UC Clermont students raise more than $2,000 for scholarship

By Jordan Puckett
Sun staff

A group of students in the Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies program at UC Clermont College has raised $2,305 to be awarded as four separate scholarships for the 2013-14 school year.

The BTAS degree program began in Fall 2011. It is a two year program designed for students that already have a technical associate’s degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science or Applied Business.

“While this is not a business degree, the new knowledge and skill sets students learn will enhance and supplement the skills they already possess to prepare them for upward career mobility in supervision or administration in their chosen technical fields,” Wise said.

The BTAS program is offered at both of UC’s regional campuses in Batavia and Blue Ash.

The scholarship for the BTAS program began in 2011 with the first class.

“We wanted to leave behind a legacy,” Penny Rhoads, one of the students responsible for spearheading the scholarship said.

The BTAS Legacy Scholarship originally began as a way to increase alumni engagement. Bill Wise, chair of the Scholarship Committee and Assistant Professor of Business at UC Clermont, worked with the the Development Office to brainstorm ideas.

“It occurred to us that the best way to do this was to work with a captive audience,” Wise said. “We decided not to wait until students graduated and instead began working directly with the first cohort of students enrolled in this new degree program in Fall 2011.”

Wise, an instructor of one of the program’s required courses, invited the Development Office to one of his classes to talk about the importance of alumni engagement.

“Students were encouraged to consider making a minimum $10 donation and they quickly responded, with some making substantial donations on the spot,” Wise said.

The first class managed to raise $644.

Criteria for the scholarship was determined by a group of BTAS students that included Rhoads and Yolanda Spradling, under the guidance of the Development Office. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be full time first or second year BTAS students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and must have demonstrated financial need. Final decisions are made by the Scholarship Committee, composed of faculty and staff.

Students are encouraged to apply for scholarship during the spring semester. Depending on the success of the fundraising efforts, multiple $500 scholarships may be awarded. Recipients receive the scholarship at the beginning of the fall semester at the start of the next school year.

“To the best of my knowledge, it is the first time in the history of Clermont College and the University of Cincinnati that students have created and funded a scholarship for their own academic program,” Wise said.

Wise said faculty and staff have also contributed to the fund, though the students remain the strongest force.

“It has always been, and always will be, about the students and their success.”