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January 24, 2024

Dr. Monaco’s January 25, 2024 Report to the Board of Trustees

The January 25, 2024, meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held in Manahawkin, 195 Cedar Bridge Road, at 3:30 p.m.  It will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m. to rename the facility from the Southern Education Center to Ocean County College Manahawkin, which reinforces the College’s commitment to serving the residents of Southern Ocean County.

Board of Trustees Presentation

At Thursday’s meeting, Mr. Carl “Van” Thulin will be recognized by the trustees upon his retirement from the Board.  Initially appointed by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1984, he has served thirty-nine years, leading the Board for sixteen of those years as its Chair.  Mr. Thulin’s contributions of time, energy, and expertise have had a significant impact on the continued growth and excellence of Ocean County College.  As a resident of Southern Ocean County, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Southern Education Center, renamed Ocean County College Manahawkin, so it is most fitting that he is recognized at the Board meeting in Manahawkin on Thursday.

Monthly Observance

The month of February is designated nationally as Black History Month.  It is respectfully requested that the Board of Trustees adopt the attached resolution proclaiming February as Black History Month at Ocean County College.

This year’s theme is African Americans and the Arts, which explores how African American art is infused with African-, Caribbean-, and the Black American-lived experiences.  African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment.  Artistic and cultural movements, such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world.

The Office of Student Life and the Organization for Black Unity is sponsoring several events in February to celebrate Black History Month:

  • Thursday, February 1, 2024 – Raising of the African American Flag on the campus mall, followed by Black History Month Read-In in the Larson Student Center
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024 – Let’s Talk: A Conversation on the Conflict between Israel and Palestine (12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., in Room 115 of the Technology Building)
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024 – Key Arts Productions presents “King’s Dream,” an enthralling live performance and multimedia tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who led America’s peaceful revolution for equal rights for all. (11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in Room 115 of the Technology Building)
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024 – Film and Panel Discussion on “Beyond Their Years: The Incredible Legacies of Herb Carnegie and Buck O’Neil,” which depicts the compelling story of parallel lives lived by sports and social justice icons Herb Carnegie (hockey) and Buck O’Neil (baseball), who were excluded, because of their race, from competing in the highest professional leagues of the sports they loved.  Instead of becoming angry and bitter, they channeled the injustice they both experienced into pioneering work that made their respective sports, and the world, more inclusive.  The 48-minute film ties together their legacies in a verité style that teaches, heals, and humanizes.  This event is sponsored by the Ocean County College Foundation, which has generously underwritten the cost of tickets, and the Organization for Black Unity. (11:00 a.m., screening only; 6:00 p.m. screening and panel)

Faculty and Staff Presentations, Publications, and Projects

On February 20, 2024, Mr. James Indelicato, Psychology College Lecturer II, in collaboration with Lighthouse Films and St. Francis Counseling Center of Long Beach Island, will premiere the Award-Winning film, Rose, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 104 in the Gateway Building, followed by a panel discussion with movie cast members and professionals from the mental health field.

The School of Business and Social Sciences is seeking approval to establish a new associate degree program in public health at OCC.  Hopefully, the conclusion of this process will occur by early Spring 2024 in time to offer it to students in the Fall.

A new process has been implemented to facilitate a campus-wide calendar.  Throughout the many recent campus-wide meetings, we heard that an easily accessible, all-inclusive event calendar is needed.  In response, any employee will now have the opportunity to easily input events for posting on the OCC website calendar. This is a positive step towards a more connected and informed campus community.

Mr. Eric Gonnella, Website Coordinator in College Relations, revised the Ocean County College Board of Trustees webpage.  Trustee photos taken by the TV Studio now appear with a business card image, offering a quick and easy way to connect with the Board members.

The School of Nursing is preparing a Self-Study Report for submission to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) as part of the program’s reaccreditation process.

Ms. Maureen Conlon, Associate Director of Web Services, collaborated with Ms. Donna Rosinski-Kauz, Director of Library Services and College Senate Chair, on two new web presences designed to help broaden access to shared governance information. The College Senate and Governance Committees web page in the About Us > Leadership section of OCC’s public website describes the purpose and structure of its shared governance and links to a new internal College Senate and Governance Committees website.

Faculty and Staff Recognition, Honors, Successes, and Awards

In December, Dr. Samantha Glassford, Interim Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, successfully defended her Ed.D. dissertation, titled “Making Sense of English Placement and Its Effect on Emergent Multilingual Students at an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS):  A Critical Discourse Analysis.”  The dissertation is the last phase of Rowan University’s Ed.D. in Education Leadership degree program.

Mr. James Hadley, College Lecturer II in Accounting and Business, recently accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of Directors of Ocean’s Harbor House, which provides a safe haven and caring environment for at-risk youth and their families to enable them to unlock their potential and learn skills that will empower them to build healthier lives, relationships, and futures.

Assistant Director of the Veterans and Military Resources Center Christina Hernandez, Center Coordinator Jessica Richardson, Executive Director of Student Services Veronica Guevara-Lovgren, and Student Veteran Club President Drew Clayton attended the National Conference for Student Veterans of America in Tennessee in January.  This conference highlighted best practices and current research for veteran and military-affiliated students in higher education as well as provided information to students on how to advocate for their population.

