Friday, March 11, 2011

OU-C offers ACT preparation courses

OU-C takes seriously its role as a gateway to higher education for regional residents
Ohio University-Chillicothe is sponsoring an ACT (American College Test) preparation course to help area high school students and Ohio University College of Education students study for the ACT, America's most widely accepted college entrance exam, which is required for admission to various colleges and programs.

There are two separate offerings: from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 19 and March 26; or on May 14 and May 2. Students need to make their own arrangements for lunch, scheduled approximately from noon to 1 p.m.

Enrollment options include registering for the class as non-credit ($50 plus $10 book fee). Information about fee waivers is available at OU-C’s Continuing Education Office. Applications are available in area high school guidance counselor offices and in OU-C’s Continuing Education office. Space is limited. For more information, call (740) 774-7226, (740) 774-7230 or 1-877-462-6824, ext. 226 or 230.

This ACT preparation course will provide an in-depth review of the math, science, English and reading comprehension sections of the ACT.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Practicum experiences help prepare HSA students for health care careers

Students enrolled in OU-C’s Health Services Administration program are gaining valuable insights into their chosen professional fields and the daily operations of the health care profession during practicum experiences.

“The practicum component is an important part of the students’ academic program,” interim program coordinator Susan Shea said. “This allows the students to find the area of health care administration that most appeals to them and aligns with their career goals on a daily basis.”

Each student in the HSA program will complete a 200-hour practicum and a 400-hour internship during his/her college career.

“These types of experiences allow the students to apply concepts they learn in the classroom in a real-life situation. They also give the students more focus as they make career decisions. Health care is a broad field, and these experiences are especially beneficial in allowing students to see where their interests lie. They are able to interact with professionals in the field and have the chance to see first-hand what occurs in the field.”

Having experience is also a plus from an employers’ perspective.

“More than a luxury, practical experience is viewed more as a necessity for today’s student in the health care field,” Shea said. “Employers want to hire people who already know how to function and have more than just the knowledge they gained from a book.”

And OU-C students are gaining from the experiences.

“The practicum has been a tremendous eye-opener. I never thought about the inner workings of the hospital system, and upon enrolling in the HSA program, I assumed that I would one day begin my career with the standard front-desk receptionist position at a physician office and work my way into the position of manager. I did not realize that so many other opportunities are available,” said Angela Oyer, a Chillicothe High School graduate who is serving a practicum with Adena Health System.

“Applying what I have learned in the classroom has been exciting because, before I began observing at the hospital, I did not realize that the textbooks I have studied are so current. If I had one piece of advice for students in the HSA program who have not yet observed in a health care setting, it would be to take your studies very seriously. The textbooks explain concepts that are applied in the everyday world of health care. Many of these ideas have come to life during my observation in the real world,” Oyer added.

“The practicum has enabled me to meet a diverse group of leaders and to observe several different aspects of the running of the business. I have been able to narrow down my areas of interest, but I am still undecided as to the path I hope to take. At this point, I know that the atmosphere at Adena is exactly the type of atmosphere in which I would like to work,” Oyer said.

Chris Miller, a resident of Gallipolis, is serving his practicum at the Southeastern Ohio Medical Center in Cambridge.

“I have been able to touch various departments within the hospital and have been able to job-shadow many positions within these departments,” Miller said. “Also, I was able to get hand-on experience in the hospital and gain tangible knowledge of the everyday workings of the facility.”

The experience has helped Miller gain practical insights into the workings of the health care field.

“I have been able to learn about various aspects that were previously unknown, such as the hierarchy of administration and functional duties of each department, which I can now relate to various classroom concepts. The experience has opened up my own knowledge in order to guide my career pursuits in regards to which departments and hours I would like to work in upon graduation.”

Cindy Adkins
Other HSA students gaining practicum experience recently include Amy Brown at Pike County Community Hospital in Waverly and Cindy Adkins, who completed her experience last summer at the VA Medical Center.

The HSA program leads to a bachelor’s degree and prepares students for administrative management positions in settings such as hospitals, physician practices, managed care organizations and other health delivery systems.

“For this region, it is a benefit that OU-C is developing skilled health-care professionals, particularly in regards to a quality of life issue,” Shea said. “Historically, many individuals in the health-care field have clinical experience but are lacking in management skills and training. This major offers individuals the background they need to succeed in health care administration careers with training in areas such as human relations, budgeting and personnel management.”

Ohio University Associate Degree Nursing program maintains Ohio Board of Nursing approval

Ohio University’s Associate Degree Nursing program recently received notice of continued full approval from the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN). The program is offered on the Chillicothe, Southern (Ironton) and Zanesville campuses.

“I am so proud of the outstanding work that the faculty and students are doing in the School of Nursing,” said Mary Bowen, director of the university’s School of Nursing. “This is a mark of professional excellence as well as recognition of the contributions we are making to nursing and health care.”

“The Ohio University-Chillicothe nursing program supports the campus’ emphasis on serving its students and serving its region by preparing students for careers that are directly linked to the quality of life for regional residents,” said Joyce Zurmehly, associate director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at OU-C.

