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January 27, 2014

Dr. Larson’s January 2014 Report to the Board of Trustees

Dr. Jon Larson

Administration Building Update

In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 4, due to extremely cold weather a pipe burst in the Administration Building, which caused water damage throughout the building.  The building was closed for repairs, and clean-up began immediately.

Because we were in a heavy registration period leading up to the start of the spring semester, it was critical that student services continue uninterrupted.  Through the diligent efforts of both Facilities and IT staff over the weekend, all student services were up and running in the Technology Building first thing Monday morning.  This was an extraordinary accomplishment, and I extend congratulations to all staff involved.  Full services were provided to students in the Technology Building for two weeks, and students experienced minimal inconvenience.

Spring 2014 Colloquium

The Spring 2014 Colloquium was held on Tuesday, January 21, in the Arts and Community Center Theatre.  The theme of the Colloquium was “Promising Practices of Student Engagement.”  The program featured four sessions facilitated by faculty members who shared meaningful ideas for discussions on classroom teaching.

Unfortunately, because of the snow storm, the Evening Adjunct Faculty Colloquium was cancelled.  Another opportunity will be scheduled to meet with them.

I have attached a copy of my State-of-the-College speech for your information.  2014 is going to be a noteworthy year at Ocean County College as we position ourselves to successfully address the challenges of the future.

Ocean County College’s 50th Anniversary

Ocean County College is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.  Since its inception in 1964, Ocean County College has become an outstanding institution, one that has continuously evolved to meet the needs of the citizens of Ocean County.  The theme for this year’s celebration is “Excellence in Education,” which will be integrated into all campus activities.  Featured during this year of celebration will be key events that will showcase the College to generate positive media exposure in the community and strengthen campus relations with the involvement of employees and students.

A 50th Anniversary logo has been developed to assist us in marketing and recruiting.

Some of the special events that are scheduled this year include:

  • Occasional rollbacks by Food Services and the Bookstore to 1964 price levels.
  • The annual Student Dinner/Dance in April will highlight our 50th year with dress popular in 1964.
  • The Nurses Pinning, Student Awards Ceremony, and Commencement in May will all focus on our 50th Anniversary.
  • The Ocean County College Band will perform music of the 60’s in the fall.
  • The Planetarium will provide scheduled shows with music from Pink Floyd and Beatlemania.
  • The theme of the Ocean County College Foundation Gala in October will be centered on the College’s 50th Anniversary.
  • In December, the year’s activities will culminate with a momentous party celebrating our first 50 years at Ocean County College.

To officially begin our year-long commemoration, I respectfully request that a resolution be adopted to recognize and publicize 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Ocean County College and to encourage full participation by students, faculty, and staff in all activities and events to celebrate this significant milestone.


  • The staff of the Southern Education Center was presented with the United States Marine Corps Commander’s Award for the outstanding support of the Toys for Tots Drive this past holiday season.
  • The Spring 2014 Continuing and Professional Education brochure, Learning Starts with You, is being distributed throughout the community.  It includes a wide variety of very interesting offerings, an increasing number of online courses, and many career and certificate programs.  Ms. Pat Fenn, Executive Director of e-Learning and Continuing and Professional Education, Ms. Katie Calabrese, Community Programs Administrator, and Ms. Kathy Caro, Administrator for Nursing and Allied Health, will make a short presentation at Monday’s meeting on this very impressive brochure.
  • Mr. Jeff Harmon, Director of e-Learning, has been instrumental in the development of the College’s new online partnership with Sussex County Community College.  He will provide a short synopsis to update the trustees on Monday.  Mr. Harmon will also describe e-Learning’s plan to test BIOSIG during the 2014 Spring Quick Term.  BIOSIG is a system that authenticates that the person participating in an online course is the individual who registered for the course.

Academic Affairs

  • The pilot program on developmental education has been completed, and results are being utilized to design the College Ready Project.  The Project will be launched in Spring 2014 by first working with the Toms River School District as a pilot.  Subsequently, we will collaborate with Brick, Central Regional, and Southern Regional to better prepare high school students for college.
  • The OCC Library has begun a process of analyzing its utilization of space to better serve the students.  This follows up the installation of 46 additional computer stations in the Library last semester.
  • The College will host a regional conference on Student Success on February 28.  The conference will focus on the following areas:  defining and measuring student success; creating a culture of student success on campus; using technology to promote and advance student success; and faculty and student perspectives and roles in student success.
  • OCC has a number of outstanding academic programs that successfully prepare our students for either transfer or work.  One such example is our Alcohol and Drug Counseling certificate program, which has grown over its ten years of existence.  College Lecturer II Dean Labolita will share with you on Monday a few highlights of the program.

Ocean Views

The Winter 2014 edition of Ocean Views is available and will be distributed to you on Monday.  It is an attractive publication highlighting the accomplishments of our alumni and our faculty and staff.

Student Center Groundbreaking

Immediately following the Board meeting on Monday, we will walk to the site of the new Student Center for a Groundbreaking Ceremony.  A dessert reception will follow in the College Center.

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