Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month – September 2022
For over ten years, the Counseling Center has worked to bring awareness and education to the OCC community about suicide prevention. The International Association for Suicide Prevention designates September annually as Suicide Prevention Month, and OCC recognizes the month through various activities and events.
The Counseling Center’s goals are to educate the community about suicide and mental health, to raise awareness of warning signs, and to encourage help-seeking behaviors. All activities focus on reducing the stigma associated with mental health problems and suicide. To save lives and be part of a safe campus environment conducive to positive learning outcomes and student well-being, the community needs to work together, be supportive and aware of the signs of distress, reach out to others, and encourage those in need to seek help. The Center’s campus-wide initiative invites all College community members to support these goals and this work.
At Thursday’s meeting, Ms. Katie Hueth, Coordinator of Prevention Education, will present information, statistics, and a comprehensive overview of suicide and mental health problems from a public health perspective. A resolution will be recommended for adoption by the Board to declare September as Suicide Prevention Month at Ocean County College.
School of Arts and Humanities
- In July, College Lecturer II Paul Chalakani, director, Associate Professor Dr. Elizabeth Brierly, choreographer, and the OCC Repertory Theatre Company presented Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Grunin Center. The company performed to approximately 1,500 audience members and received well-deserved standing ovations for seven of the eight outstanding performances.
- From August 4 to 6, 2022, Dr. David Bordelon, Professor of English, presented a paper at the 9th Annual Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies hosted by Elmira College. Bordelon noted that his paper, titled “Predictive Satire: Huckleberry Finn and 21st Century Hucksters,” “bridges the divide between the Humanities and interests of the general public, bringing cultural criticism to bear on ‘questions that matter,’ and looks to the textual past for explanations and insight into our present dysfunction.”
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Humanities Kyle Banner started The New Jersey History Podcast. The podcast voyages through the rich history of the Garden State, which is described as the most densely populated and misunderstood state in the Union. Recent episodes include “Hessian Soldiers’ Remains Found at the Battle of Red Bank” and “Local Kids Talk Local History – The Jersey Devil, the Civil War in NJ, and the Sculthorp Force House.”
- In August, OCC acquired a new custom-designed two-manual/full pedalboard Rodgers Inspire 233 digital organ. As a result, the Music Department has expanded to include applied organ instruction on campus. The instrument is housed in Grunin Room A120 and will be used for teaching and supervised practice. It will also be programmed into various concerts and presentations. Anyone interested in viewing or playing the organ may contact Humanities and Fine Arts Instructor Karin Gargone.
School of Business and Social Sciences
Dr. Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Social Work, was reelected for a second term as the national vice president of Psi Beta International’s East Coast Region. Psi Beta International is the community college honor society for students who plan to study psychology or simply have an interest in psychology. As a representative of the organization, Dr. Maghan attended the American Psychological Society’s national convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from August 4 to 6, 2022.
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
- There are 310 students enrolled in the Nursing program for the Fall 2022 semester.
- Orientation for new nursing students will be held on campus on August 23, 2022, and 110 students are scheduled to attend. During the orientation program, students are introduced to the program’s lecturers, policies and procedures, electronic textbooks, and strategies to enhance learning.
- Orientation for new clinical instructors is scheduled for August 24, 2022. The program has seven new clinical instructors and four new skills lab reservists joining the School of Nursing this Fall semester.
- A meeting will be held on campus for all clinical instructors on August 24, 2022. Information presented during this meeting focuses on clinical assignments, simulation and skills lab initiatives, and a discussion of policies and procedures. The lecturers also meet with clinical instructors to discuss plans and schedules for the semester. There are 32 clinical instructors working with students this semester to provide education to 34 clinical groups.
- The Nursing lecturers have developed educational sessions to enhance student retention and success. Educational sessions include “Test Smart,” presented by College Lecturer II Maryjean Natoli, MSN, RN, and “Introduction to Electronic Resources,” presented by College Lecturer II Danielle Pfeffer, MSN, RN. Sessions will be provided for all new students and offered to returning students to support the completion of the Nursing program.
