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September 23, 2020

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

OCC president Dr. Larson

Academic Affairs

Workforce and Curriculum

  • OCC continues to host the Ocean County Achievement Center with the virtual engagement of local teens and young adults. Since the start of remote instruction in March, 15 students have completed the six-week career exploration course, 4 students have passed their high school equivalency tests, 6 students have registered for OCC Fall courses to pursue degrees, and a number of students have started jobs.  These new job opportunities include a mechanics apprenticeship at OCVTS, a student starting a job at Amazon, two new graduates of the Medical Assistant Program hired at Urgent Care, and a student using her newly acquired entrepreneurial skills to start her own dog training business.Congratulations are extended to these students as they continue to achieve their goals.
  • This Fall, the Office of Academic Affairs will begin rolling out the College’s new Courseleaf curriculum development and workflow software. As of October, the new Courseleaf database will house the creation of new curriculum content, revisions to existing curriculum content, and the workflow process.  This will improve efficiency, accuracy, and transparency for the entire curriculum process.  In addition to a presentation that was recently offered during the Colloquium workshops on September 3, 2020, Academic Affairs will be offering training through Fall 2020 for all faculty, lecturers, and administrators interested in curriculum development.Ms. Susan O’Connor, Program Director of the Perkins Grant and Curriculum Compliance, will attend Thursday’s meeting to provide an overview of this new program software as well as talk about how it will benefit the College.

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Students returned to campus the week of August 24, 2020, to practice skills in preparation for the Fall 2020 semester. All returning students are required to demonstrate competency in skills prior to entering clinical agencies.  Over the course of six days, 239 students currently enrolled in the Nursing Program participated in two-hour sessions within the Skills Labs under the guidance and direction of lab personnel and lecturers.  The School of Nursing worked closely with the Facilities Department, Security, and IT to assure that all guidelines included in the Ocean County College Return to Campus Plan were implemented, assuring a safe and efficient transition back to campus.
  • The School of Nursing admitted 106 new students into the program for the Fall 2020 semester. There is a total of 346 students enrolled in the program this semester. There are 27 Clinical Instructors who provide education for 37 clinical groups within various health care facilities.
  • Marybeth Millan, MSN, RNC, CCE, transitioned to the position of Nursing Lecturer II on August 17, 2020. She received an MSN degree from Kean University and a BSN degree from New Jersey City University.  Millan is also a graduate of the Elizabeth General Hospital School of Nursing/ Union County College where she obtained an Associate in Science Degree. She has been an employee of Ocean County College for a number of years serving as a faculty member, Nursing Lecturer II, Assistant Dean of Nursing, Clinical Instructor, and, most recently, the Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator.
  • Susan Schneider, MSN, RN, APN-C, began employment at Ocean County College on September 21, 2020, as a Nursing Lecturer II. After receiving a Diploma in Nursing from the Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing, she obtained a BSN from the University of Phoenix and an MSN from Thomas Edison State University with a focus on Nursing Informatics.  Schneider also attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, obtaining a Certificate in Women’s Health, and she was a Nurse Practitioner in Maternal Child Health and Obstetrics for over 20 years.  She has served as a faculty member in various schools of nursing, most recently at Rutgers School of Nursing and Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A. Snyder School of Nursing.
  • A virtual workshop titled, The Use of Virtual Simulation for Remote Learning, was presented at the Virtual Lecturer Institute on September 2, 2020, by Viergina Bazile, MSN, RN, Nursing Lecturer II; Juvyscilla Ferriols, MSN, RN, Nursing Lecturer II; and Sharon Scrofine, MSN, RN, Nursing Lecturer II. This presentation focused on the use of Virtual Simulation experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet clinical experience requirements.
  • Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences Teresa (Tracy) Walsh, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, was a member of a panel that presented a virtual workshop titled, OCC’s Approach to Hybrid Courses for Fall 2020: TV Studio, Art Studios, Science, Forensic Science, and Nursing, at the 2020 Virtual Colloquium on September 3, 2020. Representatives from each school focused on processes that were implemented to provide education of hands-on skills in a safe environment during the Fall 2020 semester.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • The School of STEM welcomed two new College Lecturers: Jon Weiss, who comes to Ocean County College after a 38-year career as a telecommunications professional across the various corporate parent owners of Bell Laboratories; and Mr. Paul Kuehne, who has an extensive mathematics background and has been an Ocean County College math adjunct faculty member since 2017.
  • STEM’s first activity under the Educational Partnership Agreement with Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) and OCC will be the OCC Engineering Club Fall semester project.  Students will work with NAVAIR employees from their virtual reality lab and Ocean County College instructors and staff to prototype lab simulators that can be used to augment live laboratory activities.
  • The Advising and Engineering Departments utilized data analytics to identify students who had less than optimal Fall course plans.  Students were then sent individualized emails to make them aware of opportunities and inviting them to schedule advising sessions.  Examples include:  Incoming freshman students missing out on math acceleration to maximize OCC transfer credits to their intended four-year programs, ensuring they sign up STSC 160, Student Success Seminar for Engineering Majors, and moving to the newer OCC catalog to give them more flexibility in course selection, which allowed one student to apply for graduation immediately.
  • In coordination with the Engineering and Technology Departments, Academic Success, and Perkins funding, OCC piloted a free virtual STEAM Camp via WebEx, Spatial Visualization, which ran from August 17 through 21, 2020. This camp encouraged spatial skills in both technical and artistic applications for middle school and high school students.   It combined the use of the Spatial Vis™ application for drawing activities, which align with drafting techniques and artistic sketching that utilize correlated skills to show the full spectrum of STEAM.   Spatial Vis™ teaches freehand sketching to improve skills which can improve grades in STEM, as well as CAD and Design skills.   Additional sections of this free workshop will be offered in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Lincoln Simmons, College Lecturer II in STEM, will attend a virtual Global Reporting Initiative training course sponsored by Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship.  This course will focus on social, environmental, economic, and governance dimensions of sustainability. The Global Reporting Initiative is the premier global organization utilized by companies to develop and report their sustainability initiatives.  The School of STEM is developing a Certificate in Environmental Sustainability Management and a degree option in Environmental Sustainability.  Professor Simmons’ participation is made possible through funding from the federal Perkins grant.
  • The STEM Canvas Team members are available for individual consultation throughout the semester as well as to provide tips and techniques to support faculty/lecturer remote teaching needs via broadcast messages and on the STEM Canvas Support Team OneDrive.  Software to be utilized in Fall includes Honorlock to ensure academic integrity during testing; VoiceThread for dynamic multi-media interactions with students; Minitab for data analysis and statistics; and Screencast-O-Matic for closed captioning and video editing.
  • Samuel Pinkava, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, completed a summer boot camp for students who failed or withdrew from Math 023, Algebra Basics, in the Spring. Three students either completed the boot camp or used the boot camp to supplement the regular Math 023 course.  Mr. Pinkava hopes to offer the boot camp again next summer and expand capacity to make it available to more students.
  • Julia Kim, College Lecturer II in Mathematics, also ran boot camp courses during the 2020 Summer Second-Week Session from June 24 through July 28, 2020. These five-week course experiences are designed to provide students with the developmental mathematics skills in Algebra needed to continue to a college-level mathematics course.  Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success, has helped with recruiting students; and Ms. Elaine Schardien, Assistant Director of Academic Success, advised students after they completed the course.  As students worked through the boot camp, a team of five, including a faculty member, two tutors, and two academic coaches, guided them to strengthen their skills in mathematics.

