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August 25, 2016

Dr. Larson’s August 2016 Report to the Board of Trustees

Dr. Jon Larson

Fall 2016 Colloquium

The theme of the Fall 2016 Colloquium on Thursday, September 1, 2016, will be “OCC’s Future:  Disruptive Change and Forward Thinking in the 21st Century.”  The day will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and my State-of-the-College Address at 9:00 a.m.

Five concurrent workshops will be scheduled in Bartlett Hall from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  They include:

I.    The Ocean Way presented by Dr. Toni Clay, Ms. Tracey Donaldson, Mr. Jason Ghibesi, Ms. Jennifer Kelemen, and Mr. AJ Trump

II.    Academic/Corporate Partnerships:  Finding Common Ground to Advance Learning and Promote Employee Growth presented by Mr. Marc LaBella and Ms. Sabrina Mathues

III.    Expanding Ocean Abroad:  Ocean’s Current Projects in the Middle East/Northern Africa Region presented by Mr. Jeff Harmon, Dr. Maysa Hayward, and Mr. Hatem Akl

IV.    New Approaches in General Education Assessment presented by Ms. Alexa Beshara-Blauth and Ms. Eileen Schilling

V.    Recruitment and Retention of Today’s Students:  OCC and InsideTrack Partner to Engage Students to Achieve Greater Student Success presented by Dr. Lisa DiBiseglie, Mr. Jack Kelnhofer, and Mr. Seth Reynolds-Mohler, Director of Client Partnerships at InsideTrack

An Adjunct Faculty Evening Colloquium will be held in Bartlett Hall at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments, followed my address, a presentation by Ms. Ilene Cohen and Dr. Kate Pandolpho on Classroom Management, and School meetings.

Please join us in the Grunin Center Theatre on September 1.

Finance and Administration

  • Ms. Ann Feneis, Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, attended an Open Public Records Act and Records Retention seminar presented by the New Jersey Government Records Council (GRC) in Trenton on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.  An overview was provided on the GRC’s function and services, common OPRA issues/exemptions and how they impact a custodian’s response, and significant GRC and court decisions affecting access to government records.  Records Retention topics included the importance of records disposal, liabilities of noncompliance, and organizational changes and their impact on client agencies.
  • Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, recently completed voluntary assignments from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Ms. Winchester served as a financial reviewer for the Periodic Review Reports of three institutions.
  • College Relations
    • Publications
      • The Summer/Fall 2016 edition of Ocean Views has been published. This edition features the new Barnes & Noble Bookstore, the 10th anniversary of the Kean Ocean partnership, the career path of an alumnus to the Lakewood Blue Claws,   InsideTrack’s coaching and future engagement with students, and the achievements of OCC’s talented students and alumni.
      • The 2016-2017 Student Handbook is ready for distribution in September.  The handbook provides students with important information, such as department points of contact; registration, payment, and other deadlines; helpful studying tips; and College policies and procedures.

Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, will share both of these publications with you on Thursday.

  • Please join us September 22, 2016, following the Board meeting for the Kean Ocean 10th Anniversary Celebration in the Jon and Judith Larson Student Center to commemorate the partnership established in 2006 between Ocean County College and Kean University.  Included in the ceremony will be recognition of those individuals who were instrumental in forging this successful partnership.
  • Mr. Ralph Bertini, Television Production Director, and Ms. RoseAnn D’Urso, Manager of Promotional Programming, have worked collaboratively with the Advising Office to produce new and informative videos for the College website. The videos address various topics, such as the NJ STARS Program, identifying a major, course selection, working with an advisor, and transferring to a four-year institution.
  • Human Resources
    • 2016-17 Leadership Academy – The application period for the upcoming 2016-17 Leadership Academy closed on July 22, 2016.  Interviews for all applicants will be conducted with two members of the President’s Leadership Team and one member of the first Leadership Academy cohort.  The 2016-17 cohort is expected to be announced at the Fall Colloquium on September 1, 2016.
    • Training and Development – Employees had the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning workshops and seminars, including:
      • Leading Meetings that Work
      • Finance for the Non-Financial Manager
      • CANVAS
      • Computer Applications
      • Legal, Regulatory, and Safety Issues

This fall’s employee training offerings will be made available in the near future.