Student Honors and Awards

OCC’s Nursing Program graduates continue to be exceptionally successful on the NCLEX (National Council of Licensure Examiners) examination.  The final passing rate of 2023 graduates is 97.43%.  In comparison, the national passing scores for Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) programs was 87.75%; for all types of nursing programs, it was 88.56%.  OCC’s outstanding results are a testament to the academic excellence offered to our students.

Sixty-one students completed the Nursing Program in December 2023 and are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) required to obtain licensure to practice.

Fifteen TRIO Student Support Services participants completed degree requirements to graduate in January 2024.  In addition, one student completed a certificate program, and one student transferred to a four-year college without completing an associate degree.

TRIO student Jessenia Zavala completed an Associate in Science degree in January 2024 with a 4.0 grade point average.  She was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and was a member of the Dance Club. She will be continuing her education at Rowan University in Spring 2024.

Student Support Services and Activities

The Office of Student Life held its annual Trailblazers Leadership Retreat in the Conference Center on Wednesday and Thursday, January 10 and 11, 2024.  Coordinated and led by Ms. Michelle Youngs, Assistant Director of Student Life, with the help of Student Life Coordinator Theo Ponticello and Director of Student Life Jen Fazio, 18 students were guided through a series of workshops on values, interests, and strengths identity, which are designed to assist students in answering the question, “Who am I?”  The program will end with the post-session on Friday, February 16, 2024, where students will explore the question, “Where am I going?”

The HUB Enrollment Team completed 3,791 outgoing calls in December to potential students who inquired about the College and those who applied.  The Student Success Team completed 2,999 outgoing calls to students in December. Call campaigns included students with alerts raised by faculty members, those with low course averages, and students registered for Fall who had not yet registered for Spring.  In addition, the HUB completed 818 in-person transactions in December, which was an increase of 12.6% over the prior year.  The average service duration was just over two minutes and the average wait time was just under three minutes.

A New Jersey STARS virtual information session was held on January 17, 2024; representatives from Enrollment Services, Academic Advising, Athletics, and Kean Ocean spoke to potential STARS students about the financial benefits of the program and transfer opportunities.

On January 23, 2024, for the first time, OCC Manahawkin will be hosting a cohort of Lacey High School students, all of whom are currently taking two OCC courses.

Outreach to Students

The School of Nursing collaborated with Workforce and Professional Education to provide Medical Assistant Certificate students an opportunity to work with Nursing students in a simulation experience from December 5 through 8, 2023, to care for a patient, which is expected when practicing as a healthcare provider.

Workforce Allied Health Programs

In Workforce and Professional Education, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) program day and evening students resumed pre-pandemic collaborative training with the OCC Nursing students to simulate a Code Blue scenario.

The CCMA day students sat for their National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified EKG Specialist (CET) and Certified Phlebotomist Technician (CPT) exams.  Six of the seven students passed both exams and are now nationally credentialed; all seven passed their NHA CCMA exam.

Ten students graduated the Electrocardiogram (EKG) program, and ten students graduated the Fast Track Medical Terminology I and II courses.

Community Outreach

Enrollment Services Advisors Melissa Sporer and Haley Abruzzese canvassed Ocean County to drop off Warm Wishes boxes prior to Winter Break to all OCC partner high schools.

Mr. Justin Pfeifer, College Lecturer II in History, invited Holocaust survivor Maud Dahme, a “Hidden Child” of the Holocaust, to give a talk on campus about her experiences on Monday, March 4, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.  The event will be held in the Gateway Building Auditorium and is open to the public.

On December 6, 2023, the Office of Disability Services presented college transition training for students with disabilities to local child study team members and counselors, including skills and exercises they will find useful as they help students transition to college.

The OCC concert band held its annual holiday concert, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to a sold-out audience on December 2, 2023.  The Dance Club’s annual Winter Showcase on December 5, 2023, and the Rachmaninoff Trio in the Bosendorfer room on December 8, 2023,were also well attended.

OCC Repertory Theatre Company’s musical,  Broadway for the Holidays 3, sold out during its two- weekend run from December 8-17th.

The OCVTS Grunin Performing Arts Academy’s Dance Department presented The Winter Dance Concert:  A Reconstruction of The Nutcracker on December 18, 2023, with over 900 patrons attending.

Additional holiday shows for the Ocean County Community, including Westminster Concert Bell Choir, Yates Musical Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, Ballet for Young Audiences’ Nutcracker, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, America’s Sweethearts, and Cherish the Ladies, A Celtic Christmas were all well attended.

The Grunin Center kicked off 2024 with two Schools n’ Stage programs. On January 10th and 11th, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presented their “Red Firecrackers” Lunar New Year celebration, and on January 25th, Northern Ireland’s Cahoots presented “The University of Wonder and Imagination.” Over 1,300 students from Ocean County attended these performances.

Professional Development

The e-Learning Department held its Spring General Meeting for faculty on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, titled, “Forging Connections – Student-Centered and Building Community,” with over 70 faculty members attending.  The meeting addressed the e-Learning Department’s focus on integrating technology, building community, and forging connections with students in the online modality.

