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Dr. Jon Larson

March 23, 2017

Dr. Larson's Report to the Board of Trustees

TO:            Members, OCC Board of Trustees

FROM:       Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.
                   President

SUBJECT:  Items of Interest for the March 23, 2017, Board Meeting

DATE:         March 16, 2017


New Jersey Network for School Success

New Jersey community college presidents have been invited to attend a meeting and demonstration of the New Jersey Network for School Success that will be held at Jackson Liberty High School on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.  They were encouraged to bring their County Executive Superintendents of Schools, District School Superintendents, and Curriculum Specialists.  Also invited were Ocean County Executive Superintendent Judith DeStefano-Anen and Ocean County’s Superintendents.

This new program, being initiated by OCC in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Education, will support student success across the K-12 education continuum through a deep collaboration between the community colleges and secondary schools and will enhance the college and career readiness and success of New Jersey students.

Academic Affairs

  • School of Arts and Humanities
    • Several new programs are being developed or redesigned to align with Guided Pathways, including an A.S. Degree in Graphic Arts, Design, and Media; A.A. Degree in English; A.A. Degree in History; A.S. Degree in Broadcasting; and A.A. Degree in Journalism.  A Guided Pathways approach presents courses in the context of highly structured, educationally coherent program maps that align with students’ goals for careers and further education.
  • A number of interesting events were offered for the College community in March:
    • On March 1, the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights presented another film, Torn Apart, for its Education Diversity in Film Series.  A discussion was led by Associate Professor of English, Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig.
    • The OCC Jazz Band, led by Adjunct Assistant Professor David Marowitz, held a performance and “Play-Along Jam” on March 1, 2017. The Jazz Band also sponsored an “OCC Has Talent” show on March 16, 2017.
    • Mr. Stephen Downey and Mr. Rob Marchie, both College Lecturer IIs of History, presented a film, 13th, as part of the History Club activities.  Over 100 students attended the event, and 25 of them remained after the film for a thought-provoking question/answer session. 
  • Instructor of Humanities Karin Gargone and several OCC music students attended and participated in a pipe organ concert performed by Dr. Joshua Melson, OCC Humanities Adjunct Assistant Professor, at the First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown. The program included works by J.S. Bach, Drischner, Vierne, Mendelssohn, Schroeder, and Debussy.
  • Associate Professor of English David Bordelon met with the OCC Community Book Club in the Library Tower Room to discuss this month’s Mexican Literature selection, Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera.
  • Dr. Jennifer Dellner, Professor of English, presented a paper in Sweden at the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Conference entitled, “These Memories Won’t Last:  Visual Representations of the Forgotten.”  The conference took place from March 14 to 16, 2017.
  • School of Business and Social Sciences
    • On March 29, 2017, Political Science Lecturer II Jason Ghibesi will offer a lecture at the Lakewood Library on Media and Politics: The Era of “Fake News.”
    • In addition to sponsoring a field trip to Arlington National Cemetery to visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, Professor of Social Sciences Lynn Kenneally is hosting a “Read-In” for Women’s History Month on March 28, 2017.
    • The School of Business and Social Sciences is collaborating on a grant application with Morris County Prevention Is Key, Inc. (MCPIK), an organization with expertise in the area of peer recovery support services, in its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Recovery Community Services Program-Statewide Network Grant application/project.  This program is designed to foster collaboration between New Jersey’s recovery community organizations and the statewide network of recovery stakeholders.  Its goal is to promote peer recovery support services as an integral part of recovery-oriented systems of care.  

MCIPIK is the state-certified developer and trainer of the new Certified Peer Recovery Specialist curriculum, which meets international standards of peer-to-peer recovery by the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium through New Jersey’s Addiction Professional Certification Board.  OCC is unique in having developed, in conjunction with MCPIK, a four-credit course, Introduction to Peer Addiction Recovery, which meets these international standards and will be offered here at OCC.

