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February 27, 2020

Dr. Larson’s February 2020 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC President Dr. Larson

OCC Marketing and Recruiting Initiatives

Dr. Jerry Racioppi, Vice President of Student Affairs, will present on the following new and exciting marketing and recruitment initiatives at Thursday’s Board meeting.  Dr. Anthony Trump, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, will join Dr. Racioppi for the presentation.

  • A Formal Business Partnership Agreement is being developed as well as marketing materials to promote the new program. This initiative will provide Ocean County employers with the opportunity to formally partner with OCC to develop, educate, and advance their employees as well as help OCC to reach out and engage adult learners.
  • A second marketing initiative, One More Year to University Junior Status, will recruit many of the Early College students to attend OCC to complete their degrees.

A Celebration of the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, OCC is hosting a panel discussion to recognize the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution:  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.  The theme of the event is A Time to Celebrate – A Time to Lead.

Distinguished panel participants will be Ms. Linda Bowden, Regional President of PNC Bank; Dr. Susan Cole, President of Montclair State University; and former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, President and CEO of Fulfill.  Ms. Anjali Mehrotra, President of New Jersey Chapter of the National Organization of Women, will moderate and guide the conversation, which will include panelists’ comments on their personal journeys to success, the challenges faced as women, how women can prepare for leadership roles in the future, and the importance of voting.

Ms. Christine O’Neill, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Vice President of the local Ocean County Chapter of NOW, initiated, developed, and coordinated this panel discussion in collaboration with Mr. Mark Wilson, Executive Director of Cultural Programs and Partnerships; Dr. Joseph Konopka, Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations.

The event will take place in the Grunin Center, Main Stage, at 11:00 a.m. and is free to the college community and the public.  A small reception will follow the event for Board members and invited guests.  Please join us if you can.

Academic Affairs

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The Nursing Program has 351 enrolled students this Spring 2020 semester.
  • Donna Bonacorso, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, and the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services at Community Medical Center (CMC), an affiliate of the RWJ/Barnabas Health Care System, met with Nursing students during the first week of the Spring 2020 semester to discuss future employment opportunities. She explained the application process for the Nurse Residency Program at CMC for graduating students and provided information to continuing students about the process for obtaining Nursing Assistant positions to enhance their experience within the hospital system.
  • The Fall 2019 Nursing Program completion rate was 75% for those students who began the program in Spring 2017. National accreditation mandates reporting of program completion rates within six semesters of when students begin their first Nursing course.  The national average for associate degree nursing programs is 61%.
  • On January 8, 2020, the School of Nursing collaborated with Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, to provide 45 Lakewood students with a tour of the Skills and Simulation Labs in the H. Hovnanian Health Sciences Building. Students were introduced to the Nursing Program and observed demonstrations of various Nursing skills.
  • Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator Marybeth Millan, MSN, RNC, CCE, attended a week-long course at Drexel University to obtain a certification in simulation. The course focused on designing and implementing scenarios in a simulation center to support student success.
  • Two students graduated from the OCC joint program with Rutgers University School of Health Professions Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

School of Business and Social Sciences

Mr. Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Science, and Ms. Charlotte Langeveld, College Lecturer II in Anthropology, presented at OCC’s annual Black History Month Read-In Day.  This year’s theme was African Americans and the Vote.  Mr. Ghibesi presented John Lewis’ August 28, 1963, “Speech at the March on Washington” and Ms. Langeveld presented Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning,” a poem that she read at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993.  Additionally, Professor of Social Sciences Lynn Kenneally read from Dr. Clement Price’s “Freedom Not Far Distant.”

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics


  • The Hydroponic High School Research Project is underway. Angel Camilo, College Lecturer II in Biology, and Assistant Professor of Science Eric Antonelli are currently working with Toms River high schools and will introduce the project to Jackson and Brick high schools later in the year.   The students will research hydroponic systems, with the hope of publishing papers at the New Jersey Academy of Science.  The first group of students were on campus in December 2019 and again earlier this month.  Two hydroponic systems are currently set up and producing lettuce and bok choy.
  • Scott Farrell and Dr. Maria Steblyanko, College Lecturers in Science, are working with Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer Services, to host a Health Sciences Career Exploration Fair in April.  Discussions are underway between Dr. Caterina Gibson, College Lecturer II in Science, and Manager of Grants Kayci Clayton on the possibility of receiving a Honda Grant to support the fair.
  • The Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium will be held at OCC on March 16 and 17, 2020.
  • Vijay Ramdeen, College Lecturer II in Chemistry, is planning a study abroad trip to Ireland/United Kingdom during Summer 2021.
  • The study abroad trip to Italy in January 2020 was extremely successful, with 16 students and 2 lecturers Dr. Mary-Ellen Rada, College Lecturer II in Anatomy, conducted the Science of the Renaissance portion of the trip, which included visits to the Museum Galileo where Galileo’s original telescope and various measuring devices and globes, both terrestrial and astronomical, were on display.  Many medical techniques and substances were depicted with the original equipment of the time period.
  • Christopher MacDonald, College Lecturer II in Physics, is currently revising physics course sequences to reflect alignment with Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology courses.


