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June 22, 2015

Dr. Larson’s June 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 June 22, 2015, Board Meeting

DATE: June 18, 2015


Ms. Ilene Cohen, Executive Director of Athletics and Judicial Affairs, and Mr. AJ Trump, Director of Athletics, will be at Monday’s meeting to provide a report on the Spring athletic season.

The National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) sponsors the NATYCAA Cup, which is awarded each year.  The NATYCAA Cup program began in 2004 to highlight excellence in two-year athletics, and awards are given to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) member colleges based on national championship competition performance.

With all national competition tournaments for the 2014-2015 year completed, Ocean County College has been ranked 9th among the top programs in the nation in the Non-Scholarship Division.

Additionally, NATYCAA selects male and female athletes of the year.  This year’s Male Athlete of the Year is OCC’s Craig Smith, a standout soccer player for two years who earned All-American honors.  It should be noted that Craig served our country as a Marine as well.  Unfortunately, he will not be able to join us Monday as he is taking summer courses.

We are pleased, however, that Mr. Stan Friedman, Coach of the Men’s Tennis team, will attend the Board meeting with members of the team.  They had an outstanding season, finishing in 4th place in the nation in Division III.

Ocean County College will again host the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Division III National Soccer Championship Tournament in November.  The Athletic Department is gearing up for the four-day event and will be asking for volunteers to perform various duties during the games.

Distance Learning Partnership

I am delighted to inform you that Dr. Hussein Mohammed Ahmed Essa and Dr. Sayed El-Sayed Elkouly, President and Department of Management Chair, respectively, of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, will be visiting Ocean County College on July 21, 22, and 23 to discuss the implementation of joint degree and certificate programs and distance learning through the cooperation of our partner institutions, Kean University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and our “cloud-based” technology partner, Pearson Learning Solutions.

During their visit, Kean University President Dawood Farahi, NJIT President Joel Bloom, and I will discuss details of our plan to form a unique, exclusive partnership for the purpose of providing joint degree offerings at the baccalaureate and graduate levels, including a single source delivery of distance learning to provide the highest quality collegiate education utilizing the most current technology, the best course content, and the finest online instruction.

The current itinerary calls for Dr. Essa and Dr. El-Sayed to visit Kean University on Tuesday and NJIT on Wednesday.  They will also have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Don Norris, President of Strategic Initiatives, Inc., to discuss the USAID grant.

This is an exciting venture for OCC, one that was made possible with the very valuable assistance of Mr. Hatem Akl, OCC’s Chief Information Officer.  We will keep you informed as the plans for their visit progress.

e-Learning and Enterprise Initiatives

  • Middle Eastern Studies Center – As reported last month, Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of Instructional Outreach, led 16 students on a three-week study abroad trip to Rabat, Morocco as a core component of a five-week course on the Middle East.  The program was made possible by the generous support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education secured by Dr. Hayward.The trip offered the opportunity for student growth in many ways:  academically, through study of the Arabic language and classes in the history, politics, and economics of Morocco; culturally, by exposure to Moroccan customs as the students became adept at navigating and participating in this new world; socially, through adaptation to life with their new Moroccan families, who will, for many of them, remain friends for the rest of their lives; and personally, as each student overcame individual challenges and learned to function together as members of a group.Dr. Hayward and several students will report on this very successful trip at the Board meeting on Monday.e-Learning plans to run additional study abroad trips to Morocco this winter and to Tunisia and/or Jordan next summer.

Online Languages – An array of online languages is being offered for the Fall 2015 semester.  In total, OCC’s Online Foreign Language Institute will include 32 beginner and intermediate online foreign language courses.  Research is now being conducted to determine the market for and feasibility of developing a Certificate in Linguistics.

  • e-Learning Partnerships – Contact has been made with seven new organizations that offer promise for partnerships:  Carnival Cruise Lines, Chipotle, Royal Caribbean International, two charter high schools, and two private high schoolsCurrently, there are 25 corporate partnership targets; high-level conversations have taken place with 17 of the companies, including Home Depot and Southwest Airlines.  Discussions continue with Vail Resorts; however, there is no new progress to report.   e-Learning is also investigating with CVS the possibility of a new Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program for its front-line employees.The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has expressed a willingness to assist e-Learning in connecting with companies that have already established relationships with AACC.  A meeting is scheduled for late July in Baltimore to continue discussions in this regard.  Additionally, EduStrategy Group has provided additional resources in e-Learning’s efforts to gain traction with high school articulation and advanced placement/college credit needs for charter and private high schools.Finally, meetings continue with Pearson to develop e-Learning promotional material aimed at corporate prospects that will include student testimonials, video, and the establishment of a demo protocol of learning technologies and support.  In addition, a PowerPoint presentation has been developed which illustrates the value and outcomes that OCC can bring to corporations and their employees.
  • Continuing and Professional Education
    • OCC continues to investigate the possibilities of offering an Advanced Manufacturing curriculum together with New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ocean County Vocational and Technical Schools.  Visits to both Festo Didactic, manufacturer of machinery, and Hudson VoTech have offered insight into the program, and further engagement with NJIT’s MechaForce program is expected.
    • New CPE enrichment course offerings will include cake decorating, dog grooming, prom preparation, and container gardening.  New online courses are being offered through Pearson and partnerships with ed2Go and MindEdge.
    • Discussions are taking place with the Girl Scouts to highlight STEM Academy programming and the ways in which it can benefit young women.
  • Customized Training and Business Engagement
    • The initial customized training course at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst has been completed; it generated revenue of $1,500.
    • As a result of funding made available by the New Jersey Community College Consortium, four NJBIA basic computer classes were scheduled and one customized curriculum class will run before the end of this fiscal year, which will generate revenue of approximately $3,500.
    • Business Engagement continues to generate significant awareness in Ocean County through Chambers of Commerce; it has met all short- and long-term goals for FY 2015, generating approximately $21,000 in revenue since January 2015.
  • Allied Health
    • CPE Health Care Summer Coding courses currently have 68 students enrolled.
    • Fast Track Training health care students have had great success after course completion, with several students securing employment within a week at Centra State, Hanger Orthotics, Ocean Neurology, and Cardiology Associates.
  • Business and Technology – New courses are being offered this summer:
    • Five new courses in Human Resources and Management
    • Digital Marketing Certificate for entrepreneurs and business owners as a result of a partnership with the Small Business Development Centers
    • Credential Prep Course
    • Cyber Security and Cyber Fraud Certificates
    • CDA Credential Classes
    • OSHA courses for General Contractors
  • Senior Community Outreach – A three-day Senior Summer Camp is being offered in August offering six workshops.

