FIRST-TIME STUDENT CHECKLISTS

If you’ve earned a high school diploma or equivalent and have not earned any college credit, then you’re a First-Time Student! Attending college for the first time is an exciting experience, and it’s likely some of the best years of your life are just ahead. To make sure you’re all ready to start your time here at OTC, read through this helpful checklist, which covers the application process, exploring scholarships, financial aid, registering for courses, and other things you’ll need to take care of before setting foot on campus. There are even a few things you’ll want to do after you register such as ordering your textbooks and accessing your OTC E-Mail. We’ve worked hard to cover as many topics as we can, but if you have a question you don’t see answered here, please contact us. Welcome to OTC!

APPLY TO OTC

One of the first questions we will ask you on our Application for Admission is “What’s your program of study (Major)”?  Many students are unsure about what program they want to pursue when applying to college.

If you need some career guidance before applying to OTC, our free online career assessment can help you identify your career goals and choose a program of study that best aligns with those goals.  Be sure to sign up first, then take the 60 questions detailed assessment to see your personality traits and career matches!  Once you complete your Career Coach Assessment, you can also schedule an appointment to review the results and create a career plan with one of our Career Advisors by calling the Career Services office at 417-447-6964 or emailing careerservices@otc.edu

We’ve made applying to OTC a fast and easy process requiring only two steps:

  • Create your OTC account
  • Complete the OTC Application for Admission

You will need to have access to a non-OTC email account (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) that you can use until your first semester starts, so we don’t recommend using a parent’s email or your high school email account.

If you have any problems with the application process, you can contact our Student Services staff for support during business hours.  Here is their contact information:

Email:  studentservices@otc.edu

Phone: 417-447-6900

Are you ready?

Now that you have been admitted to OTC, we will be sending information regarding the steps on your admission checklist to your non-OTC email address.  However, information about your classes and your academic record can only be sent to your OTC email address.

Like all colleges and universities, OTC considers e-mail the “official” form of communication with students.  We may also call or text you, but the most important information will be sent to your OTC email address.  Now is a great time to get access to your OTC email so you can start checking it daily and not miss any important messages!

These links will open in a new window:

BEFORE YOU REGISTER FOR CLASSES

If you are like most students, you will need some financial aid to help with paying for college.  By completing the FAFSA, you may qualify for grants (which you don’t need to pay back), student loans (which you do need to pay back) or work-study.  These can cover a large part of your school costs.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for any OTC student who wants to be considered for any type of financial aid – even the A+ Scholarship!  Apply early as awards are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.  You will also need to do a new FAFSA every school year, but we will remind you!

Get Help

Did you know that one of the biggest reasons students don’t go to college is because they are afraid to complete the FAFSA? We can help!!  Just call our Student Services staff during regular business hours at 417-447-6900.  They can help with many of your FAFSA questions.  If they can’t, they will schedule an appointment for you with one of our Financial Aid Counselors.  You can do this!

Get Prepared

  • Collect your paperwork. Gather your Social Security number or Alien Registration number, your taxes (for most students, you will need your taxes and your parents), W-2’s or other income records, bank statements and investment records.
  • Check the FAFSA Deadlines! Don’t miss the boat – apply early and make sure you meet the deadlines!

Get it Done

  • Get your FSA-ID (Federal Student Aid ID). You will need this to apply for financial aid this year, to see your FAFSA information online, and to re-apply in future years.
  • Fill out your FAFSA Online. Be sure to list Ozarks Technical Community College on the application with our special code:  030830

What Happens Next

  • Review your Student Aid Report: 1-4 weeks after you submit your FAFSA, you will receive an email from FAFSA telling you your “Student Aid Report” is ready.
  • Check out your OTC Financial Aid Status in myOTC. You will find a checklist showing any missing documents, and you can review your award package and accept your aid.
  • Accept your Financial Aid Award! While in myOTC, you can view and accept your awards.  You won’t receive your aid without this important step!  Grants don’t need to be accepted, but other forms of aid do!

Everyone could use a little extra money for college, and OTC makes applying for scholarships easy!  With one application, you can be considered for every scholarship you are eligible for at OTC.  That’s definitely worth the time it takes to complete an application.  You don’t need to complete this process before registering for classes, but you should get started early!

Do your research before you apply:

  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you qualify for federal grants.
  • Check out the OTC Scholarship Website. We provide information on many different scholarships.  Make sure to check application windows and deadlines.
  • Look online for other scholarship opportunities. Be careful to avoid scams!  You should never have to pay to find scholarships or to fill out the FAFSA!

Make a list of the scholarships you will apply for

  • Track the deadlines and rules for each scholarship
  • Apply to the scholarships with the closest deadlines first.

What happens next

  • It could take several weeks or even months to hear back about your application. The school or organization will contact you if you win the award.  Then you can celebrate!
  • Provide more information if requested. Some extra forms may need to be filled out.

For more information:

Unlike most colleges, OTC does not require you to take a placement test to determine which entry-level English and math courses you should take.  Instead, you are allowed to choose which courses are right for you.

