About the College

Philosophy of Student Learning & Development


James A. Rhodes State College (formerly Lima Technical College) was officially chartered in 1971 as a state, public-assisted associate degree-granting institution of higher education. A study conducted by community leaders in 1967 revealed the need for a number of technical educational programs to satisfy the employment demands of area businesses, industries and agencies. As a result, Penta Technical Institute of Perrysburg (now known as Owens Community College) established instructional programs on the Lima Campus in 1969. In the fall quarter of that year, a total of 49 students enrolled in the nursing program, the only course of instruction offered.

In June 1971, at the recommendation of the Ohio Board of Regents, the Allen County Technical Institute District was formed. Functional operation of the new institution began in July 1971 under the interim auspices of The Ohio State University. Finally, in September 1971, the College received its own charter and began operation under its own Board of Trustees. The continued cooperative relationship between Lima Technical College and The Ohio State University has produced an efficient campus operation and a very unique and effective educational environment.

Since the fall quarter of 1971, in which 468 students registered, the College has experienced remarkable growth and development.  Today the College offers over 90 associate degrees, majors and certificate programs, and the College’s online coursework and off-campus learning centers serve 33 Ohio counties.  More than 25,000 participants from manufacturing to allied health organizations have benefited from Workforce Development services.

As Lima Technical College grew, the need for a name change became increasingly more evident. On March 1, 2002, the Lima Technical College Board of Trustees voted to change the College’s name to more accurately reflect the scope and diversity of its courses and services to West Central Ohio and beyond. Effective June 24, 2002, the College formally changed its name to James A. Rhodes State College, in honor of the former Ohio Governor who spearheaded the state’s two-year college system.

Rhodes State College has gained accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456 or https://www.hlcommission.org/. The majority of Rhodes State’s programs have received accreditation from professional associations (see specific program information under “Programs of Instruction” section.)


The concept of a single student body on the Lima Campus carries over to the use of facilities. The ten buildings, located on 565 acres, are shared by Rhodes State College and The Ohio State University at Lima. Classroom and laboratory space, comprising a total gross area of 420,000 square feet, is available to sustain current programs in technical and continuing education.

Galvin Hall, the first building constructed on the campus in 1966, houses Student Activities, numerous classrooms, lecture rooms, faculty offices and a recreation area.

The campus auditorium, cafeteria, music laboratory, and some faculty offices are located in Reed Hall, which was built in 1968.

The Technical Education Laboratory building, built in 1970 and renovated in 2008, was designed and constructed specifically to support the technical education programs at Rhodes State College. It presently contains the campus Child Care Center, faculty offices, Central Duplication, Security, Testing Center and specialized laboratories for the Law Enforcement, Corrections, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiographic Imaging, Medical Assisting, Education, and Human Service programs.

Cook Hall, dedicated in 1977, is a multi-purpose facility which houses the library, gymnasium, classrooms, The Kenneth & Jean Clemens Dental Hygiene Clinic, faculty offices and specialized laboratories for the Nursing, Radiographic Imaging, EMS and Respiratory Care programs.

The Public Service Building, dedicated in 1993, houses the administrative offices. The Business Office, Admissions, Advising, Career Services, Registration and Records, the Bookstore, Financial Aid, and Transfer Residency Office are located in this building.

The James J. Countryman Engineering & Industrial Technologies Building, dedicated in 1996, provides additional laboratory and classroom space for the Business, Technology and Public Service Division. In 2012, an expansion of the Countryman building was completed to include a 16,000 square foot addition with classrooms, administrative/faculty office space and student soft space.

Dedicated in 1999, the Life and Physical Sciences Building, is a 90,000 square foot structure that houses several classrooms, faculty offices, the Academic Success Center, the biology, chemistry and physics laboratories, and Multimedia Productions.

The Information Technology Building opened in Winter of 2004 and was renamed Keese Hall in honor of retired president Earl Keese. This 33,232 square foot structure houses the information technology programs. In addition, the College created a Workforce and Economic Development Center within the new building to help stimulate workforce development and entrepreneurial activity in the region through consolidation of regional workforce and economic development entities administered by the College. Consolidation of these services brought the Small Business Development Center to the campus, and enables new and existing small business owners a one-stop approach to training, counseling and financial services within Workforce and Economic Development. In 2014, the Keese Hall Multipurpose Center was opened. This important expansion for campus and community use seats 300-400 people, with access to high quality breakout spaces in the existing Keese Hall.

Spring of 2020, Rhodes State College began construction on the Center for Health Science Education and Innovation in the heart of downtown Lima. This facility strategically helps Rhodes State College meet the growing need for more healthcare professionals as well as the training needs of incumbent healthcare professionals. With a scheduled completion date of summer 2021, the 50,000 square foot Center will house five programs: nursing, respiratory care, EMS, physical therapist assistant and occupational therapy assistant. The Center, an interprofessional state-of-the-art teaching facility, represents a collaborative effort with major hospitals, healthcare partners, businesses, and government to expand educational opportunities, drive community revitalization, enhance business development and innovation, and provide access to healthcare to underserved residents. The building is planned to open for classes Fall 2021.

Philosophy of Student Learning and Development

At Rhodes State College, our focus is upon student learning and development both in and out of the classroom. Therefore, the philosophy of student learning and development at the College is to promote the whole person in the context of a diverse community in which students are encouraged to responsibly manage their lives and educational goals with balance and integrity. 

Through a student-centered environment, students are developed toward intellectual, intrapersonal, interpersonal and life-management achievement. As students embark on their educational journey at Rhodes State College, they learn to experience, understand, and appreciate a college education and what it can do for them personally and professionally.

The College adheres to exemplary student affairs practices that are designed to create a student development-centered environment that recognizes diversity and promotes student access and progress. The philosophy of student learning and development is embedded within the Student Affairs' mission, goals, activities, programs and services.