  • Through the Makers/Computer Science Club, Edmund Hong, College Lecturer II in Computer Science, is working with Ms. Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, on a showcase project, Mobilizing our Community.
  • A Cyber Security Certificate of Completion is under development. It is anticipated that it will be available to students in the Fall 2020 semester.


  • National Engineers Week, founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, was Sunday, February 16, through Saturday, February 22, 2020. College Lecturer II in Engineering Pam Bogdan planned a week of activities for students:
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 – A Paper Airplane Contest outside of the Larson Student Center
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – Speed Networking and Interviewing in the Technology Building Lecture Hall
  • Thursday, February 20, 2020 – Divyapriya Govindaraj, a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Scholar at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University presented “Applications of Nanomaterials to Remove Emerging Pollutants in Water” in the Gateway Building Lecture Hall
  • Friday, February 21, 2020 – An Egg Toss Contest outside of the Larson Student Center


  • Julia Kim, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, is developing a Math Boot Camp for the MATH 023, Developmental Math, courses, which will be offered in the Summer.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • College Lecturer II in Communications/Theatre Paul Chalakani and the OCC Repertory Theatre Company presented “Love Letters” in the Grunin Theatre from Thursday, February 13, through Sunday, February 16, 2020. “Love Letters” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that centers on the notes, cards, and letters exchanged by two characters over the course of nearly fifty years.
  • At the School meeting on February 4, 2020, publisher representatives from textbook companies were invited to share information about how their companies are addressing the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative. Representatives from Norton, Bedford/ Macmillan, and Philadelphia Press attended.
  • College Lecturer II in English Madison Peschock is hosting several Adjunct Roundtable Meetings this semester. The meetings will address a different English course each month and will feature a variety of faculty and lecturer presenters.  The first meeting on February 13, 2020, focused on engaging strategies for teaching English II.
  • In his role as a Part-Time Teacher, Mr. Ralph Bertini, Television Production Director, is offering three workshops this semester. The workshops for high school students are designed to showcase OCC as a premier institution for a quality education in Television Production and Digital Mass Media.  Each hands-on workshop will run three hours.

Workshop 1 will focus on TV Studio Lighting, Workshop 2 will highlight Adobe Premiere Basics, and Workshop 3 will provide students with the opportunity for an OCC TV “Test Drive,” during which they will produce a show.  The high schools that have taken advantage of these workshops include Lacey, Toms River North, Central Regional, Southern Regional, and the Ocean County Vocational Technical School.