In Boot Camp Level I, three of six students completed the work successfully, and all six students completed course content successfully in Boot Camp Level II, earning the equivalency of MATH 023, Algebra Basics.  The students in both Boot Camp Levels I and II were advised to take additional college credit courses, based on their ability to complete the work on time, such as MATH 156, Introduction to Statistics; MATH 161, College Algebra; or MATH 165, Calculus.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • The School of Arts and Humanities welcomed Mark Westmoreland as a new College Lecturer II in Philosophy for the start of the Fall 2020 semester.
  • At the Fall 2020 Virtual Adjunct Institute on August 31, 2020, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English Christine Cassidy presented a session entitled, Using Canvas to Facilitate Peer Review in the Online Classroom. Cassidy’s workshop guided instructors through the process of creating an online writing assignment using the Canvas LMS Peer Review feature.  This Peer Review feature allows students to provide feedback on their classmates’ writing and allows for comments, editing, and assignment of a rubric-based score.  The session highlighted the technical aspects of Canvas Peer Review along with how the feature can inform small group discussion, student-teacher conferences, and self-reflection to facilitate an interactive teaching and learning environment.
  • On September 1, 2020, Assistant Dean Veronica Guevara-Lovgren and College Lecturers Madison Peschock and Richard Carr, presented a Welcome Back session for Arts and Humanities Adjunct Faculty. The virtual session highlighted important updates and reminders, presented upcoming professional development opportunities, and featured short training sessions by Peschock and Mr. Carr on how to set up recurring WebEx meetings and videotape lessons for students.
  • On September 2, 2020, College Lecturer II Samantha Glassford presented an informal welcome back roundtable discussion for English Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) instructors. The session discussed the definition and background of successful Accelerated Learning Programs, why the OCC English ALP program is successful, and addressed instructor questions.  This session will be followed by additional Fall ALP Roundtable sessions, with the first formal session on September 25, 2020, which will address challenges and successes so far in teaching ALP remotely.
  • On September 3, 2020, the Fall 2020 Colloquium program for all OCC faculty and staff featured two workshops led by members of the School of Arts and Humanities. OCC’s Approach to Remote Classes in Fall 2020: Photography, Interpreter Training, and English was presented by Assistant Professor of Humanities Rich Fallon, Assistant Professor of Humanities Kathy Basilotto, and College Lecturer of English Richard Carr.College Lecturer in Humanities/Fine Arts Lee Kobus and Instructor of Humanities Nat Bard presented as a part of the session, OCC’s Approach to Hybrid Courses for Fall 2020: TV Studio, Art Studios, Science, Forensic Science, and Nursing.  Both sessions provided OCC faculty and staff with information on how OCC is approaching remote and hybrid learning during the Fall 2020 semester.
  • On September 4, 2020, College Lecturer Stephen Downey, presented a History Adjunct WebEx Series meeting for adjunct faculty. The WebEx meeting presented how to set up grading options in Canvas, how to record and share WebEx lectures, creating modules in Canvas for more efficient navigation of course material, designing and loading Canvas-based quizzes and exams, and census date policies and best practices.
  • College Lecturers in English Heather Sciarappa and Kristyn Stout, along with English Adjunct Professor April Ratkoski, presented the first WebEx of the Fall 2020 Arts and Humanities Adjunct WebEx Series on September 17, 2020. The session featured a presentation on using the Student Analytics feature in Canvas to increase student engagement and ensure student retention; an overview of popular education apps, such as edpuzzle and Padlet; and strategies for successful usage of education apps in conjunction with remote learning.
  • Madison Peschock presented an English Roundtable which addressed the importance of using MLA citation exercises in the classroom. The session specifically focused on instructors teaching ENGL 151, English I, classes.
  • Dean Heidi Sheridan is excited to announce the start of the Social Justice Series 2020-2021. Dean Sheridan led a team with members from several OCC departments.  The team worked collaboratively to develop a series of activities and events for both the students and the Ocean County community.  The Social Justice Series will include a film series; panel discussions; keynote visiting speaker Anna Deveare-Smith; and theatre, dance, and poetry events.  The social justice topics include race, hunger, immigration, environmental change, gender, LGBTQ concerns, and much more.  This series will be presented in collaboration with the OCC Foundation, Student Life, School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business and Social Sciences, Library, Grunin Center, and EOF.

