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August 24, 2015

Dr. Larson’s August 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 August 24, 2015, Board Meeting

DATE: August 20, 2015

Fall 2015 Colloquium

The Fall 2015 semester will begin with Colloquium on Thursday, September 3, in the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.  The Colloquium theme is “Transforming for Resilience and Performing Excellence.”

The program for the day will include:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.            Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.          President’s State-of-the-College Address

10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.        Concurrent Workshops

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.          Concurrent Workshops Repeated

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.           $1 Lunch Special

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.           Retention Presentation

3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.           Individual School Meetings

The workshops that will be offered are:

  • Holistic Health and Wellness, Partnerships and Collaborations in Health Sciences
  • Ms. Kathy Caro, Administrator of Nursing and Allied Health, Continuing and Professional Education
  • Dr. Mary Rada, Lecturer II, Science
  • Ms. Tracy Walsh, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences

Description – The Changing Face of the Nation’s Healthcare: Continuous change in the healthcare industry requires transformation in the delivery of educational programs to promote the well-being of our nation.  The college setting plays a pivotal role in the development of innovative programs to meet the educational needs required for a constantly evolving health care environment.  This workshop will discuss various strategies the community college may consider, including forming partnerships with other institutions of higher learning, developing programs focusing on holistic health and wellness, enhancing delivery of foundational courses within the institution to create a robust curriculum, and collaborating with local clinical affiliates to prepare students to meet the future health care needs of the community.

  • OCC’s New Partnerships in the Middle East
    • Mr. Hatem Akl, Chief Information Officer
    • Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of Instructional Outreach
    • Jack Kelnhofer, Dean of e-Learning Faculty

Description – As a result of our institutional outreach efforts, OCC has formed several new partnerships with Tier I institutions and training companies in the Middle East.  Earlier this summer, the President of Egypt’s Ain Shams University, the second largest institution in Egypt with over 200,000 students, together with the Dean of its School of Business Studies, visited OCC to develop a joint degree and sign articulation agreements with OCC, Kean University, and NJIT.  In our pilot project this Fall, Egyptian students will be participating in online courses from OCC as the beginning of full joint degree programs with OCC and our partners Kean and NJIT.

  • The Leadership Academy
  • John DiNapoli, Retired Brigadier General

Discussion afterwards led by:

  • Dr. Jon Larson, President
  • Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Business and Finance
  • Dr. Lisa DiBisceglie, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Description – The workshop presenter will provide a brief overview of his leadership experience followed by discussion focusing on the importance of values for leaders, the organizational impact of poor leaders, and the Five Principals of Exemplary Leadership as discussed in The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner.  Based on these topics, the group will have a discussion on why everyone in a successful organization needs to be a leader and needs to understand his/her responsibility. The presenter will close by providing a brief overview of upcoming leadership training and how this can enhance the skills of rising leaders within Ocean County College.

A Colloquium Program for Adjuncts is scheduled for Thursday evening.  Light fare will be offered at 5:30 p.m., the President’s Welcome will begin at 6:00 p.m., and a presentation on “Creating the Environment for Successful Learning:  Classroom Management, Technology, and Students’ Profiles,” is scheduled from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Fall semester classes begin on Tuesday, September 8.  We are looking forward to another exciting and successful academic year.

Academic Affairs

The Academic Affairs Division had a busy summer with a number of initiatives that will lead into the Fall semester:

  • This semester, the College will be offering 65 on-site/online Quick Term courses in which students will combine face-to-face and online learning in a single course.  This learning format allows greater flexibility for students as they schedule classes to balance life, work, and school.  These courses will be offered in almost every academic discipline.
  • A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.  This agreement is the first step in creating a partnership that allows for new programs in the health sciences area and establishing a physical presence for University of the Sciences on the Toms River campus to deliver select academic programs.  This important partnership is aligned to the development of our new Health Sciences Building.
  • The Ocean County College Repertory Theatre Company presented “Fiddler on the Roof” from July 16 to July 26; the performances were nearly sold out each night.  This is the third year the theatre program has produced a summer musical.  The performances have been well received, with ticket sales increasing each summer.
  • A four-day Lecturer Orientation and Institute will be offered to welcome new and returning Lecturer II’s.  It will focus on workshops and community-building experiences in all areas of the College, including the Learning Management System, Student Resources and Services, and Academic Success and Engagement.

