4C Visions, Season 1, Episode 7: Dr. Brian Merritt and Tara Guthrie


[R.V.] Welcome to 4C Visions I’m your host
R.V. Hight Director of Communications at Central Carolina Community College in
this edition of 4C Visions it is my pleasure to welcome Dr. Brian S Merritt
Vice President of student learning a chief academic officer at Central
Carolina Community College in his role he provides programmatic and strategic
oversight for curriculum programs and academic support areas in the curriculum
and student learning division he previously served as dean of student
learning and his prior roles include experience in college teaching grants
and sponsored programs orientation and first-year experience and alumni affairs
Dr. Merritt holds a PhD in education higher education administration and an
MA in higher education administration from Appalachian State University Dr.
Merritt welcome to 4C Visions [Dr.Merritt] Thanks R.V. it’s a great to be here
Central Carolina is a great place and it’s great to come and talk about you
know something I love so dearly and so great and dear to my heart so it’s good
to be here and talk to you today [R.V.] Well thank you well our 2015 – 2019 strategic
plan at Central Carolina is branded learning first what does that mean and
how are we moving along with that plan [Dr. Merritt] Well the learning first philosophy I
think at Central Carolina is something that we all have started to embrace we
started our strategic plan back in 2014 you know planning process happened for
about a year and a half or so and we launched it in December 2014 so it’s
been just over a little just over about a year now that we’ve been under this
new strategic plan and you know really what we what we’re trying to do here at
Central Carolina is to help everyone you know understand that they are part of
the learning process now so no matter what role you’re in
no matter you know if you’re you know cleaning the buildings if you’re you
mowing the grass if you’re teaching it in classes if you’re helping students
register your part of the learning process and we’re you know making sure
that we help everyone understand how they can engage students as full
partners in the learning process and what that really means so you’re
learning first is what we branded it and it’s really exciting to see where it’s
taken the college and the momentum that we have with doing some things to
continuously improve and expand our ability to serve our students [R.V.] Well
there’s always a lot of excitement at the college and it’s always an exciting
time when we offer new academic programs are there any new academic programs
starting soon at Central Carolina [Dr. Merritt] Yeah yeah we’ve in our learning first strategic plan
access is our number two goals so we want to make sure that you know in the
three counties that we serve that we are making sure to look at the workforce
demands and looking at the ways that we can help students get those credentials
to get the jobs that they need so in 2015 2016 17 it’s hard to hard to
realize that you know 2016-17 is just around the corner 2016-17 we’re going to
have five new academic programs so we’re really excited the first one we’ve been
planning for a while as health information technology and I’m not the
expert in all these but I’m going to try to explain a little bits of health
information technology if you want to if you’re thinking about the health care
field and you want to kind of but you’re also really great with technology it’s
it’s a credential to become a registered health information technician so work in
hospitals as coders in insurance companies and there’s really you know
when we did a survey of the healthcare and medical facilities in our three
counties HIT was the number one number one credential that employers
were saying they needed so we’ve hired a great new program director Denise Martin
and she’s on board and HIT is going to be a totally online program
there will be some seated components in Harnett County possibly in during the
evenings but um but it’s it’s exciting to see it coming so we’ve got a great
new faculty on board and a new faculty member coming on board here pretty soon
but on but you have contact Denise if anyone wants to register for that we
also have health and fitness science which is a brand new program is going to
be based here in the Lee campus we are you know looking at that Carl Bryan’s
going to be leading that program it students who are interested in being
your personal trainers or coaches or working at things like YMCAs and other
places you know it’s a going to be based here at our classroom fitness center and
we’ve already started ordering some great new cardio equipment and different
things to outfit that new program and we’re excited to see it going Associate in
engineering it’s kind of a repackaged university transfer program there’s five
universities and colleges in the UNC system that have engineering so before
students who wanted to you know go into engineering programs they followed
associate in science and it was a little tricky to you know very prescribed
actually to go into those engineering programs so now we have an actual
associate engineering program in the community college system and and we’re
adopting that here in the fall so some great new engineering classes that are
that we’re going to start offering and on and it’ll be as fast tracking of two
year program for students to go straight into their engineering see at the
program at the a senior institution you know there’s so many of them I’m trying
to remember what the other two are the building and construction technology is
the other one if you think about what’s happening in Chatham County right right
now in the population and just the building and the growth that’s going to
happen there we saw a need and jet we hired Jeff Gannon last year and he’s
working with Andy Mac Mahan our sustainability department chair but Jeff
Gannon is a great guys come and come on board and really starting to build the
that program will have a diploma and certificate and a degree in building
construction technology so chatham Park is coming and and it’s um we’re going to
see a lot of growth in the area there should be a lot of job possibilities and
last but not least I think you know we’re planning to launch this spring
2017 and I’m hoping that it’s going to happen it’s going to be in the catalog
and we’re going to put therapeutic massages with with a lot of the things
that are happening here on this campus here in Sanford and some of the you know
bond referendum that we got building our new buildings we saw a possibility to
offer therapeutic massage over in our with cosmetics and aesthetics so it’ll
be one in bud hall one building that has a lot of those public service programs
so ther view therapeutic massages is something that I think we’re all looking
forward to you because they’ll need some potential clients and I hope we’ll see
there [R.V.] Absolutely sure absolutely well that’s very exciting the college is
currently working through its reaccreditation process with the
Southern Association of colleges and schools Commission on Colleges what does
that process look like and what is the timeline [Dr.Merritt] So every ten years the college
of university has to go through it’s on full accreditation to accreditation
process that become reaccredited and any degree-granting institution has to
have an accreditation to be able to award students federal financial aid and
that sort of thing so right now we are we’re gearing up and starting the
writing process we have to respond we have a compliance certification report
that’s due in spring 2017 where we respond to 96 standards and 40 policies
to say to our accreditor that we’re doing what we say we do here’s what we
do and here’s how we how we do it we had a fifth year we every institution goes
to a fifth year reporter back in 2013 I think it was we had a clean fifth year