We know this is a big decision, and we are here to help!  Check out our Guided Self Placement website to find the right courses for you.  This site will ask you some basic questions, and will then give you specific course recommendations based on your goals, skills, and motivation.

Completion of Guided Self Placement is required prior to completing Distance Advising or STAR so you will have these recommendations available to help you get enrolled in the right courses.

OTC requires official documentation for all prior credit earned.  This includes your high school diploma, as well as any college credit completed during high school, including dual credit, IB, CLEP, and AP credit.  All transcripts must come from the organization where the credit was earned directly to OTC to be considered official.

High School Transcripts:

In order to be eligible for any financial aid, we need a high school transcript verifying the completion of your high school diploma.  Please contact your high school and request they send an official high school transcript showing your graduation date to OTC:

Electronic: email to admissions@otc.edu
Fax:  Faxed transcripts are not considered official and therefore are not accepted.
Paper Transcripts: Mail to:

Office of Admissions
Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO  65802

NOTE:  Students are allowed to register for classes at OTC prior to submitting their high school transcript, but will not be eligible for financial aid until it’s received.

Missouri or Texas High School Equivalency (HSE)

If you completed your HSE/GED in Missouri or Texas, OTC will attempt to verify it for you.  We will notify you if we need additional information.

Out of State High School Equivalency (HSE)

Contact the state where you completed the HSE to have an official transcript sent to OTC.

College and University Transcripts

Contact all previously attended colleges (including dual credit courses) to have an official transcript sent directly from that institution to OTC.  If you are currently enrolled in classes at a college or university, you need to wait until your course(s) are complete to send the official transcript.  OTC advisors can use an unofficial transcript to advise you regarding course selection.  OTC requires the transcript of origin for every college course you have completed, even if that course appears as transfer work on another college transcript. 

You may register for one semester of classes at OTC while waiting for your prior college transcripts to arrive.  However, you are encouraged to submit official transcripts as soon as possible to ensure you do not accidentally retake classes and to meet prerequisites for classes you want to take at OTC.

Dual Credit Coursework:

College credit earned while in high school will be recorded on an official transcript from the college or university that offered the credit. It will not be displayed on your high school transcript.  Please contact each college or university where you received college credit and request they send OTC an official transcript.

Please have each college or university send official transcripts to:

Electronic: email to admissions@otc.edu
Fax:  Faxed transcripts are not considered official and therefore are not accepted.
Paper Transcripts: Mail to:

Office of Admissions
Ozarks Technical Community College|
001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO  65802

IB, CLEP, and AP Credit

Students who have earned college credit through International Baccalaureate (IB), College Board Credit (CLEP) or Advanced Placement (AP) need to request a score report from that organization be sent to OTC.  It can be sent to the same email or mailing address as an official high school or college transcript.  More information on IB, CLEP and AP credit can be found on our transfer credit website.

Military Transcripts

Visit our Veterans Forms and Information website for more information about requesting military transcripts and OTC equivalencies.

How will my Courses Transfer to OTC?

To view how a course will transfer to OTC, please visit our Transfer Credits website.

What Makes my Transcripts Official?

You can find more information on our “what makes a transcript official” website.

REGISTERING FOR CLASSES

Due to COVID-19, we are offering two different options for incoming students to complete their academic advising and registration.  Students are encouraged to select the option they are most comfortable completing.  Incoming students do not need to complete both options.

OPTION #1: Distance Advising: 

Distance Advising is the online alternative to the Student Advising and Registration (STAR) seminar. Distance Advising is delivered through OTC’s online learning system called Canvas, is self-paced, and requires students to work through seven steps and have their course plans reviewed by an Academic Advisor before being released to register for their first semester at OTC.

Ready to get started?  Enroll in Distance Advising

Need distance advising support, email distanceadvising@otc.edu

OPTION #2:  On-Campus Student Advising and Registration (STAR):

This is our traditional, in-person summer advising program with a COVID-19 Twist.  Students will complete STAR in small groups with social distancing and masks required.  Advisors will walk each group through all the steps in the enrollment process for the upcoming term.  More detailed information on our STAR seminars can be found on the STAR website.

This summer, all STAR scheduling is being done by phone.  To schedule an In-Person STAR, please contact the appropriate location:

Springfield Campus:  417-447-6907

Springfield – Veteran Students:  417-447-7840

Richwood Valley Campus:  417-447-7727

Table Rock Campus:  417-447-8921

Lebanon Center:  417-532-5044

Waynesville Center:  417-774-5061

Republic Center:  Contact the Springfield Campus

During Distance Advising or STAR, you will learn more about how to build your class schedule.  Need more resources?   Visit our online registration guides.  Click on “myOTC Guides”, then check out the step-by-step instructions.

All OTC students, regardless of how they plan to pay for their classes, must sign up for a payment plan the same day they register for classes by midnight.  Need more information?  Visit our Student Account Services Website.  This website will explain the process, provide instructions to complete your payment plan, show you payment due dates, and provide contact information if you need assistance.