Student Affairs

The Career, Employment, and Counseling Services Department provides comprehensive services to students.  On Monday, Dr. Kate Pandolpho, Director, will share some of the activities of the department.

A very important service is to conduct interventions for students who are academically at risk due to poor grades.  The intervention, Step by Step to Academic Success, was designed and implemented by the counseling staff.  With the recent changes in academic sanctions, several populations were required to attend Step by Step sessions.

  • 620 students were required to attend Step by Step due to their academic sanction from the Spring semester.
  • 38 two-hour seminars have been presented by two counselors since June 1.
  • 359 students registered for the seminar.
  • 253 attended, nearly a 71% attendance rate.
  • 41% of the students who were required to attend Step by Step have complied.

Step by Step sessions are scheduled through the end of September to accommodate students who are registering late for the Fall semester or for Quick Term.

Ocean County College has been awarded a $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant from the United States Department of Education.  The grant was renewed for five years and will be disbursed at $220,000 a year.  The SSS program provides academic support to 140 OCC students who are first generation, low-income, and/or disabled who also have academic need.  Student Support Services is a comprehensive program dedicated to increasing the academic success rate of students by providing supportive services, including tutoring, advising, cultural trips, and success seminars.

In addition, the College also has been awarded a renewal of the Displaced Homemakers Program grant from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.  The grant provides comprehensive services to women who must become economically self-sufficient due to separation, divorce, death or disability of the primary wage earner.  The program also received an extension of the SSBG Sandy funds through September 30, 2015, which are targeted for training.  The total amount of funding for the Displaced Homemakers Program is nearly $80,000.

Finance and Administration

  • College Relations

Recruiting and Retaining the Class of 2016 and Beyond

In order to better compete in today’s crowded higher education marketplace, the College must acknowledge that the entire landscape has changed.  Higher education has become a product – a worthy product of great importance to our society – but a product, nonetheless.  Fun, yet aggressive, marketing and recruitment strategies need to be created that will successfully sell this product to a slightly jaded, overly stimulated, increasingly savvy new generation of college students and their influencers.  Though there is much to be done in the high schools, in the homes, and in the community, the far greater challenge is embracing the cultural transformation that must take root and flourish within our campus community over the next few years.

At Monday’s meeting, Ms. Lisa Kasper, Director of Admissions, and Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, will briefly present a few of the recruitment and retention initiatives that will take place during the next year.

  • Alumni

Alumni are OCC representatives in the community, and their successes can be used to support our recruitment, enrollment, and retention efforts.  OCC’s growing alumni network includes a diverse set of accomplished individuals who are proud to recognize OCC as their alma mater and want to offer their support back to the College in various ways.  On Monday, Ms. Rebecca Feiler White, Director of Alumni Relations, Development, and Grants, will present some of the exciting activities currently occurring in the Alumni Office.

  • Continuing Education
  • Kids Camps – The 2015 Summer Camp season has come to an end, and approximately 1,225 campers were served this season.  The most popular offerings were camps related to sports, computers, and science.  An analysis of the profitability and demand for each camp is currently underway; based on the results, planning will begin for next summer’s camps.
  • Advanced Placement Program for Teachers – Each August, a required four-day training session is held for high school teachers who will teach College Board Advanced Placement courses in their schools.  This summer, 111 teachers from New Jersey and neighboring states attended the session for training in such subjects as statistics, the sciences, government, English literature, and Spanish.  Local school districts provide the funding for most of their teachers to participate.
  • Senior Summer Sessions Program – Continuing Education created Senior Summer Sessions, an outreach program that consisted of three days of unique offerings for the senior community.  This new program attracted 23 participants, who enjoyed topics that included Music with the Maestro, Secrets to Creating Health at Any Age, First Ladies and Famous Ladies, Genealogy, and Classic American Poets.  The event culminated on the third day with a presentation in the Planetarium.  Since the program was so successful, plans are being made to offer it every semester.
  • Allied Health – Continuing Education has secured two new facilities, Health South and Meridian Health, to place students for the clinical components of their allied health courses, such as Phlebotomy and Patient Care Technician.  Having these additional sites allows Continuing and Professional Education to enroll more students in allied health programs.
  • TAACCCT Grant – OCC is a partner with other community colleges, employers, and Workforce Investment Boards in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration.