  • Center for Student Success
    • Disability Services
    • Ms. Gina Zippo-Mazur, Coordinator of Disability Services, is working with Human Resources in developing mandatory ADA compliance training similar to the Title IX and Sexual Harassment training for all OCC staff and faculty.  

She is making a presentation with Ms. Karen Cimorelli, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities, Union County College, at the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Best Practices Conference on April 21, 2017, on Students with Disabilities in the First Year:  Supporting Students, Faculty, and Staff in the Community College Setting through Universal Design.

Ms. Zippo-Mazur and Dr. Maureen Reustle, former Dean of Academic Services, are presenting via webinar on March 28, 2017, Strategies to Promote College Success for Students with Disabilities.  Participants will learn best practices, including universal design strategies that can benefit diverse learners and community campus integration.

In January, Ms. Zippo-Mazur was licensed as an Associate Counselor in the State of New Jersey.

  • On April 28, 2017, the Center for Student Success is sponsoring a symposium, Autism Spectrum Disorder:  The Basics and Beyond, featuring two highly regarded experts:  Samantha J. Herrick PhD, CRC, NCC, ACS, Assistant Professor in Rutgers School of Health-Related Professions, and Mr. Bret Vaks, MBA, Executive Director of Autism, Family Services of New Jersey. 
  • Testing Center

Ms. Lorie Trachtenberg, Director of Testing, Ms. Heidi Zentz, Part-Time Test Administer Technician, Ms. Janice Shaffer, Administrative Assistant, and Ms. Suzanne Marquand, Administrative Assistant, all passed the PearsonVue certification test enabling the OCC Testing Center to administer the PearsonVue full battery of Information Technology certification exams.

  • Academic Coaching

Ms. Diane DeFilippo, Academic Support Specialist, attended the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Advising Institute at Middlesex County College on March 17, 2017.

  • Tutoring

Tutoring Resources will be hosting the first Tutoring Summit on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Tutors from all areas on campus will participate in additional professional development.  Ms. Veronica Guevera-Lovgren, Director of Academic Support Services, developed and submitted a proposal to the National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning.

  • School of Nursing and Health Science
    • OCC Nursing III students and faculty attended the New Jersey Nursing Students Convention in Atlantic City on March 2, 2016.  Seventy students had the opportunity to network with their peers and meet with potential employers.  Educational sessions were provided related to preparing the student for professional practice.
    • A Nursing II student, Ms. Kimberly Dempsey, was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship awarded by New Jersey State Nursing Students, Inc., on March 2, 2017.  This scholarship was awarded during the annual Nursing Student convention on March 2, 2017.
    • Pre-Nursing Information Sessions were held on March 8, 2017, for students who intend to enter the Nursing Program.  Representatives from Nursing, Advising, and Kean University provided information to 42 students regarding the program.
    • The Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences attended a meeting of the Toms River Family Support and Health Coalition on February 21, 2017.  The coalition is sponsored by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation and brings together members of the community to focus on health issues within Toms River.  The work is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Build a Culture of Health in New Jersey.  Areas of focus include nutrition, senior isolation, wellness, substance abuse, and access to health care.
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Associate Professor of Science Duane Grembowicz, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Science Joseph Amoroso, and 16 students from Professor Grembowicz’ environmental science classes attended the 28th Annual Pinelands Short Course at Stockton University on March 11, 2017.  The Short Course is offered annually by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, and this year featured 52 presentations, performances, and tours about history, ecology, and culture of the Pinelands.  
    • Professor of Mathematics Yuan Xu coordinated the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ spring semester student math exam competition that was held on March 2, 2017.  A total of 36 students participated in the competition, 11 of whom were women.  Professor Xu was assisted with proctoring the exams by Assistant Professors of Mathematics Carolyn Showalter, Kaaren Finberg, and Shirley Grone, and Instructor of Mathematics Ted Gordon.
    • Mr. Scott Farrell, Lecturer II of Chemistry, will chaperone OCC’s HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) Club to the New Jersey state competition.  The competition will be held at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. OCC students competing and their events are:
      • Christina Fichner - Job Seeking Skills and Barbara James Service Award
      • Juliet Tafaro - Medical Assisting
      • Shemesh Friedman - Clinical Nursing
      • Maureen Nelson - Medical Terminology and Barbara James Service Award
      • Steven Jones - Extemporaneous Writing

