. Fall semester begins August 29 Explore Your Potential

Choose from 130+ programs and get real experience with one of 600+ co-op employers in fields like business, healthcare, engineering, culinary arts, education and many more.

Transfer Opportunities

Convenient & Close To Home

Stay local and get a great education here in Ohio. Go to school on your schedule – day, evening, weekend and online classes available.


F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016  |  0 7

Get your start with affordable tuition. We help you apply credits toward your bachelor’s degree with formal transfer agreements with 50+ universities like University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, and Mount St. Joseph University.

0 8  |  F O C U S O N E D U C AT I O N 2 016

Need An Affordable College Option?

• Opportunities for a new career in high demand in the job market. • Industry certifications and college credit to further your training. • Job placement rates over 75% offers a return on investment. • Testing Center earn your national certification through our center. • Customized Training for business and industry in any of our courses.

(High School)

Healthcare/Medical • Advanced Manufacturing • Information Technology • Cosmetology • Firefighter/EMT/Police Officer HVAC • Welding • Heavy Equipment & Site Construction Electrical Power Line Mechanic

www.mywccc.org • 513-932-8145 (Adult Education)

Call Us Today for More Information:



3525 No. State Rt 48, Lebanon , Ohio 45036

Profile for Cincinnati CityBeat

Focus on Education 2016  

Focus on Education 2016