Globalizing to Reach Beyond All Limits
Fall Semester, 2018
President Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.
” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Good morning and welcome to the Fall Semester of 2018, the fifty-fourth year in which Ocean County College has been a champion of higher education for the citizens of Ocean County New Jersey!
As the title of today’s Colloquium, Globalizing to Reach Beyond All Limits, suggests, we are now extending our reach in many ways: geographically, technologically, innovatively, entrepreneurially, and collegially through partnerships. Will our reach be beyond ‘all limits’? Who knows …? It seems more than a little improbable. How many of you remember the cartoon character, Space Ranger, ‘Buzz Lightyear’? Do you remember the credo Star Commander Buzz would shout as he blasted off into space? “Infinity and beyond!”
Well … we are a little more Earthbound than Buzz Lightyear, thank goodness, but we have our aspirations and we are intensely busy striving to exceed the limitations of the past at a ‘speed-of-academic-light’ pace.
I have the privilege of again joining you in this Colloquium to deliver a semi-annual State-of-the-College address. This is my 19th year at Ocean County College and, I believe, my 36th update on how well we are doing.
I am pleased to say we are financially strong with the highest percentage fund reserve of all 19 community colleges (all of which is committed to future capital improvements to our Toms River campus); we are academically strong with an impressive array of new programs of study preparing students for the emerging jobs of today and tomorrow; we are flourishing with enrollment prospects thanks to recruitment innovations that are producing remarkable results; we are judiciously exploring new markets and models for student enrollment here in the U.S. and internationally; and we are forming exciting new partnerships with technology companies and universities that offer great promise for advancing our ability to remain relevant and trail-blazing as we seek to achieve the goals of our strategic plan and vision.
Many of you know I have for some time now appended a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson to my email messages that reads:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
I am partial to this notion because it captures so well the essence of the successful leadership imperative, which I’ll wax philosophical upon during these remarks.
I begin by expressing my gratitude to every one of you who have taken seriously and contributed to advancing our College Vision, our Institutional Values and Strategic Goals, and our commitment to enhancing leadership skills throughout our organization.
We have seen ‘The Ocean Way’ training touch almost everyone, to the benefit of our students and our entire College Community. We have held our first-ever Ethics Training program for all administrative employees conducted by Judy Young from the Rutgers Center for Ethical Leadership. And, we are in our second year of successfully managing our strategic plan, ‘Charting our New Course,’ through the oversight of the Guiding Coalition, now co-chaired by Maureen Conlon and Jackie D’Amore. Many of you have played key roles in our Adjunct Faculty Institute, the brainchild of Professors David Bordelon and Jayanti Tamm. More of you have been presenters at our Lecturers’ Institute and mentored students in our Honors-by-Contract program, headed by Lynn Kenneally. This year we have been awarded federal, state, and county grants worth more money than at any prior time in our history. And, our philanthropic donations have never been greater with substantial gifts from the Grunin Foundation, the H. Hovnanian Foundation, and the Gia Maione Prima Foundation.
To top it off, we may be unique among NJ Community Colleges this Fall as the sole institution to be nicely up in total students registered as of today, per the latest known figures.
We will have more details of major highlights and introduce new employees later, but now please extend a warm welcome to: Our Board Chair, Carl Van Thulin and his lovely wife, Kathleen; Board Vice Chair, Linda Novak; and I want to acknowledge our two new interpreters with us this morning, Cheryl Lepple-Huber and Diane Sunday. Thank you for being with us.
Many of you may have seen a news report about our Freeholder Liaison, John C. Bartlett, Jr., withdrawing from candidacy in the November 2018 election for County Office of Freeholder. John has been a very special friend of mine for 18 years, so when he called me on Monday to give me the news, it was a sad time for each of us. His health issues have caused him to decide, after some 45 years in public life, to hang up his spurs.
No person, no foundation, no governmental agency has done as much for this College as John Bartlett. His name is on a building on our campus for good reason. He has been, without exception, the most intelligent, most ethical, most astute, most generous supporter this College has ever had. No college in New Jersey has had a more steadfast, more loyal, more dedicated friend. He will serve out his term to January 2019. He will remain involved but not as a Freeholder.
I, and many in this room who have known John for decades, will miss him in his role as the most outstanding Freeholder in New Jersey. If you should see him, tell him you are from Ocean County College…and give him a hug!
