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April 26, 2018

Dr. Larson's Report to the Board of Trustees

TO:                  Members, OCC Board of Trustees

FROM:            Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.


SUBJECT:      Items of Interest for the April 26, 2018, Board Meeting

DATE:             April 23, 2018

Finance and Administration

  • Ms. Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, Ms. Christine Healey, Director of Purchasing and Payables, Ms. Lenabell Manning, HR Information Systems Supervisor, Mr. JR Ross, Interim CIO, and three members of the Student Affairs area attended Ellucian Live in San Diego, California, from April 8 to 11, 2018.  As a member of Ellucian’s Executive Advisory Board, Ms. Winchester also attended the Executive Forum sessions from April 6 to 8, 2018.  She co-presented in a post-conference workshop entitled, “Sustaining a Competitive Advantage through Strategic Understanding of Grant Trends and Emerging Learning Technologies.”
  • The New Jersey Community College Best Practices Conference was held at Middlesex County College on April 20, 2018.  In partnership with Mr. Donald Norris of Strategic Initiatives, Inc., Ms. Winchester presented a session entitled, “Program Innovation and Realignment to Boost Student Success.”  The conference focused on innovative practices related to the Guided Pathways Framework.
  • College Relations
    • The Ocean County College Foundation’s 100 Women Campaign will hold its 3rd Annual LeadHERship Symposium on May 1, 2018, in the Gateway Building Lecture Hall, featuring Ms. Holly Hoffman, a motivational speaker, who will present “Never Give Up.”  Ms. Hoffman will share her engaging and refreshing outlook on life, which emphasizes the importance of owning your inner power and strength. 
    • The 100 Women Campaign’s mission is to bring together dynamic, innovative, and accomplished Ocean County women who will support life and career goals, share their insights and experiences, encourage education, provide scholarship support, and mentor students.
    • Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, and Ms. Bernadette Packo, Provident Bank, are co-chairs of this year’s event.  If you are interested, please join the 100 Women mentors and mentees for an inspirational evening. 
  • The H. Hovnanian Health Sciences Building Ribbon Cutting and Name Recognition Ceremony will be held on May 9, 2018, at 5:00 pm.  The new Health Sciences Building will house both Nursing and Continuing and Professional Education classes.  The generous donation of $3.75 million from the Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation will provide an endowment for scholarships and help support healthcare programs at Ocean County College.
  •  The following applications for grant funding have been submitted:
    • Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation ($5,500) – Funding will support a show schedule that will include one public performance and two outreach performances.  Prior to the performances, OCC will host a screening of “Great Grandfather's Drum," a sixty minute documentary of Taiko in Hawaii through a group called Maui Taiko.
    • Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation ($3,700) – Funding will support two outreach performances and one public performance with Ranky Tanky.
    • Department of Health and Human Services – Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant ($306,000) – Grants are used to (1) enhance services for all college students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, serious mental illness, and/or substance use disorders that can lead to school failure; (2) prevent mental and substance use disorders; (3) promote help-seeking behavior and reduce stigma; and (4) improve the identification and treatment of at-risk college students so they can successfully complete their studies.
    • EPA – Environmental Education Local Grants Program for Region 2 ($99,317) – Grant funding will be used to support an environmental education project of farm-to-table food between Barnegat Bay and OCC to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental and conservation issues and provide the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.

OCCs application to DRNJ, Assistive Technology Services, in the amount of $12,500, has been successful.  Grants will be used to provide enhanced access to assistive technology products and services on a comprehensive basis through a system of device loan, demonstration, equipment reuse, training and technical assistance, and public awareness activities.