  • Dean Heidi Sheridan and Veterans and Military Coordinator Ryan Luurtsema are collaborating in her Introduction to Poetry class on a project called, Voices of the Military. The project will allow military personnel to interact with poetry students.
  • College Lecturer II in English Heather Sciarappa is working with the Core Planning Team on OCC’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. She is also running two WebEx meetings for the School’s adjunct faculty.  These WebEx meetings are designed to explore interdisciplinary concepts and practices to use in the classroom, to encourage adjuncts to share ideas, and to engage in productive discussion.
  • College Lecturer II in English Jason Molloy is developing a film series as part of the School’s Social Justice Film Series for next year. The series will include screenings of Break the Chain and Tomorrow.
  • College Lecturer II in English Ameer Sohrawardy is working on a Shakespeare event for local high school students, Shakespeare Live! At OCC. The College is planning to stage three scenes from Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello, on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.  More than 200 high school English students from Toms River District schools are expected to attend these performances and participate in a talkback/question and answer session with the actors and directors. Besides bringing Shakespeare ‘to life’ in a unique, enjoyable, interactive setting and suggesting Shakespeare’s continued relevance today, this event will also serve as an important community outreach and recruitment function. Potential incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to experience OCC’s beautiful performance space in the Grunin Center, the expertise of OCC’s artistic staff and faculty, and OCC’s engaged, intelligent students, some of whom will be in attendance.
  • The English Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) continues to expand and provide students who place into the program with the opportunity to start in the first level of college English while simultaneously receiving one credit of developmental instruction to support their success. Prior to ALP, these students might have needed to take one to two courses in developmental English.  College Lecturer of English Samantha Glassford and Assistant Dean Veronica Guevara-Lovgren, working with the Dean, English faculty, lecturers, and students, continue to evolve the program based on research, needs of the learner, instructor feedback, and student outcomes, which have been promising, with a 70% course success rate.
  • Assistant Dean Guevara-Lovgren and Director of Financial Aid Yessika Garcia-Guzman are continuing to increase college access and opportunity to adult learners in Lakewood. This Spring semester, an evening section of English I is being taught by Adjunct Professor Antoinette Capodanno at Lakewood High School.
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Humanities and Fine Arts Anthony Tafrow was instrumental in the establishment of a new music scholarship in memory of Frank Richetti, Sr. For the first time, two music scholarships will be awarded to OCC students, the Frank Richetti, Sr., Music Memorial Scholarship and the Charles Read Memorial Music Scholarship.
  • Dean Heidi Sheridan attended The Essential Skills Summit: Equipping New Jerseyans for a Changing World hosted by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges on January 31, 2020.

Finance and Administration

  • Good news was received regarding the FY 2021 Chapter 12 funding cycle. A total of $90 million, state and county combined, is available for state-wide allocation in FY 2021.  This translates to an allocation of up to $5.5 million for Ocean County College.  In January, the Board adopted a resolution setting the FY 2021 Chapter 12 amount at up to $3.5 million; a revised resolution will be on the February 27, 2020, agenda for adoption to change that amount to $5.5 million.  As previously stated, the funds will be used toward the construction of a new Administration Building.
  • The process to select a bookstore vendor is continuing. Proposals have been received from five online bookstore vendors.  Presentations are scheduled in the Larson Student Center  second-floor Conference Room as follows:
    • Monday, February 24, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. (eCampus)
    • Monday, February 24, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. (Akademos)
    • Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. (Follett)
    • Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. (Ambassador)
    • Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. (Barnes and Noble)
  • MONOC, which operates Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic Services and Mobile Critical Care Services in Monmouth and Ocean counties, will close its doors on April 1, 2020.  Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Health will assume full operational and administrative responsibility of the program. The CentraState Health System Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) region will be covered by RWJ Barnabas Health.  The northern region will become the responsibility of RWJ Barnabas Health, with the exception of Clifton and Passaic, which will become a Hackensack Meridian Health operation.  There will be no disruption of MICU services, and every current MONOC paramedic will have the opportunity to seek employment at either or both of the health system MICU programs.

OCC has been working with MONOC to reinstate the joint Paramedic Education program that had been in place for many years.  Upon learning of MONOC’s decision to close, Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Ms. Kaitlyn Everett, Director of CPE, Workforce, and Community Programs, met with representatives from Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Health to discuss the implementation of a program with them as clinical partners.  Both potential partners are excited at the prospect of working with OCC and expressed a need to recruit qualified paramedics for immediate employment.  The College is developing a credit-based curriculum that would begin with a certificate program, followed by a full associate degree program.  The goal is to have a program in place for enrollment within one year.

College Relations

The College Relations team created a new media kit for distribution during OCC’s local and international recruitment efforts. This media kit highlights the Toms River campus, course and degree program offerings, and the benefits of becoming an OCC student.  It also features alumni testimonials highlighting their positive experiences.  This kit is designed to be easily updated and modified for use for a wide range of prospective students and stakeholders.

TV Studio

  • The TV Studio worked with Facilities to create an Equipment Maintenance and Safety Procedures video.  This is the first in a series of videos dealing with centrifugal pump preventative maintenance, service water pump maintenance, and rooftop unit screen and filter replacements.  Future projects will assist the Facilities team with various other processes and procedures.
  • In conjunction with OIT, the next generation satellite receivers were installed in the television station. The new units, supplied by NHK–Japan (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), are cutting-edge technology.  The signal is received over the internet, eliminating the need for rooftop dishes.  It reinforces OCC’s commitment to provide quality programming, to enhance its academic mission, and to offer different points of view from other countries.
  • In collaboration with Student Life, the TV Studio filmed the pilot program of “Ocean Currents,” which will air on Ocean TV20.   The inaugural show will discuss the Veteran’s programs, including a service dog program and Recalibrate, which is a veteran’s support organization in Ocean County.