The preliminary event will be a film screening and workshop held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020.  College Lecturer II in English Jason Molloy will host a film screening and workshop on the film, 13th, a documentary by Ava DuVernay demonstrating how a clause in the 13th Amendment has essentially allowed slavery to continue in the United States through mass incarceration.  A listing of additional events in the series and links to those events can be found on the Ocean County College webpage for Social Justice Series.

School of Business and Social Sciences

  • Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II in Political Sciences/History, and head of the Governmental Affairs Institute, has planned a series of events focusing on COVID-19 that feature a variety of experts to discuss the pandemic through the lenses of medicine and health, social work, and economics. The second event in the series will take place on September 23, 2020, and feature Ms. Jackie Durham, a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 32 years of experience as an administrator, supervisor, program developer, therapist, case manager, fundraiser, and researcher in the field of social work.  She specializes in areas related to mental health and environmental-related obstacles.  An active member of the New Jersey National Association of Social Workers, she has been recognized as a national and state leader in mental health advocacy.  This event is being moderated by Dr. Margaret Maghan, College Lecturer II in Psychology.
  • Rosann Bar, Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, has announced the opening of OCC’s new Forensic Science Laboratory, which is part of Security Building #30 on the Toms River campus. This new state-of-the-art crime lab will be used this Fall semester by students taking SCIE 105, Forensic Science, and is equipped with brand new laboratory microscopes, stereoscopes, a multispectral imaging system, and a top-notch surveillance system.  The lab will have a fully furnished apartment that will be used for staging complex mock crime scenes for students taking CRIM 281, Criminal Investigation Theory.  Additionally, a Milo Range Simulation System for law enforcement will be installed and used to train students in Shoot/Don’t Shoot scenarios using high definition video that makes each simulated training look and feel as life-like as possible.  The system’s interactive training weapons use lasers to interact with computer-based equipment for live scenarios.
  • Ben Castillo, College Lecturer II in Criminal Justice, announced that he will once again moderate a virtual Hometown Security Seminar with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) on October 19, 2020. Topics will include local health services, community preparedness, current threat environment, security awareness, and protective measures.  NJOHSP’s Hometown Security Program is a collaborative effort to discuss tools and resources that help strengthen the security of communities across New Jersey.

Finance and Administration

Payment Plan Change

In order to support students having financial difficulties during the pandemic, the College payment plan has been modified for all Fall 2020 terms to reflect the following:

  • A 10% down payment.
  • The balance divided into three payments: September, October, and November.

This change allows for a smaller down payment and extends the payments further into the semester.

Business Continuity Plan

The offices of Purchasing, IT, and Facilities are working together to create a business continuity plan (BCP), a document that outlines how a business will continue operating during an unplanned disruption in service.  OCC experiences disruptions in the form of power outages as well as weather events.  The plan will contain a checklist that includes supplies and equipment, including generators, data backups, and backup site locations.  The plan will provide detailed strategies on how business operations can be maintained for both short-term and long-term outages.  The first step in the process is to engage a consultant to assess the operation and make recommendations.

Ocean County College Foundation

  • OCC Foundation goals have been approved by the Foundation Chair and forwarded to the College. They include:
  • Enhance the student experience and interaction with the Foundation;
  • Build deeper relationships with our stakeholders;
  • Build the diversity of the Foundation Board and committees.
  • Grunin Center events are expanding; the calendar of virtual programming is available at org. On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, Grammy Award-winning artist Suzanne Vega will celebrate the release of her new, career-spanning live album, An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, with a livestream event from New York’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club.
  • The Fall scholarship application period closed on Friday, August 14, 2020. All Fall awards have been posted to student accounts.  A very special thank you is sent to the Scholarship Committee members and volunteers who worked to ensure the review and award process time was cut in half this year, which will continue in the future.

The Jump Start and Performing Art Academy application period remains open through Tuesday, September 22, 2020.  This will be the first year the Foundation is awarding scholarships to Jump Start and Academy students.

Additionally, through the generosity of Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, the Foundation has created a fund for members of the Egyptian Cohort, who have a Student Ocean Account.  Awards will commence for Cohort 4.

Lastly, in an effort to assist enrollment and encourage expanded credit hours for enrolled OCC students, the Foundation has an opportunity to fund Quick Terms scholarships, outside of its traditional scholarship software and award period.  This approach will be similar to the Academy and Jump Start applications processed and received through the Student Affairs team.   A motion was passed at the Full Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, to create the J. Citta Quick Term/L6 Scholarship for 100 deserving students.

  • 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 are Yessika Garcia-Guzman, Executive Director of Financial Aid; Dr. Henry Jackson, Executive Director of Academic Success; Dr. Kenneth Malagiere, Executive Director of the OCC Foundation; and Dr. Gerald Racioppi, Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • The partnership between the OCC Foundation and Fulfill continues with the distribution of crisis boxes to students in need at least twice monthly.

College Relations


The Alumni and OCC Foundation team launched the “Why I Give” campaign on the OCC social media channels.  The goal is to highlight donors who philanthropically support the College and the initiatives of the Foundation while, at the same time, solicit new supporters and additional donations, all while promoting the quality, affordable education OCC offers.

Brief testimonials are being shared about why these people give, the importance of scholarships to our students, and the impact they have on our College and community.  In addition to trustees and long-time donors, alumni statements will include not only the benefits of OCC on their lives but also how the College compelled them to support current and future students so they may have access to the same opportunities.  Each post concludes with a request for support of the Foundation with a link to its online donation page to raise crucial funds for scholarships and special programs at Ocean County College.

