OATN News & Notes: December 2011


Seasons of gratitude and joy

Dear colleagues:

Although the weather is getting colder, the many celebrations of the seasons bring warmth into our lives as we spend time celebrating our gratitude and joys with our families, friends, and colleagues. Similarly, we wanted to share our gratitude for the many people who support the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) and the joy that this work brings to all of us in this holiday-edition of our newsletter.

Whether you serve on one of our advisory committees, helping us shape the policies that will benefit Ohio’s transfer students; spend countless hours reviewing learning outcomes and course syllabi to approve statewide guaranteed courses; implement transfer student initiatives and policies at your institution; or support these efforts in any number of other ways, we are grateful. We are grateful to live in a state whose governing officials believe firmly in higher education and strive to support equity and access to this education for all citizens. We find joy in working with the tremendous institutions that make up the University System of Ohio and are grateful for the many faculty and staff who are our colleagues in advancing the work of Articulation and Transfer in Ohio.

Ohio’s college students, especially those whose devotion to their education motivates them to find ways to surmount any challenges they encounter on their degree path, warm our hearts. These are the students who benefit from our work. We are making their load lighter as they travel this path and for that, I know they are grateful.

In this combined November/December issue, we are spotlighting state articulation and transfer leaders and champions who definitely are making a positive difference in moving Ohio’s articulation and transfer initiatives forward. We express our appreciation to these leaders and groups while they comment on what brings them joy in working with transfer students.

With joyful appreciation,

Paula K. Compton, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor
Articulation and Transfer


(just click one of the article titles below to jump right to full piece)

Committees and Councils and Boards, Oh My!

There is an army of people throughout the State of Ohio who make up the OATN. Many of them are members of working groups that assist with policy formulation, course alignment, and implementation of initiatives. In the spirit of appreciation, we wanted to mention each of these groups and share our appreciation of their contributions to the success of the OATN:

  • Oversight Board
  • Advisory Council
  • OTM Faculty Subcommittee, including OTM Panel Leads and Members
  • OTM Coordinators
  • Data Standards Committee
  • Articulation and Transfer Clearinghouse Committee
  • (CT)2 Adult Directors Advisory Committee
  • (CT)2 Secondary Directors Advisory Committee
  • Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) Faculty Writing and Review Panels
  • TAG Coordinators, Panel Leads and Members
  • Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs) Faculty Writing and Review Panels
  • CTAG Coordinators, Panel Leads and Members
  • Validation Center Coordinators

THANK YOU for all you do to move the OATN forward. We know there are a number of you who are unnamed as you do not sit on any of these committees but are still champions for Articulation and Transfer in Ohio, and we are equally grateful for your support and hard work.

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Celebrating Like-Minded Colleagues at the Ohio Transfer Council

The Ohio Transfer Council (OTC) has been busy this year! The OTC is an organization for professionals committed to the enhancement and facilitation of transfer for students between and among its member institutions. They held an annual conference in June 2011 where members presented on designing data-driven orientations for transfer students, electronic tools for facilitating transfer, best practices in the development of a university transfer center, the National Student Clearinghouse, and special populations such as international transfer students and military personnel. They also welcomed a new president, Randy Price, Assistant to the Dean for Transfer and Advising at Ohio University, and thanked outgoing president, Linda Arnest, Associate Director from the University of Cincinnati, for her service. The group will be holding its 2012 conference, “Pathways, Partners, and Possibilities” on May 31 and June 1, 2012, at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.

At this joyful time of year, we celebrate this important group of colleagues for its efforts towards providing a broader understanding of articulation and transfer policies in Ohio. We look forward to continued collaboration in 2012!

clip1.pngSPOTLIGHT: Randy Price, OTC President

price.pngRandy Price loves a challenge and that is why he loves working with transfer students. Randy enjoys that each transfer student presents a unique situation that he and the student need to problem-solve together. He enjoys it so much that he is writing his dissertation on the phenomenon of Transfer Shock – the difficulties students experience when transferring from 2-year colleges to 4-year universities.

The Ohio Transfer Council (OTC) is in capable hands under Randy’s leadership. Randy indicated that one of the most valuable contributions of the OTC is that the group is able to “take the Board of Regents’ vision and educate leadership back on campus about that vision.” Randy’s greatest professional joy comes from seeing students succeed and knowing that he’s played a small role in that. He remembers his time in college and credits his first year seminar advisor for keeping him in school. He wants to play that role for students that come into his office.