  • Continuing and Professional Education
    • Customized Training/Workforce Development
      • Continuing and Professional Education received grant funding from Ready to Work New Jersey through the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Economic and Workforce Development for the first student who attended OCC’s Ready to Work seminar to enroll in OCC’s Medical Coding Professional Certification Program.  Customized Training has already completed six Ready to Work seminars.
      • Customized Training received Ready to Work funds to conduct Certified Home Health Aide training.  Eight students began on August 1, 2016, and will complete their training on September 6, 2016.  All of the students are promised full-time employment upon completion of the program and receipt of New Jersey certification.  A second class is planned for October 2016.
      • Fall 2016 Continuing and Professional Education catalogs and Winter 2016 Grunin Theatre pamphlets have been provided to the Lakehurst Joint Base to be delivered to active duty personnel and their dependents.
  • Allied Health
    • OCC and LabCorp have partnered to provide clinical externship opportunities for CPE Health Care students.  This partnership will provide additional clinical sites, which will allow the addition of many more students in the classes.
    • Continuing and Professional Education and the School of Nursing are collaborating for the purpose of providing simulation educational experiences for CPE Health Care students.
    • OCC’s Summer Fast Track Training programs continue to prepare students for employment upon program completion.  Most of these fast track training programs run from three to six months and serve as a successful career ladder with future educational growth.  Specific programs may articulate to college credit and/or prepare students to take examinations for state and national certification.
  • Technology and Specialized Careers
    • The Advanced Placement Summer Institute was held from Monday through Friday, August 8-11, 2016, with over 115 secondary teachers in attendance.  Not only did local teachers attend but teachers from Oregon, California, and Korea attended, all of whom will be teaching the College Board Advanced Placement courses to high school juniors and seniors in the upcoming school year.

Advanced Placement Workshops and Summer Institutes are offered through a partnership between Ocean County College and the College Board.  They are designed to support new or experienced teachers in every aspect of advanced placement course content, organization, and methodology.  Participants can earn professional development hours or continuing education units.

  • Facilities

A Surplus Sale will take place from Monday, August 22, 2016, through Thursday, September 1, 2016, featuring several pieces of equipment and furniture from around the campus.  The items will again be listed on, which provides consumers with an easy online process to buy and sell items.  Each item listed will be extensively detailed with its condition, type (serial, model, brand, make, etc.), bidding details, and terms and conditions for the buyer.

  • Information Technology
    • To effect infrastructure improvements, IT is currently working with:
      • NJEDge.Net to enable a private internet circuit between the OCC Toms River campus and Montclair State University to support a co-location site for the College.  This remote mini-data center will be used to keep an encrypted copy of our critical data files.
      • SolarWinds, a software solution used to monitor networking infrastructure and file servers as well as provide visibility into the health of computing systems.  This solution sends early alerts and warnings to IT personnel if a service is having a problem or failing so action can be taken to correct the issue.
    • CourseEval is a new web-based solution from Invoke Higher Education (formerly Academic Management Systems) to capture students’ reactions to courses.  Integrating with CANVAS, it will streamline the course evaluation process and provide Academic Affairs more autonomy and flexibility in managing course evaluations.
  • The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

Tickets are now on sale for the 2016-17 season at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.  The new brochure will be distributed at the meeting.

A new Customer Relations Management (CRM) system with Patron Manager is being utilized.  This system provides more effective communication with patrons, more efficient tracking of ticket sales, and a more robust data collection feature.  In addition, Mail Chimp has been integrated into Patron Manager for tracking, with analytics, the emails sent to patrons.  The new system also allowed a Donate Now button to be added to the ticket order webpage; during its first three days, six donations have been received.