TV Studio

Mr. Ralph Bertini, TV Studio Director, has constructed a video production system to facilitate

remote video production classes of COEM 120, Television Studio Production, for the Fall semester.  The system will enable the student director to access the video system remotely and direct a “live” show utilizing the studio or robotic cameras, communicate with the three students in the studio who will operate the audio board, video switcher, and act as talent for the show.

Design Services

In collaboration with Student Life, Mr. Michael Leon, Manager of Graphic Design, produced the new 2020/2021 Student Handbook.  The new handbook is now available to all students and staff.  With the assistance of Student Life and Barnes & Noble, distribution was completed through the shipment of textbooks to students.  The handbook provides students and staff with an understanding of the general rules and guidelines for attending and receiving an education at Ocean County College.  The handbook is also available on the website.

Web Services

  • Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Services, collaborated with Ms. Brianna DeCicco, Associate Director of Academic and Tutoring Support Services, to develop a process for students to request remote asynchronous tutoring in writing and mathematics. In addition to synchronous tutoring appointments currently available, students now have the option to upload their assignments through the College website to receive feedback and support from a College tutor without scheduling an appointment.
  • Nicolaus Burr, Social Media/Web Developer, Executive Director of College Relations Jan Kirsten, and Ms. Maureen Conlon collaborated with the 9/11 event committee on a social media campaign commemorating the tragic events of September 11, 2001, over the first 11 days of September.  Campaign elements included a series of social media posts memorializing local victims and heroes, recalling the acceptance of steel from ground zero in 2010, sharing images and stories from previous 9/11 commemoration ceremonies, and a video of current OCC student Cristina Baldino sharing her reflections about the day. The campaign culminated with my recorded remarks on Patriot Day. Campaign posts were viewed 4,767 times, with 395 engagements over the campaign period.
  • Jaimee Nadzan, Website Coordinator, and Ms. Maureen Conlon developed a Virtual Scavenger Hunt in collaboration with Student Life and e-Learning to provide students with an opportunity to learn about services and resources available to them in a fun and engaging manner.  To participate, students locate a blue sail containing a numeric code on web pages strategically selected to provide them with the information they need at the start of the semester.  To date, 221 students have completed the Virtual Scavenger Hunt and entered to win a prize package.  Winners will be chosen at random from entries on September 23, 2020.

Human Resources

  • Return to Campus Fall 2020 – What You Need to Know is a training program developed to inform employees who will be working on campus in the Fall 2020 semester of the initiatives undertaken to keep employees, students, and visitors safe as well as to communicate expectations and rules. There is currently an 86% completion rate.
  • At Thursday’s meeting, Jackie D’Amore, Senior Human Resources Specialist, Talent, and Associate Vice President of Human Resources Tracey Donaldson will give a brief presentation to the Board of Trustees on the training and professional development initiatives undertaken in the past year and those planned by the Training and Organizational Development unit for future dates. Attached for your review is their Training and Organizational Development Annual Report.


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 August 18, 2020, through September 17, 2020.

Student Affairs


  • The Advising Office hosted 12 virtual major-specific group advising/information sessions in August 2020 geared to Pre-Nursing, STEM, Business, and Liberal Arts majors, as well as to undecided students. Advisors created presentations aimed at assisting students in understanding their degree requirements and transfer issues, as well as answering their questions.  The Pre-Nursing sessions were supported by Records and Registration and the School of Nursing, while the Business, STEM, and Liberal Arts sessions were supported by faculty and lecturers. The sessions gained a fair amount of interest, with between five to fifteen students attending most sessions.  Advising intends to continue to utilize this delivery method in the Fall while operating remotely as a means of providing information in an efficient and student-friendly manner.
  • The Advising Office hosted six virtual new student information sessions this summer, with a seventh session that took place on September 18, 2020. The sessions were well attended, and student feedback was positive.  Approximately 415 students registered for these sessions.  In addition, NJ STARS Coordinator Jennifer Kipp hosted three virtual new student information sessions specifically for NJ STARS students.  These sessions were also popular, with about 100 students registering to attend.
  • Transfer Coordinator Laura Wills hosted two virtual transfer information sessions this summer. One session offered general transfer information geared to the interests of those students in attendance, while the second session offered specific transfer information for students planning to transfer to Kean Ocean, Stockton University, and Rutgers University. About 50 students registered for these sessions.
  • Retention data as of September 9, 2020, shows higher retention rates thus far for students advised via the Proactive Advising Initiative. The Fall 2018 Proactive cohort is up 7% over the control group; the Spring 2019 cohort is up 12%; the Fall 2019 cohort is up 0.5%; the Spring 2020 cohort is up 11%.  Retention data for students advised in caseloads is flat.  These numbers will be reevaluated at census.
  • Starting in March and throughout the summer, Advising partnered with IT, Academic Affairs, and the HUB to implement Advise CRM. The primary goal of the implementation for Fall was for Advise to be live and functional for utilization by the Title III staff.  OCC staff worked with the Ellucian representative about six hours a week throughout the summer, completed testing, and created documentation and training for OCC staff.   The Title III staff also engaged in five hours of Advise training led by OCC Advising in preparation for the Fall semester. The Title III staff went live with Advise on September 8, 2020, launching their initial communications on September 10 and 11, 2020.  The Title III coaches will now move forward by responding to alerts to actively engage with students who have low assessment grades, in addition to executing all communications and documentation through Advise.  Advising will engage in regular meetings with the Title III staff to address issues and refine processes throughout the Fall semester.

Next steps for Advise include the creation of communication plans for pre-nursing students, students receiving proactive advising, and NJ STARS students.  In addition, alerts and communications will be developed to provide early interventions for NJ STARS students.

