Look Beyond the Rainbow

9 Oct

I just finished 25 years at Marion Tech.  That’s only 20 years more than what I had intended.  The reason for those additional 20 years was the students.

Marion Tech is a public, two-year technical college.  Programs in arts and science, information, public service, health, engineering, and business technology are available as well as courses that can be transferred to four-year colleges and universities through Ohio’s Transfer Module, Transfer Assurance Guide, and Career-Technical Assurance Guide.  Enrollment has been constant in the neighbor of two thousand four hundred students per term which means small classes and the potential for individualized attention.

I taught Legal Environment of Business in the business technology division; however, I was recruited to start up and coordinate the paralegal studies program[1] which exhibited some successes:

  • Fraud investigator for a large state agency
  • Quality assurance for a large state agency
  • Bankruptcy specialists in the Southern District of Ohio and the Northern District of Illinois
  • International banking professional
  • International trade specialist
  • Title researcher for oil and gas leases
  • Attorney
  • Legislative and policy analyst for a large state agency
  • Bank managers
  • Court administrators
  • Office administrators
  • Law librarians
  • Law office paralegals
  • Corporate legal assistants and managers
  • Caseworkers
  • Advocates for victims of domestic violence

The success of many these graduates can be attributed to their willingness to look beyond Marion.  Good grief, there have even been instances of graduates doubling or tripling their income simply by moving beyond Marion.  Recently I heard that an international corporation was recruiting a Marion Tech graduate for a paralegal position in Abu Dhabi.

These are the folks that kept me at Marion Tech for those 25 years.  These are the folks that stoked the fire and challenged me to become a better teacher.  These are the folks who are active learners.  These are the folks that are problem-solvers.  These are the folks who are thinkers.  These are the folks who never give up.  These are the folks who want to apply what is talked about in class.  These are the folks who looked beyond the rainbow for opportunities.  These are the folks that made those 25 years worthwhile.  I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

[1] Sadly, the paralegal studies program died.  Opportunities within Marion dried up.  (The last paralegal placed in Marion was making the same hourly rate without benefits as the first paralegal placed nearly twenty years previously.)  As job placement fell so also did enrollment.

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