Students who place in the top three in their events will advance to compete at the HOSA International Leadership conference in June held in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Farrell will also chaperone OCC’s Science Club on a one-day trip to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia during spring break.

  • Library
    • As reported last month, on March 4, 2017, the Library dedicated the new Chess Book Collection, which was donated by Mr. Steven Doyle in honor of Dr. William Rickert, Professor of Mathematics.  Many people attended the event, met with special guest, Grand Master Fabiano Caruana, and toured the new collection space.  Hearing stories about the many ways in which Dr. Rickert has impacted and influenced students was heartwarming and entertaining.  The Library staff members are thrilled to play a part in honoring Dr. Rickert and to offer such a fine Chess Book Collection.
    • OCC Librarians Catherine Pontoriero and Caitlyn Cook will participate in the 2017 New Jersey Library Association Conference from April 24 to 26, 2017, in Atlantic City.  They will present a poster:  The C.U.E. at OCC.  This poster session will focus on the innovative new LGBT C.U.E. (Collection Uniting Everyone) space at OCC, which was developed in partnership with the Center for Access and Equality.  This open lounge area and reading collection are designed to foster inclusion and support for the LGBTQ community.  .

Ms. Cook will also be participating in a Panel Discussion, "There is an Imposter in the Library...and it's Me!"  Other presenters include Ms. Andrea Levandowski, Project Manager, Small Business Development and Technology, New Jersey State Library, and Ms. Cindy Czesak, Director, Paterson Free Public Library.

  • Ms. Pontoriero and Ms. Zippo-Mazur will provide a table at the Autism Awareness Event on Friday, April 28, 2017.  They will present a poster detailing the resources available in the Library, along with a subject guide for Autism Awareness.
  • The Librarians have created a “puzzling” new resource – a table in the first floor Tower Room holds books about logical, mathematical, and situational puzzles.  There are also rotating jigsaw puzzles for students to help them decompress from the stresses of their studies. These resources complement the giant chess set on the glass block section of the floor, where games of chess are played nearly every day.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • Domestic e-Learning
    • OCC’s e-Learning team recently launched Dropout Detective and Instructor Insight, a software module housed within OCC’s LMS, Canvas.  These tools focus on at-risk student identification and instructor efficacy.  Mr. Jeff Harmon, Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, will present these innovative tools at Thursday’s Board meeting.
    • OCC has completed its first 3 plus 1 articulation agreement with Thomas Edison State University.  Under the terms of this agreement, a student can earn up to 90 credits at OCC and transfer all 90 to Thomas Edison.  This will allow the student to complete the final year of a bachelor’s degree at Thomas Edison for less than $20,000, a considerable savings for the student.  This is a significant achievement in the ongoing campaign to provide accessible, affordable, and quality education.

Finance and Administration

  • Accounting/Purchasing

The Accounting and Purchasing Departments and IT staff are currently in the process of implementing Colleague budget checking functionality.  When this program is operational, it will automatically check purchase requisitions for available budget funds; if funds are not available, the requisition will not be approved.  Also underway is an application that will allow a budget manager to transfer funds electronically from one budget line to another.  A timeline has been determined for testing, and implementation is scheduled for July 1, 2017.