Career Services

Career Services will be co-hosting a Hospitality Virtual Career Fair on November 20, 2020.   The department continues to provide virtual Career Counseling; Online Career Assessments and Review; Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile Writing; and internship and employment opportunity searches for students and alumni.

Educational Opportunity Fund

  • EOF hosted virtual First Experience for new students and Summer Renewal for returning students on September 3, 2020, with 16 students This summer orientation program was completely online, after a remote kick-off event.  The program, designed in voiceover PowerPoint, included videos and animated PowerPoints, each with a short quiz reviewing content.  Students will be able to participate asynchronously until September 23, 2020.  Recruitment will continue for smaller cohort participation in First Experience after an abbreviated kick-off.  Six more students are near ready to begin.
  • EOF grant money is still available for qualified and/or interested students. The process from application to acceptance is completely online.  Students can access the application online or reach out for information at

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 were presented by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  More than 200 students, faculty, staff and community members have been trained in the QPR model.  The Center hosted a presentation by Minding Your Mind, a national organization dedicated to ending stigma and destructive behaviors associated with mental health issues.  The presentation focused on suicide prevention, coping, and the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, combining the perspectives of a clinical expert and a nationally recognized mental health advocate sharing his experiences coping with the mental health challenges he faced during high school and college.
  • The virtual weekly Relax and Recharge series on stress management and mindfulness will be resumed; this activity is led by Kelly Petrolis, Student Intervention Specialist. She has filmed a short video on breathing as a stress management tool in collaboration with College Relations.  Plans are being finalized for activities to recognize October as Domestic Violence Prevention Month, with a panel presentation scheduled for Monday, October 26, 2020.
  • Kate Pandolpho, Director of Counseling and Student Development, presented “Is Everything OK?” at the Ocean Way training with Security Officer Wayne Reed. Dr. Pandolpho also presented a seminar on CARE Reporting with Ms. Eileen Buckle, Director of Program Compliance.
  • The Counseling staff has been participating in certification training in tele-mental health counseling and recovery programming. Kerry Holzschuh, Case Manager/Mental Health Technician, and Ms. Kelly Petrolis have been certified in SMART Recovery.  Ms. Susan Ebeling-Witte, Student Intervention Specialist, completed certification in tele-mental health counseling.
  • The academic intervention program, Restore Your Score (RYS), is underway for the Fall semester. This program provides supportive intervention services to students with academic probation sanctions from the Spring semester. There were 213 students with probation status; as of September 4, 2020, 73 students (34%) have registered for Fall classes; all are enrolled in the RYS Canvas course, and all have been called by the counselors.  Twenty-one of these students (29%) have attended or scheduled individual appointments with Kelly Petrolis, RYS counselor.  Seminars on three student success topics (time management, stress management, and goal setting) are scheduled throughout the semester.  A new initiative is to offer supportive services to students with academic warning status who are registered for the Fall semester.  Of the 333 students with this status, 91 (27%) have registered for the Fall semester.
  • Since July 1, 2020, the CARE Team has received 56 CARE reports, and counselors handled 50 of those reports, including 19 reports since September 1, 2020. Many of these reports were related to student situations reported in their CARES Act applications.

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 to ensure equal access for students with disabilities.  Collaborative efforts and outreach continue towards a smooth transition from high school into college services, with additional focus on building stronger connections with the Performing Arts Academy and Jump Start students.
  • Staff from Disability Services presented a session at the OCC 2020 Academic Support and Tutor Training. Attendees were provided with an overview of Disability Services, including steps on how to refer students for services.
  • On September 15, 2020, Ms. Jamie Arasz Prioli, Adaptive Services Specialist, presented online at the New Jersey Assistive Technology Summit, titled Assistive Technology and Considerations for Emergency Preparedness. The session was presented to a regional and statewide audience and sponsored by Disability Rights New Jersey and the Assistive Technology Advocacy Center of New Jersey.  Over 400 participants attended the full-day event.

Southern Education Center

  • After attending the Fall 2020 Colloquium presentation Helping Students Persist in a Remote Environment: Academic and Tutoring Support Services, James Hauenstein, Director of the Southern Education Center, felt the information provided was of critical importance for students.  Realizing many students attending courses labeled as SEC or MT (indicating courses held in past semesters at the SEC but now being offered in a remote fashion) are first-generation students or incoming freshmen, the provision of academic and tutoring services could play an important role in establishing a successful semester for students.  In collaboration with Ms. Brianna DeCicco, Associate Director of Academic Support Services, it was decided to place information regarding Academic Support Services, as well as the links to connect to those remote services, on the Southern Education Center Canvas site as a detailed module and an emailed announcement.
  • The SEC Canvas site will continue to be a message board to the more than 1,400 students who are taking or have taken courses at the SEC. Professors and lecturers teaching course sections affiliated with the SEC received a welcome email asking them to inform their students of this messaging system.  The SEC Canvas page received over 900 views during the opening week of the Fall semester and over 500 views the week prior to the semester’s opening.  Future academic and student service programs as well as significant dates will be posted weekly.
  • Michele Marcum, Senior Student Services Technician, SEC, and Mr. Jeff Kurz, Student Services and Recruiting Specialist, SEC, continue to assist the HUB and Academic Advising, respectively.

Student Life

Clubs and organizations are underway for the Fall 2020 semester.  There are approximately 35 active student organizations meeting virtually and interacting with students remotely.  Utilizing available technology through Canvas and the OCC app, virtual meetings are being hosted and both formal and informal virtual events are being planned.

