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Published: Thursday, 5/8/2008

Colleges and universities serve up a host of educational opportunities

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Students head to class at Hillsdale College. Students head to class at Hillsdale College.
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With 21 colleges and universities to choose from, there s something for everybody in search of higher education in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

And a number of cities have multiple institutions within minutes of each other.

Take Adrian, for example, with Adrian College and Siena Heights University, or Lima with the University of Northwestern Ohio and James A. Rhodes State College.

In Toledo, there are three the University of Toledo, Mercy College of Northwest Ohio, and Davis College.

With all these choices, area colleges need to find something that makes them stand out.

We ve focused on 10 unique aspects of area higher education institutions:

• Hillsdale College accepts no government money to educate its students. The college has refused federal taxpayer money since its founding in 1844 and in August announced it also will decline all direct and indirect funding from Michigan.

That money typically comes into the private college as scholarships, which will be replaced with private dollars. Information: hillsdale.edu; 517-437-7341.

• Owens Community College is home to a $20.5 million, 200-acre Center for Emergency Preparedness at its Perrysburg Township campus. It has a mock bank, gas station, and collapsed building, a Boeing 727, and more for hands-on training for police, fire, and other emergency response workers. Information: www.owens. edu, 567-661-7000.

• The University of Toledo, along with being the only school to have both law and medical graduate schools, has carved out a niche in the emerging alternative energy field. UT houses the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, which was created in January, 2007, to strengthen research and manufacturing in the solar energy industry.

UT also houses the offices of the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio and has a Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator in which two area alternative energy businesses got their start. Information: utoledo.edu; 419-530-4636.

• At the University of Findlay, a student has a choice of five degrees in equestrian studies. The university has more than 400 horses, two equine facilities, and instructors actively involved in judging, training, and breeding horses to give current instruction on the horse industry. The program has been offered for more than 30 years. Information: findlay.edu; 419-422-8313.

• With its roots as a traditional teaching college, Bowling Green State University remains a top choice for students pursuing teaching degrees but also receives much recognition for the way it educates students with residential learning communities. The university groups together students interested in arts, international issues, urban education, and more, with close instruction with faculty in the residence hall.

There are eight of those residential programs and five themed communities for students involved in the same activities, such as Reserve Officers Training Corps, known as ROTC, and Greek Life. Information: bgsu.edu; 419-372-2531.

• Lourdes College in Sylvania is leading the way locally in relating to students where they re comfortable cyberspace. This school year the college developed a separate social Web site, lourdesworld.com, that includes podcasts from the president, video and photo of the day, student and faculty blogs, and more. The free range of content has raised some eyebrows to the students serious about the college s roots in the Franciscan tradition. Information: lourdes.edu; 800-878-3210.

• Defiance College is considered a national leader in service-learning programs for students and has a school to specialize in advancing humanity to improve the human condition in the world. The college continues to expand those opportunities, and new this year is the Hench Autism Studies Program that promotes education of not only those who work with autistic individuals but gives college students the chance to be peer mentors. Information: defiance.edu; 800-520-4632.

• Mercy College of Northwest Ohio has maintained its mission of maintaining a small setting there are just over 700 students enrolled in the college to teach health-care related fields of study. With a growing demand for nurses across the country, the college recently began offering degree completion programs online. Information: www.mercycollege.edu; 419-251-1313.

• In an age where young people are increasingly independent, Bluffton University has maintained a strong residence life program in which nearly all of the 1,200 students live on campus. There are no first-year dorms, so students of all classes live and interact together. That close-knit community also helps enhance the university s foundation in Mennonite values of peacemaking and service. Information: bluffton.edu; 419-358-3000.

• Tiffin s Heidelberg College is home to two research centers that promote interactive education as well as work with local communities. The National Center for Water Quality Research is a leader in studying surface water and groundwater in the Great Lakes Region. Information: www.heidelberg.edu; 419-448-2000.

Also in the Seneca County city, the nearby Tiffin University is known for its offerings in criminal justice studies that require students to have an internship to gain practical experience in fields such as corrections, homeland security, and forensic psychology. Information: www.tiffin.edu; 800-968-6446.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at: mgilbert@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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