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August 27, 2020

Dr. Larson’s August 2020 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

OCC_President Dr. Larson

Ocean County College Restart Plan

As I communicated to the College community in my August 12, 2020, email, Ocean County College submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) its Restart Plan for the Fall 2020 semester, COVID-19 – The Road Back in accordance with Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 155.  The Plan was submitted prior to the return of a limited number of students to campus for courses that require hands-on laboratory experiences in order to complete course requirements.  Nursing students are the first group returning to the laboratories on August 24, 2020.

Upon review of OCC’s Plan, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education requested additional clarification on Stage 1 activities.  Minor revisions were made, and the revised Plan was resubmitted on August 18, 2020, and deemed satisfactory by OSHE.  The revised Plan is available to review online.

Patriot Day

On December 18, 2001, the U.S. Congress designated September 11 of each year as Patriot Day, a day that honors the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  Each year, the day is dedicated to remembering those who died as well as those who risked their own lives to save others.

This year, College Relations is collaborating with a team of College faculty and lecturers, including College Lecturer II in History and Political Science, Jason Ghibesi, Professor of Social Sciences, Lynn Kenneally, and College Lecturer II in Criminal Justice, Ben Castillo, on the development of a virtual September 11th commemoration.  Beginning September 1 and continuing through September 11, 2020, remembrances, memorials, history, video, and photographs will be shared across OCC’s social media platforms.  Highlights will include photos from previous 9/11 remembrances, a memorial to Ocean County residents lost that day, student reflections, and my remarks in remembrance of the tragic events.

Fall 2020 Colloquium

The Fall 2020 Colloquium will take place virtually on Thursday, September 3, 2020.  Unfortunately, we cannot meet for our usual continental breakfast in the Grunin Center at 8:00 a.m.; however, we can still all come together with our breakfast and a cup of coffee in the comfort of our homes at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year.  Appropriately, this year’s Colloquium theme is Ocean County College:  Adapting and Thriving in the COVID-19 Era.

Six Colloquium workshops are being offered:

  • Online Curriculum Management – Presenter:  Susan O’Connor, Director of Perkins Grant and Curriculum Compliance
  • OCC’s Approach to Remote Classes in Fall 2020: Photography, Interpreter Training, and English – Presenters:   Kathy Basilotto, Assistant Professor of American Sign Language, Richard Carr, College Lecturer II in English and Literature, Rich Fallon, Assistant Professor of Computer Graphics and Literature
  • OCC’s Approach to Hybrid Courses for Fall 2020: TV Studio, Art Studios, Science, Forensic Science, and Nursing – Presenters:   Nat Bard, Instructor of Visual Arts, Nanci Carmody, Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, Lee Kobus, College Lecturer II in Humanities and Fine Arts, Dr. Sylvia Riviello, Dean of the School of STEM, Dr. Tracy Walsh, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Roadmap to Work-Based Learning – Presenters:   Dr. Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, Pamela Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering, Kaitlin Everett, Director of CPE, Workforce Development, and Community Programs, Eileen Schilling, Executive Director of Academic Assessment, Lincoln Simmons, College Lecturer II in Biology
  • Helping Students Persist in a Remote Environment: Academic and Tutoring Support Services – Presenters:   Brianna DeCicco, Associate Director of Academic Support Services, Connor Sampson, Operations Coordinator
  • Five Ways to Use Technology to Teach This Fall – Presenters: Kevin Braendly, Audio Visual Support Coordinator, Eric Daniels, Educational Technologist

The Colloquium will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome from Dr. Toni Clay, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, which will be followed by my State-of-the-College Address during which recognition will be given to new employees and current employees who have had a change in their responsibilities.  From 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the workshops will be held concurrently, which will be repeated from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Academic Affairs