  • The OCC Alumni Office continues its engagement efforts.  The second event for the newly launched Local Alumni Network will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Toms River.   The Local Alumni Network was established to help OCC alumni stay involved in the OCC community, network with other graduates and local professionals, and be informed about OCC’s new initiatives.
  • On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Nursing Alumni will be celebrated with a reunion event for graduates from the classes of 1968-1982 and 2015-2019.  This event will also celebrate the evolution of the OCC Nursing Program.  An evening reception will be held in the Hovnanian Health Sciences Building.
  • The 7th Annual Alumni, Staff, and Student Picnic at a Lakewood BlueClaws game will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2020, at 6:35 p.m. Tickets are $15 for entry to the game as well as food and boardwalk game vouchers.  To purchase tickets, visit

Continuing and Professional Education Updates

Career Training

  • Three major health care employer partners, RWJ Barnabas Health, Atlantic Care, and Med Metrix, provided onsite interviews with CPE Medical Billing, Medical Coding, and Medical Assistant students, which led to immediate employment opportunities. Every January 2020 graduates of the CPE Medical Assisting program receive employment offers upon course completion.
  • Notably, OCC has just been recognized as an approved Pharmacy Technician Training Program by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
  • Apprenticeship opportunities are currently under development in all of these allied health career tracks.

Career Advancement

  • Local educators can register for Summer Advanced Placement (AP) courses beginning this month.  The CPE Department is offering two weeks of programming this year, from June 29 to July 22 and August 17 to 21, 2020.
  • Individuals who are interested in adding to their credentials in the construction trades are eligible to participate in the Tuition Remission Program this Spring. The State approved a new 100% tuition remission program starting in 2020.  Courses and locations vary but include Sub-Code Official and Technical Assistant certification, among others.

Youth and Camps

  • The Ocean County Achievement Center is wrapping up a great start to the program year. Since October 2019, 57 at-risk/out-of-school youth have actively participated in Achievement Center activities, and 47 participants are currently on follow-up services. In addition, 10 youth participants have earned their high school diplomas during the Summer Session and Fall semester, and 4 participants are active members of the Advisory Board Planning Committee.
  • A new cohort for the Career Exploration Work Readiness six-week intensive course started on February 3, 2020. The sixth week of career exploration will center on Youth Entrepreneurship, which was recently added to the course based on student feedback.  A new staff instructor will be on-boarded to lead this cohort towards a successful career and educational choices.
  • Kids and Teens on Campus will be offering a four-week Sensory STEAM Camp for ASD (autism spectrum disorder) youth community members. Each week the camp features various skill-building activities, such as coding, Lego bricks, and engineering.  This camp will be taught by a local certified Special Education teacher who specializes in working with kids on the spectrum.  The OCC Foundation has supported the camp with an investment in supplies.  Camp registration begins February 27, 2020.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

  • Visual artist Kevin Reese will be visiting multiple schools in Ocean County during March. This program was made possible through the generous support of the National Education Association.
  • Week of March 2 to 6, 2020
    • Little Egg Harbor-Frog Pond Elementary School
    • Southern Regional Middle School
    • Stafford Township Elementary Schools
    • Ocean County College in partnership with Student Life and Student Clubs
  • Week of March 16 to 20, 2020
    • Lakewood Middle School
    • Creativity Co-Laboratory Charter School at Appel Farm in Elmer, New Jersey
    • Ocean County Teen Arts Festival
    • Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival
  • Week of March 30 to April 3, 2020
    • Jackson Township School District
    • Salem and Cumberland Teen Arts Festivals at Appel Farm
  • April 7, 2020
    • Salute to Ocean County event at Grunin Center will unveil mobiles completed during residency

On March 8, 2020, Causeway Ford will host Southern Regional students who will display artwork and make mobiles with the community

  • The Ocean County Teen Arts Festival will be taking place on Wednesday, March 18, and Friday, March 20, 2020. All are welcome to visit campus and see the arts in action in our community.