- Nursing lecturers attended various virtual educational programs during August, focusing on preparing students for the new licensure examination scheduled to be utilized in 2023. These programs included “Let the NCLEX® Test Plan Guide Your Item Writing,” “NCLEX® Item Writing Rules for Multiple Choice and Multiple Select Items for Your Nursing School Exams,” “Writing a Next Generation NCLEX® Case Study,” and “Writing a Next Generation NCLEX® Recognizing Cues and Analyzing Cues.”
School of STEM
- The School of STEM Professional Development for High School and Middle School workshop series continued with a free Fusion 360 half-day course on August 9, 2022. The workshop, provided by industry partners at Synergis Engineering Design Solutions, provided participants with the basics of 3D design that can be used with their 3D printers. This software application is free for all academic institutions and students through the Autodesk Educational License program. The workshop was also open to all OCC personnel, based on available seating.
- Academic Success and the Engineering and Industrial/Technical Studies program joined together to provide rising freshmen at Brick High School with real-world engineering and project management challenges from August 15 to 18, 2022. Participants in the workshop should have achieved the following learning goals: demonstrating project management skills and understanding the engineering design process in alignment with the STEM School’s philosophy of “Engineering a Better and More Sustainable World.”
- On August 4, 2022, Assistant Dean Carolyn Showalter attended the virtual webinar “Engaging, Retaining, and Including Black Males in STEM,” hosted by STEMIFY. A panel of three STEM graduates from the University of Connecticut and two current mathematics professors gave an informative talk on the topic.
- OCC Robotics Camp hosted 10th graders from Brick Memorial High School for four days of learning and fun as College Lecturers Edmond Hong, Angel Camilo, Ken Michalek, and Helga Paggi went through the ins and outs of building and programming robots. The camp ran from August 15 to 18, 2022, with each day covering different topics and many projects built through discovery.
The first day of the camp included how robots work and their basic components with hands-on projects using motors, generators, and robotic sensors. During the second day, the students explored hands-on projects, such as utilizing basic circuits to control LEDs using digital logic gates and IC chips, with learning objectives of basic circuit concepts and implementation. Microcontrollers, or the “brains” of the robot, were studied using an Arduino microcontroller. The students built a digital piano and learned to program and design a simple project of their creation. On the final day, students programmed robots in the Python programming language to move around the classroom and also programmed an autonomous vehicle using basic computer science concepts of variables and loops.
- College Lecturer II Angel Camilo and Assistant Professor of Science Eric Antonelli are working on an Open Education Resources Histology project. This project will provide digitized images of histology slides to all faculty and lecturers for use in labs and classes.
- Angel Camilo is also working with Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management College Lecturer II Sean Bips on a green wall to support the Culinary Arts Program. This green wall will attempt to grow the herbs needed by the Culinary Arts Program.
- Edmond Hong and Dr. Angel Camilo are working on a technology outreach project for local historical societies. This outreach program will help members of local historical societies learn how to digitize and store their documents. This project will be supported by the Makers Club and the History Club.
Finance and Administration
COVID-19 Information, Protocols, and Policies for the Fall 2022 Semester
OCC COVID-19 protocols are being updated for the Fall semester consistent with recently updated guidance. The guidance was discussed in a webinar on August 15, 2022, presented by the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OCC will continue to operate the Health Reporting Hotline and offer free testing on campus two days per week.
The process of developing a new Information Technology Strategic Plan began on August 3 and 4, 2022, with full-day workshops on campus. The following outlines the work completed by the committee to date:
- Identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to inform the IT Strategic Plan Goal-Setting Process
- Identified the purpose of the IT Strategic Plan for OCC
- Discussed best practices in IT Strategic Planning
- Established the Core Planning Team Role in the Planning Process
- Core Planning Team discussion of the Strategic Planning Process Success Factors
- How do we ensure the development of a relevant Strategic Plan?
- How do we foster key stakeholder investment in the process and the resulting plan?
