Ohio Auditor of State visits Clark State, talks college affordability

Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber visited Clark State Community College this week to discuss college affordability and the benefits of a community college education.

Faber is Ohio’s 33rd Auditor of State. From 2001 until 2008, he served Ohioans in the state legislature, including serving as President of the Ohio Senate. He said the state is currently looking into how to make college more affordable for students.

“When I was Senate president, we issued the Ohio Senate President Challenge, which asked all of our state colleges and universities to reduce the cost of degrees,” Faber said. “The cost of college is more than just the cost of a degree- it’s room and board, books and getting out in four years- doing whatever you need to do to get done quicker.”

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As a result of the challenge, Faber said the state saw an average of an 11.7% savings in higher education.

“We want to keep building on that, and community colleges are a strong part of that,” Faber said. “We are trying to put together those best options for students and part of that is encouraging our college’s and universities to be more efficient.”

Clark State announced last month they would begin offering their first applied bachelor’s degree program. The four-year degree in Manufacturing Technology Management will be available for students to take beginning in the fall semester.

Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said previously the degree will help area workers have access to a bachelor’s degree at a reduced price that will help bring with it opportunities for advancement and high-level skill development.

Faber said Clark State educates students for considerably less per credit hours than some others and, “they have a pretty good track record.”

“That’s something we want to see at more college’s and universities,” Faber said.

During his time at Clark State on Wednesday afternoon, Faber took a tour of the campus manufacturing labs with Blondin, professors and other staff.

“We appreciate him taking the time to learn more about how we serve students and our community,” said President of Clark State, Jo Alice Blondin.

The Auditor of State ensures that the state of Ohio and its more than 5,600 entities are using resources efficiently and effectively. The office conducts both fiscal and performance audits of all public offices in Ohio as well as cities and counties, according to the auditor’s website.

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