Novins Planetarium

  • Participation in Planetarium events and shows is on the rise. This year, a $6,000 increase in gross ticket sales was realized over last year for Valentine’s Day events.  The new birthday party online advertisements produced eight birthday party bookings during the first two days of marketing.  The Planetarium is currently at 70% of its revenue goal for the year, which is outpacing last year.
  • In March 2020, over 1,000 students are scheduled to visit the Six schools will be staying for extended visits, which will include a show in the dome, lunch, and a hands-on activity.  One high school will be coming for a show, lunch, and campus tour.
  • The Planetarium staff is delighted to have received an Earth and Space Toolkit from Explore Science. Explore Science is one of New Jersey’s leading providers of STEAM-based educational enrichment programs.  The toolkit provides more hands-on activities for K-12 students who visit the Planetarium.

Human Resources

  • Employee training opportunities continue to be offered for the development of new skills.  The most recent sessions were Managing One-on-One Performance with seven participants and Performance Management, an individual session for one participant.
  • The Winter/Spring training catalog was posted on the OCC website on January 30, 2020.


  • In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period January 17, 2020, through February 21, 2020.

Student Affairs


Transfer Services

  • In February, the Advising and Transfer Services Office continued inviting four-year colleges and universities to the OCC campus. Representatives meet with students to provide information and opportunities for completing bachelor’s degrees.

Scheduled to come to OCC this Spring are:

    • Penn State University
    • Thomas Edison State University
    • Rider University
    • New Jersey Institute of Technology
    • Manhattan College
    • Mary Baldwin University
    • Georgian Court University
  • Stockton University hosted an Instant Decision Day at OCC on February 12, 2020. Twenty-two students were admitted for the Transfer Pathways Program.  This program ensures that OCC students complete the associate degree in order to take full advantage of New Jersey’s transfer law, as well as have a seamless transition of credits and scholarship opportunities. Stockton will be present in the Advising and Transfer Services Office throughout the Spring semester to assist with the Transfer Pathways Program.
  • For the first time, Rutgers University hosted Instant Decision Days on February 13 and 14, 2020. Seventeen students were admitted to various majors and campuses.  This opportunity helped students access immediate decisions for transfer.  Typically, students do not receive decisions from a large institution like Rutgers until April.
  • Kean Ocean will be present in the Advising and Transfer Services Office, as well as in the Gateway Building, throughout the semester to provide students with advising and instant admissions decisions.
  • Scheduled for Instant Decision Days during the Spring semester are Seton Hall University, Rowan University, NJIT, Drew University, William Paterson University, Stockton University (at the SEC), Fairleigh Dickinson University, Monmouth University, and Montclair State University.


  • Recent Events and Projects:
    • Admissions has continued its momentum with the High School Pathways Program, administering testing in coordination with Academic Success to 14 partner schools over the last two months. Only one school remains in the testing process.  The career exploration phase delivered by Academic Advising has just begun and will seamlessly transition interested high school seniors to 17 high school-specific special registration days this Spring semester.
    • The Early College at the High School enrollment process is in full swing for Ocean County high schools. The Admissions team is working closely with Academic Success and Records and Registration to ensure timely and organized communication between the high school counselors and OCC’s Records and Registration department.  Academic Success oversees the course selection and setup with each school.

This process is being made more effective and efficient each semester for both OCC and the partner high schools.  For the Spring semester, a new enrollment process was piloted with the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy, Central Regional schools, and Point Pleasant schools that led to less work and confusion for high school counselors and students.  It is hoped this process will become part of a new model for the future of one of the College’s most rapidly growing programs.

Recruiting Initiatives

  • Admissions Representative Jill Hopf is developing a list of workshops for the Community on Campus initiative. The Admissions team and select faculty/lecturers will deliver workshops to schools and community groups on the OCC campus.  Community on Campus will serve as a meaningful recruitment tool while also showcasing the College campus.

As a part of this initiative, “crash a class” opportunities are being considered.  A potential student would be able to sit in a college class to engage them in learning and quell any fears they might have.  These individuals would be able to shadow a current OCC student, have a tour of the campus, and learn what OCC can offer them.

  • Admissions has partnered with Continuing and Professional Education to secure a partnership with The Pines at Whiting for residents to take classes for personal enrichment. Five potential classes have been discussed; it is hoped that the program will develop into a model for future service to the Ocean County senior population.
  • Under the direction of Admissions Representative Mikaela Polchak, another One-Stop Career Center Workshop Series will be organized. Individuals utilizing services at the Ocean County One-Stop Center will be assisted with applications, FAFSA completion, and academic advising to further their education as OCC students.