- Overview of the top 10 IT Issues that face higher education as voted on by our peers
- Discussed the relevance of these issues as related to OCC’s Strategic Goals
- Discussed planning assumptions for the Information Technology Strategic Plan
- Discussed the culture relating to the general OCC environment, the students and their use of technology, as well as faculty, lecturers, and staff and their use of technology
- Discussed effective value statements
- Identified technology values that represent OCC
- Drafted IT Strategic Plan Goals
- Aligned to Institutional Strategic Plan Goals
- Referenced Planning Assumptions and SWOT Analysis Results
- Identified Initial Metrics of Success
Summer Intern Program
During the Summer of 2022, four former OCC students were hired as interns in the IT Department. The interns assisted with various facets of IT work, such as cybersecurity, programming, and help desk and desktop support. The work of the interns allowed staff to concentrate on higher-level tasks, including equipping and testing more classrooms for HyFlex courses in the Fall. The program was successful in that all four interns gained valuable experience, and one will be hired into a full-time position this Fall.
Vice President of Finance and Administration Sara Winchester and Controller Mary Lancaster recently met with OCC’s new representative from Santander Bank, Mr. Kevin Curran, Vice President of Government Banking and Relationship Manager, to discuss OCC’s accounts. They are happy to report that as of August 1, 2022, the interest rate has been increased to 0.90%.
The schedule for the audit of fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30, 2022, has been determined. Bowman & Company has completed preliminary testing of Enrollment and Student Financial Aid. The auditors will return to campus in September and October with the goal of finishing the process in November.
Mr. Michael Leon, Graphic Design Manager, created invitations and envelopes for the OCC Fall Open House. The creative design invited students to tour the campus, enjoy refreshments and games, engage with faculty and staff, and learn more about OCC degree programs, flexibility, and affordability campaigns. In collaboration with Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, the campaign will reach over 5,000 students. Brochures and signage designs will highlight OCC departments, faculty, and lecturers for the October 10, 2022, on-campus event. The creative design will be used across multiple marketing platforms, such as the Hooper Avenue sign; print, social, and web marketing efforts; and TV monitors.
- The second of two Salary Negotiation workshops for the 100 Women Campaign members will be held on September 14, 2022, in the Gateway Building. The program is facilitated by the Disrupt the Gap organization. Part one of this series, offered in June, received great reviews from all who attended. These programs are made possible thanks to the Gale G. Wayman Fund for the Education of Women.
- The Annual BlueClaws OCC Picnic for Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff on Friday, August 5, 2022, was rescheduled due to bad weather. OCC’s sold-out group of participants will be welcomed on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, as summer comes to a close.
- The web team collaborated with Enrollment Services to redesign the College’s request for information (RFI) forms to capture and import data from prospective international students. The revised RFI form allows data to flow seamlessly from international students into the College’s recruitment CRM, Recruit. This RFI form is embedded on each of the College’s program pages.
- The Foundation’s $25 million Legacy Campaign was officially launched, information packets were mailed to stakeholders, and the next phase of outreach and solicitation will begin as the Fall semester gets underway.
- The Foundation will again commit to Jump Start/Academy awards for the coming academic year, supporting up to 150 high school students with $250 grants. In addition, up to $100,000 will be provided to students in four certificate programs offered through Workforce and Professional Education, including Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Veterinary Assistant, and Phlebotomy Technician. Nearly 300 applications have been received online for the coming Fall semester, and all are expected to be funded.
- The Annual James J. Buffum Memorial Stand-Up Paddle Board Race down the Toms River will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2022. This event is a joint fund and friend-raising initiative with the Kiwanis Club of Greater Toms River and the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce. More information on sponsorship opportunities and many ways to participate is available at go.ocean.edu/SUP.
- The Foundation partnered with College Relations to create recruitment and promotional videos to be introduced on the website, social media, and various other marketing outlets. Completed videos, which will include one-minute, thirty-second, and fifteen-second spots of each version, will be shared at the September Board meetings of the College and Foundation trustees.