  • In July, Allied Health students served as pioneers, returning to campus to complete their hands-on skills and test their industry-required competencies. In total, 79 national credentialing exams were taken on campus in late July and early August; and 74 new, in-demand healthcare credentials were earned, for a 94% pass rate.  Many of these students have already begun work in their fields.  Congratulations to the perseverance of the Allied Health students and instructors.
  • The HealthWorks Scaling Apprenticeship Grant is a four-year U.S. Department of Labor-funded consortium project, focusing on work-based learning and applicable skills that lead to in-demand jobs. This Fall, a cohort of new students will EARN & LEARN as they start their coursework and new jobs as Pharmacy Technicians with CVS at the same time.
  • All tutors in Academic and Tutoring Support Services attended a professional development webinar, Designing for Impact,led by Amy Chan.  They have since implemented best practices presented in the webinar to redesign the Math and Writing Services Canvas pages, ensuring they are user/student friendly.  Since the redesign, positive student feedback has been received.
  • The first virtual in-class workshop was conducted in English College Lecturer Samantha Glassford’s ENGL 098 ALP class. Professional Writing Tutor I Krystle Wilmot, facilitated the workshop on Higher Order vs. Lower Order Issues in Writing.  The workshop was recorded for students who were unable to attend.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The Ocean County College Restart Plan was submitted to the New Jersey Board of Nursing on August 5, 2020, as required under Executive Order 155.  Included in the plan is information that specifically addresses how the Nursing Program will follow all State guidelines.
  • The School of Nursing has been preparing for students to return to campus for the Fall semester to practice hands-on nursing skills. All protocols as outlined in the OCC Restart Plan are being followed, including re-arranging the labs to meet social distance requirements and cleaning equipment after each use.  The Facilities and Security Departments have worked closely with members of the School of Nursing to plan for a safe and efficient transition back to campus.  Students will receive education on the new protocols that have been implemented to assure safety for all who will be utilizing the facility.
  • There are 347 students enrolled in the Nursing Program for the Fall 2020 semester.  Students will return to campus the week of August 24, 2020.  All returning students are required to demonstrate competency in skills prior to entering clinical agencies. Over a two-week period, 237 students will be provided with practice sessions to prepare for a competency validation examination scheduled the first few weeks of classes.
  • Orientation for new nursing students will be held virtually this year, and there are 110 students scheduled to attend. During the orientation program, students are introduced to the faculty and lecturers, policies and procedures of the program, electronic textbooks, and strategies to enhance learning.  The Student Nurses Organization also meets with the students and provides a luncheon to welcome them to the School of Nursing.
  • Clinical agencies have been collaborating with School of Nursing Dean Tracy Walsh and Assistant Dean Elizabeth Stevenson to assure the students receive comprehensive clinical experiences. Many agencies have welcomed the School of Nursing back to their facilities.
  • A virtual meeting for Clinical Instructors is scheduled for August 20, 2020.  Information presented during this meeting focuses on assignments, simulation and skills lab initiatives, and a discussion of policies and procedures. The lecturers also meet with Clinical Instructors to discuss plans and schedules for the semester.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • Science instructors have been on campus and are in the process of pre-recording all science labs for the coming Fall semester.  This has been the School’s #1 priority during the summer months to ensure students will receive an excellent lab experience remotely. In addition, some of the labs will be live-streamed during the semester where the instructor will perform the lab during the scheduled lab time, and the students will be watching remotely.  In both venues, the instructor will be available to answer questions and conduct an active dialogue among the students as if they were in the actual lab environment.
  • Assistant Dean Carolyn Showalter attended the virtual 2020 SciAccess Conference held at The Ohio State University in June.  Numerous speakers presented information on technology to meet ADA compliance in STEM courses as well as how universal design helps all students perform better.  There were over 555 participants from 46 countries representing all 7 continents.
  • College Lecturer II in Mathematics Julia Kim completed two virtual boot camp courses. The boot camp is a five-week experience designed to provide students with the developmental mathematics skills in algebra they would need to continue to a college-level mathematics course.  More information on this will follow next month.
  • Pam Bogdan, College Lecturer II in Engineering, ran a virtual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) camp in spatial visualization from August 17 through August 21, 2020. The camp is free to students in grades 6 to 8.

Ms. Bogdan also created an OCC Engineering Newsletter, which included a guide showing engineering electives mapped to different engineering disciplines.  Also included were links to vendor-sponsored free technical webinars, a list of free webinars sponsored by professional societies, and volunteer projects for engineering and technology students to gain practical experience.

  • The Engineering Program contributed significantly to the Experiential Learning Matrix, especially in the area of Practicum/Field Placement/Project.  This option will provide the most flexibility for students to gain paid and unpaid experience in both the Associate in Science Engineering program and the Associate in Applied Science Technical Science program, Industrial/Technical option, as well as potentially provide revenue for OCC through technical consulting/design and prototyping/production/testing services.


