7/29/19 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University will receive approximately $3.4 million dollars from the state of Ohio in support of educational programs that address Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s priorities. The funding will support Ashland University’s Center for Addictions, its Correctional Education programming and construction of The Jack Liebert Military & Veterans Resource Center.
In Gov. DeWine’s public inauguration address on Jan. 14, he stated, “Education is the key to equality and to opportunity.” DeWine noted his top priorities include the opioid crisis, protection of children and families, and service to veterans. All three of Ashland University’s proposals aligned with the governor’s vision for the state, and each will serve the region as well as the University. “These are important programs that will provide critical services,” said Senate President Larry Obhof. “I am proud of the work that we did in the Senate to fund these programs right here in the 22nd District.”
Ashland University President Dr. Carlos Campo said he was very gratified by the state’s support of Ashland’s projects in the 2020 budget, and said he believed it affirmed that the “public-facing” nature of the initiatives led to uniform support at the state level.
“These funds will allow Ashland University to build on existing programs that will increase student success and student support in three very important areas that are central to our mission and vision,” Campo said. “We are so grateful for the work of many people, including our representative, Sen. Larry Obhof, a champion of education who has always supported our students, and was so helpful in the entire process. In addition, Governor DeWine produced a budget that reflected his promised commitment to education, with substantive increases to the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG). The budget also includes an increase to the Choose Ohio First program, training for College Credit Plus teachers, funds for improving campus safety, and a program through the Ohio Department of Education to increase FAFSA completion rates.”
In October of 2017, Gov. DeWine released details of his “Recovery Ohio” plan, which recommended that Ohio double the state’s substance use treatment capacity and expand Ohio’s workforce of critical specialists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 ranking of states according to drug abuse and addictions ranked Ohio second in the nation.
Ashland University responded to this crisis by establishing the Center for Addictions on its main campus in 2018. Through this center, AU is providing quality education programs for students interested in becoming addictions counseling professionals to infuse Ohio’s workforce with well-trained credentialed and licensed treatment providers. AU also is assisting the current workforce by providing continuing education training for current counseling professionals.
Funding provided by the state of Ohio in the amount of $1,183,500 for fiscal year 2020 will be used to cover project costs for the Center for Addictions, which will include additional course and program development, further workforce development and help directly combat substance use disorders in Ashland, Ohio.
In support of the federal First Step Act that was passed in December 2018 to improve prison programs and reduce recidivism for those in the criminal justice system as well as the Second Chance Pell Grant pilot program, Ashland University will use the State of Ohio funds in the amount of $1,308,500 for fiscal year 2020 as part of a comprehensive expansion plan for its correctional education program. This project will focus on reentry program development, personnel growth, research and data collection, improved technology to support students, facility renovation and educational program development.
Ashland University started its correctional education program in 1964, and it remains as one of the largest and longest running correctional education programs in the country. Ashland is a participant in the federal Second Chance Pell Grant pilot program, which was launched in 2016. This program provides education to incarcerated individuals who qualify.
In line with DeWine’s priorities, Ashland University aims to be a nationally recognized military-friendly campus. The fiscal year 2020 funding from the state of Ohio in the amount of $975,850, along with the recent $1 million gift from Columbus resident and Ashland alumna Deborah Liebert Karl, will be used for the construction of The Jack Liebert Military & Veterans Resource Center on AU’s main campus.
The University is committed to investing a total of $2.2 million for the building and development of the center, which will support men and women who have served or are serving our nation. This new Veterans Center will be a “one-stop-shop” to welcome and receive veterans as they transition from military service to campus life as well as supporting active military personnel. Support services offered to student veterans through the Center will include recruitment, admission, registration and GI Bill processing, financial aid, academic advising, accessibility services, mental health counseling and career development.
The center also will feature conference spaces and offices for the veterans coordinator and support staff, a USO-style veteran’s lounge where veteran students and staff can share a sense of comradery in a comfortable space, and two studio apartment style receiving rooms to provide emergency housing accommodations to veterans and their families at a moment’s notice.
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###