A Lifelong Commitment
Lawrence County residents receive excellent education from preschool to post-secondary schooling and from continuing education to career development.
The county offers 12 elementary schools, five middle schools, one junior high school, and six high schools. There also is a separate facility for kindergarten in Ironton as well as two parochial schools, St. Joseph and St. Lawrence, serving grades Kindergarten through 12th.
Learning and achievement go hand in hand here and the education system offers many challenges and opportunities. For example, the Collin Career Center in Chesapeake provides 11th and 12th-grade students enrolled in vocational career programs with technical skills needed for employment, employability, and opportunities to continue their education beyond high school. Graduates receive a high school diploma from their home schools and a vocational certificate from the center.
Five colleges and universities are located in or near Lawrence County. These include Ohio University Southern in Ironton, Ohio; Ashland Community and Technical College and the Ashland campus of Morehead State University in Ashland, Kentucky; and Marshall University and Huntington Junior College in Huntington, West Virginia.
Higher education is available locally in Ironton and in Proctorville at the Ohio University Southern campus. Here, more than 3,000 students have enrolled and may choose from 13 associate’s degrees, nine bachelor’s degrees, and two master’s degrees. Ohio University Southern offers a tuition reciprocity agreement for its surrounding out-of-state counties. The general purpose of this agreement is to expand postsecondary education opportunities in the region, while limiting the cost of such expansion to the taxpayers of Ohio and Kentucky through collaboration among public institutions of higher education. The intended outcomes of this collaboration are to increase the availability of programs to residents of the region without needless duplication of educational effort and to promote efficient use of existing educational facilities and resources.
Brief info on eligibility - Ohio University Southern, Rio Grande and Shawnee State agree to accept any residents from Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis, and Mason counties of Kentucky at Ohio resident tuition rates. Ashland Community and Technical College, and Morehead State University agree to accept any residents from Adams, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, and Scioto counties of Ohio at Kentucky resident tuition rates. Also, there are numerous distance learning classes conducted between Ohio University Southern and Ohio University in Athens.
As an alternative, the Proctorville Center of Ohio University Southern continues to offer freshman and sophomore-level courses required for most degrees before students move to the Ironton campus. A new east-end campus is “on the drawing board” for Ohio University as well.
For a month in the summer, Ohio University Southern hosts the National Youth Sports Program for boys and girls, ages 10-16. The youths are eligible to participate at no cost in activities such as swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis and horseback riding. This program allows young people to engage in sports competition and improve their physical fitness. At the same time, the program enables the university and its personnel to participate in community life and provides employment and on-the-job training.
Lawrence County also offers all of the amenities needed to operate broadband and wireless internet services in the classrooms. Through American Electric Power’s line of service, many schools now offer international classes and discussions.
The Workforce Development Resource Center located in Ironton is another service that provides employment assistance and new career development, while helping employers find qualified applicants. For employers, the center offers applicant screening, ACT Work Keys assessment services, and interview areas, as well as various types of employee training.
Services available for job seekers include ACT Work Keys assessment, assistance with résumés and job searches; as well as training for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. Registration with employment services gives job seekers access to Job Net and Ohio Works database of available jobs as well as the filing of unemployment claims. GEDs can be obtained at the center. It also offers assistance for older and impaired individuals.