Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Strategic planning, sound enrollment position OU-C well, Dean Tuck shares during annual fall term meeting



A strong first week set a positive tone for the 2013-14 academic year, Dean Martin Tuck noted during the campus’ recent annual fall term opening session. The campus has strong and growing enrollment, as well as the strategic planning to help ensure that decisions are made in a thoughtful manner that aligns with OU-C’s mission and vision, building a strong foundation for the future.

“Welcome week was a huge success,” Dean Tuck said. “In talking with students, they continually remark that the campus feels like family and that faculty and staff members care about them. Opening events have captured that spirit.”

Preliminary numbers indicate that enrollment will be strong for fall semester. Although numbers are not final, applications are up 15 percent and the number of admitted students is up 17 percent from fall 2012. It is anticipated that the campus’ headcount enrollment will be around 2,300 students for the fall term. Those are the highest enrollment gains of any of Ohio University’s five regional campuses, the dean said.

In terms of recent physical improvements, renovations to the Hilltop Café put the campus’ food offerings on par with other campuses across the state, especially in terms of fresh, convenient culinary options. On a commuter campus that is without residence halls, it is particularly important to take these steps that support a campus “hub” where students can gather together informally.

The campus bookstore and café are under the operation of Ohio University Auxiliaries Services, but the change will not impact the level of service, Dean Tuck noted.

Besides the café renovations, other major physical projects undertaken over the summer include a new Shoemaker Center roof and the ongoing construction of offices in the Quinn Library for Information Technology staff members, freeing up space in Bennett Hall for other purposes.

Academic enhancements include new computers in classrooms and smartboards in some classrooms. Also, the Next Gen initiative is providing more efficient wireless computer service on campus.

Regarding academic programming enhancements, the campus has added a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree program in a traditional format. The program builds upon the introduction of an accelerated bachelor’s degree program in fall 2012.

“When we consider adding academic offering, we look at programs that align with career opportunities in the region as well as student interest,” the dean said.

The dean also provided a recap of the recent annual campus strategic planning session. The dean said that this is phase two of the strategic plan implementation, building upon an effort that began last fall. The dean emphasized that the strategic plan, which looks five years in the future, is a draft and he looks for further input, as was offered at the planning meeting.

“The recent planning retreat is the second phase of the strategic planning process that began last year, and we are starting to put pen to paper,” Dean Tuck said. “This is a blueprint of where we want to go as a campus and a guide for how we will make decisions in areas such as finances, personnel and academic. It is important that everyone participate. As a campus, this is our plan; it is not just the dean’s plan.”

The three areas of emphasis or the 2013-14 academic year are:
•    Academic priorities
•    Facilities and Information Technology
•    Communications and Marketing

Another campus-wide meeting will be held in the spring to review and revise plans.

Changes in university operations and state funding for higher education could impact OU-C operations and priorities.

The dean noted that the university’s Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) model is being phased in and will be fully operational in fall 2014. “Basically, the money we generate we can use for expenses,” Dean Tuck said. “This is not a new model for regional campuses. However, it will impact how we pay for services provided by the Athens campus and we will be linked more to the Athens campus in terms of how we do budgeting.”

“Also, the state subsidy model puts more of an emphasis on degree and course completion. Consequently, student-retention becomes more important. Recent changes we have made to help students succeed, such as the Student Success Center, have special impact,” Dean Tuck said.

OU-C’s newest full professor shares her insights on educating the next generation of teachers





Chillicothe Campus faculty member Mary Barbara Trube was recently promoted to the rank of full professor, a distinctive honor that few educators attain. Prof. Trube recently shared her insights from her distinguished career as an educator who prepares future teachers.

YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE A PASSION FOR TEACHING AND FOR PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION OF TEACHERS. PLEASE TALK ABOUT YOUR ZEAL FOR EDUCATION

As a teacher educator at OU-C, who primarily works with undergraduate students enrolled in an A.A.S. program in Child Development, or a B.S.Ed. program in Early Childhood or Middle Childhood education, I focus my attention on outcomes for these students/teacher candidates. My ultimate goal is that instruction leads them from awareness to utilization in a variety of courses, and that students/teacher candidates incrementally become learner-centered as opposed to self- centered educators. There are several points for each of them to consider about the field during their OU-C/OU journeys and it is, therefore, my responsibility to model the importance of preparation for instruction, integration of technology, experiential learning opportunities, respect and openness to diverse points-of-view, responsiveness to research, mindfulness of universal design for learning, and consideration of contextual factors.

WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD TEACHER?

Teacher quality has been greatly researched, and standards exist in the State of Ohio that give us some guidance.