Veterans and Military Resource Center

  • The Veterans and Military Resource Center (VMRC) is developing an induction ceremony for the 1st Cohort of the SALUTE Honor Society of the 2020-21 academic year. The ceremony is being planned for the end of the semester; when a date is selected, additional information will be available. The SALUTE Honor Society is a distinguished community of honorably discharged veterans who have shown integrity, honor, and selfless service.  It is the only national honor society in the nation recognizing and honoring the service and scholastic achievements of this generation’s greatest veterans.    Student veterans in the Honor Society can thrive and gain recognition, grants, scholarships, and sponsorships to nation-wide conferences.  Veteran students interested in joining the Honor Society, who meet the criteria for membership, will connect with OCC’s SALUTE Advisor and the VMRC Coordinator to be inducted and promoted within the society.
  • Veterans Day 2020 will be recognized as a day of change, compromise, and innovation. The VMRC will partner with Congressman Andy Kim to develop a Virtual Remote-Accessed Town Hall program that will host an OCC student veteran and two war veterans who have undergone the challenges of 2020 COVID-19 pandemic situations and turned them from negative to positive, successful experiences.
  • Princeton University Senior Associate Dean and Director of Military/Veterans Admissions Alexander Bustin has reached out to OCC’s VMRC to create a bridge program for OCC’s military and veteran graduation students to affiliate with the military and veteran programs at Princeton University. The initial conversations are general in nature, focusing on need, but it is anticipated that this interest can evolve into a great partnership for future student programs.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • Since the start of the Fall 2020 semester, the Instructional Design and Technology team has been assisting instructors and students with resolving course and third-party, software-related questions. Each of the three full-time Instructional Designers has been designated to oversee and assist in specific academic areas to allow for better workflow and communications between the LMS Coordinator and the Instructional Designer.  For example, all STEM-related concerns will be referred to the Instructional Designer who oversees STEM distance learning courses.  Additionally, face-to-face Power Users are able to contact the assigned Instructional Designer for any questions or concerns they may encounter during the semester.
  • The Spring 2021 distance learning course development will be completed by November 2, 2020. Planning for the Fall 2021 semester development schedule will begin October 2020.
  • The team continues to set up Honorlock, an on-demand service for schools and universities to proctor online exams, for the Fall 2020 semester. Implementation for each session will be completed one week prior to the term start date.  Completion of the next group of courses is on target for October 5, 2020.Ms. Rachel Doss-Block, Associate Director of e-Learning, has been working with Dr. Tracy Walsh and Ms. Beth Stevenson of the Nursing Department to resolve a proctoring issue pertaining to Canvas New Quizzes.  It was discovered that the New Quizzes tool in Canvas was not compatible with Honorlock.  Following discussions with Honorlock, a solution has been identified so proctoring can be used for the Nursing courses. Step-by-step instructions were provided to the Nursing Department to share with their lecturers, and training was held by Honorlock on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
  • The e-Learning and Learning Enterprises Department has been providing continuous professional development training for the College community. Educational Technologist Eric Daniels has been working closely with Academic Affairs and IT to coordinate the Honorlock, WebEx, Smarthinking, and Voice Thread trainings.  Additional information on the upcoming trainings can be found at
  • Two Part-Time Instructional Designers assisting with Academic Affairs projects completed closed captioning for 50+ STEM lab recordings in VoiceThread. Links to these videos have been provided to the STEM Department to share with faculty and lecturers.Ms. Rachel Doss-Block has been working with Academic Affairs, Academic and Tutoring Support Services, IT, and Pearson regarding access to Smarthinking online tutoring for students needing tutoring services in face-to-face/remote courses.  Smarthinking online tutoring will be an option provided to students if Academic and Tutoring Support Services does not have a tutor available in a particular subject or if there are not enough tutors available to assist students.  A meeting has been scheduled to further discuss the process to ensure a smooth transition among Academic and Tutoring Support Services, Smarthinking, and the student.
  • Melissa Krupp, Part-Time Instructional Designer, was recently hired to assist with Distance Learning projects. Ms. Krupp will be serving as the primary Instructional Designer working with STEM Subject Matter Experts to review and redevelop distance learning science courses utilizing Hands-On-Labs to reduce the cost of lab kits for students.  Subject Matter Experts will redevelop labs by designing virtual labs, or designing assignments that meet the learning outcomes without using lab kit components. General Chemistry I and II courses will be redeveloped for Spring 2021; another two courses may be identified for redevelopment for the Spring.

International Education

Ocean County College, Ain Shams University, and Kean University Partnership

This month, Dr. Howaida Wahby-Eraky, Assistant Dean of e-Learning, International Programs, delivered the first webinar to new Cohort 5 potential students. The webinar presented a history of the program, its benefits, and the process of applying.  At the end, a Q&A session was conducted, with Dr. Wahby-Eraky answering all questions.  OCC’s team in Egypt assisted in the delivery and participated in the webinar as well.  Twenty-three students attended the virtual session. The second webinar will be in two weeks.

Our attempts to deliver presentations, orientations, and training virtually is so far successful in recruiting students.  Simultaneously, the team is finalizing the training workshops for current students at Ain Shams University.  These workshops will be delivered virtually mid-October.  The team also worked with Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, and was able to automate a customized application for international students, which saves time and effort in registering the students in Egypt.

Alexandria University

Alexandria University requested that the current OCC/Kean/Ain Shams triple-degree program in Business Studies be offered at Alexandria University School of Business.  Dr. Lamont Repollet, President of Kean University, Dr. Essam El-Kordi, President of Alexandria University, and I signed a Memorandum of Cooperation as a first step to initiate the agreement on the program.

Special Programs

The special programs are still under review by the curriculum committees in Egypt.  Dr. Essam El-Kordi, who is now the President of Al Alamein National University, is pursuing the approvals needed for the special programs.  Dr. Maysa Hayward, Associate Vice President of International Programs, drafted a proposal for Al Alamein National University offering the 2+1+1 modality of the special programs per the request of Dr. El-Kordi and Dr. Khalid Abd El Ghaffar, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

OCC and New Jersey City University in Egypt

The outstanding efforts by Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Sara Winchester resulted in finalizing the financial model for New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Egypt.  The 2+2 academic curriculum mapping for the four pilot programs is completed.  NJCU is drafting the final contract, targeting October/November to start the OCC/NJCU extension in Egypt.