- The Foundation’s Annual Appeal will feature three donors again this year, each highlighting “Why I Give.” Appreciation is expressed to two of the Foundation’s dedicated board members, Mr. Michael Manzo and Ms. Anne Kraljic, as well as to stakeholder Praveen Jeyarajah, nephew of the late Dr. Elmo Samuel. With a combined $100,000 gift, the Elmo T. Samuel Memorial Fund was established for students pursuing a degree in the Health Sciences. The Foundation is grateful for their generosity and willingness to participate in this effort to raise funds for the students of Ocean County College.
- The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDI) continues its work. Under the leadership of committee co-chairs, Mr. Kenneth Malagiere, Executive Director of the Foundation, and Dr. Eileen Garcia, Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, the committee is creating a campus-wide survey, with a target launch for faculty, lecturers, staff, and administration following the Fall Colloquium. The purpose of the survey is to establish a baseline of working knowledge and interest among our colleagues on these topics to best chart the way forward with appropriate guest speakers, workshops, and opportunities for deeper learning and understanding of EDI in higher education and society-at-large. The goal is to administer a similar student-focused survey at the start of the Spring 2023 semester once the tools and process are established and in place to use the survey data in an impactful way.
- Registration is now open for the 21st Annual Golf Classic in support of the students of OCC. Players will tee off at the award-winning Championship Pine Barrens Golf Club on Tuesday, October 11, 2022. Additional information is available at go.ocean.edu/golf.
- The 2022-23 Blauvelt Speaker Series is taking shape. Ice-T, award-winning actor, artist, and inspirational speaker, will join us on September 20, 2022; Olympic Gold Medalist and professional athlete Mia Hamm will join us on March 8, 2023; and Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss will be on campus on April 25, 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit GruninCenter.org.
- While series sponsorships are still available, the Foundation announces and thanks the following individuals and firms for their commitment to support the 2022-23 Blauvelt Series:
- Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks, LLC, Attorneys at Law
- The Citta Foundation
- Arlene and Frank Dupignac, Jr.
- The Grunin Foundation
- Stella and Marshall Kern
- Teri Kubiel and Mr. Brian Kubiel
- Rotem Dental Care
- Veolia North America
The success of this series is seen in the quality of the speakers recruited to visit the College and in the purposeful and exponential growth in stakeholder engagement. It has proven to be invaluable to the cultivation process, raising nearly $300,000 in small to mid-sized gifts in support of the series outside of the endowment.
Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
- Under the direction of Assistant Director of Education and Community Engagement Jaclyn Wood, three CAMP (Community Arts and Music Programs) opportunities occurred this month, the first on August 3, 2022, featuring The Amazing Max, and the second on August 11, 2022, featuring Storyfaces. Both shows included youth and adult groups from around Ocean County.
The third offering, Camps on Campus, led by Mr. Erik Stratton, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, will end on August 26, 2022. The offerings have included sports camps, STEM camps, and arts camps. More than 250 children and teens participated in the camps this Summer.
- The Grunin Center welcomes the new Assistant Director of Operations and Production, Laura Westmoreland. She brings years of arts administration experience to the role, and the Grunin team is excited to work with her.
- Interim Executive and Artistic Director Heidi Sheridan attended the Consortium of Eastern Regional Theatres, Inc. (ConsERT) retreat in Princeton, New Jersey, on August 8 and 9, 2022. The organization is a non-profit collective of performing arts centers, presenters, historic theatres, agents, concert promoters, and industry vendors. ConsERT members meet regularly to compare notes, discuss industry trends, develop solutions to common problems, and create programming opportunities. The mission of ConsERT is “to advance the empowerment of member presenters and venues through regional cooperation and representation, and an open exchange of information.”
The Robert J. Novins Planetarium
- In July, Associate Director Cara Muscio attended the Digistar 7 Institute at the Spitz facility in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. At this training, Ms. Muscio and approximately 50 colleagues were able to try new features available in Digistar 7, discuss uses of the system’s assets, preview new films, make feature requests, and troubleshoot issues with top instructors, engineers, and field technicians from Evans & Sutherland and Spitz. These two companies pioneered the planetarium and immersive computer graphics.