Some of you may recall that in our Fall 2016 Colloquium I said, “The future will belong to those who have the courage and the chutzpah to go from zero to 1, to innovate, to transform themselves and those they lead into a new, never-before-known construct that has the power to drive monumental change. This is our mission. This is our destiny.
“We are hoping, aspiring, planning, and indeed intending, to create and capture a totally new market that we can dominate for many years to come. This is the story of Microsoft, of Apple, of Amazon, of Facebook, of Pay Pal, of Tesla, and hundreds of other innovations in this brave new world in which we now live; including, my friends, the emergence of the now ubiquitous American Community College that enrolls more students than all other segments of American higher education at all levels, combined.”
“We live in an era that rewards creative innovation with monopoly power and extraordinary positive reputational status, not to mention ridiculously outsized net revenues. And, all we have to do is embrace our creative imagination … and, oh yes, execute a credible plan of innovation.”
“Through the clearer lens that derives from success in creative innovation we mean to change the way the world sees the current paradigm of higher education, and to create something so totally new, and strange, and appealing that others will emulate the new model and seek to copy it. We mean to leave behind the intense competitions within the sameness of the ‘old order’ in which many academic institutions, indistinguishable from one another in any meaningful way, are forced to engage in eviscerating competition to remain relevant. A very large percentage of these universities and colleges would never be missed if they disappeared.”
Fortunately, in the two years that have passed since the Fall of 2016, we have taken many positive steps toward the achievement of these ambitious goals. One of our breakout sessions, “The American Community College in Egypt,” will explain where we are today, what is unique and different about this entrepreneurial innovation, and how we got there; led by Hatem Akl, Eileen Schilling, and Sara Winchester.
The American Community College in Egypt is an ongoing adaptation of an existing American model, off to an impressive beginning with what holds promise of 10 new on-the-ground 2 plus 2 partnerships with Egyptian Governmental Universities ranging geographically from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea to the Sudan border to the south. To learn more about these exciting new ventures and their explosive enrollment potential, join this session in Bartlett 316. You don’t want to miss it!
Several of our concurrent workshops address programmatic efforts that are underpinned by our fundamental commitment to values. We are a nurturing organization as well as a learning and innovating enterprise. I am passionate about what makes a college or university a success. I am equally concerned about the many ways that aspiration for extraordinary success can be de-railed by failures of understanding, by failure to develop a cultural inculcation of the basic building blocks of effective leading and great teaching, of inspiring and rewarding instances of good and constructive doing, of modelling the way and committing to ethical behaviors.
Among today’s workshops that address projects, programs, and service approaches that require consensus on these fundamental values are:
- Scaffolding to Success offered by several of our change agents, Rosann Bar, Kaitlin Everett, Jan Kirsten, Joe Konopka, Heidi Sheridan, Paul Silberquit, and Tracy Walsh in Bartlett 214;
- Post-Traumatic Stress and Academic Success with Kate Pandolpho and Gina Zippo-Mazur in Bartlett 207;
- Proactively Serving Students, presented by Sheenah Hartigan, Gerry Racioppi, and AJ Trump in Bartlett 218;
- Encouraging Equity Awareness with Brianna DiCicco, Jen Fazio, Megan Miskin, and Susan O’Connor, in Bartlett 302; and
- Finally, Stan Hales, Betsy Hyle, Martha Maxwell Doyle, and Karen Walzer will be presenting The Barnegat Bay Partnership: What Do Those “Government Folks” Do? in Bartlett 215.
We are blessed here at Ocean County College to have an abundance of committed activist leaders who are grounded in the virtues of effective leadership values. Some of them have lived these values for years and some have had their consciousness raised by growth experiences offered right here at OCC. I offer praise and thanks for those who find the path to these values, however they travel the way.
I would like to highlight a couple of programs offered here at OCC that are being promoted and monitored by our HR Department, headed by Tracey Donaldson.
The first is a new feature of our Ocean Way program, we are calling WOW! WOW stands for ‘Winning the Ocean Way.’ WOW enables staff members to recognize and reward behaviors and actions they observe in a colleague employee that exemplify the values of The Ocean Way, quickly and with minimal effort. Regular full-and-part-time staff and ten-month faculty are eligible to receive a WOW award (except PLT, reservists, and temporary staff).
