One of the challenges that faces the growth of the construction industry is directing curious learners to educational programs that can help them meet their goals for their careers. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is working to bring more programs and educational access to students in the areas of arts, sciences, applied business, applied science, and individualized and technical study. Cincinnati State has long been a supporter of skilled trades in a variety of industries, including construction, and the college is continuing its history of expanding programs with its latest pursuit of a full bachelor’s degree program in land surveying.
“At the moment, Cincinnati State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer certificate programs and associate degrees, but we’re looking to change that in a few areas–one being in land surveying,” said Carol Morman, PE, PS, who serves as Program Chair, Professor – Civil Engineering Technologies and American Society of Civil Engineering Faculty Advisor.
According to Cincinnati State’s website, the current Associate of Applied Science degree in Civil Engineering Technologies – Land Surveying is the first step to becoming a licensed land surveyor and the only step to becoming a technician in the land surveying industry. Combined with the Advanced Land Surveying certificate, a student is on an “approved pathway” to licensure in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Their next step is to finish their education at NKU or UC. The current Land Surveying Certificate is for students enrolled in, or who have graduated from, a bachelor’s degree civil engineering program who wish to pursue Professional Surveying registration in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. Morman considers the existing associate degree program and certificates great first steps for individuals who want to pursue the path of becoming a certified land surveyor.
“We found that a lot of students were coming back to us after having completed the Associate’s degree program and saying that they needed to finish up their education in order to get the license,” said Morman. “They can certainly work great jobs with their Associate’s Degree, but we also saw the rising demand in the industry and wanted to offer a solution for those students who wanted a seamless pathway to sit for the licensing exam and further expand their career opportunities.”
Until final approval is granted, Cincinnati State encourages those students who wanted to continue their education to explore the bachelor degrees available at Northern Kentucky University (BS – Construction Management) or University of Cincinnati (BS – Applied Administration). Currently, pending approval for the degree program from the Higher Learning Commission, Cincinnati State is prepared to retain those students and enable them to pursue their Bachelor’s Degree through their own degree program in Land Surveying.
The process for getting a bachelor’s degree program is not a small feat. In 2017, Ohio changed its legislation to allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. As a result, Cincinnati State took advantage of that option and, along with 21 other community colleges in Ohio, developed curriculum and programs for bachelor’s degree programs. Cincinnati State submitted plans for two specific bachelor degree programs, one of which is Bachelors of Applied Science (BAS) in Land Surveying. The program is still awaiting approval by the Higher Learning Commission. Upon approval, Cincinnati State will be only one of three higher education institutions in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana to offer a Baccalaureate degree in Land Surveying. The other locations are across the state in Akron and across Indiana in Vincennes.
“Cincinnati State is always watching what’s happening in the industries that we support,” Morman said. “We saw the opportunity available for students, and we wanted our educational programs to support the industry demand for a talented workforce. We’ve recently seen and are continuing to see 100% co-op placement and 100% graduation placement of our students who come from our associate’s degree program.”
The existing Associate’s Degree program meets the Ohio State Board of Registration for Professional Engineering and Surveyors requirements for education needed to become eligible for the registration exam for professional surveyors. Graduates have salary projections of $45,000-$66,000 annually, and employment of surveyors is projected to grow 10 percent through 2022–meaning job opportunities are expected to be excellent, according to the Cincinnati State website.
Morman noted that she had more than 80 students who have independently reached out for more information about the bachelor’s degree program–an impressive number considering that Cincinnati State has not actively promoted the program as it has not yet been fully approved.
“The good news is that we have no max capacity for this program and that many of our previous and current students who are pursuing or achieved the associate’s degree in land surveying can jump right into the four-year bachelor’s degree program and stay right on track.”
While Cincinnati State is still waiting for full approval, it is exploring various ways to encourage industry and community support for the program. From promoting the opportunity to prospective students to seeking donations of equipment and/or financial support in the form of student scholarships, Cincinnati State is excited to have an opportunity to engage new partners and students.
“We are taking a leap with this program, and so far, we’ve had huge industry support.”
If you are a student interested in learning more or a member of the construction industry looking to get involved with the program, please contact Carol Morman for more information: 513-569-1770 (tel) or firstname.lastname@example.org.