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  1. 1. Employee Newsletter Spring 2015 Letter from the President Page 1 or 6 Retention Report 2 Retention belongs to everyone...(more>>) Department Highlight: 2 Midstate College recog- nizes learning (more>>) HR Corner 3 Planning for retirement ...have you perused through (more>>) Upcoming Events 3 Academic Update: 4 Several departments had recent deadlines for annual (more>>) Featured Employee: Robert Rachowicz 4 Do, or do not. There is no (more>>) Practicing What We Preach5 A congratulations is in order to a valued member (more>>) Direct Deposit 5 Over the last few years, Midstate has (more>>) Warm Welcome 6 Just as our enrollment numbers grew (more>>) In this issue... Dear Faculty and Staff, I have always loved the concept of oppor- tunity thinking. Many would consider this is a way of seeking opportunities leading to growth and improved results for ourselves and our company. To be open to new ideas and believe there is a better way of doing things, to recognize those ways when we find them, and to act on them demon- strates we are opportunity thinkers. Oppor- tunity thinking is often the best way to take a negative situation and figure out how to turn it into a positive one. Let us take the example of recent declining enrollments at Midstate. Our ever-chang- ing environment requires us to constantly respond and shift our assets to meet the moving targets that are always present in the field of higher education. To over- come these challenges, we are focused on improved partnerships with businesses and other educational institutions. Articulation of credits offered at other institutions into Midstate College programs has taken on even more importance. Students are shop- ping their credits to find the best college for them to transfer into. Credit transfer means time and money to them. Our Prior Learn- ing Assessment program is a great avenue for students to gain credit in addition to forward-thinking articulation agreements which maximize students opportunities to complete their programs successfully in the most efficient time frames. Other opportunities we are working on in- clude developing new programs geared to fulfill the changing needs of the workforce and our community. The time-tested edu- cation Midstate College provides continues to be a special learning experience for stu- dents attending the college. We have the opportunity continue to use this strength to build upon. What makes Midstate College different is our focus on successfully plac- ing students in careers for which we have prepared them with special support and attention which aides in their development as professionals. Last, but not least, we are making sure we are all doing our best to support the needs of our students and reaching out to them in every possible to make sure they have proper advisement and strong engagement with the Midstate College community. We all have a responsibility to help improve the retention of our students. We all have the opportunity to improve the relationships we build with students and ensure that we pro- vide strong links between the students, staff and faculty of Midstate College. Let us consider our blessings, promote our engagement in opportunity thinking, and guide ourselves and Midstate College suc- cessfully into the foreseeable future. Yours Truly, Meredith N. Bunch President and Chief Executive Officer
  2. 2. Spring 2015 Employee Newsletter Retention belongs to Everyone Data at the end of Fall 2014 term: 40 students on suspension [23 stu- dents wrote appeals and are on SAP plans] 8 students successful from the sum- mer term and continue on SAP from previous terms to reach 2.0 GPA and/ or 67 percent completion rate 9 students off SAP completely 13 students on academic warning 8 students off warning Collected Data for the Winter 2014 term as of 02-06-2015: 123 referrals to Sudent Success (unduplicated) from 14 different instructors for 25 different classes 138 students contacted through Student Success not as a result of referrals 28 tutoring opportunities in 9 different classes 11 adminis- trative drops So, are we making headway, yes. Can we do better, yes! Student success, student persistence, and graduation rates are frequent topics of intense debate at educa- tion conferences and institutional meetings. Therefore, the research has largely focused on the role of student persistence and graduation. Most recently, however, the role of the institution is taking center stage. The College Board Study on Student Retention identifies a consistent short- coming as, the institutions failure to document the extent to which they match their rhetorical dedication to student success and graduation with an accompanying commitment in campus resources, policies, and practices designed to increase stu- dent persistence. So what are some of the tactics that Midstate College employs Orientationresearch shows that orientation programs