HR and College Relations staff will coordinate photos of recipients, a breakfast gathering for award winners, and a grand prize drawing will culminate the effort this year. The goal of WOW is to quickly recognize our colleagues who exhibit behaviors that demonstrate the values of The Ocean Way program. These values are printed on the back of a handout containing rules and processes for qualifying and recommending WOW awards being distributed today. Questions can be directed to Tracey Donaldson and Jan Kirsten.
The simple goal of the WOW program is to encourage outstanding behavior that models the way for others and to do it ‘in the moment’ with thanks. Winners will receive an invitation to a breakfast with others who have been observed in behavior or actions that exemplify the values we have enshrined in our Strategic Plan Values Statement.
The second exemplary program is the inaugural Ethics Training program conducted for all administrative personnel through the Rutgers Business School Institute for Ethical Leadership by Judy Young.
Many of you have commented to me about how positive the impact was for all, or nearly all, who participated in the four- and five-hour long sessions. Miraculously, the four- and five- hour programs flew by quickly due to the skill of the trainer, Judy Young, and the quality of the program, and the importance of the effort for our aspirations to grow and reward ethical leadership.
The Institute’s goal is “to build better leaders for a better world.” Serendipitously, the Institute’s values parallel those of our own OCC Institutional Values Statement and, it turns out, mirror closely the consensus personal values of the OCC staff participants!
The effort was designed to assist us in committing to a set of values that creates an organizational culture of respect … respect for ourselves and for those whom we serve.
Our leadership credo at OCC, and the values that are the foundation of The Ocean Way, and the guiding principles of the Institute for Ethical Leadership, all acknowledge that respect for each human being is fundamental to promoting a work environment where people relate in a civil, consensual, and authentic manner to advance free expression and exchange of ideas and viewpoints.
In essence, ethical leadership is based on trust in all those we serve and with whom we work by adhering to values of ethical and fair dealings, open and honest communication, and personal and institutional accountability. This includes fiscal responsibility, a key component of institutional sustainability.
Before I conclude these ruminations and strictures, allow me to state my deeply personal belief that the central tenet of this catechism is a capacity for empathy, for love of our fellow man. All humans share a capacity for caring. When we come together to accomplish worthwhile goals, such as the mission our College describes, we can discover shared values, enabling us to move forward together. As trust in one another grows, we achieve a unity, a oneness, and become a self-directed team.
We can act, because we know that is expected. We can be open and non-defensive. We can take pride in our achievements and share that pride with students, friends, and stakeholders. We can get out of ourselves and care for others. We can cultivate and maintain positive relationships with our colleagues, our students, our team members. We can take ownership of our responsibilities and our mistakes without excuses and rationalizations. We can deal with conflict respectfully. We can show appreciation when we observe someone exemplifying our values in their conduct and behavior.
I am immensely proud to be associated with this wonderful institution, Ocean County College. I hope you are as well. We have daunting challenges and amazing opportunities ahead. But if we love one another, respect one another, trust one another, we will surmount the challenges and revel in our amazing successes.
Thank you for your kind attention. May each and every one of you be blessed. Thank you!
I would now like to highlight some of the many wonderful things happening at Ocean County College.
Tom Gialanella, Director of School Relations, has been working on two very important projects to strengthen our ties with our public schools:
- The first is the New Jersey Network for School Success. The Network is moving ahead with new software, named Magpie, with seven pilot school districts this fall working with our private sector partner, PLS 3rd Learning, for a spring 2019 rollout. Magpie is tailored for New Jersey school districts as a lesson planner and curriculum development tool and provides targeted professional development for teachers. Ocean County College will be the Professional Development Center for school districts that take part in this project, which we will in subsequent years roll out to schools throughout New Jersey.
- Second, the Ocean County College Professional Development Academy will provide opportunities for teachers and administrators that become Academy partners. Currently, eight school districts will join and send staff members to OCC for professional development. Between seven to ten workshops will be offered annually.
Sara Winchester, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, reports the following:
- The H. Hovnanian Health Sciences Building opened in May and is ready for full occupancy this semester. The building was named in honor of the Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation. The Hovnanian gift established a $3.7 million endowment for scholarships for students enrolled in Health Science Programs, including non-credit. The OCC Foundation is currently developing a scholarship application system for the Hovnanian funding.
- Construction of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School Performing Arts Academy is underway. The project is slated for completion in late 2019. I am delighted to announce that the Gia Maione Prima Foundation pledged $300,000 for the naming rights to the new Black Box Theatre and an additional $100,000 to directly support the continuation of the celebration of the works of Louie and Gia Maione Prima. Both the OCVTS and the College are excited to be the recipients of this generous gift that honors former Toms River resident, Gia Maione Prima.