In line with the goals of this program, on September 15, OCC is hosting Health South interviewed to possibly fill positions in their facilities.

  • Facilities

The State of New Jersey’s Division of Archives and Records Management (DARM), Bureau of Records Management, places all public records on a Records Retention schedule that lists the minimum period of time that a state and local governmental and educational entity must retain records.   Retaining records that are not required and/or records that are beyond their required retention period is very costly to the College.  Because of that, a renewed focus has been placed on college-wide records management.

Ms. Charlene Braun, Manager of Mail Services and Liaison for Ocean County College Records, led a project which resulted in documenting and inventorying the College’s records vault that contained voluminous materials from all departments.  To date, approximately 1,750 boxes of records have been removed and disposed, with many more yet to be done.  The records vault has been transformed into a clean, well-organized, and functional storage area.

Going forward, Ms. Braun will work with each department to ensure that only necessary records are stored and that each box is inventoried and appropriately labeled with the destruction date clearly marked.

  • Human Resources

The Human Resources Department continues to make steady progress in a number of areas of process improvement:

  • PeopleAdmin is a software platform for recruiting and staffing efforts, a repository for position descriptions, and a performance management tool.  Currently, a test system is in place for the position description and applicant tracking modules, with concerns and issues being addressed as they are discovered.  The Position Description module allows an organizational chart to be automatically created and maintained through the PeopleAdmin system.
  • The procurement of an electronic solution for the verification of eligibility to work in the United States (I-9), as required by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, is underway.  The program will provide a systematic mechanism of tracking receipt of required documents, replacing the current manual method and reducing the risk of non-compliance significantly.
  • Human Resources is leveraging Image Now for the receipt of paperwork from new hires, which will allow submission of required information by scanning, emailing or faxing documents to  This process will reduce paper and storage needs and add additional security to recordkeeping.
  • A training session, “Customer Service 101 – The Basics,” was piloted by Human Resources with members of Financial Aid, Registration and Records, and Lab IT Support.  This two and one-half hour session will be offered to more employees in October and November.
  • Mr. Joe Pelkey, IT Programmer Analyst, and Ms. Lee Manning, HRIS Supervisor, continue work on defining appropriate instructional methods and other parameters in order to monitor and produce accurate reports required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In addition to coding and testing, they will be working with e-Learning to set up appropriate instructional methods and hours.
  • A Human Resources Open House is being planned in conjunction with College Relations for September 30.  The Open House is designed as an introduction to Assistant Vice President Tracey Donaldson and as a re-introduction to the Human Resources staff and the many services offered by the Human Resources Department.
  • OCC Foundation
  • Golf Outing – The Ocean County College Foundation’s 14th Annual Golf Outing will take place on Monday, September 28, at Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson.  The entry fee is $295 per player, which includes lunch, use of the driving range for one hour before the shotgun start, green fees, golf cart, and a golf gift.  An Awards and Cocktail Reception in the clubhouse will immediately follow the afternoon tournament.  Additional sponsorship opportunities are also available.
  • Planetarium Support – The Ocean County College Foundation recently received a generous contribution of $10,800 from Mr. Phillip A. Zollner to support the Robert J. Novins Planetarium.  Mr. Zollner’s gift will enable the College to procure two new and exciting Planetarium programs for both members of the community and students to enjoy:

“The Little Star That Could”

“300 Years of Astronomy”

Mr. Zollner has a longstanding history with the College and has been involved with the Planetarium since the 1970’s.  He is currently a Planetarium presenter and has also taught Astronomy at the College through our Continuing and Professional Education Program.