There has been over $30,000 in net sales for the new season during the first three days using the new ticketing platform.  Some of the top selling shows are:

  • Patti LuPone, October 1, 2016 – 253 tickets sold
  • Home Free, November 20 and 21, 2016 – 380 tickets sold for the first night, and 103 tickets sold for the second show
  • Many tickets have also been sold for Arlo Guthrie, November 10, 2016; Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, October 16, 2016; and Rosanne Cash, April 6, 2017.
  • Bookstore

The new OCC Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble College and located in the Jon and Judith Larson Student Center, officially opened for business on July 11, 2016.  The store is now fully merchandised and ready for the fall semester.  The new Bookstore website has been launched for the easy purchase of books and a variety of merchandise.  Students have been sent emails about the new store, along with various coupons.  Students have also been provided information about the Bookstore mobile app.  A grand opening will be scheduled in September 2016.

  • Planetarium

The Planetarium staff has been busy revising current shows to make them more entertaining, and patrons are responding positively.  Mr. Kevin Molnar, the Planetarium Technician, continues to seek out new and interesting visuals and videos through NASA and other organizations.

New live presentations outside of the dome have given school and camp groups more options.  A large district can now bring up to 200 students to the campus.  While half of the group sees a production in the Planetarium dome theater, the other half enjoys a live interactive, educational presentation at another location on campus.

New “current events” shows will soon be debuted for teens, adults, and seniors.  The program will be a series of lectures outlining the most important events in astronomy today, such as the Planet 9, Juno probe.  The program is being created by Mr. Bob Salvatore.

July 2016 was a training month; new presenters were identified to fill the need for off-site programs.  Student workers are being trained as well to assist in the presentations.

Student Affairs

  • Financial Aid

Financial Aid Student Self-Service became available on July 27, 2016, allowing students to track their progress through the financial aid application process from one central location.  Features of the program include:

  • The use of the financial aid checklist
  • Viewing of any documents required to complete an application
  • Acceptance or rejection of financial aid awards
  • Applying for student loans
  • Review of satisfactory academic progress status, including detailed information on current cumulative GPAs and completion rates

During the brief time the portal has been available, a number of students have visited and used the site.

  • Advising

Parent Orientations continue to have great attendance and very good reviews.   Ms. Anna Regan, Director of Academic Advising, reported that well over 80 people attended on Saturday, July 23, 2016, the largest group of parents to date.  The final Parent Orientation for the summer will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2016; over 30 people registered already.

Academic Affairs

Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, applied for and received $20,000 from the New Jersey Council of County Colleges for the College Credit Now Program through a grant from the Prudential Foundation.  This grant will allow Dr. Jackson to work with and support 25 students who are college ready from Lacey High School and Central Regional High School, who will enroll in six college credits.

The College Readiness Now Program is a collaboration between Ocean County College and Ocean County high school districts.  This program is funded through a partnership between the Office of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.  Its purpose is to help junior and senior students achieve college and career readiness skills by the time they graduate from high school.  OCC is currently preparing for its third cohort of students, and it is anticipated that all 17 Ocean County high schools will be involved.

I have asked Dr. Jackson and Dr. Lisa DiBiseglie, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, to report at Thursday’s meeting on the results of the 2015-2016 College Readiness Now Program (Cohort II) and the plans for the 2016-17 Program (Cohort III).  Additionally, they will report on their intent to seek accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), which works to ensure that college courses offered in high schools are as rigorous as courses offered on the sponsoring college campuses.  As the sole accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, NACEP helps these programs adhere to the highest standards so students experience a seamless transition to college.

  • School of Arts and Humanities
    • A new program will be implemented in developmental English to help students move more efficiently through their studies by including extra academic time focusing on college writing.
    • The Ocean County Repertory Theatre Company had a successful run of “Guys and Dolls,” which included performers from the community and Ocean County College students.
    • Dr. Marilyn Kralik, College Lecturer II in Art History, and Ms. Maria Potter, Lecturer II in Middle Eastern Studies, co-led a successful study abroad trip to Morocco.  Ms. Potter teaches Arabic for both the School of Arts and Humanities and e-Learning.