- Ocean County College’s request for FY2019 Chapter 12 funding has been approved. A new Student Services Building will be constructed to serve as a One-Stop Shop for all Enrollment Services, serving as a hub for students to accomplish all of the tasks required to enroll at Ocean County College. The building will be 20,000 – 22,000 square feet and will house Admissions, Testing, Advising, Financial Aid, Registration, and Student Account Services. The estimated project cost is $8 million, with up to $6,800,000 provided by Chapter 12 and the remaining funds provided by College resources.
- Human Resources has completed implementation of the online Performance Management module. In addition, the performance appraisal tool has been modified to focus primarily on achievements aligned with the College’s strategic plan.
- In Accounting, the next phase of our self-service rollout, Budget Adjustments, has been introduced. A budget manager now has the ability to enter budget transfers online within the same cost center. Positive feedback has been received regarding its convenience and efficiency.
- In an effort to save our students money, Finance has worked with Barnes & Noble to lower the pricing for both online materials and lab kits. Discussions with the Bookstore continue to enhance both student service and affordability.
- A new Ocean County College Technology Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees last week. College leaders participated in a series of Planning Workshops, with the goal of establishing a plan congruent with the College-wide vision and strategic goals. The following Technology Mission and Vision Statements were developed:
- The mission is to provide innovative technology solutions that inspire learning and effective performance for our stakeholders.
- The vision is to enhance teaching and learning and enrich the productivity of our work by boldly providing effective and inspiring technology in a cost-effective manner.
New and refreshed advertising campaigns have been launched over the past few months. The campaigns include:
- Kean/Ocean with a focus on affordability
- OCC/Thomas Edison State University partnership
- Summer and fall Math and Science online courses
- Pathways campaign to highlight non-credit to credit initiatives
- Southern Education Center
- Online affordability for in-state students.
The campaign promoting online math and science summer courses was particularly successful, resulting in a significant increase in summer term enrollment.
- In College Relations, a new HD camera system was installed in the TV studio. Aging equipment has been upgraded to further enhance production capability and allow students to learn on equipment that is in use in professional studios. We are now a full HD production facility offering state-of-the-art production experience.
- I hope you noticed that the alumni banners have been refreshed across campus. The banners highlight the success of former students, and each banner displays a few words of wisdom from the students about their educational and career paths after OCC. Hopefully, the banners will inspire current students and community members to strive for similar success.
Hatem Akl, Interim Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises, shares the progress being made in e-Learning:
- This fall marks the College’s second full year using the Canvas Learning Management System, which has proven to be a reliable and well-functioning platform. During the week of September 17, Eric Daniels, Educational Technologist, will offer Canvas training to assist faculty and lecturers with Canvas features and other integrated software found in DL courses.
- The catalog of online master courses continues to grow, recently surpassing 190 courses. Some recent additions include Physics, Computer Science, and English as a Second Language.
- As part of a comprehensive course quality assurance program, the master course development team now consists of an Instructional Designer, a Subject Matter Expert, and a newly added Course Reviewer. Those who desire to write or review courses must successfully complete two training programs: Online Instructional Training and Master Course Development Training.
- To that end, 12 cohorts of Online Instructor Training have been completed. In total, there were 122 participants, with 90 successfully completing the training. Three cohorts of Master Course Development Training have been offered, with 15 of 23 participants completing successfully.
- The Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust has been providing educational benefit funding for Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company employees. Our agreement with the Trust has been expanded from summer courses to offering full degree completion programs.
- In our international effort, the Egyptian government’s strategic plans for education and professional capacity continue to provide exceptional opportunities for Ocean County College.
- On June 3, 2018, I signed an MOU with Dr. Youssef Rashid, Acting Secretary of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities, which will function as an umbrella agreement to allow OCC to operate as a community college in Egypt with all governmental universities for the delivery of associate degrees in various disciplines.
- On June 6, I signed a cooperation protocol with Dr. Abdelwahab Ezzat, President of Ain Shams University, to establish the first American Community College in Egypt, which will be the prototype followed by many other universities. On July 21, the prototype and operational plan were presented to all Egyptian Governmental Universities during the Supreme Council of Universities’ scheduled meeting.
- The president of Alexandria University, Dr. Essam El-Kordy, visited OCC from August 1 to August 9, and a second American Community College in Egypt agreement was signed in the presence of OCC Board members and the visiting Egyptian Cultural Attaché.
