Thursday, February 6, 2014

OU-C to host state basketball tournament finals

Ohio University-Chillicothe will host the final four of the men’s and women’s Ohio Regional Campus State Basketball Tournament in the Shoemaker Center on Feb. 22-23. The championship games will be Feb. 23, with the women’s game tipping off at 1 p.m. and the men’s game at 3:30 p.m.

This is the 48th annual men’s tourney and the 38th annual women’s tournament. A total of 21 campuses have teams that will be competing for the championships.

The tournament begins Feb.15-16, with the Chillicothe Campus women’s team playing vs. Ohio State Mansfield at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 at OU-Lancaster, and the men’s team playing against OSU Lima at 5 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Middletown. The OU-C’s women’s team is currently 1-8 in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, and the men’s team has a 6-5 conference mark.

Post-secondary students gain college experience, credits while still in high school

View Chillicothe Campus PSEOP students Gwenndolyn Aume and Allison Borland discussing their post-secondary experience on the campus’ YouTube channel at

Several area high school students are getting a head start on their college careers. Ohio University-Chillicothe’s involvement in the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP), a state-funded program, allows high school students to take college courses on the Chillicothe Campus even before they earn their diplomas.

Approximately 75 students are participating in the program on the Chillicothe Campus during the 2013-14 academic year.

“This program provides an opportunity for area students to begin their college careers before they graduate from high school,” OU-C Coordinator of Student Recruitment Neeley Allen said. “Not only are students introduced to the college experience, but the students and their parents can realize substantial cost-savings by earning college credits for no cost.”

The goal of PSEOP is to augment, rather than replace, the high school experience. The students take courses on campus and get a feel for the college experience while maintaining varying attachments to their high school activities.

Students who are enrolled in the program can earn college credit for courses they are taking at OU-C and also receive concurrent credit toward their high school graduation requirements. Those qualifying for the Option B of the program pay no costs toward general fees, tuition and textbooks. These students must rank in the top 25 percent of their high school class. If the school does not compute class rank, students must earn a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Rising juniors and seniors can take up to four courses at OU-C each semester. Students must inform their high school of their intention to participate in the PSEOP program by Mach 31. Materials must be received or postmarked to OU-C by May 1.

For more information on the program, Allen can be reached at (740) 774-7721 or

The reasons students choose the programs are as varied as the learners themselves.


Gwenndolyn Aume, a senior at Logan Elm High School, is in her second semester as a PSEOP
student at OU-C. She is on campus three days per week this semester and is taking two classes, including an independent study course, at her high school.

Aume, who plans to major in musical theater in college, is also participating in the campus’ theater program and had a lead role in the fall production of Sylvia.

Aume, who was an exchange student in France, has always been the adventurous type.

“I have always looked forward to going to college and being on my own, so this is a step in that direction,” she said. “Although it is not the full college experience since I am living at home with my parents, this serves as a nice buffer and a stepping stone toward going to college next fall.”

Among Aume’s possible college options are New York University, Pace University, Columbia College in Chicago, Oklahoma State University and Syracuse University.

“There are more classes offered here (OU-C) than in high school, which I was seeking, and I find them very interesting,” Aume said.

The assimilation has been fairly seamless.

“Unless it comes up in conversation, the other students do not even know I am a PSEOP student, and no one looks down on me because I am a high school student” Aume said. “The biggest transition from high school to college has been adjusting to a different schedule every day.

Aume encourages other students who have the interest to pursue the Post Secondary experience.

“My advice is to not be afraid to put yourself out there and try it. As scary as it might be to show up in the college world, it is a beneficial experience that will give you a great feel for what the next four years of your life will be like.”


“It is probably the best decision of my life,” says PSEOP student Allison Borland, who attends Paint
Valley High School. “My parents talked to me about this, and what really inspired me is the opportunity to take college classes for free for two years. This will give me a jump start on college in the long run.”

Currently a senior in high school, Borland began her post-secondary experience as a junior splitting time evenly between high school and college courses.

“It helped me to do a gradual, two-year transition. During my junior year, I wanted to get a feel for college, get my foot in the door and see how much I can handle.”

Borland will reap the benefits with an accelerated start to her college career.

“Because of the academic credits I have been able to earn, I will be halfway through my sophomore year of college when I graduate from high school,” she explained. “I will have all of my basic classes out of the way, and I can start working on classes in my major.”