- OCC’s campus was teeming with students of both science and magical studies on July 30, 2022, with the return of the popular The Novins Academy Presents: The Astronomy of Harry Potter event. The shows were completely sold out and received rave reviews from attendees. Staff members were able to integrate changes in a way that continued to enhance the experience for patrons. The community is already asking when the show will be offered again.
- Over 40 public shows were offered in August to entertain and teach the community. A weekday afternoon “The Stars From My Backyard” sky talk was added to the August schedule after a July offering had 52 attendees. These are in addition to the weekday movies offered for families with children on summer vacation. Summer programming will culminate with LaserFest on Labor Day weekend, featuring four back-to-back laser shows.
- 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 of July 23, 2022, through August 19, 2022.
- Between July 1 and August 15, 2022, the Advising Office scheduled 93 Q-less appointments and 420 virtual appointments. In that same timeframe, the Office served 600 students through walk-in advising.
- Academic Advising is piloting the use of Curriculum Tracks in Student Planning. Curriculum Tracks allow advisors to enter a complete course plan for students with the click of one button. Benefits of utilizing Curriculum Tracks include:
- Reducing the time needed for an advisor to complete a plan for a student
- Providing a student with a comprehensive plan from the beginning of the chosen program, highlighting course sequences, semester-specific courses, and a timeline for graduation
- Increased accuracy in advising and the ability of more advisors to advise in specialized programs
- Institutional ability to understand which courses students will need in a given semester
- Ability to create unique tracks geared to transfer or specialized curricular areas
Currently, Curriculum Tracks are available for Liberal Arts, Pre-Nursing, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Social Work, General Studies Science, General Studies Science (Biology Transfer Track), and NJCU 3+1 Degree Programs. In the upcoming year, Advising will be working to create a more formal plan for using Curriculum Tracks, including best practices and training for staff, lecturer, and faculty advisors.
- Advising, Enrollment and Retention Services, Academic Affairs, and IT are continuing to collaborate to implement and expand the use of Instructor Alerts (Faculty CX) via the Advise CRM. Instructor Alerts were first implemented in Spring 2022 and have continued to be available to participating instructors in Summer 2022. These alerts have identified students with attendance issues, lack of participation, missed assignments, and low assessments. Automated communications are delivered in addition to outreach from the Retention Team.
In Fall 2022, Instructor Alerts will be expanded to approximately 60 additional instructors selected in collaboration with Academic Affairs and e-Learning. Multiple trainings are scheduled for late August and early September, and alerts can start as early as the first day of the semester.
- The Counseling Center staff have been engaged in several presentations:
- Student Intervention Specialists Kelly Petrolis and Darra Stack presented a Scavenger Hunt at the New Student Launch.
- Kate Pandolpho, Director of Counseling and Student Development, in collaboration with Assistant Director of Student Disability Services Jamie Aracz Prioli, presented information about the Counseling Center and Disability Services programs and services to faculty and lecturers through the Faculty Development and Learning Innovation Center. Additional presentations will occur during the academic year.
- Katie Hueth presented to a psychology class.
- Katie Hueth and Ms. Kelly Petrolis completed the instructor certification for Mental Health First Aid and will offer it to the campus community regularly to meet the requirements of federal and state higher education laws on suicide prevention and mental health. Working with the New Jersey Activity Professionals Association and the New Jersey College Counselors Association, changes in state laws are continually being monitored to ensure compliance.
- Kelly Petrolis has completed the Spring semester Restore Your Score analysis and is preparing for the upcoming semester program. The Supporting Students in Recovery Program is nearing the end of state funding. Many of the program activities will be continued with College funding.
- The Displaced Homemakers Program begins the program year with 109 ongoing and 4 new clients. During the first month of this program year, one successful outreach event was held, new partnerships were formed, and events were scheduled for the following months. Participants are excited to engage and participate in the activities. Two participants enrolled for Workforce and Professional Education (WPE) Medical Assistant certification and Billing and Coding, and one enrolled in the Nursing program. New professional relationships will be developed with the community, and participants will be encouraged to continue the path to self-sufficiency.
- The CARE Team has handled 41 reports since July 1, 2022; the Team thanks the campus community for diligence in reporting concerning behaviors and students experiencing challenges impacting their academic success.
