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History of Cincinnati State

Cincinnati State can trace its origins to the Cincinnati Cooperative School of Technology (CCST), a two-year technical institute for high school graduates that was established by the Cincinnati Board of Education in 1966. The function of the school was to train technicians in a program combining college-level classroom instruction and cooperative work experience. This program operated in a portion of the facility at 3520 Central Parkway, which at the time was also the home to Courter Technical High School and former home to Central High School. In its first year, the college offered only four degree programs.

Since all technical education programs in Ohio were to come under the authority of the Board of Regents (now the Ohio Department of Higher Education), the Cincinnati Board of Education proposed that the Regents establish a Cincinnati Technical Institute District and approve CCST as the nucleus of the technical institute to serve that district. The proposals were approved by the Regents in May 1969.

The Board of Trustees of the new district held their organization meeting on September 15, 1969. At that meeting, they appointed Clifford House as the first President of the Institute and approved the institute operating plan and associate degree programs. They also changed the name of the school to Cincinnati Technical Institute, to conform with the designations of other institutes in the state.

In June 1970, the Board of Trustees of the Institute entered into a contract with the Cincinnati Board of Education to purchase the Courter Technical High School property, where the College is located today. In 1972, an Ohio Senate bill recognized the collegiate nature of Cincinnati Technical Institute, and its name was changed accordingly. It was briefly announced to be Cincinnati State Technical College, until the Board of Trustees made Cincinnati Technical College (CTC) the official name. Courter Tech continued to share the facility until the high school ended operations at the site in 1974.

In 1976, Frederick Schlimm succeeded Clifford House to become the second president of the institution, and over the next decade the college grew steadily. During Schlimm’s tenure (1976-89), enrollment increased from 2,000 to more than 4,000 students, and the number of programs expanded from 35 to 45. The Courter Technical High School auditorium was renovated to make way for the college’s Johnnie Mae Berry Library (also known as the Learning Resource Center), which was opened in 1978.

In 1981 the launch of the “$1 Million Select Campaign (to sustain technical excellence)” marked the first time in CTC’s history that financial support was sought from corporations, foundations and individuals. The campaign exceeded the $1 million goal in 1983.

Amid a period of economic decline, President Schlimm deemed 1983-84 “The Year of the Co-op,” signaling his support of expanding the cooperative education program at the College. Today, Cincinnati State has the largest co-op program among two-year colleges in the United States and one of the largest among any American institution of higher education, with strong connections to more than 600 employers.

Dr. James Long became the third President of the college in 1990, and enrollment exceeded 5,000 students for the first time that year. At his recommendation, the Cincinnati Technical College Board of Trustees on July 27, 1993 voted to convert CTC to a state community college. The name was officially changed to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College on September 1, 1994.

During the same month, the Health Professions Building (HPB) and Ludlow Parking Garage were opened, coinciding with the college’s 25th anniversary. In May 1995, the State of Ohio approved the purchase of Cincinnati West Airport in Harrison, Ohio to serve the aviation program at the college. An academic facility opened in 1998 at the airport.

On March 6, 1998, Dr. Ron Wright was formally inaugurated as the fourth president of the college. During his tenure, the college continued to grow. In 2000, the college purchased the Workforce Development Center (WDC) in Evendale to serve as a site for corporate training programs including computer, hazardous materials and industrial maintenance training.

In September 2003, a second parking garage (Central Parkway Garage) was opened to serve the increasing student population, which hit the 8,000 mark earlier that year. The Advanced Technology & Learning Center (ATLC) opened in November 2004, coinciding with the College’s 35th anniversary. The building houses the Midwest Culinary Institute, multi-media centers, information technologies labs, student activities areas and other functions, and contains more than 200,000 square feet.

In 2007, Dr. John Henderson was appointed Interim President. The next year, Cincinnati State introduced a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency major to address the needs of growing industries in Ohio and middle America. In April 2009, the College received a significant grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to expand the program. During various events in September 2009, the college celebrated its 40th anniversary as enrollment surpassed 10,000 students for the first time.

In August 2010, the Board of Trustees appointed O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., to succeed Dr. Henderson. Dr. Owens began his duties as Cincinnati State President on September 1. Under his leadership the College opened a new campus in Middletown in 2012; strengthened its academic articulation agreements with the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, and other regional colleges and universities; and expanded its dual enrollment programs with high schools in southwestern Ohio.  

In October 2015, after Dr. Owens stepped down to accept a position with the City of Cincinnati Health Department, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Monica Posey, then Provost at the College, to serve as Interim President.

Dr. Posey was formally appointed as the sixth President of the College on June 13, 2016. Dr. Posey's inauguration as President included the introduction of the College's Ceremonial Mace, which visually represents elements of the institution's history.

Today, as the College prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Cincinnati State offers more than 130 associate degree and certificate programs through its four academic divisions and the Workforce Development Center. The College is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for Colleges and Schools and holds numerous programmatic accreditations.

Cincinnati State Overview

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