SSU receives Choose Ohio First Grants to support future nurses

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Shawnee State University has been awarded $1,040,958 in Choose Ohio First grants by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to support students in critical STEM fields, including nursing, health professions, game design, computer science, and engineering technologies.

SSU received two grants. The first provides $514,500 over a five-year period to fund new scholarships for future nurses, health care professionals, and those in technology fields that support the medical community. The second grant for $526,458 continues scholarships provided to previously recruited and enrolled game design and computer science majors.

“We are grateful to the ODHE for its support of students from underrepresented regions,” Eric Braun, SSU Vice President for Advancement & Enrollment Management, said. “These funds will make college possible for more students – and will help us recruit top Ohio talent for our most critical workforce needs.”

Braun explained that the SSU Choose Ohio First Scholarship program is prioritizing students pursuing two-year associate degrees in nursing, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees, and LPN-to-RN and RN-to-BSN completion degrees. Special consideration will be given to applicants from the five most economically disadvantaged counties in the region — Scioto, Lawrence, Adams, Pike, and Jackson counties.

“The demand for nurses in our area is incredibly high,” he said. “Using these scholarships to help future nurses is our top priority.”

Choose Ohio First grants are used exclusively for student scholarships. The SSU Choose Ohio First Scholarship program will provide $1500 to full-tuition awards for selected students.

“These scholarships have helped us grow our game design and computer science programs,” Dr. Duane Skaggs, associate professor of game engineering technology and coordinator of SSU’s Choose Ohio First Scholarship program, said. “We look forward to being able to use them to make a difference in our medical community, starting with nursing.”

To qualify, students must be Ohio residents and meet the academic qualifications for merit-based scholarships at Shawnee State. These include a minimum grade point average of 3.2 and an ACT composite score of at least 21. Alternate placement testing is available for adult students.

To apply for a nursing scholarship for Fall 2021, students may visit or call SSU Admissions at 740-351-4778.

Staff report