The program began with a week-long online orientation and introduction to the language and culture of North Africa and the Middle East.  On July 12, 2016, the group traveled to Rabat, Morocco, for an immersion program in language, culture, and history for three weeks.  The students returned on August 2, 2016, and engaged in a week-long online conclusion to the course during which they reflected on and shared their experiences.

  • School of Business and Social Sciences
    • Associate Professor of Business Kathy Dillon gave a presentation to the International Association of Administrative Professionals on the topic of “The Evolution of the Secretary.”  She also coordinated a Financial Literacy Program with help from Ms. Elena Pepe, Assistant Manager for Wells Fargo.
    • Mr. Jason Ghibesi, Lecturer II of Political Science, has been tapped as an ongoing commentator for the Asbury Park Press to provide insights about the Presidential race, as well as to share specific commentary about the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Ms. Karen Yi, Staff Writer for the newspaper, has incorporated Mr. Ghibesi’s comments into several articles, including “Was NJ delegation shafted on speakers?” and “RNC 2016: Extra eyes on Christie, NJ?” which were distributed for publication throughout New Jersey in July.
    • Psychology Professor Neil Lavender completed a study dealing with workplace stress and coping traits with Dr. Alan Cavaiola from Monmouth University and Mr. David Stout from Brookdale Community College.  Nearly 400 subjects, including about 150 OCC students, were surveyed.  In addition to his research pursuits, Professor Lavender maintains a blog for Psychology Today, entitled “Beyond Bullying,” which addresses corporate abuse and its effects on workers and their families.
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Dr. Angel Camilo, Dr. Mary-Ellen Rada, Mr. Vijay Ramdeen, all STEM College Lecturer IIs, and Mr. Paul Silberquit, Dean of STEM, presented sessions during the Toms River Schools NJDOE grant-funded STEM summer camp for low income middle school students.  The summer camp ran from Monday, July 11, 2016, to Friday, August 19, 2016, and each week had a different STEM-related theme:
Unit The Jersey Shore Robots Are Coming! Art and Society Climate and Weather The Art of Science and Food FabLab Maker Challenge
Theme Sun, Sand and An Ocean in Motion Control Them Before They Control Us! If You Can Dream It, You Can Make It Are We Prepared? Know It, Grow It, Sow It PBL and the Maker Mindset
Dates July 11-15 July 18-22 July 25-29 August 1-5 August 8-12 August 15-19

Dr. Camilo and Mr. Silberquit presented during the Climate and Weather unit, and Dr. Rada and Mr. Ramdeen presented during The Art and Science of Food unit.