  • Human Resources
    • The 2015-16 Cohort of the Leadership Academy continues to meet and discuss the implementation of its special project, utilizing the Leadership Challenge Workbook as a guide.  The cohort members will also be participating in a workshop in Executive Business Communications.
    • The new 2016-17 Cohort is currently in the process of designing its project.  The cohort members hope to schedule a presentation of their proposed project to the President’s Leadership Team in May.
  • Continuing and Professional Education
    • The Summer 2017 Kids on Campus Camp brochure is now available, and it is quite impressive.  New camps include Bugaboo Yoga, Girl Power Yoga, Horseback Riding, Upcycling Art, Music Beats, and Volleyball.  Other camps include Digital Art, Building and Engineering, Adventure, Science, and academic programs.  Ms. Kerry Holzschuh, Youth and Camp Coordinator, Ms. Pat Fenn, Assistant Vice President of Continuing and Professional Education, and all others involved with the development of the summer camps are commended for the wide variety and number of opportunities available.

Both the Summer 2017 Kids on Campus Camp brochure and the regular Summer Continuing and Professional Education Course Offering brochure will be distributed to you at Thursday’s meeting.

  • Eleven businesses have expressed interest in no-cost counseling in social media after taking New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) grant-funded Social Media Strategy and Facebook courses at the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.  The Small Business Development Center at OCC has extended this free offer to participants of the social media courses.
  • CPE provided a NJBIA-funded course in Developing Teamwork for the Ocean County Workforce Development Board.
  • A student who received Ready-to-Work funding to attend an OCC Allied Health program has been offered a full-time position and is on a fast, upward career track with a local employer.  New candidates will be entering the Ready-to-Work-sponsored health care programs this spring.
  • Students in the CPE Server and System Administrator class will be taking their CompTIA credential exams at the OCC Testing Center this month.  These credential exams are a new addition to the Testing Center offerings; students can now avoid traveling to other venues to be tested.
  • CPE and the Small Business Development Center are partnering with the Kean Ocean Entrepreneurship Club on an event, Personal Branding and Social Media, which will be held on April 20, 2017, in the Gateway Building.
  • CPE is exploring a partnership with a local vendor to offer a much needed Certified Nurse Assistant Program.  If the partnership materializes, CPE will to apply for State certification, and the program will be offered in the new Health Sciences Building.
  • Teen Arts Festival

OCC is hosting the 40th Annual Ocean County Teen Arts Festival at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.  Artwork is on display in the Gallery from March 8 through April 7, 2017.

The 2017 Ocean County Teen Arts Festival will be represented by the following high schools:  Barnegat, Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Central Regional, Donovan Catholic, Jackson Liberty, Jackson Memorial, Lacey Township, Lakewood, Manchester, Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS)/Brick, OCVTS Performing Arts Academy, Pinelands Regional, Point Pleasant Borough, Southern Regional, and Toms River East, North, and South.

This week the performance aspect of the festival took place.  Students performed in various categories including dance, instrumental music, vocal music, and theatre.  Students also participated in workshops to learn about art forms they may not encounter in the classroom.  There were a number of workshops presented, and students also participated in an Open Mic session.

On Thursday, April 4, 2017, a Salute to Ocean County, A Celebration of Arts and Heritage, will be held in the Grunin Center.  Awards will be presented in a variety of categories.

Funding for the Ocean County Teen Arts Festival is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State through grant funds administered by the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, with additional funding from OCC and the Ocean County high schools.

  • OCC Foundation

Five OCC students received $2,000 scholarships from the OCC Foundation for the Theatre in London trip, which took place in January.  These scholarships were funded through the Monmouth Academy Fund and the Mary Zerby Fund.  Attached to my report are letters of appreciation from the students.

The Foundation will also be providing scholarship support this year for the World of the Maya and Ireland programs.  In the last three years, the Foundation has provided over $75,000 in scholarship support for Travel Abroad programs.

  • College Relations
    • Grants

At Thursday’s meeting, Ms.  Kayci Clayton, Manager of Grants, will discuss the focus of the Grants Office during 2017.  An overview will be provided on PLT-approved funding priorities, current opportunities underway, such as Title III, Title II, USAID, and the ADVANCE grants.  She will also share grant opportunities currently being researched that align with OCC’s mission, goals, and funding priorities.

