Tuesday, October 14, 2014

‘Stop-Out’ students can return to campus in pursuit of their college goals


OU-C strives to offer a bright future for regional residents who are seeking rewarding careers.

The Chillicothe Campus is committed to helping students succeed in college. That emphasis begins with offering individuals an affordable education at a reasonable price. It also includes helping them complete their academic program requirements and earn nationally-recognized Ohio University degrees.

To put that commitment into action, it sometimes requires reaching out to “stop-out” students who dropped out of college before completing their degree requirements. These students are often non-traditional learners who exemplify what OU-C is all about in terms of providing access to students who are balancing academics with job and family responsibilities.

“Many of them stopped out because life got in the way of their academic pursuits, whether the reasons are financial, family-related or otherwise,” said faculty member and Law Enforcement Technology program coordinator James McKean, who has taken a keen interest in the success of these students. “Sometimes they are now in position to return to school and again pursue their academic careers.”

“It is all about student success. We are trying to determine how many stop-out students are in the region, see what barriers caused them to put their college careers on hold and then see if the time is right to re-enroll,” McKean said. “Often they just need encouragement, and it is a matter of urging the students to contact us and discuss steps to take in terms of re-enrollment and degree completion.”

McKean’s focus on engaging with stop-out students began when he was reviewing students’ academic records during the university’s transition from quarters to semesters.

“In reviewing transition plans for students, I would occasionally review a file from a stop-out student. It dawned on me that this is an excellent area of focus for the campus’ efforts in connecting with students who are likely graduates,” he said. “Plus, it is the right thing to do. These students have already invested much time and effort in their college careers, and many are very close to earning a degree.”

Some of the students are closer to meeting graduation requirements than when they stopped out due to change in curricula during the quarter to semester conversion.

“I found one student who lacks one general education course to complete an LET degree, and I am trying to reach this individual,” McKean said.

The time that is devoted to these students is a wise investment. Once they return to the classroom, they are likely to complete their college degrees and use them to pursue meaningful careers. In short, they represent the campus’ mission of serving its region by utilizing higher education as a way to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.”

McKean, a former police chief, has put his investigative background to work in this pursuit.

“I have used historical DARS reports to identify stop-out students and have combed through the lists.  I have also scoured old class lists and used Facebook and other social media venues to get in touch with students,” he said. “It has been challenging to connect with students. Many have moved and have new addresses or have gotten married and have new last names.”

“Right now, the challenge is to make the approach more structured and systematic,” McKean said. “It is probably most effective to break down the lists of prospective students by academic program.”

McKean’s efforts have become part of a larger and successful campus-wide effort in support of the enrollment management plan. A total of 201 “stop-out” students took steps to re-enroll for fall semester 2014, and 112 of those students registered for classes as increased steps are taken to identify students who are close to completion, and then reach out to them to help them complete their college degrees.

“This effort is important for the students and for the campus,” McKean said. “We were founded with the mission of helping non-traditional students, and this continues in that spirit.”

Those wishing to re-enroll at OU-C should contact Jaime Lowe in enrollment services at (740) 774-7241 or lowej@ohio.edu.

‘Title IX’ female a cappella group to provide Heritage Day entertainment


“Title IX,” a female student a cappella group from the Athens campus, will provide the entertainment during the annual Heritage Day event beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the Stevenson Center Learning Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Title IX is a real crowd-pleaser, and the group’s musical style spans all of genres of music.

Heritage Day is designed to offer a homecoming-style event that is tailored to a regional, commuter campus. It offers an opportunity for former students and community members to visit campus and meet with ex-classmates and faculty members, as well as for the campus to further engage with the region it serves.

The event is free, and members of the campus and area community are invited to attend. The
The male group Section 8 provided last year's entertainment.
occasion will include refreshments and the awarding of the second annual student service awards. These awards will be presented to current and former students who are making a special impact in their communities. Members of the campus and community are encouraged to nominate possible recipients.

These awards include:

STUDENT COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS

These awards recognize current students (either individuals or groups) who are actively involved in efforts such as community outreach, volunteer activities and/or philanthropy efforts, either formally or informally.

RECENT ALUMNI SERVICE AWARDS

These awards are designed to recognize individuals who have attended OU-C within approximately the last five years and who have demonstrated outstanding service to their local communities or the global community through efforts such as volunteer activities, participation/leadership in civic organizations, philanthropy, engagement with OU-C and other service projects, either formally or informally.

Nominations are sought from OU-C students, faculty and staff members as well as OU-C alumni and community members.

To nominate a possible recipient, submit a nomination letter of 200 words or fewer by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23 to Kim McKimmy at kellyk@ohio.edu and/or Jack Jeffery at jefferyj@ohio.edu and include ‘Service Award Nomination’ in the subject line. Letters should clearly describe the service activities the nominee has engaged in that warrant consideration for an award. Nominators should also indicate which award the nomination is for as well as their contact information and that of those individuals being nominated. A committee will determine and notify the recipients.

Hilltopper men’s and women’s tennis teams place third in ORCC tourney


OU-C’s men’s and women’s tennis teams each finished third in the recent Ohio Regional Campus Conference tournament.

On the men’s side, Phil Hart won the men’s first singles title, and Nathan Wilburn won the second singles championship. Andrew Lightel and Logan Collins placed third at second doubles.

For the women, Katie Willard won second singles, and Kari Willard was runner-up at first singles.

Memorial stone rededication is true campus-community endeavor toward a common cause


As earlier announced, a rededication ceremony for a new memorial stone that recognizes local victims of domestic violence will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the area between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Details about the event are available in a previous news blog story at: http://www.oucnewsblog.com/2014/10/ceremony-scheduled-to-rededicate-new.html

This event represents a true campus-community collaborative effort toward a common cause that impacts the entire region. It is a timely event as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Members of the campus and local community will speak at the Oct. 22 event. Chillicothe Mayor Jack Everson will issue a proclamation, and there will be representation by the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the OU-C FOCUS Program, which are sponsors of the memorial stone. The OU-C FOCUS program, which ended in the 1990s, created the original stone. The program consisted of campus members and had an emphasis on helping single mothers with children finish college.

In addition, there will also be a silent auction from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 in OU-C’s Bennett Hall room 105 to raise funds for the Ross County Coalition against Domestic Violence.   Last year efforts raised more than $2,000 including a raffle for a quilt made by the Sew N Sews club.  All of the funds went to support the coalition's shelter and related programs.

Those wishing more information about the upcoming events or who wish to donate to the silent auction and/or memorial fund, should contact Associate Dean Brenda Phillips at (740) 774-7207 or phillib5@ohio.edu.