On January 8, 2024, the Office of Faculty Development and Learning Innovation held a training for the expanded face-to-face faculty pilot of Simple Syllabus.  The 20 instructors who attended are piloting Simple Syllabus in their courses.

HyFlex Basics and Organizing Your HyFlex Classroom trainings were held on January 10 and 12, 2024.  Ms. Heather Sciarappa, College Lecturer II in English, facilitated the HyFlex Classroom training, which assists adjuncts who are new to the HyFlex teaching environment.

On January 10, 2024, the Office of Faculty Development and Learning Innovation conducted a Video-Connected Class training.  Instructors were able to connect with OCC Manahawkin to be immersed in the technology that connects the campuses for video-connected classes.

The Spring 2024 Teaching and Learning Institute was held virtually on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.  Sessions included:

  • Un-Session: Equitable Grading Practices, Dr. Samantha Glassford, Interim Assistant Dean of Arts and Humanities
  • Elevate Your Classroom with Universities Worldwide – A COIL Collaboration Workshop, Ms. Laura Paolillo, Adjunct Associate Professor of Business; Ms. Audrey Gran Weinberg, MBA, Personal Development Lecturer
  • How Can AI Help Me?, Stephanie Kroeger, College Lecturer II in Accounting and Program Chair of Accounting; Mr. Ibrahim Moustafa, College Lecturer II in Business
  • Un-Session: Drafting Writing Rubrics that Serve Students Across the Curriculum, Dr. Jack Kelnhofer, College Lecturer II in e-Learning
  • Introducing Podcasting into Your Classroom, Ameer Sohrawardy, College Lecturer II in English.
  • Taking the Class to the Community, Christopher Ruth, Ph.D., College Lecturer II, Philosophy; Mark Westmoreland, Ph.D., College Lecturer II, Philosophy.


As part of OCC’s partnership with the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust through Kaiser Permanente, the Google IT Certificate was approved on December 6, 2023, to be offered to partnership students; since then, 11 students have registered for the program.

The Michael Camillus Project, through the Ocean County Probationary Office, was renewed for 2024 with a new cohort of 16 students, each registered for two courses for the Spring term; the project, funded through a grant from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Operation Helping Hand, offers courses for certification in addiction studies.

The College, through the work of FIPSE Basic Needs Grant Manager Jim Campbell, secured a partnership with Community Ambassadors, a local non-profit organization charged with immigrant advocacy and LatinX outreach.

The School of STEM has formed an articulation agreement with Kean University for Industrial Hygiene, Hazardous Materials Management (IH-HMM).  OCC students earning the IH-HMM certificate and Associate in Science degree in Engineering Science can seamlessly transfer those credits into Kean University’s Environmental Sciences Bachelor’s degree program.

Ed2Go:  Enrollment in December had nine students, for an accumulating total of 84 registrations since July 1, 2023.

New Jersey Business and Industry Association Civil Service Commission (CSC) ‘Critical Thinking’ Training took place on campus for 23 members of Ocean County Board of Social Services.


TRIO Student Support Services has met or exceeded all of its objectives for its 2022-23 Annual Performance Report. In summary: 91% of participants remained in Good Academic Standing, 83% of participants persisted from the 2021-22 academic year to the following year, 40% of participants obtained an associate’s degree or certificate, 28% graduated and transferred to four-year institutions. TRIO Student Support Services is funded to serve 140 students. In 2022-23, we actually served 159 or 113% of our funded number of participants.  TRIO Student Support Services has already met its 2023-24 participant goal of 140 students.

Under the FIPSE Grant for Basic Needs, 70 self-care bags were handed out in under 2 hours to students prior to Winter Break. The bags included basic hygiene items including shampoo and conditioner, soap, razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education is funding the Hunger-Free Campus Grant in the amount of $69,119.39, which allows OCC to continue to provide support for the Helping Hands food pantry and address activities for student needs related to food insecurity.  The project manager is Ms. Michelle Youngs.

The National Science Foundation is funding a grant to reimburse colleges for travel to required workshops for the Mentor Connect program, which assigns each selected college with a mentor to prepare a proposal for the faculty-driven Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant.  This opportunity significantly increases the chances of receiving an award.  The project manager is Dr. Sylvia Riviello, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The Adult Education, Civics, and Workforce Preparation (AECWP) Program, offered through Workforce and Professional Education, is funded by the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for Consolidated Adult Basic Skills (Title II) and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) Programs.

  • Currently there are 578 total students in the AECWP Program; 64 Adult Basic Education, 21 High School Equivalency, 407 ESL, and 86 Integrated Literacy and Civics.   Additionally, 23 students have earned a credential through Integrated Educational Training (IET).
  • Winter session AECWP class orientation was held for new students in the beginning of January with a total of 93 participants in attendance, 64 for English as a Second Language and 29 for High School Equivalency.
  • The program has surpassed the contracted 400 participants to be served for FY 2024. Registration will continue for the High School Equivalency programs and classes will be held for current students in the Spring.

Monthly Security Report

In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period of December 2, 2023, through January 19, 2024.

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