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Counting Down to 2012 – New Year, New Semester Calendar 

clock.jpgThe power of synergy is alive with the coming together of faculty and staff across the USO to support one another in the statewide calendar conversion efforts. We want to make sure you are informed about the calendar conversion because it affects every institution in Ohio. Some of our busiest colleagues this fall have been those on the 17 campuses undergoing the conversion from quarters to semesters. The OATN is grateful for the diligence of everyone involved in the calendar conversion project, especially the OTM Faculty Subcommittee (including its two co-chairs and the OTM panel leads and members), OTM coordinators, TAG panel members, TAG coordinators, CTAG panel members, CTAG coordinators, and Validation Center Coordinators. As we have worked closely with these and other friends and colleagues across the USO to make sure that all the necessary preparations are in place by the anticipated summer and fall conversion terms, much progress has occurred.  Here are some updates:

  • 45% of anticipated submissions in OTM have been either approved or areunder review by the review panel; 55% for TAGs. This is a whopping 444 OTM and 499 TAG submissions and subsequent reviews by our busy panels this fall!
  • Two additional review cycles (summer 2011 and winter 2012) were added, to accommodate the many reviews that the calendar conversion project brings with it thanks to the flexibility of the OTM panels.
  • The expedited review has been modified to make it more submitter-friendly. These changes can be reviewed in this memo on our website.
  • Dr. Stephanie Davidson, Vice Chancellor, posted a memo detailing the program approval process for the calendar conversion institutions on our website.
  • A website to share quarter-semester course equivalency cross-walk tables and a complete semester course catalog. We project that this data will be posted on the Academic Calendar Conversion website in mid to late January.

If you have any suggestions for the staff at OATN about calendar conversion, please send an email to Hideo Tsuchida at htsuchida@regents.state.oh.us.

clip1.pngSPOTLIGHT: OTM Faculty Subcommittee Co-Chairs

Cathy Chudzinski, Terra Community College’s Science Department Chair and Biology Professor
As the first faculty member to chair Terra’s Curriculum Committee, Cathy Chudzinski admits her greatest joy is witnessing students’ growth during their academic journeys. She began her work at the Ohio Board of Regents on the Natural Sciences OTM committee before joining Dr. Randy Smith as co-chair of the Articulation and Transfer Faculty Subcommittee in 1994. Ms. Chudzinski recognizes the move from course-description-only to the current Learning Outcomes of aligning equivalent credit process adds more depth to Ohio’s Transfer Module program. Ms. Chudzinski credits OBR for encouraging the use of technology when conducting TAG/OTM business because it greatly reduces the turnaround time while reviewing course-related documents. Ms. Chudzinski is grateful for OBR’s commitment and believes Articulation and Transfer efforts save students from taking and paying for redundant courses.

otm-cochairs.pngMs. Chudzinski shows dogs and believes Remington, her 15-week-old Olde English Sheepdog, might be her next champion.

Randy Smith, The Ohio State University’s Vice Provost for Academic Programs
Dr. Smith was approached when the first subcommittee was created in 1990, and has served as the co-chair ever since. In addition to these responsibilities, he also sits on the OATN Advisory Council and the Oversight Board. Dr. Smith’s administrative talents go back to the early ‘80s when he served as Ohio State’s Transfer Coordinator. He believed in the process as a faculty member and as an administrator. As the father of four children, he has a personal investment in Articulation and Transfer because his children have benefitted from it. The students are the underlying factors that drive Dr. Smith in his pursuit of these evolving processes. By providing them with effective ways to accomplish their goals, he believes Ohio’s institutions help them achieve success. The benefits do not stop there, as Dr. Smith believes interacting with other institutions’ faculty and seeing their commitment provides him with tremendous professional and personal satisfaction.

Dr. Smith shares his leadership experience with others off campus, as well. For years, the community soccer programs throughout central Ohio have been the beneficiaries of his commitment to the whole child.