Admissions Events

  • Admissions Representative Joshua Ginder was invited to a college fair/community outreach program with the Bordentown Juvenile Medium Correctional Facility. This program allowed him to speak to several potential students, some who live in Ocean County, about their future and collegiate goals after their stay at the facility.
  • Assistant Director of Admissions Samantha Shinn presented at the Drug Court of Ocean County in January 2020. Eleven potential business partners were in attendance as were the drug court judge and several attorneys.  Shinn discussed the College’s commitment to providing quality education at a lower cost.  She made many contacts, including with Head Start of Ocean County, and had a follow-up meeting with the JBJ Soul Kitchen to discuss collaborations.  This will be an ongoing event.
  • Planning is underway for the Spring 2020 Open House on Saturday, April 25, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Breakout sessions will be offered to families who want to learn more about specific academic schools and programs.  The deans are involved in the planning to synthesize a meaningful and successful program.  Admissions encourage participation from all areas of College at the Open House.


  • Ocean County College alumna Hailey Dries was named a Woman of the Year at the 28th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Award Luncheon, held February 9, 2020, at Seton Hall University. Dries, a starting pitcher for the OCC Vikings Softball team from 2017-19, earned both NJCAA All-Region XIX and All-Garden State Athletic Conference Team honors in the two seasons she played.  She finished her OCC athletic career ranked first in team history with 249 total strikeouts, and she was tied for first with 26 wins.
  • On February 13, 2020, the OCC Athletic Department held its first annual recognition of Girls and Women in Sports, where students, coaches, and ladies of all ages in the community were recognized for their participation in local sports programs.
  • The OCC Women’s Basketball team earned the right to compete in the Region XIX playoffs and has been ranked in the national top 15 teams this season. Congratulations are extended to the team for its successful season.

Southern Education Center

  • The Southern Education Center opened the Spring 2020 semester with a slight 1% increase in duplicated students enrolled and overall credits taken, while remaining flat in the unduplicated student count, as compared to the Spring 2019 semester.
  • Students were offered a Welcome Back Snack as they arrived during the opening days of the semester as well as treats for Valentine’s Day. Student Affairs continues to support the SEC-based students; during the Spring semester, representatives visited from Disability Services, EOF, SSS, Library, Transfer Advisement, Academic Coaches, and Career Services.  Additionally, both Kean Ocean and Stockton University have scheduled appointment times at the SEC with Admissions Officers.
  • Career-related job fairs have been held to support SEC-based student employment opportunities with the S. Census 2020 and Allies, Inc., both of which hired OCC students during these events.
  • The SEC Food Pantry continues to provide students who may be struggling with donated food when necessary.
  • Upcoming events include a collaborative job fair with the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce and a mid-term Student Life event. Plans are in the works to support Academic Affairs with an SEC adjunct professor job fair to attract potential adjunct professors from the southern part of Ocean County in order to expand course offerings at the SEC.
  • The Summer First Five-Week 2020 schedule of classes has seven courses offered at the SEC, and the proposed Fall 2020 semester schedule of classes has been submitted with the goal of increasing course offerings.

Counseling Center

  • Kate Pandolpho, Director of the Counseling Center, joined the Community College Counseling Committee of the American College Counseling Association. The Committee examines counseling issues that are specific to community colleges. Dr. Pandolpho will be participating in the Community College Roundtable at the annual conference.
  • Pandolpho and Ms. Eileen Buckle, Director of Program Compliance, have been training faculty and staff on CARE reporting. A session was held on February 21, 2020, through the Human Resources employee training and development program.
  • The Restore Your Score (RYS) intervention program for students in academic jeopardy began its second semester. Restore Your Score is targeted to 85 students with Fall 2019 semester academic sanctions.  The RYS program includes a non-credit Canvas course, one-on-one meetings with the RYS counselor, seminars on academic success topics, and linkages to campus resources.

Results from the first semester show that 20% of the intervention group worked with the RYS counselor.  Of these students, 50% returned to satisfactory academic status; 67% achieved a higher GPA at the end of the semester than what they had at the beginning of the semester; and 83% registered for the Spring 2019 semester or graduated.