Finance and Administration

  • Accounting – On Thursday, June 18, Ocean County College hosted for the second year the annual NJRUG (New Jersey Regional Users’ Group) conference in the Gateway Building.  The conference serves as a networking opportunity for future collaborative efforts among the many participant colleges, and a wide variety of discussions take place regarding best practices and innovative ways to use software modules more effectively.Ms. Karen Papakonstantinou, Controller, will give you a brief overview of this successful conference at Monday’s meeting.
  • College Relations
    • Ocean TV20 began a pilot program with Lacey Township High School wherein Ocean County College messages are broadcast to students as part of their morning announcements.  These OCC spots highlight events such as Open Houses, Financial Aid Workshops, and Information Sessions to a captive audience of 1,200 to 1,500 students daily.This program is being offered to other County high schools; so far, Point Pleasant Boro, Jackson Liberty, and Manchester high schools have made a commitment to participate.To facilitate a more effective partnership between the high schools and OCC’s TV facility, Mr. Lee Kobus, College Lecturer II and Broadcast Operator, and Mr. Ralph Bertini, Television Production Director, are planning studio tours and workshops for the students; in fact, there are discussions about having high school students shadow OCC students during productions.  Such an experience will allow students to learn more about the Digital Mass Media program as well as demonstrate the capabilities of the College’s tele-production facilities.
  • Grants – The following grant proposals, totaling $3,174,422, have recently been submitted by the College:
    • Title III – Strengthening Institutions Grants ($2,150,638) – Five-year funding to redesign science and mathematics courses, including developmental education courses, to increase the number and retention of students majoring in Nursing and Engineering; the focus of the grant is competency-based instruction.
    • College Readiness Now Grant III ($23,784) – New Jersey’s College Readiness Now proposal calls for an immediate collaboration between high schools and community colleges that would target the junior and senior years as the single best opportunity to prepare students to enter college.
    • Health Professions Opportunities Grant ($1,000,000) – With Bergen Community College as the lead, OCC joins 14 other New Jersey community colleges to request funds for health occupations training; the total budget is anticipated to be approximately $15,000,000 over five years.
  • Facilities
    • Flower Sale – On May 22 and 26, the Alumni Office hosted a Flower Sale for the second year with the plants, flowers, and shrubbery that decorated the Commencement stage.  Ms. Rebecca Feiler White, Director of Alumni Relations, Development, and Grants, and Mr. Peter Tomko, Manager of Facilities, Buildings, and Grounds, were instrumental in the sale’s success.  A total of $1,875 was raised to support the Ocean County College Alumni Fund.  The plants not sold were placed throughout the campus.
    • Surplus Sale – The College held a surplus sale from May 18 to 26.  As in the past, was utilized to auction the items, which included old furniture, IT equipment, vehicles, and discontinued lighting.  The sale generated $13,598.88
  • Auxiliary Services – On June 30, David Ostwald and the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band will return to the Main Stage in the Grunin Center.  Celebrating fifteen years of weekly performances at Birdland in New York City, this dynamic group conjures up the memory of the one-and-only Satchmo with an evening of unforgettable songs.Opening July 16, the Ocean County College Repertory Company presents “Fiddler on the Roof.”


I received an email from the mother of an OCC graduate who shared with me the outstanding success her son has enjoyed since leaving OCC.  Mr. Robert “RJ” Norcia went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at The College of New Jersey, and he graduated from Rutgers Camden Law School in May.  Ms. Joanne Norcia expressed her deep appreciation for the impact Ocean County College had on RJ and, more specifically, for the profound influence of Professors Marilyn Kralik and Mary Ellen Carr.

I have attached Ms. Norcia’s email to my report as well as the article in Rutgers Today, “Capitalizing on Challenges:  Law Grad Tackled Unprecedented Projects with Aplomb.”

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