  • TV Studio School Outreach Program
  • The OCC Foundation initiative, School Outreach Pilot Program, has been completed.  In the first phase, on Thursday, March 9, 2017, Toms River High School TV students worked under the direction of OCC TV studio staff to record Smokey Joe’s Café in the Grunin Center.  The totally immersive experience focused on large-scale television remote recording in a live performance situation.  The students operated OCC TV studio equipment and experienced all aspects of the production.  

The second phase of the School Outreach Pilot Program was held in the TV Studio on Thursday, March 16, 2017.  The Toms River students returned to campus to work in the TV studio to produce a talk show with students who participated in Phase 1.  Ms. Heather Barberi, Executive Director of the Foundation, will introduce and show the video at Thursday’s meeting.

  • The TV studio partnered with Townsquare media to broadcast “Hometown Heroin: A Townsquare Tonight Town Hall Event” at the Grunin Center on Monday, March 20, 2017.  The panel was broadcast live on WOBM radio, Ocean TV20, and streamed live on the internet.

WOBM News Reporter Vin Ebenau moderated the discussion, touching on advances in rehabilitation, the allure of opiates, and the role the public can play in stemming the tide of drug dependence.  The dais included Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato, Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy, Mr. Steve Willis from Hope Sheds Light, Mr. Anthony Castellano from Preferred Behavioral Health, and Mr. John Brogan from the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program.

  • Security

    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 February 16, 2017, through March 15, 2017.

Student Affairs

  • Academic Advising
  • The Advising Office reached out to 63 students currently on Academic Probation to ask if they are encountering any problems or have questions, to schedule advising appointments, and to discuss upcoming spring registration.  Letters were mailed to an additional 54 students who did not reenroll this spring.
  • Support continues for students in the southern part of Ocean County; the Advising Office hosts Transfer Thursdays at the Southern Education Center.  Students have an opportunity to meet with Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer, at the Manahawkin location.
  • Eight Instant Decision Days were hosted this spring:
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology - Twenty students participated and all were accepted.
  • William Patterson University – One student participated and was accepted.
  • Seton Hall University – Six students participated and all were accepted.
  • Drew University – Four students participated and all were accepted.
  • Rowan University – Seventeen students participated and all were accepted.
  • Montclair University – Seventeen students participated and all were accepted.
  • Stockton University – Thirty students participated and all were accepted
  • Stockton University (at the Southern Education Center) – Fourteen students participated and all were accepted.
  • The Advising Office is planning its first Spring Transfer Fair on March 31, 2017.
  • Financial Aid

    For FY 2013, OCC saw an increase in its student loan program cohort default rate.  In response, Ms. Robbin Haynes, Student Loan Advisor, was tasked with the development of a default management plan to address student loan delinquencies and provide outreach to students to assist them in obtaining deferments, forbearances, or more suitable payment options.  This management plan was fully implemented in 2016.  Based on a recent Default Management Report, positive results are anticipated as we move into the future.

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • From December 2016 to the present, 704 loans have been cured.  Cured loans are loans that were in default or delinquent, which, as a result of default management efforts, are now current.
  • OCC currently has a delinquency rate (31+ days past due) of 16%, which is comparable to other similar schools.
  • There are currently 22 borrowers who are 271+ days past due; efforts are being made to resolve these accounts.
  • OCC currently has a skip rate of 6.2%, which is favorable compared to similar schools.  This means OCC’s collection of contact information from students exiting the College is accurate.
  • 42% of OCC students manage their student loan accounts online.
  • OCC has an 80% opt-in email rate for loan servicing, which is very good.
  • Career, Employment, and Counseling Services

    Ms. Diana Gatti, Project Director of Student Support Services, has been selected to present at the annual conference of the Association for Equality and Education in Puerto Rico on creative tutoring practices.

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