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May 26, 2015

Dr. Larson’s May 2015 Report to the Board of Trustees

July 27, 2016

TO: Members, OCC Board of Trustees

FROM: Jon H. Larson, Ph.D. President

SUBJECT: Items of Interest for the May 26, 2015, Board Meeting

DATE: May 20, 2015


  • In my report last month, I shared with you that Ms. Christine Kitchin, Associate Professor of Anthropology, has been selected as a recipient of the League for Innovation in the Community College’s John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award.  Professor Kitchin is one of only three faculty members recognized from New Jersey.Because Ms. Kitchin was teaching a class during the Board meeting last month, she was unable to attend. I am happy she will join us on Tuesday for her well-deserved recognition.
  • Also coming to the Board meeting on Tuesday is Shawn Smith, who graduated from OCC’s Digital Mass Media/Journalism Program two years ago.  Shawn will graduate from Rutgers University this month with a degree in journalism and a certificate in documentary film making. He already has secured employment with Advance Media ( and the Star Ledger).Shawn was the guest for this year’s final Careers and Coffee panel discussion.  A group of 25 students gathered to hear Shawn’s experiences and ask him questions.  Topics discussed included new media technologies, transfer tips, resume development, maximizing internships, and the value of extra-curricular activities and volunteerism.  Shawn spoke very highly of his experiences at OCC and how they prepared him for life at Rutgers and beyond.Careers and Coffee was introduced by Mr. Gary Shaffer, Assistant Professor of Communications, who will accompany Shawn to the Board meeting on Tuesday.  Careers and Coffee provides OCC media students with an informal forum to seek educational and career advice from media professionals.  The Office of Student Life and the staff of the Viking News provided assistance and support to this effort.  This spring was the program’s inaugural semester; these valuable discussions will continue next year.

Student Affairs

  • Advising – The Advising Office is currently coordinating the implementation of Ellucian Student Planning software, which will allow students to track their academic progress to ensure they are on the right path for the completion of their degree requirements.  Students will be able to plan course selections, create a completion map to graduation, and have the ability to register for courses directly via their plans.  Additionally, student planning will allow advisors to spend less time determining the courses needed by students, which, in turn, will provide more time to engage in meaningful advising and conversation about students’ goals.This software was tested on a small group of students in Spring 2015, and it was made available to new students in orientation sessions starting in April.  It is anticipated that all students will have access to the program in the fall semester, in time for Spring 2016 registration.On Tuesday, Ms. Anna Regan, Director of Academic Advising Services, will demonstrate the software by presenting a degree audit and the ways in which students can plan and register for courses.  Ms. Michele Connolly, Coordinator of Orientation, will also be in attendance at the meeting to speak briefly about the implementation of Student Planning in New Student Orientations.
  • SOL – SOL is a partnership among Santander Universities, Ocean County College, and Lakewood High School.  This partnership agreement, signed in March 2014, is committed to providing access and opportunity for achievement to underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged Lakewood High School seniors by:
    • Providing academic support services that emphasize high school completion
    • Assisting students to navigate the college application process
    • Enrolling students at Ocean County College
    • Retaining those students by focusing on completion in three years

    This program provides Lakewood student participants with workshops and seminars in such areas as critical thinking, writing, study skills, test preparation, time management, and college placement test preparation.  It also offers workshops for the parents of program participants.

    Director of Educational Opportunity Fund and Office of Multicultural Services, Laura Rickards,. provides the oversight for this program.  She will join us on Tuesday with three Lakewood students who are participants in the program:  Tomás Uribe, Maria Palacios, and Marlon Young.  These “SOLmates” will share with you what the program has meant to them and their families.

