Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meeting slated for interested tennis team members

 A meeting will be held for all OU-C students who are interested in participating on the campus’ men’s and women’s tennis teams this fall at 11 a.m. on Aug. 29 in the upper level of the Shoemaker Center. Matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and players of all levels of ability are welcome to participate.
For more information, contact Ellen Clark at (740) 649-0495 or; or Brad Seymour, (740) 649-3588 or

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Annual fall opening session slated for Sept. 4

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck will discuss the campus’ strategic priorities, current initiatives and other useful information relevant to the 2013-14 academic year during the campus’ annual fall term opening session at noon on Sept. 4 in Bennett Hall room 134. Members of the campus community are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.

Among topics of discussion will be:

• Preliminary fall semester enrollment projections
• An overview of the Aug. 23 campus planning meeting, including strategic priorities and next steps for moving forward and implementing the objectives
• New hires

“This meeting is intended to set the tone for a successful semester and offers an opportunity to gather together as a campus community,” Dean Tuck said. “In all we do, the focus is always to provide the best possible educational experience for our students.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Orientation sessions are designed to position incoming students for successful college careers

Faculty member Michael Lafreniere advises an incoming student.

The Chillicothe Campus’ orientation sessions are designed to position incoming OU-C students for success in their college careers. In the short term, the sessions equip the incoming students with the insights they need to find their footing the first week of classes. Over the long term, the orientations set a positive tone for the students’ college careers.

“The main thing is that we want to share the proper information with the students so they are poised for success,” Coordinator of Student Enrollment Jaime Lowe said. “This is an early step in their OU-C careers, building on the recruitment and admissions effort, and we want to make sure it is the next step of a successful journey.”

The orientation sessions reflect the student-focused approach that is the hallmark of the OU-C educational experience. In that spirit, the orientation sessions have been streamlined over the years so they are focused, half-day events, which best fit the new students’ schedules and needs.

“We usually keep orientations to no more than 75 students so we can offer personal assistance,” Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “Further, by holding more orientations during the summer and keeping the number at 75, we can get the students through the whole process in three hours or less.”

After attending an orientation session, a new student is ready to begin classes the following term. During the orientation, the students register for classes and set their course schedule, meet with their academic advisor, have their ID photos taken, learn about DARS reports, speak with financial aid counselors if needed and learn about available campus resources, such as the library and the Student Success Center.

 “The sessions are comprehensive but not overwhelming in terms of the amount of information that is shared. We want to students to have a high level of comfort so they are eager to begin classes when fall term begins Aug. 26,” Fisher said.

A total of eight orientation sessions are scheduled for this summer in preparation of the 2013 fall semester. The numbers look promising. By Aug. 8, a total of 297 students had attended the orientation sessions, a 55 percent increase over the 191 who attended during the same time in 2012. Excluding PSEOP students, an additional 179 students have registered for remaining orientation sessions.

Lowe said, “Once a student completes the orientation session, all that is left is buying textbooks and showing up for the first class on time. The orientation sessions are extremely beneficial in setting up our students for success, and that is why they are required.”

In this way, the orientation sessions play a pivotal role in the campus’ overall retention program and focus on students completing their academic programs, an effort that starts before students even set foot inside of their first classroom.

In emphasizing the student focus, separate orientation sessions are held for new students, transfer students, Post Secondary Enrollment Option Program (PSEOP) students and Summer Scholars.

“These sessions are tailored for specific groups of students and help to address their unique concerns,” Lowe said. “For example, since transfer students have previously attended college elsewhere, they have distinct concerns, such as meeting with advisors to focus on their academic credits transferring. Plus, these separate sessions allow the students to share insights and concerns with each other, adding to their level of comfort and helping them to begin friendships.”

The orientation sessions are planned to replace uncertainty with clarity.

“Many of our students are first-generation college students, and they have a good deal of uncertainty,” Lowe said. “We encourage parents or other family members to attend with the students. A lot of information is shared during the sessions, and they can refer to one another if they are unsure of something.”

The orientation sessions are a team effort. While Student Services staff members take the lead role in coordinating the events and communicating with new students, faculty members play an integral part as do student employees.

“Faculty members have the insights that students often most need, and they meet with students to answer their questions and develop class schedules,” Fisher said. “Our student employees also play a critical role in orientation. They assist in the computer labs and make the process much more efficient.”

Faculty member Michael Lafreniere participates in orientation sessions to offer the new students both direction and insights as they begin their college careers.

“I try to help the undecided majors get a glimpse of what the environmental engineering program has to offer, as well as to gain an appreciation of what they should take away from the college experience. Also, I emphasize that college is all about opportunities and the students taking advantage of the opportunities that will come their way,” Lareniere said. “What they gain from their college experience will benefit these students and allow them to help themselves, their families and their communities.”

“I also go there to show the excitement and the enthusiasm I have for our mission,” Lafreniere said. “I try to be approachable and set that example for the incoming students.”

New students find the orientation sessions helpful in preparing them for their college journeys. 

Unioto High School graduate Jordan Dameron, who plans to pursue a career in law, found the orientation a very helpful tool to help him start fall semester.  “I am ready to start college, and the orientation just made the path a little easier to take. It gave me the tools to start off well” Dameron said. “College is a new fresh challenging new start and I am excited to begin.”   

Cody Newlan, also a graduate of Unioto High School, was glad to join the other freshman in orientation. Newlan is an undecided major but is leaning towards engineering. “This is a big step for me and the orientation was super helpful. They answered all the questions that I had or even thought of. I can’t wait to get back in the swing of classes and get learning again.” 

For incoming freshman Josie Lott, orientation was a step into adulthood. Lott is a graduate of Paint Valley High School and is an undecided major at this time. “I like how classes are more spread out. You only have to take a few classes in a day, and not like high school where it’s all crammed into one day” Lott said. Geography is an interest for Lott, and the Summer Scholars program helped stoke her interest in taking more geography classes. “It will be a different learning experience. I am more on my own and have more adult-like responsibilities. I think orientation has been very help for me to be able to start classes this fall.” 

McKenna Thacker attended orientation and thought it was great and very helpful. She is a graduate from Chillicothe High School and is undecided on her academic major. “I think this orientation is a step in life, and I am ready for the new challenges that are ahead. It was helpful for me because I get to see who I will be associated with in the coming years and a new friend group. I’m looking forward to the different classes offered, especially sociology and computer science classes.”

OU-C’s Shoemaker Center gets a new lid

New roof panels are being installed on the roof of OU-C’s Shoemaker Center. Work began in early August and is on schedule for completion by the end of August. Also, the current skylights and old roof openings are being removed, reducing the risk of water leaks.

The roof replacement is part of other repairs at Shoemaker, including the replacement of the building’s boiler and the installation of new electrical switchgears, that are intended to make the building more energy-efficient. The boiler replacement involves replacing one larger boiler with four smaller boilers, allowing for more efficient processes, such as the operation of one boiler in the summer. The switchgear has the capability to connect to a generator if power is temporarily lost. Also, breakers are in place for possible future solar power applications.

The 30,000-square-foot roof was last replaced about 25 years ago.

The Shoemaker Center is air-conditioned and includes such features as a full-length court, free-standing baskets, bleachers on both sides with seating for approximately 2,200 spectators and a walking track that is heavily utilized by campus members and community residents. The facility is used for the campus’ men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s volleyball teams as well as special events such as graduation and physical education classes and community functions. It also includes the campus’ Health & Wellness Center, classrooms and offices for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, and a concession area.

The facility, which was dedicated in 1979, is named for the late Myrl Shoemaker, who served in the Ohio House of Representatives