Borland plans to enroll at OU-C next fall before transferring or relocating to the Athens campus and pursue a degree in sports medicine or physical therapy.

The post-secondary endeavor has been a good experience for Borland both academically and socially.

 “I am a people person and make friends easily,” said Borland, the 2013 Bainbridge Fall Festival of Leaves Pageant queen. “People I have met here have become close friends and I do things with them. I still keep close ties to people in high school, so I did not lose any friends but just made new ones.”

This semester, Borland is taking all of her classes on the Chillicothe Campus, plus a “flex credit’ in math at Paint Valley, picking up work at school once a week that she completes on her own time. She has maintained contact with school activities.

“I played volleyball in the fall. I missed some social gatherings with the team during school hours but, overall, I was never left out of anything, so it has been nice.”

After her first-class jitters, Borland has blended in well on a college campus.

“My first class, I walked in the room and saw people in their 20s and 30s. I was so nervous and I felt overwhelmed. But, I realized I was there for a reason, like everybody else,” she said. “To succeed, you have to be self-motivated and you have to keep up your game.”


The same qualities that drive Anna DeGarmo to participate in five sports at Chillicothe High School,
fuel her as a PSEOP student.

“I am very competitive, and that same aspect has pushed me to compete in the classroom and has allowed me to keep my grades up,” said DeGarmo, a junior who is in her second semester in the program. “I am very driven, and I like the challenging aspect of the program.”

DeGarmo often has two athletic practices a day during the fall and spring, and she is on the swim team during the winter. The hectic schedule requires a focused approach.

“I have learned how to budget my time and set priorities. I still have time to hang out with my friends, but I have to put education before things like spending time with friends and on social media.”

DeGarmo takes the bulk of her classes in high school and is on campus on Friday afternoons for a class in feminist theory. The blended class incorporates online and traditional classroom instruction.

The college atmosphere has been a natural for DeGarmo. Despite only being required to be on campus one day a week, she can be found most afternoons in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons doing homework.

“I like the college environment. I am a very independent learner, so it works well for me.”

The transition to the college setting was not without some difficulties.

“It was hard the first semester,” DeGarmo said. “I was still stuck in high school mode. For example, I would raise my hand to leave class and use the bathroom. Once I got adjusted, I like the college setting and the independence we are given as students. It is up to us to do the work. The professors are not going to slow down or spoon-feed us. It is demanding, and I like it.”

“It is a good way to get the college experience before going to college. It has given me a taste of how college life works and how independent I will have to be.”

DeGarmo intends to increase her college load next year to take three or four college classes as a high school senior. Her future plans include attending probably either Ohio State University or the University of Cincinnati toward her professional pursuit of becoming an environmental lawyer.

Student-focused approach is emphasized during spring semester campus meeting

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck stressed several student-directed initiatives that help the campus maintain its focus during the recent spring semester campus meeting. These events are held each academic term and offer an opportunity for Chillicothe Campus members to gather as a campus community.

“These types of campus-wide events reinforce our coming together toward a common goal, and that is offering Chillicothe Campus students the best possible educational experience,” the dean said.

Dean Tuck noted that the campus’ strategic and enrollment management plans are moving toward final drafts, and that the Chillicothe Campus’ progress exceeds that of the university’s other regional campuses.

The dean encouraged campus members to participate in the upcoming Noel Levitz survey. This project, which is undertaken every five years, offers a snapshot of how OU-C is meeting students’ needs and expectations as well as what steps can be taken in this endeavor.

“This survey is administered to students, faculty and staff, and the results are important in planning for the future,” Dean Tuck said. “This offers an opportunity to gain input from campus community members and see how we can do things even better.”

The latest survey, taken in 2009, identified several concerns, and concrete plans were then formed. Measure to address the concerns have been taken, particularly in regards to areas such as course offerings, parking spaces and scholarships.

The dean noted that enrollment continues to be strong. Preliminary estimates are that spring semester enrollment is around 2,320 students, slightly more than a year ago. Applications for fall semester 2014 show an increase of 31 percent over the same time a year ago and the number of admitted students is up by 37 percent. He said that the emphasis will be placed on turning more applications and admitted students into enrolled students.

The campus continues to move beyond looking at just enrollment numbers.

“Although these have been good years, we are not going to relax. There is an increased emphasis on retention, which is critical to campus,” Dean Tuck said.

