COTC Explores Offering Nation's Only Two-Year Ceramic Technology Degree

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
COTC Explores Offering Nation's Only Two-Year Ceramic Technology Degree

Opportunities in the field of ceramic engineering technology have taken a significant step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation and The American Ceramic Society (ACerS). Through the MOU signing, the entities have agreed to work together to launch at COTC the only two-year ceramic engineering technology degree program in the nation.

The proposed program, which includes the creation of a Ceramic Learning Lab at the COTC Newark campus, will provide students an economical path to a technical career as well as provide skilled workers for the ceramic and materials processing and product industries. 

"COTC is extremely excited to collaborate with two such prominent and influential partners in the ceramic industry," said Berry. "We are looking forward to working together to create innovative educational pathways in this field for our students and to meet this industry's demand for highly skilled workers." 

The unique properties and heat resistance of ceramic materials have many applications in this modern high-tech industry and require complex skills to help create new solutions for industry and manufacturing. The proposed program would blend classroom and laboratory experiences, giving graduates an understanding of ceramic material properties, processing, and applications, including manufacturing and quality assurance. For further information about the proposed program, contact Whit Tussing, COTC program director for engineering technology, at

"Besides creating the only two-year ceramic technology degree in the nation, the team of Orton, the ACerS and COTC, and their close alignment with industry partners, represents the best in public-private partnerships," said Lawson. "We have performed two industry surveys validating the demand for graduates, who will have career opportunities in a range of jobs, including research, product development, production, purchasing, and quality. The team will also raise scholarships to allow for a diversity of students to participate. 

"The American Ceramic Society was founded to serve the needs of the ceramic manufacturing industry," said Mark Mecklenborg, ACerS executive director. "We welcome the opportunity to continue to meet the evolving needs of industry and to introduce a new generation workforce to the rewards of working with these unique materials." 

The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation and the ACerS have nearly 250 years of combined experience providing services to the ceramic industry, education, and the arts.

PHOTO: Front row, left to right: ACerS Executive Director Mark Mecklenborg, COTC President John M. Berry, Ph.D., and Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation General Manager Mark Lawson. Back row, left to right: ACerS Bulletin Editor Eileen De Guire; ACerS Development Director Marcus J. Fish; COTC Vice President for Workforce Development, Community Affairs, Extended Campuses, and The Gateway Vicki Maple; COTC Vice President for Academic Affairs Lauri White, Ed.D.; COTC Program Director for Engineering Technology Whit Tussing.