ONU Receives Choose Ohio First Grant

Ohio Northern University has been awarded nearly $1.8 million from the Choose Ohio First program to increase the number of students pursuing careers in the areas of computer science and computer engineering and, consequently, the number of computing professionals in the state.

The funds Ohio Northern has been awarded will be invested over five years to support enrollment and fund scholarships and grants for students enrolled in computer science and computer engineering disciplines in the ONU Smull College of Engineering. The goal is to increase first-time enrollment in these two programs.

ONU will supplement each Choose Ohio First scholarship with university-funded scholarships and grants.

Since most ONU graduates pursue careers in the state of Ohio upon graduation, this endeavor is intended to support the mission of the Choose Ohio First program in increasing the number of computing-related students, as well as professionals, in the state.

The Choose Ohio First program is administered by the Ohio Department of Education. In all, Choose Ohio First recently awarded $20,580,770 to 35 colleges and universities across the state.

The scholarship program is designed to strengthen the state’s workforce in technology-related fields such as coding and cybersecurity while supporting an estimated 1,400 students. The program began in 2008 to increase the number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM) programs in Ohio.

“Computing careers are at the heart of many of the most in-demand areas in terms of growing career fields. The Ohio 2026 Job Outlook report predicts an increase of 6.9 percent in the areas of computing and mathematical jobs in Ohio over the next five years,” ONU College of Engineering Dean John-David “J-D” Yoder said. “This grant aligns with ONU’s focus on graduating practice-ready engineers and computer scientists, as we strive to help students develop the technical skills and entrepreneurial mindset that employers value.”

Ohio Northern’s Smull College of Engineering is ranked 32nd nationally among engineering programs that offer a bachelor’s or master’s degree as the highest degree in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. This marks the 12th time in the last 13 years that ONU’s College of Engineering has been ranked as a top-50 program.

The newly-completed James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building at Ohio Northern University houses all of the college’s programs and reflects the hands-on focus and faculty-student interaction that distinguishes the Smull College of Engineering at ONU.

The 105,000-square foot facility opened in the fall of 2019 and is designed to especially support collaboration and teamwork, the skills that give students an edge in today’s engineering job market, continuing to put ONU at the forefront of undergraduate engineering education.