  • Library lecturers and staff are working on projects to highlight digital offerings to give students a broader sense of the Library’s resources while they study remotely. e-Books, Films on Demand, and magazines through Flipster are being showcased; and College Relations is assisting to create a visual table on the Library’s Remote Services webpage.  Once the visual table is running, College Relations and the Library will create a social media campaign to potentially increase use of the resources.
  • The College’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Committee developed a report for OCC to submit to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to detail the College’s plan for providing students with low-cost resources and textbooks. Along with the new bookstore contract that provides access to textbooks by the first day of a course, faculty and lecturers are also developing courses based on using OER materials.  Both of these changes will benefit students by providing access and affordability for course materials.  Appreciation is expressed to Janet Marler, Library College Lecturer II, who gathered information and wrote the report.
  • Janet Marler is participating in the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act Committee and is working to help award $125,000,000 in grant funding to public libraries. The grants will be awarded to build, equip, and expand public libraries to increase service and capacity.
  • Library lecturers and staff are participating in training webinars through OCC and through the greater professional community. Topics include COVID-19 library practice updates, Open Access resources, and technical training sessions for metadata collection creation and use.

Center for Academic Success

  • Math boot camp enrolled six students; three students passed and three withdrew. At Level II, seven students participated, with six passing and one failing.
  • Henry Jackson, Executive Director of College Success, worked with Ms. Susan O’Connor and Ms. Pam Bogdan on a Perkins-funded Summer STEAM camp. Dozens of flyers and registration forms were distributed to Lakewood and Jackson middle school students.  The program will run from August 17 through August 21, 2020.
  • The College Readiness Now Program reflects student engagement.  Below are the Summer Second Five-Week Session Math course results from Lacey Township and Performing Arts Academy students:
  • MATH 151, A Survey of Mathematics – 16 students: 6 grade of A, 7 grade of B, 2 grade of C, 1 grade of D
  • MATH 156, Introduction to Statistics – 4 students: 1 grade of A, 1 grade of B, 2 withdrew
  • MATH 191, Pre-Calculus I – 2 students: 1 grade of C, 1 grade of incomplete (lost access code, has been replaced)
  • MATH 265, Calculus I – 1 student: 1 grade of B
  • Work continues for High School Academies/Embedded Courses and on curriculum for additional locations at Brick Memorial; Brick Township; Central Regional; Jackson Liberty; Jackson Memorial; and Toms River East, North, and South high schools.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • School Dean Heidi Sheridan and Assistant Dean Veronica Guevara-Lovgren drafted a document outlining expectations and guidelines for remote instruction. Dean Sheridan and other School Deans refined the document so it can be shared with all instructors.  In addition to sharing this document, Dean Sheridan and Assistant Dean Guevara-Lovgren held a Coffee and Questions meeting on August 3, 2020, for interested faculty and lecturers.  The meeting allowed for a great question-answer session and instructors shared ideas and successful remote-learning practices.
  • College Lecturer II in Humanities and Fine Arts Renate Pustiak has been working with College Relations to finalize the next phase of the Arts on Campus project, which will feature the installation of more amazing student artwork on the OCC campus. This installation is set for the second floor of the Instructional Building.
  • College Lecturer II in English Kristyn Stout assisted Librarian College Lecturer II Janet Marler with the state report on OCC’s plan for the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative by offering a second pair of eyes.  Many instructors are excited about the initiative and have been working to develop course materials at low- or no-cost to students.
  • After presenting a very well-received virtual professional development session on July 29, 2020, entitled Creating Your Own YouTube Channel and Recording YouTube Videos with Closed Captions, Richard Carr is using his recording skills to create videos that will promote remote learning in the School of Arts and Humanities.
  • Samantha Glassford and Ms. Heather Sciarappa, both College Lecturers in English and Literature, will be presenting a very timely two-fold presentation on immediate and continued self-care as a part of the Summer Virtual Professional Development Series. Their session, entitled Self-Care for Faculty Teaching Remotely in Turbulent Times, is slated to discuss self-care practices and the resources available through OCC. The session is scheduled for August 26, 2020, at noon.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • As part of the GAINS Grant, Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, is collaborating with the New Jersey Department of Labor, as well as colleagues at Camden County College and Essex County College, on the Colette-Lamothe-Galette Community Health Worker Curriculum Workgroup.  The group is developing curriculum for a competency-based occupational framework for a registered Community Health Worker Degree Apprenticeship.  Students will be trained, both in the classroom and on-the-job, to facilitate contact tracing and to provide quality health education and outreach to members of their communities. The goal of their work is to empower community members to engage in beneficial health behaviors.
  • Sean Bips, College Lecturer II in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism Management, was recognized as the Outstanding Local Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Chapter Advisor at this year’s PBL Virtual National Leadership Experience Event that took place June 23 to 26, 2020. In addition to the award received by Mr. Bips, three OCC PBL members were also recognized in the following competitive categories:
    • Kenneth Paulauskas was awarded 7thplace in Accounting Analysis and Decision Making
    • Drew Murphy was awarded 8th place in Hospitality Management
    • James Vitkuske was awarded 8th place in Management Concepts
  • On July 28, 2020, Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology, and Ms. Alison Noone, Assistant Director of Student Life, presented during one of several breakout sessions at the New Jersey City University Community College Showcase. In their presentation, titled Preparing Your Community College for Food Insecurity, Dr. Maghan and Ms. Noone shared their research and detailed the increased action taken since the onset of COVID-19 to address homelessness and food insecurity at OCC through the Helping Hands Food Pantry initiative and other outreach activities utilizing the Social Sciences Club, the OCC Foundation, and the College’s successful partnership with Fulfill, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
  • Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Sciences and History and head of the Governmental Affairs Institute, has planned a series of events focusing on COVID-19 that will feature a variety of experts to discuss the pandemic through the lenses of medicine and health, social work, and economics. The first event in the series featured Dr. Jonathan Bar, who received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and currently serves as Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. There, he has been on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.  Social worker Jackie Durham will be the next guest in the series for the September 23, 2020, event, followed by an economist in October.  All events are free and open to the public.
  • Jason Ghibesi and Ms. Maureen Alexander, School Academic Administrator, held their Adjunct Training course virtually for three new adjuncts teaching for the first time this Fall 2020 semester. This invaluable nine-module training course for new adjuncts covers a broad range of essential topics ranging from creating a syllabus to using Canvas LMS to reviewing essential College policies and procedures.
  • The School of Business and Social Sciences has been taking extra steps to ensure that all faculty and lecturers are well-prepared for remote teaching in the upcoming Fall 2020 semester.
  • An in-depth, recorded WebEx session for both full-time and adjunct faculty members was conducted to provide an overview and answer questions about the newly revised Fall 2020 Remote Teaching Guidelines and Expectations. As was the case with all of the previous Going Remote faculty/lecturer outreach WebEx sessions, this most recent virtual gathering was well-attended with nearly all faculty and lecturers participating.
  • Nanci Carmody, Assistant Dean, and Mr. Chad Sexton, College Lecturer II in Sociology, are continuing to expand the implementation of the School of Business and Social Sciences Adjunct Mentoring and Coaching Program, which is now in the third phase of the pilot program. Three new adjunct faculty members will be mentored by a College Lecturer II for their on-boarding process and throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

