Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Campus members ponder challenges, opportunities during spring semester meeting


Chillicothe Campus faculty and staff members recently gathered for the regular spring semester opening session. Dean Martin Tuck mentioned some upcoming opportunities and challenges facing the campus as well as approaches being taken to address those situations.

Enrollment is down somewhat from last year for both fall and spring semesters. As the economy improves, more prospective non-traditional students are in the workforce and not looking to retrain for other careers. Also, there are fewer high school graduates statewide and more competition for these students. The campus is looking to take steps to mediate this, and a strategic enrollment plan is in place.

In moving forward, more of an emphasis will be placed on retention to bolster the overall enrollment numbers as well as innovative educational delivery methods that align with trends in higher education and students’ expectations.

In terms of retention, examples of current endeavors include initiatives such as the Student Success Center, supplemental instruction efforts and the development of learning communities in the fall.

As for innovative delivery methods, the program launched in the fall that allows Adena Health System caregivers to pursue a Bachelor’s of Technical and Applied Studies Degree by taking courses on-site. The program is designed to give Adena caregivers the skillset they need to be eligible for advancement into leadership and management roles within the organization and in a manner that fits their schedules.

This pilot program can possibly be tailored to other area businesses and situations. Details about the program can be found in the campus’ news blog: http://www.oucnewsblog.com/search?q=Adena.

The dean also mentioned other creative methods of delivery and curriculum development such as increased emphasis on online and blended programs that combine traditional classroom and distance learning elements.

Additionally, with the number of high schools students enrolled in College Credit Plus nearly doubling the post-secondary enrollment numbers, this could present opportunities to connect with future college students who already are familiar with the Chillicothe Campus.

The dean said the future looks bright and employment staffing levels are nearly complete. Additionally, the university continues to modify its responsibility based budget model in ways that may favor the Ohio University regional campuses.

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