Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OU-C offers year-long, weekend programs in customer service and retail studies

Ohio University-Chillicothe is offering both a year-long program and a weekend workshop in customer service and retail merchandising beginning this fall. A Consumer and Retail Studies program will be offered this year at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Participants who successfully complete all six undergraduate courses in the year-long segment will earn a First Capital: Consumer and Retail Studies Certificate. This series of courses is structured to provide a broad base of learning concepts in the retail industry. Not only does the sequence examine success strategies for retail stores, but also studies the consumer’s perspective. Students will gain an understanding of influences that affect consumer behaviors. Retail industry content including product development, wholesale buying, retail store merchandising and management, as well as professional career development will be included. These courses are part of the Retail Merchandising Bachelor’s Degree Program at Ohio University. Individuals may take enroll in one course or the entire series, First Capital: Consumer and Retail Studies. Interested individuals may contact OU-C academic advisors about the program or call Joyce Atwood at 740-774-7732. The weekend workshop on Sept. 18-19 is designed to prepare individuals interested in earning “Certification in Customer Service” from the National Retail Federation. The workshop is offered through Continuing Education for one undergraduate credit, with classes from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Call OU-C Continuing Education office at 740-774-7226 for more details. Participants in either program will learn about products and services, assessing customer needs, educating customers and providing ongoing customer support. Chillicothe is a retail hub for southern region. Customer service training will make the retail area even more inviting as customers receive top quality service. The course not only provides customer service strategies for retail stores but for front line employees in health, business, and professional offices. “These programs are valuable for students in any academic pursuit that emphasizes interaction with customers and other individuals in the community, particularly those who are involved with customer service,” said Ann Paulins, director of the OU School of Human and Consumer Sciences. “ “For example, they are great for nursing students who work with patients on a daily basis. It is also a great opportunity for those in the retail and hospitality who want to polish their skills and position themselves for career advancement,” Paulins said. “Customer service is becoming increasingly important in today’s global marketplace.” The programs will help individuals learn to build effective professional relationships and understand the perspective from those on the other side of the customer service counter. “As we work to most effectively provide goods and services, it is important to learn to effectively listen to customers and identify how to best meet their needs,” Paulins said. “ The program offers insights in topics such as avoiding fraud, purchasing insurance, credit and dealing with debt. Courses include: • Consumer in American Society • Career Search Strategies • Work Experience • Elementary Textiles • Product Evaluation, Development and Distribution • Optional New York Study Tour will be offered in the spring.

OU-C theater summer production takes clever look at human behavior during board game

For its summer production, the OU-C theater program will present the two-act play A Hotel on Marvin Gardens by Nagle Jackson at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14 and 15 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Tickets for the play are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for groups of six or more and free for all students. Tickets are available at the Bennett Hall Information Desk during business hours and at the OU-C Box Office the evenings of performances. “It’s a very clever script, concerning four people who all work for a publication called Me, and who meet annually on April Fool's Day to play, of all things, a very serious game of Monopoly,” director Ken Breidenbaugh said. “Not surprisingly, in the course of playing the game, individual and collective truths and antagonisms quickly emerge. Adults behave like children, finally, as all that matters is winning. During the course of the game, a storm blows in (matching the storm around the game table), and a stranger appears, tossed in by the wind and rain. She takes an interesting view of these people, their lifestyle and their approach to things in general.” The set is a beach cottage on a Thimble Island, off the coast of present-day Connecticut. Cast members are Jill Thompson, Jay River, Jenna Hobbs, Chris Mullin, and Ashley Beatty. Those attending the show will also notice a refurbished area outside of the auditorium with newly painted walls and carpeting. Track lighting is also being installed, offering an ambience and setting that match the quality of the campus’ theatrical productions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

OU-C faculty member Barbara Trube presents workshops in China

Ohio University-Chillicothe faculty member Barbara Trube recently presented two workshops in Xi’an, a major city in China, this summer. Trube presented a workshop entitled “Reading, Set, GO!: Graphic Organizers for Teaching Young Readers” to 50 primary school English Immersion (EI) teachers on June 23. Teachers from 12 primary and middle schools in Xi’an participated in the workshop, which focused on strategies to improve students’ English language reading comprehension skills. Each primary and middle school sent teacher representatives who are members of the China, Canada, United States English Immersion (CCUEI) Research Collaborative, which is sponsored by faculty from the Shanxii Foreign Language Institute in Xi’an. English immersion is considered a major educational reform experiment of the Education Department of the Shanxii Provincial Government, explained Trube, associate professor of early childhood education. Additionally, Trube presented a 10-day, 30-hour workshop in oral English acquisition for 22 Chinese English teacher trainers. Many of those in attendance are from rural areas of China. Trube followed TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) standards for adult language learners and Chinese national standards for foreign language instruction. She implemented Word Windows, a collection of strategies that help make learning a foreign language comprehensible to language learners. The workshop was sponsored by Plan International, an international organization that funds projects to improve the conditions of world populations. Plan International: Plan China has several areas of interest, including a primary focus on education. “In China, rural educators deem foreign language teacher training in English as extremely important in school reform efforts to provide educational opportunities for Chinese students in grades one through eight,” Trube said. “Because the Chinese government mandates that English is taught in primary and secondary schools, the provincial government of Shanxii Provence supports involvement of native English speakers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States.” Trube was invited to present in the final phase of the two-year professional development Plan China project because of her 8-year involvement with South China Normal University and the China, Canada, United States English Immersion (CCUEI) Research Collaborative). This is Trube’s 11th trip to China, and her 10th trip to the Xi’an area where the CCUEI English Immersion model began 12 years ago.