Forum to discuss cohort, new technology

January 29, 2013 | Events, UToday, — Education, Health Science and Human Service
By Samantha Watson

The University of Toledo is using technology and partnership to train future community college leaders in the Higher Education Doctoral Program.

On Monday, Feb. 4, from noon to 1 p.m. in Gillham Hall Room 3100C, a forum will be held to discuss the Ohio Community College Leadership Cohort and the new technologies being used in the program.

The forum will be led by Dr. Ron Opp, UT associate professor of educational leadership and coordinator of the Higher Education Doctoral Program.

The cohort, which began fall semester 2012, is a partnership between UT’s program and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. Cohort members meet at the Ohio Association of Community Colleges headquarters in Columbus every other week, with the use of distance-learning technology in the weeks between.

Web-based conferencing was used when the program first began, but students found that it didn’t work well for a classroom setting. After applying for and receiving a $11,000 technology fee grant, Opp was able to get all new equipment for the class to use with Scopia, a video conferencing platform.

“This is hard to believe almost,” Opp said. “That we could get to this point with technology where we could even be having these conversations is pretty amazing.”

Aside from technology, Opp said what really makes this cohort work is the partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. With the help of the president of the association, students will have the opportunity to intern with community college presidents.

Opp said that with the help of technology and partnership, they hope to one day put together a national community college leadership cohort, where people from all over the country could attend UT without stepping foot on campus.

“Traditionally, The University of Toledo is being thought of as the regional university for northwest Ohio,” Opp said. “We’re starting to break down some of that thinking.”

For more information on the UT Higher Education Doctoral Program, visit

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