Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Campus planning session focuses on strategic approach to student recruitment and success



Chillicothe Campus faculty and staff members discussed the campus’ direction during the recent annual planning session and fall semester opening session on campus.

The theme for the planning meeting captured the strategic priorities for the campus in moving forward: “Recruitment, Retention, Course/Program Completion.”

“These are the key areas in terms of the campus’ continued well-being. I think we do a fabulous job in each of these areas, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” Dean Martin Tuck said. “We constantly need to analyze what we are doing well and what we can do better.”

The campus’ headcount enrollment has remained relatively flat from the fall of 2012 to the current academic term, from 2,291 students in the fall of 2012 compared to 2,326 this semester, according to preliminary numbers, an increase of 1.5 percent. Early numbers indicate that full time enrollment (FTE), meanwhile, has declined during the same period, from 1,567 in 2012 to 1,486 this semester, a decrease of 5.2 percent.

Preliminary numbers also show that this semester’s numbers are bolstered by an increased number of freshman students, from 773 last year to 815 this fall term, an increase of more than 5 percent, which bodes well for the future.

“Compared to other similar campuses in the state, many of which are showing a decline in enrollment, we are in a strong position,” Dean Tuck said. “Traditionally, our enrollment is in inverse proportion to the economy, so as the area job situation improves, our enrollment numbers tend to decrease.”

In looking at retention and growth, the dean noted that many students enroll as undecided on their academic major, which is a concern in terms of having an academic and career focus. Also, it is important to identify programs that have particular growth potential when considering the opportunities for bolstering enrollment.

Breakout groups discussed four areas related to the meeting’s themes and suggested action items related to their specific areas.  Those areas and action items include:

STUDENT RECRUITMENT

Develop strategies tailored to the target groups of:

•    Traditional students
•    Non-traditional students
•    Program-specific endeavors

STUDENT RETENTION

•    Expand the successful supplemental instruction programs
•    Create developmental math programs
•    Increase awareness of computer literacy workshops and develop more of this programming
•    Require UC courses for all freshmen
•    Increase the awareness of these initiatives among adjunct faculty members

INCREASE FTE

•    Offer more blended classes, which combine elements of traditional classroom and online formats
•    Offer more classes on Fridays
•    Emphasize the financial savings students can realize by taking more courses each term and, ultimately, graduating earlier
•    Emphasize the advantages of taking a full 15-hour course load in academic program literature
•    Create a ceremony to honor Dean’s List recipients

COURSE/PROGRAM COMPLETION

•    Emphasize the timeline of students’ academic careers, from entrance/mentoring through their academic programs and, ultimately, career preparation and connecting to the real world
•    Develop more 2+2 pathways, in which associate degree programs align with bachelor’s program offerings
•    Develop more external partners, especially in terms of experiential offerings such as co-ops and internships
•    Emphasize multiple modes of instructional delivery, such as online, blended and traditional classroom setting
•    Connect with stop-out students who left OU-C before completing their degrees
•    Support mentoring efforts of peers and faculty members

NEXT STEPS

In moving forward, future plans include breakout group facilitators collecting ideas suggested by the groups; meeting prior to the start of spring semester to set priorities and find emerging themes from the various groups, allowing various initiatives to work together in concert; and meeting after graduation in May to set direction and assign priorities.

Local newsroom veterans Mike Smith and Mike Throne to discuss relevancy of the First Amendment

Local professional journalists Mike Smith and Mike Throne will discuss “The Relevancy of the First Amendment” at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 17 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the OU-C Cultural Committee and commemorates Constitution Day.

Smith is news director, sports director and operations manager of WBEX/WCHI/WKKJ/WQLX Radio in Chillicothe as well as WCHO AM & FM in Washington Court House. He has been named Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year four times and AP News Anchor of the Year once. An Adena High School graduate, he has been with the local stations for approximately 35 years. Smith began his broadcast career doing play-by-play of area high school games for a local cable TV station. He then worked for the Waverly radio station before joining WCHI in 1980 and WBEX the following year.

Throne is regional managing editor of the Chillicothe Gazette. This past year, he earned third place in editorial writing in the Ohio Associated Press Editors Awards, and the newspaper’s newsroom staff garnered 11 awards. Throne joined the Gazette in 1997 as a local news editor. A year later, he was named managing editor and became the lead manager over the Gazette’s staff. In 2005, he was named general manager and, in 2013, he was named regional managing editor over four sites. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, he began his newspaper career with his hometown newspaper, The Sandusky Register.

Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day, recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on the date the document was signed into law in 1787. The law establishing the holiday was passed in 2004, and the first official observance occurred the following year.

Scholarship fund established in memory of Tom Brown

Ohio University-Chillicothe community members and others can contribute to a scholarship fund that has been established in memory of long-time Chillicothe Campus faculty member Tom Brown.  

Funds from the Thomas P. Brown Business Management Scholarship at OU-C will fund a scholarship in Tom’s honor. Tom was well-known for his willingness to assist others, and this scholarship fund will continue his legacy of helping OU-C students find their pathways to success. The scholarship will be awarded annually once the endowment level of $15,000 is reached.

The Ohio University Foundation is administering the scholarship endowment fund. Individuals can contribute by sending a check to: OU-C Resource Development Office, Attn: Joyce Atwood, 101 University Dr., Chillicothe, OH 45601. For more information, contact Joyce Atwood at atwoodj@ohio.edu or 740-774-7732.

Insights about the impact Tom Brown made on students and colleagues on campus can be found at: http://www.oucnewsblog.com/search?q=Tom+Brown.

Meeting to discuss Employee Assistance Program

Chillicothe Campus members can learn more about the university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) during a meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 in Bennett Hall room 110. No registration is required. EAP provides numerous work-life resources and a comprehensive web site that helps people balance many of life’s priorities.