Listed by US News & World Report as the second-best “comprehensive college” in the mid-west, Ohio Northern University has been providing academic excellence in three different centuries. When Ada, Ohio’s schoolmaster, Henry Solomon Lehr, began offering evening classes in the 1860’s that went beyond standard curriculum topics, the demand was such that he soon petitioned to create a new college in the small town, founding Ohio Northern in 1871. With 150 students, the focus was on educating teachers, as much of the college’s did at the time, but its scope has grown since then.
Taking up 342 acres of the idyllic, small town of Ada, Ohio Northern University’s student body has risen to over 3500, with course for both undergrads and graduate students, even offering doctorate level programs and a nationally recognized Pharmaceutical department (with a PhD recognizable in all 50 states). With five different colleges, students can pursue Bachelor, Master, PhD, and certificate programs in Law, Engineering, Business Administration, Pharmacy, and the Arts&Sciences. Faculty number high enough to provide an astounding 11:1 student teacher ratio, with well over 80% achieving the highest degree offered in their chosen field.
Selection for Ohio Northern is very competitive and admissions are highly selective with 40% of students accepted being in the top 10% of their high school class and have an average GPA of 3.64. However, the school stills pulls in from 42 states and 17 countries, offering an education meant to keep up with a changing world, with the Judeo-Christian ideal of service to humankind (they have a Methodist-related history) and a core of “student-centered, values-based, service-oriented” approaches to education.
Ohio Northern doesn’t offer any distance learning degrees entirely online at this time, though those in the Pharmaceutical field are in for a wealth of online tools. There are over a dozen courses for practicing pharmacists looking for additional certification, all offered completely online for a minimal cost per course (most are $10). Broken in to three fields, these courses give additional instruction for pharmacy careers in Law&Mortar (the business side of things), the Ampul (for more education in the medical/biology side of the career), and Specialized areas (there’s a two hour taped seminar on the dangers of chemical dependence among pharmacists… again, more for education than anything else).
In addition, online classes are offered throughout all majors and there is a wealth of distance learning resources from Elluminate Live!, allowing synchronous online class meetings, to articles on distance learning, and links for both teachers and students that allow for even more education about the ins/outs of distance learning. Web CT is their course management system (with online web tutorials) and they offer free software for students, everything from Microsoft Office to free image editors, media players, and document readers, so online class should be beyond the grasp of any student (or their computer).
Research, exchange, and intern programs abound, including a study abroad program with their sister school Dankook University in Seoul, South Korea. Undergraduate research “bridges the gap between knowledge and experience” at Ohio Northern and many faculty/student projects yield grant and publishing possibilities.
Ohio Northern University has taught in three different centuries, bringing a vision of education meant to change with the changing times, with a core education that values “excellence, technology, diversity, and community”.