  • Mr. Eric Antonelli, Assistant Professor of Science, and Dr. Camilo have been making instructional videos for biology labs. They have also made videos to describe parts of biology-related items that were viewed using the Engineering Program’s 3D microscope.  Please visit the following link to view a segment of a video about the eye of a Cicada when viewed under a 3D microscope.  The green dots are pollen on the bug’s eye.
  • Library
    • The inventory project in the Library is coming to a successful conclusion.  All items in the collection have been inventoried, and now Library staff will reconcile mismatched records and catalog any materials that do not have records in the database.  This process creates an accurate account of the Library’s collection and can be used for data analysis and collection development much more reliably.
    • The Library’s Sirsi database will be migrating to a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution in August, a service where SirsiDynix rents space on a server to OCC and hosts its database in an ultra-secure facility.  The benefits include cost savings over time and insulation from the effects of weather or power outage events.  As a result, more professional staff time will be available to expand programs, create resources, and to work more collaboratively with OCC faculty, staff, and students.
  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences
    • Official notification was received from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) that the OCC School of Nursing was granted continuing accreditation until spring 2024 by the Board of Commissioners at its meeting on July 14-15, 2016.  Ms. Tracy Walsh, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, faculty, and staff are commended for this outstanding achievement and for their continued commitment to the Nursing Program and its students.
    • Nursing students will begin returning to campus on August 22, 2016, to practice technical skills in the Skills Labs.  All current students are required to demonstrate during the first week of the semester competency in previously learned skills.  Students must successfully complete competency validation each semester prior to practicing within a clinical agency.
    • Approximately 326 students will be attending classes in the fall 2016 semester within the School of Nursing, of which 108 will be entering Nursing I. The Nursing I Orientation Program will be held on August 31, 2016. Guest speakers include representatives from OCC Security to present safety procedures as well as a liaison from the textbook company to review the use of electronic textbooks.  Students are also introduced to members of the Student Nurses Organization (SNO), who will share the benefits of participating in various activities.  The SNO provides a luncheon for new students following the program to facilitate socialization with peers.
    • Ms. Sharon Scrofine, MSN, RN, began her role as a Lecturer II in the School of Nursing on August 1, 2016.  Ms. Scrofine has many years of clinical experience within the acute care setting, predominantly within the Emergency Department.  She obtained teaching experience within her past positions serving as staff educator and preceptor for new employees as well as OCC students.  She has also served as an OCC Clinical Instructor.
    • Ms. Terri Ivory-Brown, MSN, RN, Lecturer II, attended a Doctoral Residency Course in Virginia as she pursues an Ed.D. degree from the University of Phoenix.  Ms. Erin Vitale, MSN, RN, Lecturer II, completed a Doctoral Residency Course in Colorado to fulfill course requirements for a DNP degree from the American Sentinel University.  There are currently eight faculty members attending doctoral programs within the School of Nursing.
    • Three new Clinical Instructors will join the School of Nursing in September 2016.  New Clinical Instructors will be attending a Clinical Instructor Orientation conducted by faculty and staff on August 29, 2016.

Twenty-six Clinical Instructors will be assisting faculty to provide education within clinical settings during the fall semester.  This fall, there are 36 clinical groups.  All Clinical Instructors will attend a meeting on August 29, 2016, to discuss plans for the upcoming semester, review new policies and procedures, and be introduced to the new Learning Management System.

  • The Student Nursing Organization is planning a Flu Fair with the Ocean County Health Department on September 27, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the Health Sciences Building.
  • Two students from OCC will be graduating from the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program following the completion of courses this semester.  This program is provided in collaboration with Rutgers University.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • International Partnerships

On August 5, 2016, I completed a week-long meeting marathon through the Middle East with Mr. Jeff Harmon, Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises; Mr. Hatem Akl, CIO; and Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of Academic Outreach. With numerous meetings in Morocco and Egypt, the trip yielded the most promising opportunities to date.  Stemming from OCC’s already operating partnership with IMI and the language training of students in Egypt, OCC’s delegation had the opportunity to meet with His Excellency, Yasser El Kady, Minister of Telecommunications in Egypt.  This was just one of the successful meetings.  Mr. Harmon, Mr. Akl, and Dr. Hayward will provide a brief visual presentation on the opportunities that were uncovered.

  • Domestic Partnerships

Through the efforts of Mr. John Goodwin and EduStrategy Group, OCC will be included in Edcor’s Preferred Provider Program once required documentation is completed.

Edcor is an organization that outsources benefits for approximately 45 companies,including Avaya, CarMax, Best Buy, e-Trade Financial, Emblem Health, Fidelity Investments, McGraw Hill Companies, Nestle, Sage Group, First Data Corp, UPS, and more.  It provides match-making services, linking private organizations with tuition assistance programs to education providers and actually manages the partnership between industry and education.  Attached is an overview of the major aspects of this organization.

Ocean County College will be added to the visual below of Edcor’s other preferred providers.

Edcor’s other preferred providers
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