Since 1887, Wilberforce, Ohio-based Central State University has worked to establish itself as an HBCU with resources not only for its students, but its community at large. Now, through a new partnership with other colleges in the Ohio areas of North Canton, Piqua, and Nelsonville, Central State’s resources will now go a lot further. Read the press release below for all the details!

Presidents from Central State University, Hocking College, Edison State Community College, and Stark State College signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will further advance the mission of Central State University Extension to implement extension outreach and research-based programs in each college’s community. 

Central State University

A key component of the agreement allows Central State Extension to house Regional Coordinators at each campus.  Regional coordinators will work with each college president as well as key community stakeholders to design and implement programs based on community need as well as current research. 

According to Dr. Subramania I. Sritharan, Interim Dean, College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture and Interim Director, Land-Grant Programs, Central State University became a Land-Grant Institution in 2014.  The designation enables Central State to establish and develop Research and Extension programs which focus on sustainable agriculture practices, water resources management, youth development, community and economic development, and health and nutritional disparities.

“According to the most recent US Census, more than 1.7 million Ohioans live in poverty – approximately 15.8% of the state,” stated Dr. Sritharan during his remarks. “The CSU 1890 Land-Grant Extension Program addresses the needs of socially disadvantaged, limited-resourced, and under-served Ohioans through four program areas which include Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, and 4-H Youth Development and by utilizing Ohio’s existing infrastructure present at local community colleges within each region, we have the opportunity to compliment one-another in serving many of these underserved populations.”

Stark State College

Central State University president Dr. Jack Thomas gave a brief overview of Central State University’s history as a land-grant institution. “This is truly exciting because as we (Central State) are expanding our footprint across the state of Ohio, partnerships with colleges like Stark, Edison State, and Hocking are significant and meaningful. Such partnerships allow us to meet the needs of so many more Ohioans, not only with programs and outreach, but with opportunities for continuing education; ultimately improving the lives of the citizens of this great state!”

Hocking College President Dr. Betty Young thanked Central State for selecting the Hocking College Perry Campus as a site for meeting the mission of a land grant university and for reaching into our rural communities. “We are proud to be part of this strategic priority of Central State and to be your partner.” Dr. Young in her remarks further acknowledged the importance of agricultural and technical education and its importance to the economic growth our Ohio.

“Alongside our overall economic partnerships in Preble and Darke Counties, this next level of collaboration with the Central State University Extension Office supports increased options for our Agri-business students in particular, but also forms a foundation for new pathways for all Edison State students in all of our service counties,” stated Edison State College president Dr. Doreen Larson. “Central State University President, Dr. Jack Thomas, has certainly hit the ground running and wasted no time in promoting strategic partnerships. The presence of Trustees Mehaffie and Fletcher at the signing event speaks volumes in terms of Edison State’s commitment to support of the Agricultural industry in Ohio.” 

“Stark State College is delighted to partner with Central State University (CSU) to provide educational opportunities to students in the region, and we are pleased that CSU’s Northeast Ohio outreach office is located at our Downtown Canton facility,” said Stark State President Para M. Jones, Ph.D. “We look forward to joining Central State in reaching out to urban, suburban and rural residents and employers with programs on nutrition, health and wellness; agriculture; and other extension services related to Central State’s land-grant mission.”

Representatives from all 4 schools were present at the virtual MOU signing ceremony included Dr. Jack Thomas, President of Central State University; Dr. Betty Young, President of Hocking College; Dr. Para Jones, President of Stark State College; Dr. Doreen Larson, President of Edison State Community College and more!