  • TV Studio
    • The TV studio recorded and broadcast live via internet the "State of Ocean County Roundtable" event, sponsored by the OCC Governmental Affairs Institute.  Approximately 100 Political Science students as well as members of the public attended the event.
    • On April 19, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., the "Salute to Ocean County" event was televised live from the Grunin Center and broadcast on Ocean TV 20 and the College website.  The evening helps bring awareness to the arts and showcases the wonderful talent in Ocean County high schools.  The event is sponsored by the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Grunin Foundation.
    • The Substance Abuse Summit was televised and streamed live from the Gateway Lecture Hall on April 23, 2018, at 2:00 p.m.  The day-long event featured presentations by motivational speakers and drug and alcohol counselors.  The day also included NARCAN certification training and a documentary film and discussion.
  •  Human Resources
    • The 2017-2018 Cohort of the Leadership Academy continues to meet and discuss the implementation of its special project, utilizing the Leadership Challenge Workbook as a guide for this undertaking.  The members participated in one workshop, Finance for the Non-Financial, and will participate in another, Presenting for Professionals.   Cohort members have participated in a 360 Feedback Appraisal and have begun sessions with a professional coach.
    • Human Resources launched the Performance Evaluation module of PeopleAdmin, which will align with the performance appraisal process.  Supervisors and employees are participating in training sessions to familiarize themselves with the core competencies essential for the development, management, and overall success of all OCC employees.
    • In addition to the transition to an online performance management system, the appraisal tool has been modified to focus primarily on achievements aligned with the College’s strategic plan.  Previous appraisal tools measured performance against position requirements rather than strategic goals.
    • Ms. Jackie D’Amore, Senior Human Resources Specialist, Talent and Organizational Development, and Ms. Carol Appleby, Recruiting Operations Administrator, Human Resources, attended the CUPA-HR Conference in Baltimore on April 9 and 10, 2018, and participated in various concurrent sessions.  Ms. Appleby appreciated the George Washington University Compensation team project; it took over three years to complete and involved separating compensation analysis into Facilities, IT, and General Position categories – similar to the process used at OCC.  The Title IX session, led by the Title IX Coordinator from A.T. Still University, was also valuable, reinforcing the Title IX training by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management/Association for Title IX Administrators (NCHERM/ATIXA), which took place on campus on March 14 and 15, 2018.
    • At its February 22, 2018, meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a multi-year contract program for College Lecturers.  The program was communicated to the Lecturers, and applications will be accepted through May 15, 2018, for a July 1, 2018, effective date.
  • Employees have the opportunity to participate in training and development seminars encompassing a variety of learning topics.  The curriculum for April and May includes the following classes:

Performance Management Training for Supervisors
Performance Management Training for Employees
The Ocean Way Training
The Ocean Way Training for Faculty

Human Resources is working with Dr. Gerald Racioppi, Vice President of Student Affairs, to identify new tools for mandatory FERPA training for employees.

  • 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 March 15, 2018, through April 18, 2018.