- The Ocean-Kean-Ain Shams business degree program at Ain Shams University is in its third year. There are 82 students in cohorts one and two, and 26 have applied for cohort three.
Maysa Hayward, Assistant Vice President of International Programs, Dr. Lillian Mena,
e-Learning Adjunct Assistant Professor of English and Literature, and Dr. Howaida Wahby,
e-Learning Adjunct Assistant Professor of ESL/EFL, have been in Egypt since August 26 conducting student training and instructor development workshops in support of the program.
Additionally, in partnership with William Paterson University, two computer science degrees will be offered at Ain Shams University: artificial intelligence and digital multimedia. As soon as final approvals are received from Egyptian authorities, advertising and recruitment will begin.
All of these opportunities have unlimited potential for Egyptian students, for international recognition of Ocean County College, and for the financial health of our College.
Dr. Joe Konopka, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, highlights the following accomplishments in his area:
- From the School of Nursing, in spring, the School commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first Nursing graduating class in 1968. OCC’s Nursing program remains one of the programs in New Jersey with the highest number of graduates. Since 1968, OCC has produced thousands of trained professionals, many of whom we meet at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other medical facilities. Beyond quantity, the quality of OCC’s Nursing program continues to excel, with its RN licensure passing rate well above national scores.
- The Health and Wellness Center in the Hovnanian Health Sciences Building is scheduled to open on September 5. This Center, sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health, will be open to the College community and the public. Hours of operation will be 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Potential partnerships continue to be investigated with four -year institutions to develop a BSN program. Creation of a BSN program would provide students with the opportunity to select entry into a program that offers an AAS in Nursing or a BSN degree. Professional nursing organizations, accreditation agencies, and clinical affiliates are supporting the BSN degree for practicing as a registered nurse.
- Currently in the development stage is an AAS degree in Health Sciences for students who are already working in the health care field as paraprofessionals and wish to enhance their educational credentials. They will receive college credits for their previous postsecondary training and experience, based on either an articulation with our Continuing Education courses, or through portfolio assessment.
- The School of Business and Social Sciences opened the fully functional new Business Laboratory with the Bloomberg Terminals for the spring semester. To date, 22 students have successfully completed the Bloomberg Certification Program, and a new cohort has since begun the certification process. Local high school students have toured the lab and been given demonstrations in analyzing stock and bond markets.
- Kean University has joined OCC and Stockton University in the NJCCC Educational Pilot Program designed to offer additional education courses at the community college level. Two programs, edReady (a math preparation program) and NROC (an English preparation program), have been incorporated into our education and educational psychology courses to assist students in preparing for the CORE Praxis test. Of the 16 students who have participated, 100% have reported they passed the Praxis.
- The Department of Criminal Justice is excited about the upcoming construction of a Criminalistics and Forensic Science Center on campus. The Center will enable students to engage in hands-on training in crime scene investigation and forensic science techniques.
- All of the courses in the Addictions Certificate of Completion program have been revised to meet the new standards of NASAC, the accrediting body for Addictions programs.
New completed programs include:
- Certificate of Completion: Financial Market Analysis
- Certificate of Completion: Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
- AAS in Web Marketing
- AS Business Administration: Sports Administration Option
- AS Business Administration: Health Administration Option
The School of STEM, for the second year, is hosting the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, which has just been renamed the Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium.
On-campus STEM Academy activities were offered to students from eight Ocean County high schools. The TechPrep annual competitions in Robotics and Cardboard Canoe were again offered, and the school hosted the annual middle school MathCounts competition.
New STEM programs developed include:
- Computer Science option in Cyber Information Security
- Computer Science option in Data Management
- AS degree in Mathematics
- AS degree in Biology
- AS degree in Chemistry, and
- Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics.
- Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering are relocating to the newly renovated Instructional Building.
In the School of Arts and Humanities, students in the American Sign Language-English Interpreter program volunteered to sign for three shows for the Island Singers summer concert series. Students from the program will also interpret the show, Big Fish the Musical at the Bellarine Theatre in Manahawkin.
The OCC Repertory Theatre Company and theatre program have produced, directed, and choreographed five productions for the College and community since January.
The Music program has recently been loaned a Bosendofer Imperial Grand Piano from a community member, which will greatly enhance our student experiences with recitals and master classes.