Mr. Zollner has been invited to Monday’s meeting to accept a Certificate of Appreciation to thank him for his generous gift and the many years of support he has given to the Planetarium.

  • Information Technology
  • Maintenance Cost Reduction – In an effort to reduce operating costs, Chief Information Officer Hatem Akl has recommended a change to the CISCO hardware and software maintenance contract.  A new approach is being carried out in our CISCO maintenance renewal that will eliminate many of the hardware components and services.  This will achieve significant cost savings as compared to last year, some of which will be used to secure consulting services to support our network and server needs.  The net savings resulting from this new strategy will be approximately $90,000.
  • Enhanced Network Security – As part of our Higher Education Technology Infrastructure (HETI) grant-funded activities, two new security appliances have been deployed and are now in production, allowing better visibility into our network, thereby improving network security system-wide.
  • CISCO FirePower is the most current security services firewall product.  It provides comprehensive protection from known and advanced threats, including protection against targeted and persistent malware attacks.  FirePower can also prevent our users from visiting malicious or unapproved web sites.
  • CISCO Identity Services Engine (ISE) will provide visibility into users and devices entering our network.  The new appliance will allow controlled access and shares data with integrated partner solutions to accelerate capabilities to identify, mitigate, and remediate threats.
  • Fall Semester Preparation Activities – Information Technology is gearing up for the start of the Fall semester and diligently working to have all laboratories and classrooms ready for our students.
    • An Information Technology table will be in the College Center to help our students with basic technology questions and promote our open access labs and associated services.
    • Information Technology will be participating in the new faculty orientation scheduled for August 24 and will use the opportunity to provide new faculty with intense training on classroom technologies and introduce them to the IT team members who manage our Instructional Technology services and computer labs.
  • Communication Systems – Ocean Cruiser is now retired and Ocean Connect, OCC’s new portal, is fully live.  Feedback from staff and students so far has been very positive.  The new EmergencyAlert system, VIKINGALERT, is currently being implemented.  VIKINGALERT will be used to notify all users of emergency situations as well as to send alerts to students regarding key registration timelines.

Outdoor wireless access is continuing to expand across the campus.  External wireless is now available on the Toms River lower mall and the area surrounding the Gateway Building.  As part of the HETI grant, the wireless infrastructure has been upgraded to improve its controllers and backend systems, including wireless security.

Advanced Manufacturing Employer Summit

In support of New Jersey Manufacturing Week, which begins September 28, the College will be hosting an Employer Summit on Wednesday, September 30, from 5 to 8 p.m.  It is hoped that between 30-50 employers will be in attendance.

The Summit agenda will include a guest speaker followed by a panel of several employers representing small to large companies.  The objective of this first Employer Summit is to create a dialogue among the manufacturers to discuss the needs of their employees, the type of training they require for their businesses, and ideas that the partners can translate into programmatic solutions.  As an ancillary benefit, the Summit will allow the College to confirm and begin generating a profile of each of the 376 manufacturers in Ocean County.

The long-term goal of this effort will be for the partners to personally visit each manufacturer over a six-month period for follow-up.  In addition, there is a commitment to sponsoring future forums for the sharing of innovations.

Partner participation includes:

  • Mr. Michael Forcella, Ocean County College, CPE, Chair
  • Dr. Paul Silberquit, Ocean County College, Dean of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
  • Mr. Ron  Stramarra, New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Chief Operating Officer
  • Mr. Gary MacDonald, Ocean Vocational-Technical Schools, Supervisor
  • Mr. Raymond Vaccari, Advanced Manufacturing (NJIT) Talent Network, Director
  • Ms. Trish Komsa, Lakewood Development Corporation
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