Student Affairs

  • Educational Opportunity Fund/Center for Access and Equality (EOF/C4AE)
    • The EOF State Graduate Achievement Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 2018, at Georgian Court University.  Every year, the EOF Board of Directors and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education invite campus programs to identify graduating EOF students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement during their college careers.  This year, 1,120 students from throughout the state were nominated for awards.
    • OCC’s highest achieving EOF students were recognized on April 6 with the following awards:
    •  Distinguished Scholar Award – Presented to any EOF graduating student who has a cumulative grade point average of 4.0
      • Alissa DeLeo – 4.0 GPA
      • Cassandra Gonzalez – 4.0 GPA
      • Brandon Guarini – 4.0 GPA
    • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award - Presented to any EOF graduating student who has a cumulative grade point average range from 3.5 to 3.99
      • Emily Figueroa Boyer – 3.903 GPA
      •  James Cascio – 3.691 GPA
      •  Nisauris Collado – 3.566 GPA
      • Robert George – 3.676 GPA
      • Jorge Gonzalez – 3.614 GPA
      • Derreck O’Neil – 3.731 GPA
      • Wesley Tanner – 3.805 GPA
    • Academic Achievement Award - Presented to any EOF graduating student who has a cumulative grade point average range from 3.2 to 3.49
      • Gabriel Awolola – 3.363 GPA
      • Joylynn Boyer – 3.219 GPA
      • Jacob Collins – 3.427 GPA
      • Celenia Hernandez – 3.207 GPA
      • Antoniette Latham – 3.206 GPA
      • Alexandra Morales – 3.492 GPA
      • Sean Newman – 3.318 GPA
      • Diana Parra – 3.258 GPA
      • Jason Watson – 3.36 GPA
    • Outstanding Achievement Award – Presented to one EOF student who best exemplifies the spirit and intent of the EOF program.  The nominee in this category may also receive an award in one of the three academic categories.
      • Jennifer Mergogey – 2.979 GPA
    • Ms. Laura Rickards, Director of the program, will attend Thursday’s meeting with several students who were recognized, Gabriel Awolola, Alissa DeLeo, and Cassandra Gonzalez, who will share their experiences with the trustees.
  • Advising
    • Transfer Events
      • Advising, Transfer, and Career Services hosted a New Jersey Spring Transfer Fair on April 11, 2018, to help students connect with all of the educational opportunities available in New Jersey.  Over 20 state colleges and universities attended to discuss transfer opportunities with OCC students.  Transfer Coordinator Laura Wills planned and executed the event, which also provided an opportunity for her to build upon her already solid and productive relationships with admissions representatives from around the state.
      • Advising has also continued to provide opportunities for students to gain access to information from four-year colleges through Instant Decision Days and college visits.  The following took place during the months of February and March:
  • Instant Decision Days
    • Drew University (5 students accepted)
    • Montclair State University (canceled for snow but worked together to provide responses to students)
    • Fairleigh Dickinson University (2 students accepted – snow and delays caused low turnout)
    • Stockton University – Southern Education Center, Manahawkin (15 students accepted)
    • Monmouth University (10 students accepted)
  • College Visits
    • William Paterson University
    • Georgian Court University
    • The office, in collaboration with Records and Registration, the School of Nursing and Allied Health, and Kean Ocean, hosted two Pre-Nursing Information Sessions on March 9 and March 29, 2018.  Over 60 students attended between the two sessions and received information on nursing admissions, the Nursing Program, and the Kean BSN Program.  These sessions were coordinated by Associate Director Pamela Donohue.
  • Enrollment Services
    • Ms. Sheenah Hartigan, Director of Enrollment Services, and Ms. Kathleen Mohr, Student Services Administrator, presented at the New Jersey Council of County Colleges Best Practices Conference on April 20, 2018, at Middlesex County College.  The topic of their presentation was “Gen Z:  Connecting through the One Stop Model.”
    • Reggie, OCC’s chatbot, has continued to use augmented intelligence to converse with nearly 10,000 potential and current students. Reggie recently sent out an Open House invitation, a text on scholarship information, and encouragement to hit a “home run,” sent on baseball’s opening day, by completing the enrollment process early.
  • Counseling and Student Development Services
    •  Prevention Activities
      • April is Alcohol Awareness and Prevention Month.  Activities during the month feature the hands-on use of impaired driving goggles and the walking mat, information about alcohol abuse and serving “mocktails” to students, and working with the Governmental Affairs Institute to present the Second Annual Summit on Substance Abuse, which was held on April 23, 2018.
      • April is also Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Representatives from St. Francis Counseling Services staffed a table and distributed information in the Larson Student Center during the month.  St. Francis is also coordinating with sexual assault providers and agencies to present “Consent and Coffee at OCC: Break the Silence,” which will be held on April 26, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Gateway Room 104; Dr. Mary Ellen Carr, Professor of English, contributed in this event.  Speakers will include representatives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Sexual Assault Prevention Program, St. Francis Counseling Services, and the Ocean County Sexual Assault Response Team.  Freeholder Virginia Haines will present a Proclamation from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
      • Dr. Kate Pandolpho, Director of Career, Employment, and Personal Counseling, completed her work with the planning committee of the second annual Career Conference sponsored by the Center for Student Success, New Jersey Council of County Colleges.  She was one of the presenters at the April 13, 2018, conference, discussing “The Role of the Career Practitioner.” The conference featured expert speakers from community colleges and universities, with the keynote speaker being Dr. Carl Van Horn of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.  A number of OCC Student Affairs staff members attended the conference.
  • Student Support Services (SSS) Program
    • The Student Support Services Program completed the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) 2016/2017 annual performance report, which shows the following outcomes:




