Safety and security on college campuses is a concern for many people these days. Each year, thousands of parents see their students heading off to begin their college careers. And even though the kids are grown, the parents still worry about them.
One local college that has an excellent record for safety and security is Chatfield College.
Every year, college campuses are required to report campus safety plans and crime statistics to the United States Department of Education. The record for Chatfield is outstanding.
“For at least the past ten years, Chatfield has had no incidents to report. That’s across both our Brown County and Over-the-Rhine campuses. We are an extremely safe environment,” said Dr. Peter Hanson, Chief Academic Officer and Chatfield Dean. Chatfield is a non-residential campus, so none of the issues that can arise in a dormitory setting are a problem.
“Our students are living at home or with their families,” said Hanson. He added that if a student is troubled in some way, help is never far away.
“When a student walks in looking troubled, it’s not very long before someone will walk up to them and ask them how they are doing and if they are OK,” Hanson said.
“Knowing our students enables us to have one-on-one interactions with them,” Hanson added that the sense of security also contributes to academic and social success.
“It certainly stands to reason that if you are comfortable, you are going to be able to learn to a far greater extent than if you are uncomfortable or insecure,” Hanson said.
And the students aren’t the only ones that get a sense of security from the close environment at Chatfield.
“It brings a sense of peace to parents and other family members to know that their student is in a safe environment. All parents want the best for their children and that includes safety and security,” Hanson said.
That security is also found in downtown Cincinnati at the Over-the-Rhine campus of Chatfield as well.
“The entire campus there is contained within a single building. We have a very knowledgeable and well-trained staff in OTR, just like we do at our St. Martin campus. They help to ensure that our mission to teach and help the students grow continues to move forward,” said Hanson.
And if someone who doesn’t belong happens to come along at either campus, Hanson said it wouldn’t be long before they were spotted.
“Someone that doesn’t belong would stand out immediately. The majority of people know which car belongs to whom and things like that, so we are all looking out for each other like a close neighborhood or family.”
Hanson said that the feeling of security and safety is one of the foundations of Chatfield’s success.
“As a smaller school, we are always going to be able to have that close interaction with our students. If they have any problems with academics or with other issues, we see that immediately and can make sure they stay on the right track.”
Mary Castle is a non-traditional student in her 40’s who has rekindled her college career at Chatfield.
“I feel very safe and secure there. I know everyone on campus. I feel safe, not only for myself but if I bring my children, I know they will be safe as well,” said Castle.
“I have a nephew that goes to Chatfield through the Ohio College Credit Plus (CCP) program. He’s a junior in high school. I think it’s a very safe place to be.”
Student Kamri Offutt is still a senior in high school, also attending through CCP. But by the time she graduates from high school, she will have earned her associate degree from Chatfield. She started attending classes there at 16 years old.
“I literally drove right into Chatfield and felt this really calm feeling like ‘this is where I’m supposed to be.’ It’s really cool when you feel something like that,” said Offutt.
“I feel completely safe. I‘m not afraid to leave my laptop on the table while I run to the library or something. The worst thing that happened to me is that I lost my keys, but that was my fault,” she laughed.
Castle said that she encourages people her age to check out their education options at Chatfield.
“The admissions staff at Chatfield have been very encouraging to me as I restarted my college career. It’s never too late to learn. If you stop learning, you lose part of yourself,” she said.
Meanwhile, Offutt said she sees her upcoming graduation as bittersweet.
“I wish I didn’t have to leave next year. I encourage everyone to just come and experience Chatfield. Once you see the campus, you will fall in love,” she said.
To start your college career in the safe and secure environment at Chatfield, call the St. Martin Campus at (513) 875-3344 or the Cincinnati Campus at (513) 921-9856. You can also check us out online at www.chatfield.edu.