NEWARK, Ohio, June 19, 2017—Students entering their second year in the civil engineering technology program at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) are eligible to apply for a new scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship is funded by CESO, Inc. and will be awarded for the first time for the 2017-18 academic year.
CESO is a comprehensive engineering, architectural, survey, construction management and environmental services firm providing clients with multi-disciplined, engineering, architectural and planning services. With nine total locations, CESO's Ohio offices include Dayton, Columbus and Akron.
"We believe our growth and success are directly related to the time we take to find quality team members with a genuine desire to serve others. Our experience, dedication and commitment to quality always lead to success," said CESO Founder David C. Oakes, P.E., P.S. "Historically, we have hired team members with college degrees who were on the professional engineer track. More recently, we've seen the benefit of utilizing technicians for drafting plans in AutoCAD and Civil 3D, surveying operations, and even construction inspection. The industry is very strong right now, and we are poised to expand our company by 20 employees this year alone."
CESO is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary. Oakes encourages the employees of his regional offices to partner with local community colleges. The members of the Columbus-area office chose COTC. CESO's Vice President Jeff Tibbitts, P.E. recently joined COTC's civil engineering technology program advisory committee, which provides curriculum guidance and input so graduates have the knowledge and skills required by local employers.
"We were very happy to learn that COTC has an accredited engineering technology program, allowing students to transfer credits and be credentialed by the state engineering board," said Oakes. "Many schools and programs are not accredited by ABET and that was important to us in our partnership schools."
The Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) provides internationally-recognized accreditation to four COTC programs: electrical engineering technology, architectural engineering technology, civil engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology.
Oakes and 13 CESO employees recently travelled to Newark to volunteer during COTC's annual Egg Drop Competition. The high school competition is a classic engineering experiment. The objective of the competition is to design a device that will protect an egg from breaking when it is dropped from a height of approximately 22 feet. Entrants compete to design the device with the lightest weight, the fewest number of parts and the most accurate fall to the drop zone target.
"It was really great to see the wide range of creativity exhibited by the high school students. The CESO volunteers had all sorts of jobs, so we got lots of different insights. Pantyhose and toilet paper worked surprisingly well," said Oakes. "Expanding problem-solving opportunities to make STEM coursework fun can only serve to increase interest in the engineering field. The synergy between creativity and an engineering process is something we leverage every day. Many of our projects require expertise from a wide variety of creative and technical professionals."
Oakes hopes activities like the Egg Drop Competition inspire more young women to pursue an engineering career.
"Parents and educators can encourage and support girls and women in engineering," said Oakes. "Engineering is the STEM sector with the least female representation – only 12 percent. Encouraging young girls to follow the engineering path would be the greatest impact we can have in the field. The engineering industry is still mostly male dominated, with so much potential being lost because women do not see it as a viable option. The 'STEM = masculine' stereotype is still prevalent, and as a result we are largely missing out on women's intelligence and creativity to solve the problems we all face."
All second-year civil engineering technology students are considered for the scholarship. Civil engineering technology faculty will make a recommendation, and then the director of financial aid will select the recipient.
COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.