- Career Services continues to see students and alumni regarding career exploration and counseling, resume and cover letter support, and job and internship search strategies.
- Career Services Coordinator Taylor Dulemba worked collaboratively with Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer Services, to present at the New Student Launch event on August 11, 2022; a second event will take place on August 31, 2022. Students received information on career services and supports, the Handshake system, and transfer resources.
- Various career development workshops are scheduled for the Fall 2022 semester. In-person and virtual options are available to students via Webex. Topics include resume and cover letter writing, career and major exploration, and job and internship search strategies.
Office of Disability Services
- The Office of Disability Services has processed 165 new student requests for accommodation services during the Summer 2022 sessions, representing a 13% increase from Summer 2021.
- Rachelle Bertholf, Disability Services Technician, attended a virtual four-week training titled “An Intensive Orientation to Disability Services Work.” The training provided new staff with in-depth and working knowledge and understanding of disability services in higher education. Topics included philosophical perspectives, legal issues, population served, basic services, and referral to campus and community resources.
- Jamie A. Prioli, Assistant Director, attended a three-day virtual conference sponsored by AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability ®). Session topics included the legal year in review, accommodations for students since COVID, disability and critical race theory, mentorship programs for Black, Neurodivergent college students, and reasonable accommodation requests for remote instruction.
- The Enrollment Services department hosted several Express Enrollment Days over the past month. New incoming students came to campus and learned how to drop and add classes, were given a campus tour, and met with College support services personnel. On July 27 and August 9, 2022, the department registered 92 new students.
- The Success Team supported Student Life’s New Student Launch on August 11, 2022, with a presentation on how technology at OCC can help new incoming students on their educational journeys. The presentation was well-attended, with attendees receiving new phone swag in the form of a credit card holder and stress balls.
- Ocean County College, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC), and Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health (RWJBH) hosted an information session for 35 RWJBH employees. The session included information on OCC and 12 other community colleges; it led to 5 referrals within 24 hours of the session.
- Jim Campbell, Coordinator of Enrollment and Outreach, in collaboration with Academic Affairs, addressed employees from Bright Harbors in Bayville, New Jersey, on August 12, 2022, and attended a resource fair with Enrollment Services representatives on August 19, 2022, at Berkeley Park in Bayville. The event included food trucks and mental health resources for employees and allowed OCC representatives to meet with potential new students.
- In July 2022, the HUB team completed 699 in-person transactions in the lobby of the Student Enrollment Building during operational hours. The average service wait time was 2.75 minutes, and the average service duration was 2.86 minutes. Customers gave the HUB 4.7 out of 5.0 stars for their service excellence for the month.
- Enrollment and Retention Services answered 2,387 incoming calls during July between the Success Team and the HUB Team. The teams worked to retain students in their Summer classes, re-register continuing students, and onboard and enroll new incoming students for the Fall semester.
- As of August 15, 2022, the Financial Aid Office received 5,197 2022-23 FAFSA applications; 2,201 (42%) are from new applicants, and 2,996 (58%) are from returning students. The Financial Aid Office has so far successfully awarded 2,208 students.
- On June 30, 2022, Governor Murphy signed the FY 2023 Appropriations Act. The Act expands the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) by directing HESAA to administer CCOG financial aid grants for eligible county college students whose Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGIs) are between $65,001-$80,000. The highest award for these students is 50% of the maximum CCOG award value for students with AGIs up to $65,000.
- The Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) program was increased by 3%. The maximum total annual TAG award for eligible students increased to $2,586 in 2022-23 from $2,512 in 2021-22.
Southern Education Center
- SEC Academic Advisor Toni Ann DiPasquale and SEC Director Brian Schillaci took part in the July 27, 2022, Express Enrollment event on the main campus. SEC Academic Advisor Jenna McAteer participated in the August 9, 2022, Express Enrollment event. The team took the opportunity at both events to connect with Southern Ocean County students and families during the registration process and the Student Planning workshop about courses and services available at the SEC.