Training & Organizational Development Annual Report FY2020

charting your success employee training and development logo


Team Definition

The Training & Organizational Development team provides employees with flexible opportunities for professional growth through Instructor-led classroom and virtual trainings, a library of self-paced study courses, and OSHA/safety compliance training.  We support organizational effectiveness and employees’ ability to contribute through advancement of their skills and knowledge; we act as a conduit for employee training being held across the campus.


To assist administrators, faculty, and staff seeking to reach their full potential through required and optional professional and personal development, and OSHA and safety training.  To identify performance and developmental gaps through performance management in order to provide appropriate training and development opportunities to our employees.

Operating Highlights

Accomplishments for the fiscal year 2020 include:

  • The following are new courses developed and deployed:
    • Basic Access (Jerry Racioppi)
    • First-Time Supervisor
    • Bulletproof Documentation
    • CARE Reporting (Kate Pandolpho and Eileen Buckle)
    • Creating a Positive Work Environment
    • Excel Pivot Tables (Mary Troy)
    • Identifying and Reporting Student Conduct Concerns (Eileen Buckle)
    • Managing Your Team Remotely (virtual)
    • Managing Stress in the Workplace (EAP)
    • Ocean Way training: First Things First (new module)
    • Problem Solving and Decision Making
    • Recognizing and Preventing Burnout
    • Stress Management (virtual)
    • Time Management
    • Workplace Success: Eight Key Skills You Need
  • Compliance training vendor:
    • Successfully implemented SafeColleges for OSHA and Safety trainings. SafeColleges platform and trainings are provided at no cost through our insurance vendor.
  • Added Innovative Teaching category to our catalog that includes:
    • Arts and Humanities Adjunct WebEx Series
    • Center for Instructional Empowerment (CIE)
    • Professional Development Academy offerings
    • Professional Development Series offerings
  • Performance Management
    • Help! I Need to Write My Self-Evaluation (virtual)
    • Performance Management: The Evaluation (virtual)
  • 119 employees graduated the Ocean Way program; (an additional 19 participants completed some modules)
  • 27 managers graduated Managing One-on-One Performance program
  • In response to working remotely, the team has:
    • Enhanced the Employee Training catalog and Employee Training website ( to include:
      • Self-paced study course offerings:
        • Velsoft courses
          • Computer Basics – 4 courses
          • Microsoft Office 365 – 11 courses
          • Microsoft Office 2016 – 17 courses
          • Managers’ Institute – 10 courses
          • Work-Life Balance – 2 courses
          • Workplace Skills – 28 courses
        • 10 – Knowledge City courses (free)
      • Self-trained in WebEx Training platform which allows us to provide an engaging virtual environment in which to facilitate training and an improved learning experience for participants.

Strategic Plan

Strategy #5 of Ocean County College’s Strategies for Success 2015 – 2020, is to “create a highly effective, challenging, supportive, and sustainable work environment.” In pursuit of this goal, the college invested substantial resources in professional development and training programs for all employees with the goal of building an employee base with a mix of talents needed to become a national leader in community college education.

Team Members

Jacqueline D’Amore, Senior HR Specialist
Alyssa Tipton, Talent & Organizational Development Coordinator

What’s Next

In order to achieve our vision, the Talent & Organizational Development Team will focus on the following immediate and future goals:

  • Adapt several current courses to the virtual environment
  • Create new courses geared to successfully working remotely (i.e. MS Teams training; Working Remotely for Employees)
  • Open FY2021 Performance Management Program
    • New template for Security Officers
    • Minor edits to current templates
  • Leadership Academy – determine how to effectively deploy program in current environment

What’s on the Horizon

  • Purchase and implement a Learning Management System
    • Develop certificate paths to align with newly developed career paths
  • Develop and deploy a needs assessment survey; evaluate training needs by end of FY2021
  • Continue to work with training units across campus to advertise trainings; and also gather training data
  • Determine how to best deploy College Lecturer performance program
    • Current forms outdated, technical difficulties signing
    • Determine if new templates can be used
  • Note: Goals outlined by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources will be included in our FY2021 plan


Total Employee Training Hours by Area Vice Presidents

Note: Totals do not include compliance training, Arts and Humanities Adjunct WebEx Series, Center for Instructional Empowerment (CIE), Professional Development Series

Area VP Total Employee Training Hours
Eileen Garcia 77.5
Joseph Konopka 319.45
Dr. Larson 16.3
Jerry Racioppi 297.5
Sara Winchester 508.5
Total Employee Training Hours 2,218.25

Ocean Way Graduates by Area VPs

Area VP Graduates
Eileen Garcia 8
Joseph Konopka 47
Dr. Larson
Jerry Racioppi 23
Sara Winchester 41
Total Graduates 119

Managing One-On-One Performance Graduates by Area VPs

Area VP Graduates
Eileen Garcia 2
Joseph Konopka 8
Dr. Larson
Jerry Racioppi 3
Sara Winchester 14
Total Graduates 27

 Compliance Training – Everfi (June 2019-October 2019)

Note:  *Two trainings assigned per employee.  Assigned prior to HRIS cleanup and removal of inactive employees.