Approved Rate


Attained Rate

Number of Participants






Good Academic Standing



Completion of Associate Degree or Certificate





Completion of Associate Degree or Certificate and Transfer to a Four-Year Institution





  • Project Director Diana Gatti attended USDOE-funded training on the TRIO budget.  The TRIO Programs are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  
  • Ms. Gatti and Ms. Helen Konz, Student Support Services Specialist, attended the Council for Opportunity in Education trainings for Evaluation, Recordkeeping, and Reporting and Financial Aid and Financial Literacy and Admissions to satisfy state and regulatory requirements.  They reported that both of these training events were outstanding.
  • SSS student trips include cultural enrichment and college visits.  The annual Vendor Fair, which raises funds for the SSS Club, will be held on May 3, 2018.
  • Displaced Homemakers Program
    • The Displaced Homemakers Program has had a most successful year.  As of April 6, 2018, 124 women were participating in the program.  Currently, there are 22 participants enrolled as college students: 16 at OCC, 2 at Kean Ocean, 2 at Stockton University, and 1 at Rutgers University.  Three clients have been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society this year.  The program anticipates three Ocean County College graduates in May.  Nineteen participants have become employed this funding year.
    • A total of 18 participants have received or are completing training through Continuing and Professional Education classes:
      • Bookkeeping and Office Manager Certification – 5 clients
      • QuickBooks Certification – 1 client
      • Medical Assistant Certification – 2 clients
      •  Pharmacy Technician Certificate – 2 clientsNurse’s Aide (Long-Term Care) Certification – 1 client
      • Medical Billing Certificate – 1 client
      • CPT Coding – 1 client
      • Community Health Worker Certification – 3 clients

This year, the program has facilitated:

  • Two twenty-four hour Job Readiness Programs (Be Passionate about YOUR future)
  • Two eight-hour training events (Resume Writing and Interviewing)
  • Seventeen Job Readiness workshops on various topics
  • Almost two hundred hours of computer literacy training

To date, the program has produced $85,505 in revenue in 2017-2018:  $40,415 in credit course tuition and fees; $39,000 in Continuing and Professional Education tuition and books; and $6,090 in OCC books and graduation fees.

Ms. Eileen Burdge, Community Services Specialist and Coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Program, will introduce you to program participants at Thursday’s meeting who will share their stories of achievement.

It is respectfully requested that a resolution be adopted to proclaim the month of May 2018 as Displaced Homemakers Awareness Month at Ocean County College to recognize the benefits provided by this program to the participants and their families.

  • Student Life
    • HOSA, the Health Occupations Students of America, is a nationally recognized organization devoted to the education of students who are interested in health-related careers.  The New Jersey HOSA conference was held the weekend of March 17 – 18, 2018, at Middlesex County Vocational School in Piscataway, New Jersey.  
    • Four students from OCC’s chapter of HOSA competed this year in categories of their choice.  
    • Over 1,000 students were in attendance representing a large number of schools from across the state, some of which included Rutgers University, NJIT, and the Ocean County Vocational Technical School.  Students were judged on guidelines determined for each event, and competitors must have achieved a minimum of 70% of the total score in order to place.  Of those who scored high enough, only the top five are recognized for a medal.  All five OCC students placed in the competition.
  • The following HOSA members received recognition:  
    • Danica Kennedy, Pathophysiology - 1st place and Gold-Level Barbara James Service Award
    • Sean Newman, Medical Math – 2nd place
    • Maureen Nelson, Medical Terminology – 2nd place
    • Nate Bungay, Extemporaneous Writing – 3rd place
  • These students are entered to compete against others from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico at the International Leadership Conference from June 27 to 30, 2018, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.  