- The SEC Student Advising staff continues to assist students by handling the firstname.lastname@example.org email inbox. The team is also very responsive to virtual appointments, walk-in visits, and phone inquiries. Additionally, staff members continue to review enrollment trends and previous course offerings to finalize the Spring 2023 master schedule. Meetings with academic administrators in all course areas focus on student opportunities as the new schedule is developed.
- Director Brian Schillaci continued acclimating to his new role by connecting with stakeholders to discuss ways to address various programs. These stakeholders included members of the OCC Early High School team, the OCC security team, the Stafford Township Chief of Police, new administrators in Barnegat and Lacey schools, and representatives from Kean Ocean and Stockton University.
- The SEC Canvas Announcement shell continues to be a vital message board for students. Canvas Announcements in August informed students of hours of operation and opportunities to connect with the SEC Advising team, upcoming services and events offered at the facility, and the parking lot construction project. Appreciation is expressed to Facilities for overseeing a successful parking lot renovation that will benefit staff, families, and students this Fall. Even during the final month of Summer, the analytics for Canvas announcements indicate nearly 1,500 collective views for all messages.
Student Life hosted the first of two New Student Launch Days on Thursday, August 11, 2022. There were over 140 students in attendance. The next event will be held closer to the start of the Fall semester on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, and it is anticipated that at least 300 students will be in attendance.
Student Launch Day is Student Life’s signature event to assist new students in their transition to the College. Representatives from student-facing services from across the campus assist with and participate in the event to help make it a success.
New students are encouraged to attend ongoing, concurrent workshops during the event. Topics range from “What a College Professor Expects of You,” “Get a Student Life,” “Managing Stress,” “The HUB Success Team, ” and “A Future Beyond OCC.” There are games, make-and-take activities, a scavenger hunt to explore the campus, lunch, and many networking opportunities for students to connect with other students and staff. In addition, the OCC app is utilized throughout the event to continue the connections made beyond the New Student Launch.
e-Learning and Learning Enterprises
General Meeting Summary
The e-Learning Department will hold its General Meeting on August 30, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. EST. The meeting will focus on the Future of Online Learning and Creating Communities, with keynote speaker Dr. Derek Tranchina, Supervisor of Innovation and Educational Technology at Ocean Township Public Schools. He will be discussing the transformation of online learning and its invaluable role as a catalyst for permanent change in education.
On August 18, 2022, the e-Learning Department hosted an Honorlock Third-Party Proctoring refresher training. This online refresher training reviewed proctored assessments for Pearson, Macmillan Achieve, McGraw Hill ALEKS, and Cengage (WebAssign, MindTap, CNOWv2). The training aims to ensure that faculty are familiar with providing their students with guidance and support while taking third-party proctored assessments.
Adjunct Summer Retreat Series Wrap-up
Over 53 adjunct faculty participated in the 2022 Summer Adjunct Retreat. The purpose of the retreat was for faculty to share their best practices to reinvigorate their students’ online classroom experience.
A post-evaluation survey revealed that 75% of e-Learning adjuncts have actively participated in the professional development series for the past eight years. Also, 91% of the faculty are “very satisfied” with the offerings. Therefore, the e-Learning Department will plan 2022-2023 professional development based on the evaluation results.
Online Instructor Training Module
The e-Learning Department is evaluating the Online Instructor Training Course with a focus on all aspects of content and the effective presentation of content to increase instructor engagement and support the successful completion of this self-paced online course. The Online Instructor Training course is an integral training platform for e-Learning faculty and lecturers. All new instructors must enroll in the course and complete modules related to the policies and procedures of OCC, pedagogical practices in teaching, and grading and communication with students. In addition, instructors must successfully complete assessments and demonstrate teaching proficiency.
The 2022 Summer Ten-Week Session Student Course Evaluation concluded on August 3, 2022. The survey was deployed to more than 900 students enrolled in the Summer Ten-Week e-Learning sections. The response rate was 52.03%, consistent with the Spring 2022 survey. Of the respondents, 30% indicated this was their first time taking an online course.
The 2022 Summer Accelerated 4 Session Student Course Evaluation is expected to be deployed to 845 unique students enrolled in 57 online sections on August 20, 2022, and conclude on September 3, 2022.
