Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Strong foundation in place for 2012-13 academic year, Dean Tuck shares during campus’ opening session

 


With strong enrollment and the preparation that paved the way for the switch to semesters paying off, Ohio University-Chillicothe has laid a solid foundation for the 2012-13 academic year, Dean Martin Tuck recently noted during the campus’ annual opening session.

Preliminary enrollment figures indicate the campus’ headcount is about 2,200, with Full Time Equivalency (FTC) at approximately 1,700, which in the same range as last year’s numbers.

“This is especially good news given the expected decline with the university-wide transition from academic quarters to semesters and the record high graduation of more than 500 students last spring,” Dean Tuck said. “Enrollment and retention are campus-wide efforts, and I credit individuals across campus for these good numbers.”

The dean noted that the summer orientation sessions seemed be especially helpful in preparing students for successful starts to their college careers by providing newcomers with the specific information they need to get their college careers off to a good start.

The dean also provided an update on the summer campus strategic planning session and the process to set the campus’ priorities for the current academic year. Plans will continue to be further developed and refined by appropriate individuals and committees on campus. “The goal is to develop plans that are reasonable; have clear, strategic objectives; and support the campus’ strategic objectives. Further, in support of the strategic plan, we will also continue the staffing plan that was begun last academic year,” the dean said.

The four areas of focus are:
•    Academic mission
•    Information technology/Facilities
•    Communication plan
•    Budget process

The campus’ transition to semesters seems to be going relatively smoothly, the dean said. “As expected, there have been some bumps in the road, but we are working through those challenges. A benefit of the semester schedule is that classes are more spread out during the day, allowing for smoother operations and less congestion, in hallways and parking lots at peak times. On a commuter campus, this is an important consideration,” Dean Tuck said.

Along with the switch to semesters, OU-C is offering three new academic programs this year. Those new programs include:

•    Bachelor of Science in Applied Management (B-SAM). This degree is especially useful for individuals who have earned an associate degree and wish to improve their career prospects. It is also applicable for students beginning college who are seeking a well-rounded business degree.
•    Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, in partnership with Adena Health System. This accelerated program allows students in other career fields to obtain a B-S-N in five semesters, spanning roughly 20 months. Classes are offered at the PACCAR Medical Center as well as on the O-U-C campus. The program is a result of a $750,000 grant that Ohio University secured from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal government agency.
•    Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Students can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work degree. We anticipate that these bachelor’s degree programs will be especially attractive to Human Services Technology students, who can use that associate degree as a springboard to a bachelor’s degree.

“All of the new programs are in response to strong student interest in the programs and align with emerging career fields in the region, which are the criteria for developing new programs,” Dean Tuck said.

In campus personnel news, Dean Tuck updated the campus community on the search for a director of information technology. Ron Yoakem continues to fill in on an interim basis in the wake of Patty Griffith’s retirement in the spring. The search for her replacement continues with approximately 60 candidates. The initial screening process has been completed by the search committee, and selected candidates will soon be invited for campus interviews, with the expectation of hiring a new director during fall semester.

The campus also greeted two new faculty members. Former staff member Joe Triplett has been named assistant professor and program coordinator of computer science technology. Also, Brenda Miller has been named assistant professor of chemistry.

Also, this summer, faculty offices in Bennett second floor were renovated with fresh paint and new furniture to provide a more professional look. “We appreciate faculty members’ patience during this project,” Dean Tuck said.

Additionally, informational kiosks are being installed in campus buildings. “Once fully operational, they will provide important campus and community information, further strengthening our communication efforts,” the dean noted.

The campus dean closed on an upbeat note.

“In conclusion, I think we are in store for a very exciting year. We have a number of goals for campus and people rowing the boat in the same direction. Always remember that the success of our students is our number one goal,” Dean Tuck said.

OU-C students share their aspirations for their future endeavors

 We regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their perspective, and this week’s question involves what they want to do when they grow up.

“I want to be a pediatric/oncology nurse,” said Kristi Hupp, a nursing student from Logan Elm High School. “I always wanted to work with kids, and I did a study on this area while I was in high school. I also want to live somewhere that is not in the city.”

Ami Sowers, an education major from Logan Elm High, want to be an intervention specialist and already has some relevant experience toward her career aspirations. “I worked in elementary schools as a paraprofessional for four years and gained a passion for this type of work,” she explained.

Ben Lewis, a Jackson High School graduate, wants to be an engineer in his later years. “Degree-wise, I am looking for something in engineering, maybe in the area of either chemical or materials. I would like to develop new materials or work with new materials,” he explained. Lewis gained his passion for engineering while twice participating in international science fairs while in high school. He plans to relocate to the Athens campus to pursue his engineering degree.

Chrissy Chandler plans to go into nursing. “I probably will earn my BSN degree and go into surgical nursing. I like the hospital setting,” said Chandler, a Jackson High graduate. “I would like to live in the Jackson or Chillicothe area.”

Courtney Dye, a Post Secondary Education Option (PSEO) student, is still enrolled at Zane Trace High School. As expected, she has yet to map out her life’s ambitions. “I have no clue what I want to do. At this point I am undecided about a career and an academic major.” Given the fact she is already gaining college insights and credits while a high school student, Dye is probably underselling her vision for her future. She plans to attend either Ohio University or Miami of Ohio.

Fellow PSEO student Katherine Prater of Vinton County High School has her sights on the medical field. “I plan to be a general practitioner. I really like science.” Prater plans to attend Ohio University.

“Everybody asks me this question,” said Carl Bowling, who is attending OU-C on the GI Bill after spending five years in the Army. I would like to do something in communications, maybe with a radio station. I have experience working with others, and as long as I am working with people I will be happy,” the Adena High graduate said.