Students in the OU-C program earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree and are eligible to take the state board exam to become registered nurses.

“I am very pleased about this approval, which underscores the quality of the nursing program,” OU-C Dean Donna Burgraff said. “The Chillicothe Campus takes pride in offering academic programs that prepare students to pursue rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.”

Ohio University’s nursing program participated in a two-day OBN survey visit in October 2010. Nursing education programs leading to registered nurse licensure eligibility are required to participate in this type of visit every five years to assure the program meets the rules and regulations stated in 4723-5 of the Ohio Administrative Code. The approval process helps the OBN, for which the role is to enforce Ohio Administrative Code law and rules, to carry out their mission to safeguard the health of the public through the effective regulation of nursing care.

During the visit the survey group reviewed documentation regarding items such as the Chief Nurse Administrator, faculty and preceptor qualifications; program curriculum; the agreements between the School of Nursing and the community clinical affiliates; program policies and NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) pass rates of program graduates. The survey visit also included meeting with students, faculty and administrators.

The program was notified in January that full unconditional approval was granted to the program.

For more than 40 years the School of Nursing has been providing nursing education to serve the region. In addition to the A.D.N. program, the school offers an online completion program that gives working RNs an opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a traditional on-campus Bachelor of Science of Nursing in Athens, and a Master of Science in Nursing program.

The Ohio University A.D.N. program serves about 600 students. NCLEX first time pass rates were above last year’s Ohio average.

Health expo emphasizes wellness activities

The emphasis will be on healthy lifestyles and entertainment during the Health, Wellness and Fitness Expo 2011 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Shoemaker Center.

The event is free and open to the public. Door prizes will be given throughout the day.

Free health tests and screenings will be available such as cholesterol, blood sugar, fat analysis, blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, bone density, derma scan, dental, glaucoma and scoliosis, as well as oxygen saturation and massages.

Special guest emcees will be Tina Rinehart, bench press champion, and Tokey Hill, martial arts champion. Entertainment will be provided by the Mark Wood Fun Show and Wendy from “Wendy’s for the Kids.”

“This annual event always draws a large crowd and offers an opportunity to provide health screenings for area residents who might not have health insurance or may be unaware of a health concern,” said OU-C Health and Wellness Coordinator Kim McKimmy-Kelly. “It underscores our commitment to providing the type of programming and worksite health initiative that benefit campus and community members in a meaningful way.”

CAT scholarships available for future math and science teachers

Current and future Ohio University-Chillicothe students who plan to pursue careers teaching math or science to students in grades 7 through 12 in this region may be eligible for Choose Appalachian Teaching (CAT) scholarships, valued at $2,500 annually and $4,000 when transferring to the Athens campus during the junior and senior years.

Those receiving the scholarships must be Ohio residents who are willing to make a three-year commitment to teaching in a school district in Appalachian Ohio upon graduation from college.

More information about the program and an application are available online at or by contacting OU-C representative Joyce Atwood at or (740) 774-7732. The application deadline for the fall of 2011 is June 1.

The CAT program is a scholarship project that is intended to help develop an increased number of talented mathematics and science teachers in southeastern Ohio. Participating institutions include Ohio University-Chillicothe, Ohio University’s main campus in Athens, Marietta College, Muskingum University, Shawnee State University and the University of Rio Grande.

Health & Wellness Center hosts appreciation event

The OU-C Health and Wellness Center will host a customer appreciation event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 15 in the Shoemaker Center’s lower level desk area. Free samples of protein and healthy smoothies will be provided for Health and Wellness members. The event is open to Health and Wellness Center members.

Upcoming Campus Events

• OU-C softball vs. Wilmington College JV at 4 p.m. on March 18

• A Walk in the Garden” exhibit by artist Lynn Carden in the Patricia Scott Art Gallery from March 8 through April 8

Dean Burgraff elected to Chamber Board, supporting community-outreach initiatives

The Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently voted to add six new members, including Ohio University-Chillicothe Dean Donna Burgraff. Others who were elected to three-year terms include Kevin Coe of the Ross County Banking Center; Matthew Haller, Haller Funeral Home; Michael Long, Sunrush Construction; Jennifer Thompson McKell, Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library; and Patricia Roam, Adena Health System.

“The chamber’s board of directors is a diverse group of individuals representing the diverse membership of the chamber itself,” Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Marvin Jones said. “With this kind of diversity, the chamber is able to continually address its mission to promote economic and community development by providing services and addressing issues important to business. Having Dean Burgraff on the board gives us a voice for the higher education community that is so important.”

Since beginning her tenure at OU-C in August 2010, Dean Burgraff has made it a priority to further strengthen ties with the local community, including civic and business leaders. She has spent much of her time visiting with area leaders to learn how the campus can work with others in a collaborative fashion to uphold the quality of life for regional residents.

“I am pleased to have been elected to this position and look forward to working with other members to advance the cause of the chamber, which mirrors OU-C’s commitment to serving as an economic driver to best serve this region,” Dean Burgraff said. “As a regional campus, it is part of our mission to blend higher education into the mix to support the economic well-being of our service area.”