Bottom line – if you don’t sign up for your payment plan the same day you register for your classes, we will cancel your registration and you will need to re-register.

BEFORE CLASSES START

The first step after applying to OTC was to start using your OTC email.  Have you checked it lately?  We send first-time OTC students important emails regarding their financial aid, scholarships, payment plan, registration, and other campus information before classes start to their OTC email address.

If you haven’t done it yet, now is the time!!  Don’t miss out on important information.  Start checking your OTC email!

Do you have the technology you need to start classes?  A smart phone can definitely be helpful, but it is not the best educational tool!  All OTC campus locations have open computer labs, and we encourage you to use them.   Experienced students tell us it is difficult to complete assignments on time without easy access to a personal laptop or home computer connected to reliable, high speed internet access.  Be sure you have the technology tools you need to be successful.

Do you need the recommended computer specs before you buy?  Check out our Student Computer Recommendations website.

Looking for a good deal on technology?  Try the OTC Bookstore!  Starting in Fall 2020, the full price of a laptop can be charged to your OTC student account.

The OTC SmartCard (Student ID) serves two major purposes.  First, it serves as your official student ID to be used on campus and will have your student ID number and photo on it.  Second, it provides a banking option when it comes to receiving your student account refunds.

Students who attend our Student Advising and Registration (STAR) program will have their photo taken for their OTC Student ID during that event.  Students who are not required to attend STAR can come to any of our campus locations to have their photo taken for their OTC Student ID.  You will then receive the ID card in the US mail.  Students who do not live near one of our campus locations or are unable to come to campus can order a Non-Photo ID.

OTC Student ID photos are taken at the following OTC Locations:

  • Springfield Campus: IT Service Center – Information Commons Building next to the Library
  • Table Rock Campus: Student Services
  • Lebanon Center: Student Services
  • Waynesville Center: Student Services
  • Richwood Valley Campus: Student Services
  • Republic Center: Student Services

Driving to campus?  Unlike many colleges, OTC does not require students to purchase a parking permit, but please make sure to register your vehicle with OTC Safety and Security before the semester starts!  Registering your vehicle allows OTC Safety and Security to contact you in the event of an emergency, incident, or accident involving the vehicle.

OTC Safety and Security provide many services for students including escorting students to their vehicles in the evening, jumpstarting vehicles, responding to medical emergencies, and more.  For more information about OTC Safety and Security, visit our Safety and Security website.

Add Safety and Security to your Phone!

If you ever need to contact Safety and Security, it would be good to have it as a contact on your phone!  Here are the phone numbers for the Safety and Security office at each of our campus locations:

  • Springfield Campus:417-447-6911
  • Richwood Valley Campus: 417-447-7861
  • Table Rock Campus: 417-447-8943
  • Lebanon Center: 417-447-6689
  • Republic Center: 417-447-7418
  • Waynesville Center: 417-447-6640

Now that you have registered for classes, you may want to learn more about campus.  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have moved to an online tour format.  Visit our Campus Tours Website to learn more about all the OTC campuses and centers.

Every class begins with a good book.  OTC is providing books in two ways – Auto Access and traditional textbooks.  Our auto-access program has saved OTC students over 3.4 million dollars in its first two years!

If your class provides course materials through the Auto Access program, you will see that on the course description when you register for the class.  Those materials will automatically be loaded into your course canvas site before the course sites, and the charges will automatically be added to your OTC student account.

If your course requires printed course materials, you can purchase them online through the OTC bookstore.  We even offer a tool where you can compare prices with online retailers before making your purchase.  To get started, visit our OTC Bookstore Online.

Wouldn’t it be great if all the important academic, financial aid, and payment dates were all in one place?  We thought so too, so we built a Student Academic Calendar!   Want to know what’s happening this week at OTC?  Check out the College Calendar of Events!

If there is an emergency on campus, or we have a snow day, you will probably want to know!  The easiest way to be alerted regarding campus closings or emergencies is to sign up for emergency notifications.

You can sign up in myOTC on the OTC Emergency Notification page.

Let’s face it – college is hard!  You may run into roadblocks during your time at OTC, but we’ve got your back!  Check out our Student Support Services website.  You can schedule an appointment with various offices, call someone for immediate assistance, or explore all the different offices and services we offer OTC students.  We also have live chat operators on most of our websites, and OBot, our virtual assistant, can answer many of your questions.

Instructors at OTC use Canvas to post important class announcements, course materials, assignments, and grades. Online courses are run entirely through canvas.

Canvas sites for each course open 3-5 days prior to the start of that course so you can go in and look around.  Some students will read through the syllabus and get a feel for the course before it even starts!  Others wait until the first day of classes, which is OK too.  You can access your course canvas site in myOTC by clicking on the Canvas link at the top of the page, or by logging directly into canvas on the myOTC login page.

Need Canvas support?  We’ve got you covered!  Just visit our OTC Online Department.

GET HELP NOW