There are now four options in the Performing Arts Degree in anticipation of the Performing Arts Academy. The pathways include Dance, Music, Theatre, and Arts Administration.
Work continues on new programs, in particular the AA in English and the AA in History. Certificates are also being developed in Photography, Video, Digital Humanities, and Audio Engineering.
Final approval was received for the AS degree in Graphic Arts, Design, and Media.
The History club partnered with Digital Mass Media Broadcast students to create a documentary on Pine Barrens and Jersey Devil history.
Faculty and lecturers in Arts and Humanities are assisting adjunct faculty. In addition to the Adjunct Institute, master syllabi have been developed for the top ten enrolled courses to provide consistency and ensure uniform, high quality delivery of instruction.
And, from Student Affairs, Dr. Gerry Racioppi reports the following:
- The College’s registration process is being simplified from a twelve-step process to only five steps. The process of change has been taking place over the spring and summer, with many areas of the College involved, and it will be fully implemented in November. In the past three years, only 7% of new students applied and registered on the same day, probably due to a complex, long process new students had to follow.
In contrast, two express enrollment days were held on July 19 and August 1. Students were able to test, meet with an academic advisor, and register for the fall semester in one day; most students completed their enrollment in three hours or less. In total, 172 students successfully enrolled over the two days. Additionally, an express enrollment day was held at the SEC on August 8 at which almost 300 credits were registered in just three hours.
- The combined efforts of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Finance and Accounting, College Relations, e-Learning, and IT have proven invaluable in gearing up for fall enrollment. As of Tuesday, there was a 1.2% increase in student credits this fall over last year. This is truly significant in that many of our sister community colleges are reporting double digit decreases in enrollment, which is in line with the national trend in higher education. Everyone involved with the registration process is commended for their initiative, efficiency, and innovation.
- The HUB has been successfully operating as OCC’s one-stop shop since November. The HUB’s favorite employee, Reggie, our augmented intelligence robot, has interacted with over 11,000 potential and current students and answered over 6,000 questions. The opt-in rate for Reggie is 91%, which is greater than the national average. Reggie continues to support the efforts of the HUB in its on-boarding and proactive communications with students.
- The Helping Hands Food Pantry in the Student Center will continue to be open two days a week this fall, staffed through the Student Life Office, Phi Theta Kappa, and volunteers from the campus community. Student Life is partnering with Fulfill, which provides programs and resources associated with ending hunger. These expanded services to students in need will include financial workshops to assist them in getting back on their feet, with the goal of ensuring our students’ success.
- The U.S. Department of Education approved Ocean County College’s Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs for another six years through March 2024. Seven additional certificate programs were included in the application and approved for federal funding.
- The implementation of the HUB, process re-design, streamlining, and cross training has greatly decreased the time it takes to process financial aid at OCC. In fact, there has been a 92% increase in processing efficiency as a result of team work, hard work, and cooperation.
- A new Veterans and Military Student Resource Center has been established and is now located in the Student Center. A Veteran’s Resource Open House was held in June for current and prospective veteran students. The goal of the Center is to nurture relationships and make new connections.
- The College Pathways initiative continues to move forward with positive results. The program helps students understand college and provides a pathway to becoming OCC students on their high school campus during their senior year. OCC piloted the program in Lakewood High School this past spring. As of Tuesday, 29% of graduating Lakewood High School seniors will be OCC students this semester, a 5.5% increase over last year. The Pathways program will extend to five new schools this year.
- On May 31, Ocean County College published a revised Code of Student Conduct, Policy #5247. The revised Code of Student Conduct and its procedures ensure students are afforded consistent and fair due process throughout conduct-related proceedings. The Code can be found on the college’s website and in the Student Handbook. A new software system has been implemented to enable the reporting of conduct violations. An online link will be sent to faculty, staff, and students in the next couple of days.
- The Athletics Department was quite successful on and off the field. Both the Men’s Soccer and Lacrosse teams won Region XIX Championships and played in the National Tournament. The Men’s Cross Country runners ran at the Nationals as well. Additionally, 24 OCC student-athletes across 11 teams were named to the NJCAA’s All-Academic Team this year, with 6 students earning perfect 4.0 GPA’s. Finally, Ocean’s Women’s Volleyball, Tennis, and Softball, and Men’s Cross Country and Golf teams were nominated as NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year, with each roster earning combined team GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
Thank you all, ladies and gentlemen. We appreciate your courteous attention. Have a great Colloquium day!