maintain and increase student persistence. The connection of commitment to ex- pectation lays important groundwork. Early alert of at risk students. Your referrals to Student Success for tutor- ing; techniques to improve study skills, note taking abilities, etc., provide sup- port in the academic environment. Retention Report Vicki Draksler Dean of Students See Retention Report on page 6>> Midstate College recognizes learning acquired from experiences outside of a formal classroom setting by offering students the opportunity to earn aca- demic credit through portfolio assess- ment, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), American Council on Educations (ACE) evaluations of work and military training, and credit by de- partmental proficiency examination. This updated program was created as the result of an AQIP Action Project in 2012. The PLA program at Midstate College formulated a brochure explaining the program, a portfolio development handbook and the creation of an on- line PLA Portfolio Workshop. Through the required workshop students discov- er how learning from life experiences, both professional and in service to the community, may be accepted as an equivalent to college level learning. Working on a portfolio can aid a stu- dents confidence. It brings a lot of previously unrecognized skills and tal- ents students have to the forefront. The first student submitted a portfolio using the new process in December, 2012. While there have been a number of counseling sessions with interested students, only six students have tack- led the portfolio process. Five of them have successfully submitted portfolios and received credit for various cours- es. There have also been a number of students who have received credit by taking proficiency exams, and one stu- dent has received credit through ACE evaluation of work training. The PLA Program is still in its infancy, but there is Department Highlight: Prior Learning Assessment Wayne Holly Director General Studies See Department Highlight on page 6>> Page 2 or 6
  3. 3. Spring 2015 Employee Newsletter Spring 2015 Planning for retirementhave you perused through MassMutuals site, www.massmutual.com, and estab- lished your online access to follow your 401k contributions? If not, take a tour of their recently enhanced site, and check out the Plan for Retirement section for assistance on reaching a variety of retirement goals. In a recent study sponsored by MassMutual, Americas retirees overwhelmingly report that they are enjoying themselves and discover- ing that pre-retirement fears of bore- dom, financial insecurity, and lacking purpose were largely unfounded. For further assistance in planning your retirement, our financial consultant, Nathan White from John Graham & Associates, will visit campus this June (date forthcoming) to meet with participating employees individually. Insurance renewal is around the cor- ner! We will soon begin preparing for open enrollment in June. Although our group size limits plans for us to consider, Midstate College will again aim to offer full-time employees good insurance coverage options. Medical, dental and vision will again renew this year on July 1. Parkingif you choose to park in front of the buildings, please park away from the buildings to reserve closer parking spaces for our students and other campus visitors. Thank you! Thank you, Bob! While the Spring term marks the beginning for new stu- dents at Midstate College, it will also mark Bob Rachowiczs last term as Program Director for our Accounting Department. As we prepare to wish him well in his retirement beginning May 20, we thank him for his dedica- tion over these past 14 years! Rach, you have earned this opportunity to enjoy more time with your family and grandchildren! Congratulations and thank you for your service! Winston Churchill once said, We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. So, THANK YOU for all that you give to Midstate College, and make it a great Spring term! HR Corner Ellen Jansen Human Resources Manager Upcoming Events March Meetings/Events 14th: Alpha Iota Sorority Meeting @12:30PM 12th: WHIP Trail Clean-up @5PM 17th: Business/Accounting Meet & Greet @5PM 23rd: Midtate Jurists Meeting @5PM 24th: Allied Health/Health Information Meet & Greet @5PM 30th: LSJ Meeting @5PM April Meetings/Events 9th: WHIP Trail Clean-up @5PM 13th: CIPA Meeting @5:30PM 14th: Alpha Iota Sorority Meeting @6PM 22nd: Go Green Day 23rd: Tech Day @5:30PM May Meetings/Events 5th 7th: NCRA Approval Visit 12th: Alpha Iota Sorority Meeting @6PM 14th: WHIP Trail Clean-up @5PM For even more dates, check out Midstates Online Calendar! MARK YOUR CALENDARS Walk to Cure Arthritis Saturday, June 6 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM Midstate Back lot & Rock Island Trail Midstate Commencement Ceremony Saturday, June 20 10 AM Embassy Suites & Conference Center, East Peoria & Online! Page 3 or 6
  4. 4. Employee Newsletter Spring 201