Academic Affairs

  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • OCC Nursing IV students and faculty attended the New Jersey National League for Nursing Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 30, 2018.  Seventy-one students had the opportunity to network with their peers throughout the state and meet with potential employers. Educational sessions were provided related to preparing the student for professional practice.
  • Mary Sue Gill, RN, MSN, APN-BC, Nursing Lecturer II, provided an article for the April issue of e-notebook titled, A Preventable Disease that is Affecting Men, Women, and Babies: Syphilis.  The article focused on signs and symptoms of this sexually transmitted infection (STI), preventing spread of the disease, and the effects of syphilis on an unborn baby.
  • Nancy Volk, RN, MSN, Nursing Lecturer II, and Tamila Purpuro, RN, MSN, Nursing Lecturer II, will be attending Nursing Practice and the Law presented by the Institute for Nursing on April 26, 2018.  The presentation will focus on rules and regulations that guide nursing practice and processes to influence legislation.
  • The Student Nurse Organization (SNO) held a Career Day on April 3, 2018.  Representatives from nine clinical facilities attended the event.  Students were provided with information on applying for positions following completion of the program.  On April 13, 2018, SNO sponsored a Zumba Fundraiser, raising $90 for scholarships that will be awarded at the Pinning Ceremony.
  • School of Arts and Humanities
    • The School is happy to announce that the New Jersey Presidents’ Council authorized OCC’s new Associate in Science Degree in Graphic Arts, Design, and Media.  Additionally, four new options have been approved in the Performing Arts Degree in anticipation of the Performing Arts Academy on the College campus.  The pathways include Arts Administration, Dance, Music, and Theatre.  
    • The Women’s History Month Celebration at the end of March was a great success with many presenting through readings, songs, poetry, lectures, and live performances:  Dr. David Bordelon, Professor of English; Dr. Elizabeth Brierley, Associate Professor of Communications; Ms. Marisol Brodie, Interim College Lecturer II in Humanities; Dr. Marilyn Kralik, Professor of Humanities; Ms. Catherine Mancuso, College Lecturer II of Dance; Mr. Robert Marchie, College Lecturer II of History; Ms. Jayanti Tamm, Assistant Professor of English; and Dean of Arts and Humanities Heidi Sheridan.
    • On April 3, 2018, the 17th Annual Poetry Festival and Open Mic, was a great success.  It was organized by Dr. Sandra Brown, Professor of English; Ms. Christine Bryant, College Lecturer II of English; and Ms. Jayanti Tamm, Assistant Professor of English.  It featured the internationally known, spoken word poet Amal Kamir, who addressed a packed house in the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.
    • Yom haShoah, coordinated by Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, Director of the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, opened with a commemorative ceremony at Congregation B’nai Israel of Toms River followed by a reading of the names on April 12, 2018, and a presentation by OCC alumnus Ernie Arians, What Our Fathers DidThree films were presented on April 16, 17, and 25, 2018, called Hitler’s Children, Inheritance, and You are the Future, respectively.
    • Mr. Robert Marchie presented at the Organization of American Historians Annual Conference.  His presentation was in reference to teaching Historical Literacy in the Digital Age.
    • On April 14, 2018, the American Sign Language Rock and Roll show filled the house at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center with lively performances from our students, faculty, and professors in the American Sign Language-English Interpreter Training A.A.S. Degree Program.
    • College Lecturer II of Communications/Theatre Paul Chalakani is directing “What a Piece of Work is a Man,” a Shakespeare-themed play for the Repertory Theatre, running in the Black Box Theatre on April 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29, 2018.
    • Dr. Mary Ellen Carr, Professor of English, hosted To Break the Silence on Sexual Violence on April 26, 2018, in collaboration with the Center for Counseling and College Relations.
    • The OCC Dance Club, advised by Ms. Catherine Mancuso had its semester show on April 10, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grunin Theatre.  Also, on April 13, 2018, guest speaker Michael Ian Cedar came to OCC to speak on How to Make a Living in the Performing Arts.
    • The Motion Picture Club, co-led by English College Lecturers Jason Molloy and Dr. Madison Peschock, has been meeting every week during the spring semester to watch and discuss classic films.  
    • The History Club, co-led by College Lecturers Stephen Downey and Robert Marchie, held a bake sale on April 18, 2018.  In addition, the club had a collection for items, and all proceeds from both went to Ocean’s Harbor House.
    • Dr. Madison Peschock has hosted the Adjunct Round Tables, and adjunct faculty members Michael Shampine and Ruth Morris and College Lecturers of English Samantha Glassford and Kristyn Stout have presented.
  •  School of Business and Social Sciences