On a different, more personal level, these are a few of the qualities I recognize in good teachers at all levels: (1) putting learners first, (2) knowing the content area and staying up-to-date in his/her chosen field of study, (3) understanding the impact of education in transforming lives and working to identify ways to promote a positive, hopeful disposition in learners and their families, (4) having ethical standards and a strong, tireless work ethic, (5) being reflective and using reflection to improve instruction and assessment, (6) being attentive to organization, documentation and assessment and timely with paperwork, (7) accepting a commitment to life-long learning and personal development, (8) honoring the human spirit, resilience in overcoming challenges, and communicating hope about the future, (9) developing skills in conflict resolution in order to work collaboratively with others (educators, communities, families), and (10) maintaining and encouraging high standards in the profession.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CHOSEN PROFESSION?

I most value and enjoy the opportunity to work with individuals who care deeply about the community at OU-C and are sincerely committed to the mission. It is inspiring to work with people who take pride in their contributions on behalf of the students. It is energizing to see the work that goes on behind the scenes and the levels of commitment by many people who understand they are all part of the excellent education students receive. I like being one person in a team devoted to helping others reach their promise.

I began my educational journey in a diverse classroom setting with learners whose home languages were diverse. Although English was the dominant language encouraged and spoken just after the end of WWII, my early classroom experiences included learning with children who had one or both parents and extended family members from Syria, Lebanon, Poland, Italy and Mexico. Parents were discouraged from speaking their native languages at that time in history.

Because of my chosen profession, I am now involved in research that seeks to discover more about immersion language acquisition practices. My interest in learning more about diverse programs in early education, including literacy education, has taken me to Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and China. Being able to pursue my interest in early education from a global perspective is something I greatly value about my chosen profession. It is rewarding when I'm able to involve OUC and/or OU educators or students in opportunities for growth in learning more about international education.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ACHIEVE THE LEVEL OF FULL PROFESSOR?

It means that I have demonstrated strong “habits of mind!” The ones I “own” from Al Costa’s list are persisting, thinking flexibly, questioning and posing problems, finding humor, thinking interdependently, and learning continuously. What I hope it means is that I can help others who wish to achieve the rank of full professor, just as others helped me.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE OU-C EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE UNIQUE QUALITIES?

Today’s teacher candidates must be the best and brightest, able to think critically, divergently, and creatively as content specialists, and have the dispositions to commit to working with all children. Today’s teachers commit to excellence in scholarship in their respective content areas, as well as to appropriate, research-based pedagogical practices, including advances in technology, in teaching and learning for diverse populations of children and youth, for both today’s and future classrooms. Today’s teachers commit to working collegially and professionally in a diverse community of educators.

As colleagues in learning communities or communities of practice, teachers actively seek ways to reach out to families, community agencies and members, and other educators in the field, on behalf of their students and the profession. They must possess self-efficacy and the knowledge that every day teachers have the potential to make a difference in the lives of children/youth; moreover, understand the impact of relationships in their learners’ lives. Teacher candidates commit to developing knowledge, skills, and understandings in order to work with and/or on behalf of every learner in their classrooms or in their care, in order that each child or youth meets his or her full potential.

My goals for instruction are that as a result of being in their chosen programs of study, students/teacher candidates demonstrate appropriate levels of competence. I follow various standards put forth by specialty professional associations (SPAs) in my field. In order to accomplish this goal, I must stay current in the field, access research-based information, and remain adept at putting theories into practice. This requires that I am familiar with the clinical-field placements of my teacher candidates.

Building rapport and trust with area school district and program administrators and teachers are essential to implement a clinical model in teacher preparation. As teacher preparation moves to the clinical model, teacher candidates are required to spend more time in classrooms by extending hours in their placements. If the view of hosting teacher candidates is one of adding value to the teaching and learning experiences of children and youth in those receiving classrooms, our candidates will be welcomed.

It is my intention to work toward the aim that our candidates are more than welcome in classrooms – that they are sought after and invited to be in schools. I have a goal that OU-prepared candidates in the A.A.S. and B.S.Ed. programs have the competencies to go anywhere in the world to teach. If they are to be effective in diverse settings, several qualities must be fostered. Teachers who are effective regardless of their environments demonstrate the following: (1) they are open to innovation and tolerate ambiguity; (2) they embrace diversity and understand the concept of social justice; (3) they have the abilities to generate questions, seek answers, think critically, and solve problems; (4) and, of course, many other attributes must be demonstrated. 

Chillicothe Campus students share their goals for the academic year


Kaitlyn Sevy
Courtny Bragg
Josh Moore
Brodie Malone
Shelby Hunt
Kody Wood
We regularly speak with OU-C students to gain their insights about campus life. This week, we asked students about their goals for the 2013-14 academic year.
Nursing student Shelby Hunt has very practical and frugal aspirations. “I want to keep good grades and save money,” said the Circleville High School graduate.