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Great Minds Come Together: OATN’s Advisory Council Meets

The 48-member OATN Advisory Council met on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at Columbus State Community College. Agenda highlights included:

  • Recognition of Mr. Pete Ross, who is retiring and Dr. Michael Dantley, who is stepping down from the committee to return to teaching.
  • A discussion of a statewide marketing plan related to Ohio’s Articulation and Transfer Policy, including logistics surrounding a field survey to identify student awareness and opinions of current transfer student issues.
  • An overview of the OATN research agenda, including highlights of recent research findings.
  • An update on the Secondary Career-Technical Alignment Initiative (SCTAI).
  • A discussion of technology issues, especially related to a cross-walk between electronic high school transcripts and the Articulation and Transfer Clearinghouse (ATC).
  • Updates from the Faculty Subcommittee, Calendar Conversion project, OTM and TAG submissions, and revisions to the expedited review process for converting courses.
  • A brief discussion related to third-party vendors and their impact on transfer policy.

clip1.pngSPOTLIGHT: OATN’s Advisory Council Co-Chairs

church.pngRoy Church, Lorain County Community College’s President
When Dr. Roy Church moved to Ohio from Florida, he heard horror stories from his students about how difficult it was to transfer and utilize the variety of different institutions here in Ohio. He became president of Lorain County Community College in 1987 and started his involvement in 1989 when he co-chaired the first commission on articulation and transfer in Ohio and helped to craft the first statewide policy.  Dr. Church is so committed to this work because he sees transfer policy as critical to increasing participation in higher education in Ohio. As co-chair of the advisory council and member of the oversight board, Dr. Church led the charge in deriving a policy that moved Ohio from having one of the weakest transfer systems to one of the strongest. Dr. Church receives the most joy in his work from seeing students achieve educational goals and use that attainment to improve their lives. “Commencement is one of the most exciting days for a college president because you see the impact of an education not just on the individuals, but on their families and their communities.”

hopkins.pngDavid Hopkins, Wright State University’s President
After living in several other states for nearly 27 years, Dr. David Hopkins was thrilled to return to his native Ohio as Provost of Wright State University in 2003. He became President of the University in February 2007 and co-chair of the OATN Advisory Council in 2009. Dr. Hopkins enjoys his work with the OATN, especially the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Roy Church, his co-chair, whom he admires for his long-term commitment to student success and strong leadership in the Articulation and Transfer arena. He is proud of what Ohio has done in this arena because, as he says, “We are really a model for the country in making it seamless for our students to access the spectrum of higher education options in our state.” He has been impressed with the movement from equivalencies of general education coursework to recent efforts to serve students choosing Career-Technical pathways of education. He gives much credit to the high level of investment from the faculty who are involved in credit transfer initiatives. “It’s not the mandate that makes it work. The expectation from the legislature is important but the deep care for the success of students from the faculty is what makes it work because they’re always going to do what’s best for the students.”

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Saluting our Servicemembers and the SOC

eagle.jpgWe are always grateful for our freedoms as American citizens. At this time of year, especially, we are thankful for our fine servicemembers who go above and beyond the call of duty to keep us all safe. We are also grateful to Ohio’s colleges and universities that recognize the importance of facilitating transfer opportunities for this important group of people.

Ohio has made great strides in the past several years in facilitating transfer and articulation for this unique group of individuals. The USO Strategic Plan called for all 36 of Ohio public colleges and universities to become members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium. This means they agree to reasonable transfer of credit, reduced academic residency, credit for military training and experience, and credit for nationally recognized testing programs, such as the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), although movement on a consistent statewide CLEP policy is currently on hold. The American Council of Education (ACE) has done an extensive job of mapping out credit recommendations for military courses and experiences, and many Ohio colleges use these to give credit to active servicemembers and veterans. This credit can help save time and money, so members of the armed forces and their families have opportunities to further their education.

You can read more about our policy for awarding credit for military experience as well as Education Opportunities for Veterans in Ohio.

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Clarifying Ohio’s Placement Policy

The old adage “it takes a village” can easily be applied to Ohio’s multi-point efforts to assess students’ abilities prior to enrolling in Ohio’s public colleges and universities. The article that follows, written by the Ohio Board of Regents’ Melissa Cardenas, Director of Academic Quality and Assurance, provides some background on Ohio’s Placement Policy as well as a description of the Race to the Top grant which seeks to align high school curriculum with non-remedial University System of Ohio courses.

The statewide placement policy was developed with the College Readiness Expectations to set minimum expectations for students entering non-remedial English and math courses.  At the time the policy was not mandated for every student taking a math or English course because the committee wanted to maintain some flexibility since the policy was new.  Campuses have some flexibility when placing students who are close to meeting the placement benchmarks.  The policy went into effect in 2009 with the expectation that the policy would be reviewed and updated every two years.  I am aware of questions about the placement benchmark scores so this will give us an opportunity to address those questions during this process.  Also, we will review data to measure the effectiveness of the placement policy during the last two years.