    • On April 10, 2018, Assemblyman David Wolfe addressed OCC Political Science students on the topic of the legislative branch and the function of New Jersey state government.  He discussed upcoming initiatives in the state, as well as the major issues and initiatives being undertaken by new Governor Phil Murphy.
    • Mr. Jason Ghibesi, College Lecturer II of Political Science, led a group of OCC students and members of the local community to the United Nations on April 12, 2018, with Professor of Social Sciences Lynn Kenneally participating as a chaperone.  The trip included a guided tour of the United Nations' main divisions, including the General Assembly and Security Council.  Following the visit to the United Nations, the group attended the production of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."
    • OCC hosted its second annual substance abuse summit on April 23, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  This event continues to promote awareness within our community about the dangers of opioid use.  The speakers participating in this event represented a wide spectrum of perspectives, including addiction, recovery, education, medicine, and law.  OCC remains a leader in educating its students and the community by emphasizing the deadly impact of this epidemic in our society.
    • A group of OCC Business and Social Sciences educators attended the 18th annual Best Practices Conference sponsored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges on April 20, 2018, at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey:  Ms. Jennifer Barnes, Mr. Jason Ghibesi, both College Lecturer IIs of Political Science; Ms. Maria Paradiso, College Lecturer II of Social Work; Mr. Sean Bips, Business College Lecturer II; Dr. Chad Sexton, College Lecturer II of Sociology; Ms. Jane MacDonald, College Lecturer II of Education; and Mr. Steven Gerding, Assistant Dean of Business and Social Sciences.  They attended a number of different workshops on Program Innovation and Realignment to Boost Student Success; The Adjunct Institute at Ocean County College: Developing a Program for Adjuncts; and Gen Z: Connecting through the One Stop Model.
    • On April 25, 2018, detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department will visit campus to meet the Criminal Justice students of Ms. Jennifer Barnes.  The detectives will discuss and demonstrate various methods, techniques, and technologies associated with modern crime scene investigations and processing.  Students will also see the scientific basis of fingerprinting as well the practical aspects that still make fingerprinting such a reliable source of identification in legal systems throughout the world.
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
    • Dr. Angel Camilo, Dr. John McElroy, Mr. Scott Farrell, Dr. Caterina Gibson, and Dr. Mary Ellen Rada, all College Lecturer IIs in Science, conducted a mid-semester meeting for biology and chemistry adjunct faculty members.  The meeting included a review of end-of-semester important dates and deadlines; discussions about Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology, and General Chemistry course topics; and an ice breaker activity.  Also in attendance at the meeting were Ms. Barb Collins, Science Laboratories Manager; Ms. Katie Pyott, STEM Academic Administrator; and Dean of STEM Paul Silberquit.
    • Dr. Caterina Gibson and students from her General Biology Lab class planted annual flowers outside the Hiering and Technology buildings as part of a class project.
    • Mr. Gerald Aska, Engineering College Lecturer II, has been working with the Chairperson of the Engineering Technology Department at NJIT and the Coordinator of the Surveying Engineering Technology (SET) program to develop an articulation agreement for OCC surveying courses that will transfer toward an NJIT Engineering Technology baccalaureate degree.
    • Because of the snow storm in March, the 2018 Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium was shortened from two days to one. Assisting with the event under the revised and abbreviated schedule were Dr. Angel Camilo; Dr. John McElroy; Ms. Bridget Everett, Executive Assistant to the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs; Ms. Andrea Hrehovcik, Administrative Assistant in Computer Studies; Ms. Justine Lugo, Academic Affairs Technician; Ms. Christine O’Neil, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs; Ms. Katie Pyott; Dr. Mary Ellen Rada; and Dean Paul Silberquit.
    • The five students who placed in the top positions advanced to the Junior Science and Humanities National Symposium, to be held from May 2 to 5, 2018, in Hunt Valley, Maryland, to compete against high school students from across the United States and military bases from around the world.
    • New programs and courses are being developed in the STEM area:
      • Mr. Keith Bosler – A.S. degree in Mathematics
      • Dr. Gerald Cohen – A.S. degree in Computer Science, an option in Data Management
      • Dr. Angel Camilo – Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics Certificate
      • Dr. Caterina Gibson – A.S. degree in Biology
      • Mr. Edmond Hong – A.S. degree Computer Science, an option in CyberSecurity
      • Mr. Vijay Ramdeen – A.S. degree in Chemistry