Fellow Circleville High grad Brodie Malone has similar goals. “I want to maintain a GPA above 3.5 and to learn something new,” he said. Malone plans to major in exercise physiology, completing much of his curriculum at OU-C before relocating to the Athens campus.

“I want to learn more about web management and to improve my writing and public speaking skills,” said Josh Moore, a Unioto High School graduate who plans to major in animation.

Courtny Bragg, a deaf studies interpretation major from Adena High School, has plans for her classroom pursuits and beyond to expand her horizons. “I want to get good grades, and my driver’s license. I also look to earn my degree and socialize with people I do not know.”

“I want to keep up my grades with all of the other things I have going on,” said Kaitlyn Sevy, a member of the campus’ cheerleading squad. Sevy, an Adena High grad, is undecided on her academic major.

“I am not much of a goal-setter, but I would like to finish the year with a 3.5 or higher GPA,” said Kody Wood, a Law Enforcement Technology major from Westfall High School.

Application deadline is approaching for Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund

The deadline for applying for the 2013-14 Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund is approaching. This fund provides grants to support research by undergraduate students enrolled full-time on the Athens and regional campuses of Ohio University. 

As defined by this program, “research” includes scientific studies as well as scholarly work and creative projects. A full-time Ohio University faculty member must supervise students applying for these funds.

Application forms and detailed information are available online at: www.ohio.edu/honors.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Sept 27, and grant recipients will be announced Oct. 25. Applicants need to submit the original application and seven copies to: Assistant Dean, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University, 35 Park Place, Athens, Ohio, 45701.

Students who have previously received grants from this fund are not eligible to receive additional funding for the same project. However, they may apply for funding if they are undertaking a new research project, creative project, or scholarly work.

The minimum grant provided by this program is $100 and the maximum is $1,500. 
Funding is provided to cover the cost of items that are necessary for the research to be conducted. This includes supplies, materials, and travel when it is necessary to conduct the research or to attend conferences to present research findings or creative work.

All requests for funding must be justified in terms of their contribution to the research and the lack of available funds from other sources.

All recipients of this grant are required to share their research or creative project with the university community at the annual Ohio University Research and Creative Activity Expo held in spring semester.

Faculty advisors are urged to review their responsibilities as outlined in the Faculty Advisor Agreement. It is understood that a student may confer with his/her faculty advisor when planning the proposed research.  However, under no circumstances are faculty members to complete the application form for the student.  Faculty are expected to work closely with the student on the research project to ensure that the student completes the project in a timely manner, and to notify the assistant dean of the Honors Tutorial College should any difficulty arise in completing the project and/or filing the required reports.

Information session scheduled for university internal awards to support research, scholarship and creative activity

An Ohio University internal award information session will be held via OULN from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 6 in Bennett Hall 111.

Faculty and staff in all disciplines are eligible to apply for Internal Awards to support their research, scholarship, and creative activity. Attend this workshop to learn more about these programs and hear tips for submitting a competitive proposal.

Please RSVP to Eleni Zulia (zulia@ohio.edu) if you plan to attend.

The following award programs will be discussed:

OURC: Competitive awards of up to $8,000 provide seed money for faculty and staff to pursue new research and creative activity projects.  Priority is for new faculty and staff or established faculty pursuing projects that are a clear departure from previous research foci. 

Baker Fund: Competitive awards of up to $12,000 to faculty and staff support research, scholarship, and creative activity. The Committee seeks to support projects which are near completion and can hopefully be brought to full completion with the assistance of an award. 

1804 Fund: The Fund was established by the Ohio University Foundation to support the University's core mission of maintaining, strengthening, and enhancing a learning-centered community. The Fund promotes collaboration among units.

Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery: This new fund supports innovative, high-impact initiatives designed to advance undergraduate learning and research and graduate education. Applicants may request $50,000 for two years or $100,000 overall.

For more information on the Internal Awards, go to http://www.ohio.edu/research/funding.cfm

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Free storytelling festival tickets available to Ohio University members

Thanks to a grant, festival organizers are able to offer 2 free weekend festival passes to Ohio University students, faculty and staff to attend the 10th annual Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival in Chillicothe.  To take advantage of this offer, fill out the online coupon at http://www.sostoryfest.com/coupon. Enter "Ohio" in the "Coupon Code" field.  For those who sign up quickly, tickets will be mailed.  However, since tickets can be held at the gate, this offer is valid through the end of the school day on Sept. 5. The festival begins with an event the evening of Sept. 4 and continues through the weekend at the Pump House. The complete schedule for the weekend is available at http://www.sostoryfest.com/