Dean Rosann Bar, Ms. Nanci Carmody, and Mr. Chad Sexton will give you a brief presentation on this successful program at Thursday’s meeting.  The program covers all aspects of teaching at OCC and familiarizes new adjunct faculty with Canvas, WebAdvisor, College policies, syllabi development, and tools and techniques for classroom and remote teaching and learning.

  • Both full-time and adjunct faculty members from the School of Business and Social Sciences have continued to regularly attend the Office of the Dean – 2020 Summer Virtual Professional Development Series. The series includes a broad range of topics to assist faculty and lecturers with remote teaching strategies and best practices ranging from Using Webex in Canvas to Designing Assignments for Remote Learning to Creating Your Own YouTube Channel and Recording YouTube Videos with Closed Captions.
  • The School of Business and Social Sciences also held three Coffee & Cocktails Connection Webex sessions as a means to stay socially connected with both full-time and adjunct instructors over the course of the summer months. The tone was relaxed and laidback, and each of the three sessions was presented as a chance for faculty and lecturers to see friendly and familiar faces and to catch up with each other.  As was the case with all of the previous Webex outreach sessions, the Coffee & Cocktails Connection virtual gatherings were well-attended with about 30 participants.  Staying virtually connected, both work-related and socially, will continue on a regular basis throughout the coming semester.

Finance and Administration

A revision to OCC’s FY 2021 budget is on Thursday’s agenda for approval.  The revision projects a 7% reduction in enrollment.  The enrollment decline is attributable to the ongoing pandemic, and efforts continue to encourage students to enroll.  The revision also takes into account the State Aid decrease, which is projected at a 50% reduction for the entire fiscal year.  The budget has been balanced by reducing operating expenses, implementing furloughs and a hiring freeze, and allocating a portion of fund balance.

Purchasing and Accounting

Under the leadership of Ms. Christine Healey, Director of Purchasing and Payables, the New Jersey Community College Joint Purchasing Consortium (JPC) issued the following new joint contracts in FY 2020:

  • e-commerce student financial services
  • LMS renewal and add-on products and services
  • Background check services
  • Online Bookstore services
  • Multiple vendor online proctoring

The total savings to the sector for the fiscal year is estimated at $2.5 million.