H.B. 153 included language requiring campus Presidents to set remediation-free standards in math, science, reading and writing by December 2012.  We will work with the Inter-University Council staff to ensure no duplication of efforts as remediation-free and college-readiness benchmarks are established.  We plan to convene a committee in early 2012 to include faculty from English, math, science/STEM, departments, placement/testing staff, Provosts and Chief Academic Officers, the Department of Education, ABLE and representatives from the Transfer and Articulation Council, as well as other interested groups.

Separately, as a part of the Race to the Top grant, the Ohio Department of Education initiated work to align high school courses with non-remedial, college-level courses in the USO system.  This work included aligning the Common Core State Standards with the OBR’s College Readiness Expectations in English and math.  Faculty from secondary and post-secondary institutions reviewed both standards and offered recommendations to update the College Readiness Expectations.  The revisions were sent to campuses (Provosts and Chief Academic Officers) for comment in September 2011.  Feedback was positive and included minor suggestions on language and clarity.

Additionally, the Department of Education is offering grants of $100,000 (total) over three years through the Race to the Top grant to encourage partnerships between K-12 districts and institutions of higher education.  These partnerships will focus on 1) reducing remediation in college, 2) align high school courses with the expectations for placement in non-remedial college courses and 3) align teacher preparation programs to reflect the rigor of the Common Core State Standards.  Applications are due by 5 p.m. on December 16.  Additional information about the grant is available here.

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

In Which the Secret Identities of the Network Staff are Revealed – On Hiatus

Although we certainly have a deep appreciation for the staff and consultants employed by the OATN, this feature column is on hiatus until 2012 so we could learn more about our colleagues throughout the state who were spotlighted throughout this issue.

Thanks for reading and my best wishes for joyful celebrations of the seasons. Before signing off, I also wanted to share my gratitude to my colleagues Dr. Anna Bendo and Karen Boyd for their many contributions to this issue of our newsletter. Please be in touch with questions or any suggestions you have for future newsletters! - Katie Giardello (kgiardello@regents.state.oh.us)

Click me to head back to the table of contents!

Other News & Notes from Chancellor Petro’s Office

adult-workforce.pngBridges to Work Grant Opportunity Offered

The Economic Affairs Division of the University System of Ohio is working with ABLE and AWE programs across the state to help Ohioans obtain the skills necessary for a good paying job by creating solutions to increase the number of students earning workforce credentials.

Already in place, both ABLE and AWE programs exist across the state. The University System of Ohio is now asking these organizations to work more closely together with the goal of getting students the credentials they need to get a job.

Ohio ABLE programs provide free assistance to individuals acquiring skills to be successful in post-secondary education and training, and employment. They teach basic math, reading and writing, GED preparation, computer skills and employability skills.

AWE centers provide labor market-driven, post-secondary workforce education and training in 91 career-technical planning districts throughout the state. They are highly responsive in meeting the needs of employers to train their incumbent workers.

On November 30, the University System of Ohio released the "Bridges to Work Planning Grant." This grant offers an opportunity to local ABLE programs and AWE full service centers to plan for ways to better integrate staff and services to facilitate more adults transitioning into and through credential programs.

The funding, which can provide 14 grants of up to $20,000, comes from Title II of the Workforce Investment Act, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998. The desired outcome is an increased number of adults completing a GED, enrolling in collaborative career technical programs, obtaining industry-recognized credentials, and successfully attaining a college degree.

Grant applications are due by 5 p.m. on January 13, 2012, will be reviewed by University System of Ohio staff members, and awarded the week of January 22.

arcelormittal.pngUnique Collaboration Between Business and Higher Education

ArcelorMittal in collaboration with Lakeland Community College and Eastern Gateway Community College, recently launched its Steelworker for the Future program.

AcrelorMittal is the leader in all major global carbon steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging.

In the face of a declining talent pipeline, rising average ages in their labor force, and the failure of traditional advertising, the company reached out to local colleges to create a new program to develop the talent they need.

The program, available at both Lakeland and Eastern Gateway, includes four semesters of classroom training plus two 12-week internships. Each internship pays approximately $6,000, offering students excellent training and the opportunity to pay for their degree program.

Upon completion of the program, students graduate with an associate of applied science degree either as a mechanical or electrical technician. ArcelorMittal plans to hire between 80 and 100 people a year to fill job vacancies in these fields.