Founded in 1941
OTERO JUNIOR COLLEGE, founded in 1941, joined the system in 1967. OJC has a residential campus in La Junta and attracts students from the service area of Otero, Bent, and Crowley counties, as well as throughout Colorado and the United States. Its strong academic and career and technical programs have established OJC as a focal point in southern Colorado. In addition to attracting students from the immediate service area, OJC maintains a large student population of intercollegiate athletes, representing eleven National Junior College Athletic Association sports, including the Wrestling program started during the 2016-2017 academic year. The college also continues to build on a successful student-centered international program. In the past few years, students attending OJC came from: Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
President: James Rizzuto, M.A.
Mr. Rizzuto received his master’s degree from the Thunderbird Graduate School for Global Management. Prior to coming to OJC in 2001, he served as executive director for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and served 16 years in the Colorado State Senate representing southern Colorado. He was a member of the Joint Budget Committee from 1986 to 1998.
Otero Junior College offers two educational tracks for students. The first is a rigorous academic track that leads to an associate of arts or associate of science degree with guarantee transfer to a four-year college or university in Colorado. This track is utilized by students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) track offers many programs that will have the student on the job with a specific skill set within one to two years of study. The college’s signature CTE programs include its nationally accredited Nursing program, a nationally accredited Medical Laboratory Technician program, and a trail blazing Health Navigation program. Five years ago OJC launched an Ag-Science program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education STEM Grant. This program offers students the opportunity to study three emphasis areas in Agriculture Soil and Crop Science, Agri-Business and Animal Science. Through articulation agreements developed with Colorado State University–Fort Collins, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and West Texas A&M students are able to seamlessly transfer into those respective institutions’ Agriculture Science programs.
Fall 2016 Final Enrollment Headcount: 1,465
Fall 2016 Instruction
- Full-time Faculty: 40%
- Adjunct Instructors: 60%
Otero Junior College’s Governmental, Business, Education and Industry Partners Include:
- Service Area Medical Facilities
- Service Area Manufacturing Companies
- Service Area Chamber of Commerces
- Service Area K-12 School Districts
- Numerous Career and Technical Education Advisory Committees comprised of business and professional people currently working in those fields
- Service Area Law Enforcement Agencies
- Service Area County and City Governments
- Service Area Economic Development Agencies
- Southeast Colorado Workforce Center
- Child Development Services, Head Start, Early Head Start and Migrant Head Start