Ms. Christine Healey also supervised the creation of a procurement guidebook for New Jersey County Colleges entitled, 2020 Goods and Services Bid Specifications:  A Guide for New Jersey County Colleges.   The guide contains instructions to bidders as well as statutory requirements.  The booklet is intended to assist college procurement departments in understanding all the options available to secure the best prices as well as remaining compliant with applicable statutes.

Ocean County College Foundation

  • On Friday, August 7, 2020, the Foundation hosted its first virtual Summer Scholarship Celebration fundraising event, raising over $140,000 to assist students with scholarships and special program support. Appreciation is expressed to all of the event’s sponsors and supporters; the College Relations team, especially Ralph Bertini, Television Production Director; and to Executive Director Ken Malagiere and his staff, Assistant Director of Events and Advancement Sherri Bray, and Program Assistant Nancy Heroy, for making the evening a tremendous success.
  • This month marks the launch of the “Why I Give” social media campaign on the OCC social media channels.  The goal of the campaign is to highlight donors who philanthropically support the College and the initiatives of the OCC Foundation. Donors will share brief testimonials about why they give, the importance of scholarships to our students, and the impact of their generosity on the College and community.  In addition to trustees and long-time donors, alumni will comment not only about the impact OCC had on their lives, but also how it compelled them to support current and future students so they may have the same opportunities. Each post will conclude with a request for support for the Foundation with a link to the online donation page.  This campaign will complement the Alumni Success Stories regularly highlighted on the Foundation’s social media channels and the College webpage.  This program is spearheaded by Kimberly Malony, Director of Alumni Relations, who will give an update presentation at Thursday’s meeting.
  • The Fall scholarship application period closed on Friday, August 14, 2020. The Foundation team is working to ensure all awards are posted to student accounts as quickly as possible, cutting the review period in half, following the latest application deadline in an effort to allow for as many students as might be interested to apply for Foundation assistance.
  • The Foundation continues its participation on the Social Justice Task Force spearheaded by the Grunin Foundation to bring together thought leaders from the higher education institutions of Ocean and Monmouth Counties, including Georgian Court University, Monmouth University, Brookdale Community College, and Ocean County College. Among those representing OCC in this initiative are Yessika Garcia-Guzman, Executive Director of Financial Aid; Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success; Mr. Ken Malagiere, Executive Director of the OCC Foundation; and Dr. Gerald Racioppi, Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • The Foundation continues to assist in the distribution of crisis boxes to our students in need; the next distribution is scheduled for the last week of August.

 College Relations

  • Nicolaus Burr, Social Media/Web Developer, Ms. Jaimee Nadzan, Website Coordinator, and Ms. Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Service, collaborated with the OCC Foundation to develop a digital communication campaign to increase engagement on the day of the Virtual Scholarship Celebration. Campaign elements included a series of social media posts and video releases coordinated with the event schedule, an event-day email, and strategically-timed website updates, all of which resulted in a 56% increase in traffic to the Scholarship Celebration landing page.
  • Ocean County College has been selected as one of the 119 community colleges to contract with the Navy in its formation of the United States Naval Community College. Our consortium, consisting of Atlantic Cape Community College, Bergen Community College, Sussex County Community College, Union County College, and Ocean County College responded on August 13, 2020, to the Navy’s request for information.  Ocean County College is the acting fiduciary for the consortium.
  • The following grants were awarded to Ocean County College:
    • $5,000 from PNC Bank Foundation to support the 2020-2021 social/emotional wellness series through the Grunin Center. Project Director:   Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator.
    • $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to support dance companies and their performances at the Grunin Center. Project Director: Ms. Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator.
    • $1,400 from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to support the social/emotional wellness series to bring Drew Dollaz to the Grunin Center. Project Director: Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator.
    • $3,150 from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to support the social/emotional wellness series to fund a performance by American Patchwork. Project Director: Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator.
    • $1,277,145 from the Department of Education to continue Student Support Services program over the next five years. Project Director: Megan Miskin, Student Support Services Director.

Human Resources

  • The Office of Human Resources continues to operate fully, and Employee Assistance Resources have been made available in the form of webinars, articles, and the normal access to trained counselors, all through Preferred Behavioral Health. The Human Resources website has a section devoted to COVID-19 resources.
  • A training/informational presentation is being finalized and will be rolled out to employees returning to campus for the limited face-to-face Fall semester, as well as to employees who have been working on campus since the beginning of the College’s closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The training will reside in the SAFE Colleges platform and provide helpful information and new requirements for employees working on campus.  It is expected that this training will commence the week of August 24, 2020.
  • For performance year 2021, the Performance Management Program will incorporate a new template for Security Officers and a proposal on how to effectively deploy the Leadership Academy Program in the current remote environment.