Area VP Total Assigned Total Completed Incomplete
Eileen Garcia 338 266 72
Joseph Konopka 2230 875 1355
Dr. Larson 22 18 4
Jerry Racioppi 474 260 214
Sara Winchester 536 343 193
Totals 3600 1762 1838

Compliance Training – SafeColleges (April-May 2020)

Note:  Four to six trainings assigned per person

Area VP Total Assigned Total Completed Incomplete
Eileen Garcia 492 379 113
Joseph Konopka 1895 1450 445
Dr. Larson 152 144 8
Jerry Racioppi 515 418 97
Sara Winchester 698 616 82
Totals 3752 3007 745

Course Offerings and Completions

Course Title Number of courses offered Attendee Completion
Basic Access 1 10
Bulletproof Documentation 1 10
CARE Reporting 2 16
College Relations 1 1
Conflict Resolution: Getting Along in the Workplace 2 21
Creating a Positive Work Environment 1 8
Excel Advanced 2 29
Excel Introduction 1 9
Excel Pivot Tables 1 12
First Time Supervisor 1 14
Help! I Need to Write my Self-Evaluation 3 28
Identifying and Reporting Student Conduct Concerns 2 16
Inquiry-Based Instruction 1 12
Leading Meetings that Work 1 12
Managing One-on-One Performance 3 27
Managing One-on-One Performance Follow-Up 3 19
Managing Stress in the Workplace 1 11
Managing Your Team Remotely 2 19
Ocean Way 3 138
Performance Management-The Evaluation 3 21
Performance Management-The Plan 2 14
Problem Solving and Decision Making 1 15
QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) 1 14
Recognizing and Preventing Burnout 1 9
Search Committee 11 37
Stress Management 1 9
Time Management 2 22
Word Advanced 1 3
Word Introduction 1 3
Workplace Success: Eight Key Skills You Need 1 10

Participant Comments on Trainings

Bulletproof Documentation (name to be changed)

  • The template, the examples, the activities, the open discussions. Every training I attend I chalk it up to how engaging facilitator is that all attendees are open to discussions. The participation of everyone really adds to the training. The care and effort that is put into our Ocean trainings also always blows my mind, from the room temp to the pens, it is very obvious how much effort is put forth.
  • Each section went in progression. Understand step one before you move on to step two…I appreciate all the handouts and instructions on where to find things.  Great resources.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

  • What I like most about this training was not feeling uncomfortable. It was fun and you were able to express yourself freely.

Excel Advanced

  • “I enjoyed the introduction of the PivotTables, and the explanation regarding their use. I was able to incorporate one new function immediately after the class. The function was rather than copying I used the function to highlight cell and drag once I saw the “t” or “cross”.
  • The handouts are extremely helpful as well.”

First Time Supervisor

  • Gaining understanding of the many facets of proper supervision of staff including antidotes and scenarios of possible real situations was helpful. The facilitators worked well together allowing for a smooth training including expertise from both.
  • Although I have been a supervisor for 3 years, I really wanted to attend this training to strengthen my skill set. Many of the topics that we covered are things I am already implementing in my position, but I feel that I was still able to take away some important tools and techniques.
  • The training was perfect for first time superior.
  • The course is excellent and the material was well structured.
  • Thank you for serving the needs of the college by providing regular workshop/trainings and a variety of trainings to meet the needs of our college community.

Leading Meetings that Work:

What I liked most:

  • The tips gained for running an effective meeting
  • The open dialogue between staff and examples provided by the facilitator
  • All the details and great personality of the trainer
  • I liked the breakout session of leading meetings
  • I thought the session was structured/formatted perfectly

Managing One-on-One Performance

  • Outstanding job presenting the content and sharing practical advice that is relevant for managers with direct reports. I now have additional tools and resources that I can utilize and implement to ensure the e-Learning personnel is successful with their goals
  • The opinions and experiences of my peers in the training was valuable in addition to the course content.
  • Interactive!! I appreciate having time with other coworkers to discuss difficulties and bringing back to the group for feedback.
  • Helpful information to work into my supervisory meetings.
  • The ability to exchange ideas, share and learn from our experiences as well as applying the material/techniques to actual scenarios we deal with.

Managing Your Team Remotely

  • New tips on how to keep your teams on target with goals while working remotely.
  • I think that this training was just what some of us needed at this time as we are still struggling to manage our lives during this difficult transition.
  • Working on tough issues with other people from other departments.
  • The pace and ease of conversation. The calm discussed was shown by example and set a tone that there was no doubt we would be able to continue workflow, continue communication, and adapt to any situation in order to make sure we continued being successful.  I enjoyed the outline, which was concise and easy to follow.  The material helped to support my current workflow and I look forward to trying additional approaches to my meetings.  I truly appreciated the links to resources that will help inspire more ideas on how to connect with my team.
  • It’s good to feel that you’re not alone about things you are facing. It opened up new concepts and reinforced ones that are already being done
  • Informative and practical

Ocean Way-Customer Service: It’s Everyone’s Job

  • “I liked how they stressed the importance of never assuming the students know what to do. Ask the questions needed to investigate what the student needs because some students do not know what kind of questions to even ask to get what they need and want. It was a great reminder of what the HUB is here to do being the front line. Also, how wonderful it is having the other staff to go to with the more complex issues and questions. Having this training made me want to work harder to serve our students.”
  • “Different ideas of customer service and what it means to people based on their experiences was interesting. Some people who think this only applies to our students hopefully realized customer service is for everyone at every level. It includes telephone communications, face-to-face interactions, facial expressions, tone of voice, email exchange and how to handle a disgruntled person and negativity. Excellent training.”

Time Management

  • “The mix between listening to the concepts, class interaction, and the planned activities. There was an excellent balance between all items.”

Required Reporting Statistics

Board of Trustees Meeting
September 24, 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 between August 18 thru September 17, 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: Reported: *** NOTHING TO REPORT ***
Occurred: Reported:

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

Date Alert/Threat Summary Status
N/A None

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

Date Fire Incident Summary Status
N/A None

Respectfully Submitted,

John A. Lopez – Director of Security

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