Along those lines, the campus has put in motion several initiatives, such as the development of a strategic enrollment plan, increased number of internships and bolstered student organizations, as well as the supplemental instruction program, which features peer education.

In continuing the theme of student success, the dean announced that a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 3:30pm on Feb. 13 for an expansion to the Student Success Center in the Quinn Library. The expanded space utilizes former space that was occasionally used as a classroom. It will provide more quiet areas for tutors to meet with students as well as space for programs and workshops.

In mentioning other upcoming campus events, the dean also said that College Goal Sunday is Feb., 9 and  that the campus will host the Ohio Regional Campus Conference men’s and women’s basketball finals on Feb. 22-23. Further, Ohio University faculty member Akil Houston, Ph.D., will deliver the Black History Month talk on Feb. 27.

The dean also recognized employees who have joined the Chillicothe Campus community or whose positions have changed with the beginning of spring semester.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Success Center expansion

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 for the expansion of OU-C’s Student Success Center, located in the Stevenson Center Quinn Library. The center has been expanding its services and impact over the years, leading to the need for physical expansion. A doorway has been added, linking the current space to an area previously used occasionally as a classroom.

The new wing will be used largely to create quiet space so that tutors can meet with students with fewer distractions. The space will also be used for supplemental instruction sessions, as well as workshops on topics such as citations, creative writing and electronic publishing.

The Success Center is bursting at the seams with activity, leading to the need for new space. For example, the writing center has increased its services by roughly 50 percent from fall 2012 to fall 2013. The ultimate outcome will be a better educational experience for Chillicothe Campus students, which has always been the mission of the center.

The Success Center includes tutoring services in math, writing and other academic disciplines. It emphasizes the value of peer education, with skilled student tutors assisting their classmates. Beyond technical skills, the center’s work emphasizes helping students develop the critical thinking and communication skills that will serve them well in their future academic and professional pursuits.

English faculty member Debra Nickles is the center’s coordinator, and mathematics adjunct faculty member Dennis Ray serves as the math center coordinator.

Marvin Jones hired to assist with Chillicothe Campus outreach efforts

Marvin Jones has joined Ohio University-Chillicothe to assist with continuing education and workforce development efforts. In this one-year contract position, he will focus his efforts on identifying, expanding and communicating the workforce development needs of the region that the OU-C campus can address. He will also work to ensure that the campus is offering programs that align with the needs and interests of local individuals, employers and organizations.

Jones recently retired as president and chief executive officer of the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce, a position he held since 2002. During his time with the chamber, its membership grew substantially, and several programs were developed, including reinstituting the Major Employers Roundtable, which brings together the leaders of local industries and enterprises. He also helped lead the initiative to form the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio. He was previously editor and publisher of the Chillicothe Gazette.

“The areas of continuing education and workforce development provide an opportunity for the Chillicothe Campus to put its mission of supporting the region into action, particularly through programs that support the region’s economic vitality,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “From his past experience Marvin is uniquely qualified for this position. He has the proven ability to bring together individuals of diverse backgrounds toward common goals. Further, he has numerous contacts in the region and an understanding of the needs of area business leaders that should be beneficial.”

Jones said he is looking forward to helping OU-C partner with businesses and industries in the region. “The university has resources to help companies and organizations strengthen their workforces, so it’s a matter of finding ways to bring the two together. I appreciate the opportunity provided by OU-C and the chance to continue working with many of the people I’ve come to know over my years at the chamber and the Gazette.”

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University in 1971, pursuing most of his courses as a Chillicothe Campus student. He is also a Distinguished Alumnus of OU-C.

OU-C to host state basketball tournament finals

Ohio University-Chillicothe will host the final four of the men’s and women’s Ohio Regional Campus State Basketball Tournament in the Shoemaker Center on Feb. 22-23. The championship games will be Feb. 23, with the women’s game tipping off at 1 p.m. and the men’s game at 3:30 p.m.

This is the 48th annual men’s tourney and the 38th annual women’s tournament. A total of 21 campuses have teams that will be competing for the championships.

The tournament begins Feb.15-16, with the Chillicothe Campus women’s team playing vs. Ohio State Mansfield at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 at OU-Lancaster, and the men’s team playing against OSU Lima at 5 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Middletown. The OU-C’s women’s team is currently 1-8 in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, and the men’s team has a 6-5 conference mark.