In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period July 14, 2020, through August 18, 2020.

Student Affairs


  • The Advising Office will be running major-specific group advising/information sessions in August. Pre-Nursing, STEM, Business, and Liberal Arts majors, as well as undecided students, will be able to discuss degree requirements with members of the advising staff and faculty while receiving important information about their majors. These sessions are scheduled for the week of August 24, 2020; if they are well-attended, they will be repeated the week of August 31, 2020.  The goal of the sessions is to encourage students to register by making the information they need readily accessible.
  • Retention data as of August 10, 2020, shows higher retention rates thus far for students advised via the Proactive Advising Initiative. The Fall 2018 Proactive cohort is up 6% over the control group; the Spring 2019 cohort is up 20%; the Fall 2019 cohort is up 9%; the Spring 2020 cohort is up 1.5%; and students advised in caseloads are up almost 2%.  These numbers will be re-evaluated at the start of the Fall 2020 semester and again at census.

Student Support Services

Student Support Services (SSS), a TRIO program designed to help eligible students earn their associate degrees, was awarded over $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education over the next five years.  SSS supports low-income college students, first-generation college students, and college students with disabilities who achieve academic success by providing services like one-on-one professional tutoring, intensive advising, success coaching, and connecting students to a community of support.  SSS will offer these services remotely in the Fall semester through systems like Canvas, the OCC app, Webex, and Teams.

Office of Disability Services

  • The Office of Disability Services continues to provide proactive outreach to students and local high school personnel focusing on accessing reasonable accommodations at OCC. This proactive outreach includes providing technical support and assistance to OCC staff and faculty/lecturers to ensure equal access for students with disabilities.  Disability Services also is continuing to review new student requests for reasonable accommodations as identified under the Americans with Disabilities Act, with a goal of reviewing all requests prior to the start of the Fall semester.
  • Staff from the Office of Disability Services attended a virtual workshop addressing mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic and ADA accommodations. The workshop, hosted by the ADA National Network, stressed the importance of upholding the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding health and safety and in conjunction with reasonable accommodations.
  • Staff members also attended the monthly meeting hosted by the New Jersey Association on Higher Education and Disability® (NJ AHEAD). Important topics of discussion included access to clear-view masks for faculty and lecturers to accommodate students with hearing loss, strategies for coordinating remote video interpreting services, and captioning of videos and lectures.
  • On August 18, 2020, Jamie Arasz Prioli, Adaptive Services Specialist, presented an online webinar titled Preparedness Resources for the Power-Dependent Medical Equipment Population. The webinar was presented to a national audience and sponsored by FEMA Region II National Preparedness Division. As a subject matter expert, Ms. Prioli discussed emergency preparedness tips and resources to assist in planning for power outages and guidance on how people with disabilities can prepare for extreme heat events.

Veterans and Military Resource Center

  • The Veterans and Military Resource Center (VMRC) is developing in partnership with Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Cashiers, and Information Technology, a comprehensive report that will further close the margin of accountability of all Military-Affiliated student populations. This report will be utilized for grants, scholarships, regional and national recognition, and institutional data reporting requirements.
  • The VMRC is creating and will manage four events that will be offered virtually and remotely in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters in partnership with local community partners, Recalibrate, Congressman Kim’s office, Veteran Affairs, Warhorse Scuba, and Heroes on the Water Inc., as well other institutional partners. Each event will include a Q&A panel of faculty/lecturers and administrators who will provide responses to concerns and questions. All Military-Affiliated students will be invited to join the events virtually.

Southern Education Center

  • Beginning in mid-June, SEC staff members Ms. Michele Marcum, Senior Student Services Technician, and Jeff Kurz, Student Services and Recruiting Specialist have been assisting the HUB and the Academic Advising Office, respectively, with preparing students for the Fall 2020 semester. Additionally, the SEC Student Services staff conducts follow-up outreach to students who seek guidance through the email address.
  • Critical message points are placed as Announcements on the Southern Education Center Canvas page, such as transfer advising workshops, access for the OCC Foundation Scholarship program, FAQs on Remote Instruction, summer semester tutoring support, connections to registration and advising supports, and the Kean Ocean partnership. This page in Canvas was created last summer as an avenue to provide SEC students direct access to information regarding academic and student life at the SEC or the campus as a whole.