e-Learning and Enterprise Initiatives

  • Middle Eastern Studies Center – On Saturday, May 23, 2015, Dr. Maysa Hayward is leading sixteen OCC and Kean Ocean students on a Study Abroad program in Rabat, Morocco.  The three-week trip is part of a five-week humanities course.  A grant from the U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program has provided major funding for the Middle Eastern Studies Center at OCC.  In addition to OCC tuition, the each participating student is paying only $550 for the entire trip, including the airfare.On May 30, 2015, Mr. Jeff Harmon, Executive Director of e-Learning, will join Dr. Haywood and the students in Rabat.  He will also visit the University of Moulay Ismail in Meknes for potential collaboration with OCC through the AALIM Institute.In Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, online courses in Arabic and Hebrew languages, literature, and history will be available as part of the Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies.Next year, there are plans for outreach to other Middle East countries, the first of which will be Egypt.
  • Online Languages
    • Online language offerings are increasing as well:  Italian and Spanish will be offered in Summer 2015; Arabic, Hebrew, French I and II, Italian I and II, and Russian will be offered in Fall 2015.
  • Continuing and Professional Education
      • Summer Camps
        • Registration continues to exceed last year.  Very positive feedback has been received on the variety of camps offered this year.  Extensive social media campaigns are underway to encourage additional registration.  Camps begin July 6.
        • Ms. Katie Calabrese, CPE Community Program Administrator, is currently pursuing a partnership with the Girl Scouts to pilot a STEM Academy program for its members.Continuing and Professional Education
  • Workforce Development
    • Collaborating with Ms. Jennifer Evans, Hospitality and Tourism College Lecturer, CPE will offer customized service training.  Mr. Michael Forcella, Manager of Business Management, has engaged with Tuscan Bistro Bar as the first effort.
    • A customized training course for Microsoft Sharepoint has been contracted with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst; it will be offered on June 10, 2015.
    • On May 4, 2015, the initial meeting for the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Consortium, consisting of NJIT, Ocean County Vocational and Technical Schools, and OCC, was held.  This consortium will address the training of students to meet the growing need for specialized employment in the advanced manufacturing fields.   In June, I am touring the Festo Didactic Company site in Eatontown with Ms. Pat Fenn, Assistant Vice President of Continuing and Professional Education, to view the equipment used in this field.
    • CPE is working with the NJCCC Coalition 19 to effectuate the Ready-to-Work Grant for advanced manufacturing training utilizing the training “trailers” that were developed through a former TAACCCT grant.
  • 10,000 Small Businesses ProgramA joint program with Goldman Sachs will take place on June 22, 2015.  The program, 10,000 Small Businesses, is designed for business owners with limited resources who have a business poised for growth.  Following the seminar, these small businesses are offered a series of eleven learning sessions in either New York or Philadelphia to meet with leading executives in the business world to delve deeper into the development of their businesses.  Goldman Sachs created this grant program in collaboration with LaGuardia Community College, which coordinates the program.  CPE has received support from all the Chambers of Commerce and other county colleges in advertising this opportunity.

Finance and Administration

With an emphasis on professional development, Executive Vice President Sara Winchester is scheduling a series of on-campus retreats for Finance and Administration senior staff.  The most recent was held on May 6, 2015, and the topics included Pivot Tables in Excel, Informer Reports, Phone System and Video Conferencing, Reinventing Yourself, Delegation, and Stress Management.