Alexandra Getty, who moved from Colorado to Wellston during her senior year in high school last year, has some fairly specific career goals. “I would like to do something that has to do with communications and politics, or maybe something in business.” Getty, appropriately, is majoring in communication studies.

Nick Strawser, a Huntington High School graduate, has a definite goal. “I want to make money,” he said without hesitation. “Hopefully, I will have a psychology degree and will be a psychologist. That is the game plan.”

Caleb Chaney, also of Huntington, is majoring in criminal justice. “I want to be a law officer of some sort and, eventually, enjoy a nice retirement.”

Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships support study abroad opportunities for Ohio University students

Ohio University students who wish to study abroad may be eligible to apply for funding via the nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship grants. International study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

The Gilman Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not be able to participate because of financial constraints. STEM majors, who are particularly underrepresented in study abroad, as well as students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities, are highly encouraged to apply. 

The Gilman Scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 for a study abroad program (the average grant is about $4,000), has a strong preference for proposals to study in countries outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Recent OU Gilman awardees have studied abroad in Panama, China, Ecuador, Morocco, and Thailand.  In addition, a Critical Need Language Supplement (see list of Critical Languages on Gilman website) of $3,000 is available.

Students pursuing all majors may choose their preferred programs as long as they meet the guidelines. 

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process, which includes creating two essays, and they must use the award to defray eligible study abroad costs, such as program tuition, room and board, books, insurance, and airfare. To apply, students must
• be a U.S. citizen
• be the recipient of a federal Pell Grant, either in the academic term in which you apply or in the term in which you will study abroad
• be studying abroad for a minimum of four weeks, although there is a significant advantage to applying for a program that lasts for a quarter, semester, or academic year.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors (who do not graduate before the end of their study abroad programs) may apply as well as students from any discipline.  The on-campus deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.  The deadline for submission of online applications is Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.  For more information, please visit http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program

To apply, first contact Alden Waitt (waitt@ohio.edu) at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards to discuss application process and begin writing essays. Applicants are also required to meet with Catherine Marshall, Office of Education Abroad, to plan study abroad budgets and select appropriate programs.

Bobcats’ football game vs. Norfolk State designated as Chillicothe Campus Day

Ohio University’s football game vs. Norfolk State at Peden Stadium in Athens at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 has been designated Chillicothe Campus Day.  Tickets are $10 apiece for OU-C faculty and staff members, and student admission is free.

To order the tickets at the discounted price, visit OhioBobacts.com and enter the promo code “OUC” when ordering tickets, or call Madelyn at (740) 593-9687 or at bolond@ohio.edu

Monday, September 10, 2012

New bachelor’s degree program in applied management positions students for success in emerging careers

Ohio University-Chillicothe has begun offering the Bachelor of Science in Applied Management degree (BSAM) with the opening of fall semester 2012. Approximately 25 students are enrolled in the OU-C program, which gives individuals the preparation they need for success and advancement in today’s complex business environment.

The degree program provides students with the business knowledge and critical thinking skills that are necessary to prepare them for a range of career fields and which are especially valued in the current marketplace. The degree is especially tailored for individuals who have already earned an associate degree and who are returning to college to improve their career prospects.

“This is an excellent degree for individuals who are seeking management positions in any industry, such as a retail store, restaurant or office setting,” said Tanya Hire, assistant professor of applied management and OU-C campus coordinator for the BSAM program. “This degree is especially useful for anyone who is currently in a management position and is looking to move up in the company or pursue other opportunities.”

“The program is designed to sit on top of an associate degree. In this way, students that have earned an associate degree in a specialized or technical area will be prepared for a management position in that area of interest,” Hire said.

There is also an internship component to completing the degree. “This is really a win-win situation for the students,” Hire said. “They can either structure the internship with their current employer or can use it to gain a new experience. This provides invaluable experience for the students and highly motivated, skilled individuals to assist local employers, especially in regards to special projects or at times of especially high activity.”

Upper-level classes in the program are available in an online format and many will also be offered in the traditional classroom setting. Also, many classes are being offered in the evening and once-a-week to provide flexibility for students who are already in the workforce.

The BSAM program offers a pathway to Ohio University’s MBA program, meeting educational requirements for graduates who successfully meet achievement criteria.

“When developing new academic programs, we look to provide degree offerings that meet the interests of our students and area residents and which are pegged to emerging career fields. The BSAM degree meets those criteria ideally,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “An important feature of this degree is its emphasis on helping students develop the critical thinking skills that make them especially marketable in an ever-changing job market. In higher education, we are increasingly preparing students for career paths that may not even exist today, so this is a key feature in a relevant degree program.”

The degree is offered through Ohio University Regional Higher Education and is available on all of the university’s regional campuses. In addition to the Chillicothe Campus, the Ohio University’s other regional campuses include Eastern (St. Clairsville), Lancaster, Southern (Ironton) and Zanesville.

The BSAM complements the Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (BTAS) and Bachelor of Specialized Studies (BSS) degrees already offered by the regional campuses. The BTAS program is designed for students who have already earned an associate degree in a technical field, while the BSS program allows students to design personalized degree programs that meet their career goals.


OU-C faculty member Tanya Hire and Director of Student Affairs John Fisher discussed the unique advantages of the BSAM program during a recent “Sounding Board” broadcast on WBEX radio. A podcast of the show is available online at: http://www.wbex.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=WBEX_SoundingBoard&selected_podcast=09-10_OU-C_1_1347282888_3076.mp3