The Counseling Center

  • The Counseling Center is preparing for an active Fall semester, with remote operations and video-conferenced presentations. Recognizing September as Suicide Prevention Month, two QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) sessions are scheduled for Monday, September 14, and Thursday, September 24, 2020, both from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

More than 200 students, faculty/lecturers, staff, and community members have been trained in the QPR model.  QPR is presented by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  On Thursday, September 17, 2020, from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., the Center will host a presentation by Minding Your Mind, a national organization dedicated to ending stigma and destructive behaviors associated with mental health issues.  The presentation will focus on suicide prevention, coping, and the effects of COVID-19 on mental health.  This webinar will include combined perspectives of a clinical expert as well as a nationally recognized mental health advocate sharing his experiences coping with the mental health challenges during high school and college.

  • The Counseling Center will resume the virtual weekly Relax and Recharge series on stress management and mindfulness, as well as two virtual support groups in response to increased levels of stress experienced by OCC students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Kate Pandolpho, Director of Counseling and Student Development, and Ms. Susan Ebeling-Witte, Student Intervention Specialist, presented Hidden Curriculum: Assisting Student Learners through Crisis and the Remote Environment as part of the faculty/lecturer professional development series.  The seminar addressed topics related to student success in the Fall semester, including a review of student experiences as reported through discussions with over 125 students and CARE reports on 313 students; research on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, which has been reported as “a staggering increase in anxiety and depression in people ages 11 through 29”; the crucial role of faculty and lecturers in noticing a variety of distressing or concerning behaviors; procedures for handling these situations; and the anticipated increased demand for counseling services.
  • The Supporting Students in Recovery program has been conducting program activities virtually, offering individual recovery coaching, weekly support meetings, and a discussion board. Plans for services recognizing September as National Recovery Month include a film and discussion series.
  • The Displaced Homemakers Program has received its annual contract renewal. The program has been working with 6 new and 49 returning clients.  Activities include computer skills training and upcoming financial and career seminars.


The Ocean County College Athletics Department has announced it will change the program’s logo and colors from Kelly Green/White/Black to Red/Sand/Blue, concurrent with the start of the 2021 athletic season.  The move has been made to more closely align the appearance of the sports programs with the main branding of the College.

Executive Director of Athletics Ilene Cohen is looking forward to seeing OCC’s outstanding student-athletes in the new colors.  It will feel like a fresh start, which is much needed as we all deal with these challenging times.

Career Services

Career Services has continued serving students and employers through remote operation and will be conducting a joint Career and Transfer Webinar at the end of August.  A new employment CRM will be instituted this Fall to better serve the students and community remotely.  Services provided include career counseling; online career assessments and review; resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile writing; and internship and employment opportunity searches.

Registration and Records

The Registration and Records Office collaborated with the Ocean County Finance Office in Toms River to develop a remote process for chargebacks during the COVID-19 shutdown.  The chargeback program allows a resident of Ocean County seeking a program or course not offered as part of the Ocean County College curricula to enroll at another New Jersey county college and pay the lower in-County tuition rate.

A webpage was created specifically for the chargeback process; students are directed to the page for the steps of the process.

All forms were converted to electronic format with electronic signature capabilities.  OCC communicates with the student to collect all necessary documentation, just as was done in the face-to-face setting.  Completed forms are sent to a dedicated mailbox at the County Finance office, with all documents password protected.  An email is sent to the student once the completed documents are sent to the County office.  The email contains County information so students can contact the Finance Office directly, if necessary.  This helps to define a clear handoff from OCC to the County.  OCC and the County have agreed to loosen the deadline requirements at this time due to the shutdown.

This new process began in the middle of July; approximately 38 requests have been processed with no issues.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

Course Design

The Instructional Design and Technology Team continues to move forward with the Spring 2021 distance learning course development; the courses are to be completed by November 2, 2020. Planning for the Fall 2021 development schedule will begin in October 2020.


In the Fall 2020 semester, 127 sections will be utilizing Honorlock to proctor pre-selected assessments, while 30 additional sections will require students to complete an Authentication Quiz. The Authentication Quiz will contain three questions for students to verify their full names as well as acknowledge they understand Policy #5180, Academic Integrity, and agree with the following statement:

“I understand that I am required to complete the coursework in the course; i.e., assignments, tests, and quizzes.  If I violate Ocean County College Policy #5180, Academic Integrity, it could result in my failure of a test, quiz, or assignment.”

The implementation of Honorlock and the Authentication Quiz for Fall 2020 sections began on Monday, August 17, 2020.  Implementation for each term will be completed one week prior to the term start date.

The Ocean County College Online Test Proctoring webpage has been updated to include important information and resources related to Honorlock for students.  Faculty/lecturer information and resources have been included in the Center for Instructional Empowerment (CIE) for reference.