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • Innovation in Master Courses

In pursuit of lowering student costs in online learning, the e-Learning Department recently adopted the use of virtual microscopes in biology courses for non-science majors.  After extensive testing, Science Lecturer II Marc LaBella created new learning modules to replace the need for expensive $200 microscopes, instead utilizing virtual microscope applications provided as part of the text book costs.

The department continues to explore new technologies and methodologies to improve the student experience in online courses.  Dean of e-Learning Jack Kelnhofer, with the assistance of English College Lecturer II Rick Carr, will be demonstrating a number of the over 250 online courses to top program developers over the next weeks with the goal of introducing the award-winning pedagogic practices developed at Ocean County College to the tool makers for Fortune 500 e-commerce companies.

Hopefully, this exploration will yield viable pathways to incorporating three-dimensional modeling, augmented reality, and virtual reality applications into OCC’s online courses.  One of the outcomes is to improve the retention of remedial students by adding the highest levels of technology to classes with students who struggle the most.

  • Master Course Development Updates

Significant progress is being made in updating master courses in preparation for fall 2018.  The anticipated completion date is July 9, 2018.

In an effort to maintain the highest quality in OCC’s online courses, the department is embarking on a two-year course review cycle. The first phase started in January and included 14 courses, which were reviewed and updated by April.  The next cycle of 13 courses will begin in June.

In an effort to obtain direct feedback from online students, a student satisfaction survey has been established for all online students in the spring 2018 terms.

  • Online Faculty Empowerment

In March, the e-Learning Department conducted its largest faculty training to date.  Two Online Instructor Training courses were conducted simultaneously for long-time College faculty who have not yet taught online.  Over 75% of the faculty who took the training course completed the class and earned the coveted e-Learning Online Teacher Certificate.  The next cohort of Online Instructor Training is scheduled for August.

Another course, Master Course Developer Training, which focuses on online course development, pedagogy, and design best practices, is complete and ready for its first cohort in May.

  • Egypt Initiative Updates
    • Administrative Control Authority ESL Program – The first class is at the mid-way point, and course enhancements continue to be made based on feedback from on-the-ground instructors.
    • OCC in Egypt – On April 22, 2018, the Supreme Council of Egyptian Universities approved a Memorandum of Understanding between OCC and the Supreme Council to begin the American Community College in Egypt with OCC as the prototype.  The signing of the MOU is tentatively scheduled for June 2018.  A draft is currently being developed for individual agreements with each of the seven Egyptian universities.
    •  Ain Shams University Programs – Work continues with Kean University representatives to assist in preparations for ASU course delivery.   Kean revised the course sequence of the senior year to suit the eight-week delivery of online courses.
  • William Paterson University is finalizing the articulation and course maps for two Computer Science programs, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Multimedia.  It is hoped these two programs will begin in the upcoming fall semester.
  • Ahram Canadian University – The Dean of Communication is visiting OCC during the first week of May to further discuss the potential English for Academic Purposes courses and the Communication programs that will start in fall 2018.
  • Tatweer Misr (translated to Advancement of Egypt) – Tatweer Misr is an Egyptian shareholding real estate company, whose model is to build comprehensive and sustainable communities.  The company is expanding into the higher education market in Egypt. It has proposed to offer space in New Cairo for OCC/NJIT faculty.  Following a meeting during a visit to Egypt in early February, four representatives will be visiting OCC on May 11, 2018, to learn more about OCC and tour the campus.  No commitments have been made, nor are any anticipated, but Tatweer Misr wants to visit OCC and NJIT to gather information should any agreement be reached in the future.

  • Staffing – The Instructional Design position has been reposted.  An Entry-Level Instructional Design position is in the process of being reviewed by Human Resources.