TO: Members, OCC Board of Trustees
FROM: Jon H. Larson, Ph.D. President
SUBJECT: Items of Interest for the June 23, 2014, Board Meeting
DATE: June 18, 2014
e-Learning – The first semester of the e-Learning My Foundations Lab (MFL) Development Education Pilot Program has been completed and assessed. Although the pilot program initially presented a few challenges, it soon settled into a nice rhythm. Following the results of a preliminary analysis, the MFL Pilot appears to have yielded some very positive results. Mr. Jeff Harmon, Director of e-Learning, has prepared a short presentation about the outcomes of the use of these new adaptive-learning development education tools in the e-Learning environment that he will share with the Board on Monday.
e-Learning’s collaborations and articulations with Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Kean University are proceeding on a rapid pace toward completion. In addition, the e-Learning Program is in the process of developing an on-line degree program in Homeland Security with the New Jersey National Guard.
e-Learning and Instructional Outreach – A successful leadership change in e-Learning has been implemented. Dr. Maysa Hayward has transitioned to the position of Dean of Instructional Outreach while Mr. Jack Kelnhofer has moved from College Lecturer II to the Interim Dean of the e-Learning Faculty.
School Relations and Academic Outreach – On Tuesday, April 29, an Evening Career Coffee was held for students at the Southern Education Center (SEC), featuring Dr. McElroy, a local Chiropractor, as the guest speaker. It was reported to be a very successful event.
Under Ms. Eileen Schilling, Executive Director of Academic Outreach, and the SEC staff, the ACAD classes have completed various community projects, which included collecting food and clothing to benefit the Barnegat Food Pantry and Habitat for Humanity as well as tending to the existing garden. As a result of the students’ efforts, the SEC received a generous donation from Big Lots stores of three garden benches, one of which is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Judith Icklan, former OCC Vice President of Economic Development, as well as a donation of beautiful planters and daffodils.
The SEC staff conducted a brief survey of spring semester students to learn more about student plans for summer session registration. The survey found that 77% of respondents indicated they did not plan to take a summer session course. Work-related issues were the most often cited obstacles to taking summer classes. Many said they needed to work during the summer, and 44% said their work schedules interfered with class schedules. The next three most cited obstacles were travels plans (20%), the inability to afford tuition (18%), and the desired courses were not offered (17.5%).
Ms. Katie Grofik, SEC Evening/Weekend Supervisor, has been instrumental in securing free advertising for OCC. A huge digital billboard, located on Rt.72 westbound is being dedicated to the College. The billboard displays on both sides, attracting the attention of passersby heading to and from Long Beach Island, as well as drivers on Rt. 9 North and South. The message on the sign will display from May to September.
Finally, the SEC staff hosted a Student Appreciation reception during the last week of classes to celebrate student efforts during the spring semester.
Finance and Administration
Office of Information Technology – On June 9, Ocean Cruiser was updated with a new user interface. Handouts and a brief video have been created in support of the switch.
On June 10, as part of our continuous improvement process, Ms. Barbara Dietz, an Ellucian consultant, spent a day on site meeting with representatives from Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Academic Affairs to review and provide advice on upcoming initiatives, including assignment contracts, web time entry, position control, position management, budget management, fixed assets, Synoptix upgrades and training, and institutional performance management. Ms. Dietz is preparing a report and implementation recommendations, which will be received in the near future.
College Relations – The Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association celebrated its 100th Anniversary on the OCC campus on Saturday, May 31, in the HPE gym. The event was sold out, with over 400 guests attending. The celebration provided a back drop for a film titled “Chasing Roosters,” followed by a book signing by the authors, Mr. Gary Jobson, two-time Emmy award winner and America’s Cup winner; Mr. Dan Crabbe; and Ms. Lara Walsh.
Ocean County College Alumni Banners – Five banners highlighting successful OCC alumni have been installed on campus. Very large banners are displayed on the Hiering Science Building and the Gymnasium, and smaller banners have been placed on several monoliths on the campus mall. Five more alumni have been selected for banners, and a photo shoot took place on June 16. The additional banners will be installed the last week of June by the Arts and Community Center walkway, the Administration Building, and Bartlett Hall. The banners will be changed every two years to highlight different alumni and celebrate new accomplishments.