Student Engagement

Ocean County College has approved the purchase with CARES funding of a one-year, full-site license for VoiceThread.  A one-year site license will allow all faculty, lecturers, and students to utilize the software in their courses, whether face-to-face, hybrid, remote, or online.  VoiceThread will also be utilized for closed captioning of lab and lecture recordings that will be used by instructors in their remote courses.


  • e-Learning has hired two additional part-time Instructional Designers who began on Monday, August 17, 2020, to assist with special projects for face-to-face classes. These projects consist of providing closed captioning to prerecorded STEM and Nursing videos, as well as creating course templates that can be utilized in Canvas by face-to-face instructors for remote and/or blended learning.
  • Additionally, with the resignation of two full-time Instructional Designers, the department has transitioned one of the part-time designers to serve as an interim full-time Instructional Designer for one year and is working to fill the open part-time Instructional Designer position. The department also has a search open to fill two full-time Instructional Design Specialists positions.

International Education:

  • Current Ocean County College/Ain Shams University/Kean University (OCC/ASU/KU) Program:

Following the graduation of students in the first cohort, the three partners are preparing a detailed report of the program to date, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and recommendations.  The report will be a good starting point for planning future international programs.  Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky, Assistant Dean of International Programs, worked with Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, and Ms. Nesreen Elrayes, the Program Supervisor from Kean University, to add modifications on the Ain Shams University bylaws for the OCC/ASU/KU program.

Preparation for Cohort 5 is progressing.  OCC’s team is now working closely with the Kean team.  In our monthly meeting with Dr. Steve Kubow, Acting Associate Vice President of Kean Ocean, and Dr. Jessica Adams, Acting Associate Dean of Kean Ocean, the logistics of preparing for the new cohort and collaboration on advertising and recruiting were agreed upon. Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky designed and wrote an Arabic version of a presentation about the OCC/ASU/KU program which was used in the EDUGATE forum in Egypt. The EDUGATE forum is an annual event for recruiting students in Egypt.  It was held virtually this year due to the pandemic.

The Kean online instructors teaching Egyptian cohort students will also join the asynchronous Orientation Course for instructors that Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky developed.  Dr. Steve Kubow, Dr. Jessica Adams, and Dr. Corey Vigdor, Dean of the School of Online Education at Kean University, also discussed ways to expand cooperation internationally by preparing and providing more online programs.

The e-Learning International team also worked with Ms. Maureen Conlon to advertise the International program on OCC’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.

Special Programs

In preparation for the special programs, Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky started developing English for Specific Purposes courses.  Last year, she completed English for Mass Media and English for Business Studies; this month, she finished English for Computer Science Studies.  The courses target English as a Second Language students and can be used for CPE offerings as well.  These courses are textbook-free and use OER materials.

Dr. Maysa Hayward and Ms. Eileen Schilling are working on additional 2+1+1 programs for William Paterson University, Kean University, and New Jersey City University for international online courses.

  • OCC and New Jersey City University in Egypt:

Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Sara Winchester is working diligently to finalize the finances for New Jersey City University. The 2+2 academic curricula for the four-pilot program mapping are completed.

Future International Cooperation

The e-Learning International team is constantly communicating with cultural bureaus for educational opportunities.  Dr. Maysa Hayward and Dr. Howaida Eraky-Wahby are attending a webinar hosted by the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Khalid Abd El Ghaffar.  The invitation to participate came from Professor Mohamed S. A. Hamza, Cultural Counselor and Director of the Egyptian Embassy in Egypt. The webinar will discuss potential collaboration opportunities with the new Egyptian National Universities.

Required Reporting Statistics

Board of Trustees Meeting

August 27, 2020

The following has been prepared for presentation to the Ocean County College Board of Trustees for its regular meeting. This report consists of all offenses defined as reportable crimes under the federal Jeanne Clery Act, fires, and other emergencies, which occurred on campus during the reporting period July 14 through August 18, 2020.

1.   A count and classification of all criminal incidents (defined as reportable crimes under the federal Jeanne Clery Act) which occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security, campus security authority (CSA) or local police departments.

Date Crime Summary Status
Occurred: 8/4/2020

Reported: 8/4/2020

Fraud Received information from cashier’s office reference possible fraud. Investigation revealed students committed the fraud. Students and case referred to student conduct. No charges to be filed at this time. Referred to student conduct

2. A list of campus alerts, threats, or emergencies that occurred on campus.

Date Alert/Threat Summary Status
N/A None

3. A count and classification of all fire incidents that occurred on campus and which were recorded by campus security and local fire departments.

Date Fire Incident Summary Status
N/A None

John A. Lopez – Director of Security

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