Background photo of Clark State Community College campus with photo of President Jo Alice Blondin in the foreground.

AFIT Welcomes President Jo Alice Blondin

Dr. Jo Alice Blondin

AFIT's Executive Committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio, has been accepted as a new member. Dr. Blondin was introduced to our organization by AFIT Secretary & Treasurer Jackie Elliott. After joining us as a guest at the 2020 CEO Forum & Reps Meeting in Denver, Colorado, President Blondin decided to apply for AFIT membership.

"Clark State is always looking to innovate," said President Blondin. "We wanted to join a learning community of innovators and difference makers who are focused on student success and excellence." Clark State is at a critical time in its evolution: the College has maximized its funding from the State of Ohio through its performance, and it's looking at next-level opportunities to distinguish it from the other 22 community colleges in Ohio. "We have tweaked our mission to include education at the baccalaureate level," said President Blondin, "and we would like to develop these degrees and others with an entrepreneurial spirit, fully recognizing that others have been on this journey and we can learn from them."

Innovation is in Clark State's DNA. It was the first college in Ohio to offer classes online and it has continued that spirit of innovation through the development of many "first" degree programs in the state, such as Precision Agriculture, Cybersecurity, Geospatial Information Systems, and others. Through a $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, Clark State has brought online eight stackable manufacturing certificates that result in an associate or bachelor's degree. The College was recently award a $1.7 million Title III grant to fully implement a new trauma-informed practice model for the entire campus to ensure students receive the highest level of service and care. Clark State is guided by a strong and inclusive strategic planning process that has resulted in the College receiving a 50% increase in state funding since 2013.

Melanie Tolles, executive assistant to the president and coordinator of special projects, will serve as the College's AFIT Rep.

Mellanie Tolles, AFIT Rep

Please join us in welcoming Jo Alice, Mellanie, and the Clark State team to AFIT!