  • College Relations
    • Alumni
      • The Alumni Office hosted an alumni networking event with Kean University on March 18, 2015, in the Gateway Building with over 50 alumni in attendance.
      • On April 10, 2015, the Alumni Profile Project brought together alumni and English I students for an interview and mentoring session.   After the interviews, students composed alumni profiles that will be used in various OCC alumni print and online communications.
      • Back by popular demand, the Alumni Office is happy to announce the 2nd Annual Blue Claws Game and Picnic at First Energy Park on August 28, 2015.  We invite you to enjoy a family-friendly evening of baseball, games, prizes, and fireworks.  The picnic dinner provides a perfect opportunity to meet with colleagues and alumni.
  • Grants
    The following grant proposals, totaling $1,409,824, have been submitted since January 2015:
  • Investors Foundation ($100,000) – To support the STEM Academy
  • TRIO Student Support Services ($1,100,000) – Direct services to high risk, low-income, and/or first generation college students
  • New Jersey Council on the Arts ($25,000) – To support the 2016 OCC Jazz Festival
  • Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation – ArtsCONNECT ($4,750) – To support Salut Salon performance
  • New England Foundation for the Arts ($5,000) – To support the Seldoms performance
  • Stewart Funding Bill 966 – Radiological Response Plan Equipment Grant ($27,527) – To purchase specific equipment needed to implement a Radiological Response Plan
  • Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation – Reserve Funds ($1,000) – To support De Temps Antan presentation
  • NEH Challenge Grant ($146,547) – To support development of a Humanities Center and create an A.S. Degree in Humanities
  • OCC was recently awarded three Student Success Innovation Grants from the New Jersey Council of County Colleges for professional development purposes.  Awardees are:
    • $500 for Dr. Toni Clay, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, to integrate best practices and supplemental instruction into gateway courses to improve student passing rates.
    • $500 for Ms. Britni Epstein, e-Learning Graduate Intern, to purchase membership to for access to educational webinars for e-Learning faculty and staff in online course design and instruction.
    • $500 for Dr. Angel Camilo, Dean of Adjunct Faculty, to strengthen the existing library of adjunct training videos to provide a systematic support system readily available to adjuncts.
  • TV Studio – Ocean Currents, the Viking Video club’s TV show (run by OCC students) is on Ocean TV 20.  This show highlights the new lacrosse team and promotes the 3 Sails Jazz Festival with interviews and a performance by the OCC Jazz Band.
  • Accounting
  • For the second year, Ocean County College is hosting a one-day NJ RUG Conference on Thursday, June 18, 2015.  Again, Ms. Karen Papakonstantinou, Controller, and Ms. Elise Barocas, Director of Accounting, are organizing the event.  Sessions will be presented by Ellucian, by staff members from participating two- and four-year private and public colleges and universities, and by many Ellucian-approved partner vendors that provide third-party solutions that work with the Colleague system.  An update will be provided to the trustees following the event.
  • Over the past few weeks, all non-temporary employees of Ocean County College received a Projected FY 2015-2016 Total Compensation report.  The reports were released to individuals online through a secure website, and employees were required to electronically sign to verify receipt.  This project, designed to increase awareness of the total cost of employment, was a joint effort between Accounting and Human Resources.
  • Human Resources
  • Following a competitive quote process, Horizon has once again been selected as the Dental Coverage provider for the period July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017.  Overall premiums will increase less than 2% per year.   The premium for employee coverage is paid by the College.  For dependent coverage, the College will continue to contribute $27.62 per month and the employee is responsible for the remaining cost.
  • An HR email box is now available for all employee Human Resources communication needs.  The mailbox will be used to allow employees to ask questions, communicate concerns, or leave comments.  This mailbox will enable us to provide quality service in an efficient manner.   This email box will not be used for applicants.  As always, the College website should be used to apply for positions.
  • The Human Resources Department is piloting a referral service for adjuncts who teach in high demand disciplines.  The highlights of the service are:
  • OCC provides the company with information on the type of adjunct needed; if it has a candidate in its pool, notification is received within 24 hours.  If not, an attempt will be made to identify an adjunct within five to seven business days.
  • The vendor will provide information on a number of candidates, including transcripts and resumes, for review.
  • The service is available for both face-to-face and online courses.
  • Information Technology
  • The Office of Information Technology announced a new training schedule for faculty and staff.  During the month of May, classes will be offered in Data Security and Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Word and Excel.  Walk-in lunch-hour or dinner-hour clinics are available to visit for as little or as long as the employee’s schedule allows.  Additionally, faculty members are being offered training in current classroom technology, from turning on a projector and using the VDI (Terminal PC) to using a Blu-Ray/DVD Player via the touch panel.  An introduction will also be provided on the Epson Brightlink Interactive Whiteboard.
  • Academic Affairs
  • On May 19, 2015, the School of Nursing held its Pinning Ceremony with 147 Nursing students graduating in the Class 2015.
  • Nine students graduated with Honors on May 21, 2015.  To do so, the graduates completed at least four Honors by Contract courses with a B or better and an overall GPA 3.5 or higher.
  • Three OCC teaching professionals have been selected as Summer Scholars from a national applicant pool to attend programs supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities:
  •  Dr. Jennifer Dellner, Professor of English, will attend an “Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute” that will take place in Eugene, Oregon, from July 13-17, 2015.
  • Dr. Marilyn Kralik, Lecturer II in Art History, will participate in an institute entitled “The Alhambra and Spain’s Islamic Past,” a four-week program that will take place in Granada, Spain.
  •  Mr. Robert Marchie, Lecturer II in History, will attend the institute entitled “Slavery in the American Republic: From Constitution to Civil War,” a two-week program in Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • The newly completed Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management program has launched its first public awareness campaign by offering a free Service Seminar to students and the community-at-large (see the attached flyer).  To date, presentations have been given to students and to the staff of Tuscan Bistro Bar.  Next week, presentations will be made to Waters and Sims Supported Employment and the Southern Education Center. The flyer is posted in many local restaurants, such as TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.
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