The results of the Student Course Evaluation will be analyzed to evaluate the online student experience and to assist the e-Learning Department in the strategic plan for student retention.
The Simple Syllabus pilot in the 2022 Summer Accelerated 4 Session continues to show significant success in student engagement. During the Accelerated 4 pilot, 58 sections used Simple Syllabus, and 992 students actively accessed and reviewed the course syllabus. Reporting metrics from Simple Syllabus indicate that the average view count for the Accelerated 4 syllabi is 127 per user. The syllabi have been accessed more than 7,300 times to date. Using Simple Syllabus will help students understand the course expectations and requirements. After the term, faculty and lecturers participating in the pilot will be surveyed for additional feedback.
During the Fall 2022 term, Simple Syllabus will be enabled in 100% of online courses, which currently have 230 sections. During the 2022 Fall semester and Accelerated 5 term, Simple Syllabus will be readily available to more than 3,000 OCC students.
The e-Learning LMS team is working with the Information Technology Department to implement a new faculty and lecturer support ticketing system. This system will utilize the ServiceNow (SNOW) platform. Currently, e-Learning tickets are managed through email and Smartsheets. Once the integration of the SNOW software is complete, a service ticket will be automatically generated. The integration of the software will increase the level of efficiency and turnaround time for resolving faculty and lecturer concerns.
Members of the e-Learning Department are participating in the Human Resources Department PERFORM platform test pilot. PERFORM is an online platform that manages the College Lecturer Performance Evaluation Program. Pilot participants will engage in the test environment as “Manager” and “Employee” and provide feedback to Human Resources to ensure the platform’s functionality and make suggestions for the launch scheduled for the Fall.
This month, the e-Learning Department will welcome Ms. Janice Salerno, the College Lecturer II for Business Administration, and Dr. Binh Dang, the College Lecturer II for Computer Science.
Ms. Salerno holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees and has over 40 years of experience teaching in online, virtual live, HyFlex, and face-to-face environments. In addition, she will bring a wealth of business training and managerial expertise to the virtual classroom and master course development initiatives as she draws from her personal experience in both the corporate investment business sector and her small business venture.
Dr. Dang, formerly an e-Learning Adjunct, holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, M.S., and B.A. degrees and has several years of experience teaching in online and face-to-face environments. Dr. Dang’s experience in advanced computer technologies and software development are just a few areas of expertise that will help drive the development and advancement of the educational experience for OCC’s online learners.
Mr. Austen LaRocca, a newly hired Adjunct Assistant Professor, has joined the e-Learning adjunct faculty and will support the master course development process.
The e-Learning Department congratulates Mr. Brian Huyvaert on his promotion to e-Learning Adjunct Associate Professor. Professor Huyvaert has taught and supported the e-Learning Department for over three years. His contributions as an online instructor and his assistance with master course development have been integral to the successful development of engaging online courses.
Learning Management System Update Transition from IT
Starting in Fall 2022, the e-Learning Department’s Learning Management Systems (LMS) team will be responsible for the course copy for both face-to-face and online courses. The Information Technology (IT) Department managed this process in the past. However, the e-Learning LMS team will assume the role of updating master course content with assistance from Mr. Nick Tyler, Senior Program Analyst in the IT Department, to maximize efficiency and quality control.
The International Programs team was busy preparing for the most recent trip to Egypt by Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, Dr. Eileen Garcia, Associate Vice President of International Program Maysa Hayward, and me, which began on August 6, 2022. The goals of this visit included recruiting new students to the existing Ain Shams University and the new Badr University programs, which are expected to start this Fall.
To achieve these goals, the International Programs team prepared contracts and course sequences for approval, designed promotional materials for use at Egypt’s EduGate college fair, created training materials and workshops for new and existing students, and filmed and edited informational videos to present to the Egyptian Ministry of Education.
Finally, the team continues to promote the program by sharing highlights from the EduGate college fair and snapshots of the event on its Facebook Group, which is available for viewing at https://www.facebook.com/groups/291396369631585.