  • The New Jersey Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act requires colleges to provide education and training about suicide prevention. In compliance, the semi-annual notification about suicide and mental health resources was distributed to students on February 3, 2020. Another session of Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services was held on February 3; over 50 students, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders  Over the past year, more than 200 individuals were trained in this evidence-based practice.
  • The newly funded Supporting Students in Recovery Program began on January 1, 2020. Implementation activities are focused on informing the campus community about the program, scheduling activities, and establishing the Wellness and Recovery Center.
  • Enrollment in the non-credit Canvas course on mental health, an initiative that began last semester, is rapidly increasing. Over 80 students, faculty, lecturers, and staff have joined the information- and resource-sharing course.
  • Counseling Center events include:
    • Minding Your Mind presentation on mental health in college – Monday, March 30, 2020, 12:30 p.m.
    • Weekly Relax and Recharge sessions – Thursdays, 11:00 – 11:30 a.m., Larson Student Center
    • Mental health/wellness seminars on the first Tuesday of the month, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Library Room 017
    • Activities for sexual assault prevention and prevention of alcohol abuse in April are in the planning stages, in collaboration with external community partners.
  • The Displaced Homemakers Program, whose focus is economic self-sufficiency, is currently serving 86 clients, and it is on target to meet its service goals of 90 new clients and providing job training to 14 clients. Sixteen clients are enrolled in OCC credit programs for 143 credit hours.  Eleven clients are enrolled in CPE training programs.  Five clients were awarded Foundation scholarships for the Medical Assisting training program. Computer skills and career/job search training continues throughout the program year.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

Instructional Design

  • e-Learning Instructional Designer Chu Cheung attended the 2020 Instructional Technology Conference in South Carolina, at which he was able to connect with other colleges and universities about current and innovative emerging educational trends that align with the instructional design role.
  • Laura Wingler, e-Learning Instructional Designer, and Mr. Cheung have earned Online Learning Consortium (OLC) certificates in Instructional Design. This was a valuable experience that focused on the foundations of instructional design theories and current trends. A helpful takeaway was learning methods to create more meaningful discussion boards, assessments, and technology evaluations.
  • Eric Daniels, Educational Technologist, has continued his work with the Center for Instructional Empowerment (CIE), faculty training in the LMS, and resolving face-to-face instructor issues.
  • The Instructional Design team as a whole has made successful strides in course development and finalized a list of courses to begin in the Spring 2021 semester. The department has worked closely with the deans to select the correct courses, identify Subject Matter Experts, and discuss low-cost or OER options.


  • The e-Learning Department Professional Development Series was well attended by the College community. On January 29, 2020, Dean of e-Learning Vivian Lynn and Jack Kelnhofer, College e-Learning Lecturer II, facilitated the Online Student Retention webinar, which provided an in-depth review of best practices and strategies to retain online students.  The presentation also included a preview of Dropout Detective software tools and resources.  Over 30 online instructors attended the workshop.
  • On February 12, 2020, Dean Lynn hosted an Adjunct Promotion Criteria webinar. The session provided an overview of the adjunct contract guidelines. Ten adjunct faculty attended the workshop and are planning to submit e-portfolios for consideration. The next webinar, Academic Integrity, is scheduled for March 25, 2020.
  • e-Learning continues to collaborate with the OCC library and academic program deans on the OER initiative to provide affordable textbooks for students.
  • Preliminary discussions are taking place with Academic Affairs to establish a blended course model for the Business Administration program.

International Programs

  • Work continues to replicate the OCC/Kean/Ain Shams triple degree Business programs at Alexandria University this spring.
  • Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs – Academics, and Dr. Howaida Wahby Eraky, e-Learning Lecturer II, spent two weeks in Egypt and successfully delivered training workshops to both Alexandria University and Ain Shams University faculty and students.
  • Efforts continue with both NJIT and Tatweer Misr to establish a private university based on the Egyptian International Branch Campus (IBC) model. The plan is to be operational and offering classes for students in this unique initiative in the Fall of 2021.
  • A portfolio of Special Programs is being prepared for submission to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities. OCC will be offering the American Community College curriculum in the form of Special Programs within the Governmental Universities using a 2+1+1 model with an American senior institution similar to the OCC/Kean/Ain Shams program.
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) have been signed with three New Jersey partners in support of the Special Programs project, Kean University, New Jersey City University, and William Paterson University. The Special Programs are anticipated to begin in the Fall of 2020 in partnership with four Egyptian Host Universities, specifically Ain Shams University, Helwan University, Alexandria University, and Beni Suif University.
  • Sue Henderson, President of New Jersey City University, will be joining Dr. Hayward and me on our next trip to Egypt, scheduled for March 3 through 15, 2020.
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