Greetings from the Board of Orion Education Group!
By now, many of you have been made aware of the pending name change of Hamilton Technical College to Orion Technical College which will go into effect this Monday, August 31, 2020. Orion Education Group (OEG) has been actively involved with Hamilton since 2015, as both a member of the Board and a minority interest stockholder.
On January 1, 2019, OEG elected to execute its option to acquire the remaining balance of shares making OEG the sole owner of the college. This was the second such institutional acquisition during the past decade. Today, OEG is the sole owner of both Orion Institute located in Perrysburg, Ohio and Orion Technical College, formerly known as Hamilton Technical College, located in Davenport, Iowa. While we do not presently plan to acquire any additional institutions, we do have aggressive expansion plans for both of these campuses.
As we all know too well, and like so many other institutions of higher learning, we had to quickly react to the impact and challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously COVID–19 has impacted many of us, personally and professionally, well beyond the reach of our institutional communities and we wish the best for those adversely affected. Having said that, we could not be more proud of our staff, faculty and student body across both campuses for their persistence and resiliency which resulted in a smooth transition to a Remote Learning Environment. Even more impressive was that it all happened in less than one week’s time. This demonstration of personal pride and professionalism allowed our student population to continue their pursuit of life changing credentials without interruption. Congratulations to all involved, especially those students with the courage to continue their education in a completely new learning environment as well as the instructors, that deliver it daily.
As a retired military veteran, I can’t help but remember the military’s definition of courage which is defined as “The ability to overcome one’s fears in order to successfully accomplish the mission.” Our students, faculty and staff clearly fit this definition to a tee – Congratulations!
The name change to Orion Technical College will have much more of a significant impact than the name change alone and will positively affect both campuses. For example:
- We are merging both institutions under one newly designed website, www.orion.edu which launches Monday and will have a significant impact on brand recognition
- That same “Brand Recognition” is expected to enhance our alumni and future graduates’ geo-employment opportunities well beyond local markets
- Our current student population and faculty are already experiencing the benefits of CANVAS, a far more robust Learning Management System (LMS) which was introduced this August
- This same LMS will be further enhanced in the weeks and months to come with additional innovative, cutting edge software that focuses on knowledge retention through Cerego and expanded community engagement through Yellowdig for both on-campus and remote learners as well as administrators, alumni and employers.
- These items combined with our successful implementation of the Zoom Video Communication Platform and Microsoft Office 365 for Education have positioned the organization to provide an innovative academic experience not typically available at smaller, privately held post-secondary institutions.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ACTIVE STUDENTS & ALUMNI:
Effective Monday, August 31st all students regardless of the campus attended or the email account you currently utilize to communicate with your respective institution, will now be required to access email by logging into Office.com and using an Orion.edu email address. This enhanced feature will provide you with access to Microsoft Office 365 and further grant you access to all of the A1 account applications & services including Outlook as your new email provider. Please format your new email address using the initial of your first name, then your full last name followed by, @orion.edu. For example, John Doe will have email@example.com as an approved email address. Upon completion, you will be provided access to a Microsoft Office 365 A1 account. This account will be available to you so long as you maintain an active Orion.edu email address. For those not familiar with Office 365, please see the illustration below which details the many Applications & Services available to our active student population as well as the thousands of alumni located across the nation all at no cost.
If you are experiencing difficulty establishing and/or accessing your new Orion email account, please visit our website at www.orion.edu/techsupport for additional information and help desk assistance as necessary.
We would like to take this opportunity to formally congratulate all our alumni on their individual successes and encourage them to take advantage of these expanded alumni benefits. You can rest assured that Orion Education Group will continue to honor the history associated with each of our campuses and look to provide additional resources for all alumni regardless of their year of graduation and/or where you live and work for years to come. So let’s take this opportunity to reconnect via phone, email, website or Facebook…we’d love to hear about your individual journeys and share them with our educational community through our website, social platforms and feature several of them as part of our new animated alumni spotlight series.
In closing, Orion Education Group is very excited about our collective future. The synergies created by operating under one banner are significant and will afford numerous opportunities for both campuses to leverage an extremely talented group of educational professionals from both the academic and administrative sides of the organization. Our commitment to excellence has never been stronger! We pledge to continually seek out and implement new innovative educational enhancements, expand program offerings and thereby continue to provide quality graduate for our ever-expanding employment community partners which they have come to expect from Orion.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come!
Troy Harris, CEO Orion Education Group