Summer camps will begin at the end of June. The planetarium has become a popular summer destination, and reservations for this summer are on track to exceed last year’s attendance. Some of the most requested shows among the camps are “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure,” “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket,” and “Wonders of the Seasonal Sky.”
Grounds Department – Executive Director of Athletics Ilene Cohen and Athletics Director Anthony Trump presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Peter Tomko, Manager of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Michael Jachimowicz, Groundsworker, and the Grounds Department for their continuous hard work in maintaining the athletic fields.
DTZ and Facilities – The DTZ team and Facilities staff did an outstanding job providing support both before and after commencement, which was crucial to ensure the evening’s success, especially during challenging weather conditions. DTZ and Facilities were acknowledged for their team effort and excellence by Mr. Matthew Kennedy, Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Construction Management, and Mr. Peter Tomko, College liaison for DTZ.
Flower Sale – As always, the commencement stage was beautifully decorated with live plants and flowers. For the first time, the flowers and plants not placed on the campus were available to be purchased by members of the College community. All proceeds benefited the OCC Alumni Association.
Work Control – Replacing a sporadic process of random maintenance calls, the Work Control Center (WCC) has become the first point of contact for service requests and has acted as a liaison between the OCC community and Facilities. Since the establishment of the Work Control Center, the quality of services and conditions has improved immensely.
Training – MSI training is ongoing. The College has received excellent participation from our municipal partners, both local and county organizations, which is generating a number of great networking and partnership opportunities.
The Human Resources Department has been working with Brick Memorial High School on a Structured Learning Experience Program whereby participating high school juniors and seniors will work on the OCC campus in unpaid internships. The internships will be spread across campus, and the students will gain valuable real world work experience while learning about OCC. The pilot program will begin in fall 2014.
On Thursday, June 19, Ocean County College hosted the annual NJRUG (New Jersey Regional Users’ Group) one-day conference in the Gateway Building. There were over 150 attendees from 20 institutions representing 13 community colleges and 7 four-year colleges and universities.
Twenty sessions were presented by College employees, Ellucian consultants, and partner vendors. The sessions focused on a wide variety of Ellucian Colleague software modules to provide best practices and innovative ways to use the software more efficiently and effectively. Three sessions were presented by Ms. Eileen Buckle, Director Financial Aid; Ms. Sabreena Joynes, Assistant Director of Payroll; and Mr. Ed Tafaro, Executive Director of IT.
This conference serves as a networking opportunity for future collaborative efforts. We received very positive feedback from the attendees, who expressed satisfaction with the presentations and felt that the conference was well worth attending.
Contributing to the success and instrumental in coordinating the conference were Ms. Karen Papakonstantinou, Controller and current NJRUG President, and Ms. Elise Barocas, Director of Accounting and NJRUG Treasurer. As a result of the success of this conference, the 2015 conference is again scheduled to be held at OCC next June. The NJRUG conference is possible through the financial support of member institutions, Ellucian, and partner vendors.
A new Associate in Science Degree in Holistic Health and Wellness is being developed, which will be an element of our application for a TAACCCT grant in conjunction with Bergen, Sussex, Raritan, Brookdale, and Mercer county colleges. To the best of our knowledge, OCC will be the first county college to offer such a program.
A draft self-study report on our Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counseling program has been completed and will soon be submitted to the program accrediting agency, the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (I.N.C.A.S.E.). Accreditation of the program will increase student opportunities for transfer and employment.
The Developmental Education Committee worked diligently for over a year and completed its pilot program with some encouraging results. Armed with data, the Committee made its recommendations to the Academic Leadership Team and President’s Leadership Team and received overwhelming support. Those recommendations aim to reduce the amount of remediation and/or to improve the success rate of students who enroll in remedial courses. Ms. Lorie Trachtenberg, Director of Testing and Adaptive Services and the committee chair, has been invited to share some highlights of this project on Monday.
After the College received the College Readiness Now Grant early this spring, we teamed up with the Toms River North High School to run a very successful program that interested many students and their parents. As a result, 40 students will be coming to OCC this summer to enroll in two college-level courses, ACAD 155 and MATH 151. This participation exceeded our initial program target of assisting 23 students in becoming college-ready. Dr. Henry Jackson, Interim Dean of Language and the Arts, will discuss key elements of the program at Monday’s meeting.
Four students in the American Sign Language Program were invited to interpret for the New Jersey Special Olympics on May 30 at The College of New Jersey.