report so that was exciting for us but now we are coming up on this tenure
accreditation and with Zach COC and it’s a lot of work but it takes a
collaborative effort all divisions you know all of our Dean’s and department
chairs and folks are putting together that report and it takes over you know
it takes years to put it together so we started about a year ago and we’re still
working on it and it’s going to be a continuous process but it really helps
us look at our policies our procedures making sure that we’re doing what we say
we’re doing and making sure the students have a great experience and that’s what
it’s all about [R.V.] That’s great with our accreditation process our institution is
required to launch a new quality enhancement plan what’s our new QEP and
how will it change the student learning environment at Central
Carolina [Dr.Merritt] So our new QEP do you know the name of it idea don’t worry don’t
worry hotties bills pop quiz R.V. our new qep quality answer planets called my
academic pathway so that’s another part of the accreditation process every ten
years it’s a kind of an updated qep process it was a little different in the
past but um we you know we had a core team for the QEP that looked at a lot of
data they worked with students they worked with faculty and staff they
looked at our learning environment and said what can we do to improve the
experience here for students and my academic pathway was the chosen topic
among four there were four topics that kind of emerged the top four and then we
did a campus-wide vote where hundreds of people voted and gave their input what
my academic pathway or map is going to do it’s going to help students really be
exposed to different careers and their career options early on so from the very
beginning when we start the recruiting process the application process you know
trying to not sure if you want to be a director of communications when you grow
up but I know I definitely didn’t think I was going to be in this job when I was
you know going through the college admissions process but it’s going to
help us you know help our students you know really understand what it takes to
choose a career and help us refine our ways that we are taking in taking
students and helping them you know realize okay here the 120 Plus degree
certificate diploma options that we have and and how can it help you or how can
we help you you know choose that career choosing wisely it’s not all about you
how much money you’re making it’s about here what really is going to fit your
your interest in your abilities and and so we’re excited to see what we’re map
takes us [R.V.] Well our top three institutional goals at Central Carolina
are learning access and success what are some final thoughts about how central
carolina is dedicating itself to accomplish its goals [Dr. Merritt] I think just with
our new strategic plan learning access and success or things that we’re we do
goals and the objectives that are under that strategic plan were in the past
we’ve been very activity based in the ways that we are purchasing is we want
to you know implement retention strategies or recruitment strategies but
now what we’re doing is under learning under access and her success where we’re
and very data-driven and data informed about you know what does it mean to be
part of the learning process here we’re we’re continuously trying to look with
map kind of looking at our advising process we’re looking at ways that
instructors can we can help them learn about how they can be better in the
classroom and better engage with their students with access we are you know
with our Central Carolina works initiative just as one example you know
one of our objectives in the strategic plan is to help students gain gain more
college credits before they come to Central Carolina because if you come in
with more college credits you’re going to be closer to completion closer closer
to you on to your end goal so what this is doing is these top three strategic
plan goals are helping us be more data informed and helping us kind of figure
out where where can we improve and where can we kind of manipulate some of the
programming some of the things that we’re doing here when we engage our
students and create these these programs for students to to help help them become
more successful and reach their and goals so but again learning first and is
a philosophy that I think we’re all embracing and it’s kind of becoming a
mantra around here so we’re excited well [R.V.] Dr. Merritt thank you for being with us
today and we will returnright after these messages morning Gary
we are get schooled.com you want a college education don’t you know you do
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it was only like five seconds and I’m a really really fast texter so it wasn’t
even a bid deal actually has she texted me back yet wow I get like no bars in this
place wonder if they have Wi-Fi here [R.V.] Welcome back to 4C Visions today
our guest is Tara Guthery director of library services at Central Carolina
Community College and has been with a college for six years she earned her
master’s degree in Library and Information studies from the University
of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been a librarian for 19 years she is a
member of the North Carolina Library Association and also the North Carolina
Community College Library Association she lives in Sanford and enjoys music
and cooking in her spare time well welcome today Tara it’s good to have you
[Tara] Thank you R.V. it’s a pleasure to be here [R.V.] Well great well Tara explain to our
audience how the 21st century library of today is different [Tara] sure well
traditionally libraries have been a book repository a long time ago but in the
latter part of the 20th century and now of course in the 21st century more of
our resources are moving to electronic format so they’re all available online
and along with that you know never before in the history of the world has
so much information been available to mankind and that information is doubling
every year and that’s it blows your mind I know and of course the only way to
manage that information is to have it electronically you know made available
through technology and technology is changing about every three months so
it’s a lot to keep up with it’s constantly evolving and changing and we
as librarians we have to manage all of this information and make it available
to our students and other library users so part of what we do as librarians is
we have to teach students of course how to find the information that they’re
looking for for their class assignments and then once they find that information
how to evaluate it and is you know recognize is it a good source of
information does it answer their question you know for what they’re
looking for and and then you know is it from an authoritative
first and then of course how to incorporate that information into their
research paper and in addition to their being just so much information for us to
to manage and to navigate through the library has become more of a place on
campus for students to come and learn and study and you know our campus being
a community college campus we’re more of a commuter campus because we have
students that come from you know various areas once they get to campus they’re
here for the majority of the day and they need a place to go between campuses
I’m sorry they need a place to go between classes to work on their
assignments to meet with friends that they’re working on group projects with
and and just have a place to relax and have some downtime between their classes
just to clear their head and so the library has become that place for them
to come you know to to do those types of activities as well as to learn you know
how to navigate through all the resources we have available and of
course we teach library classes which we coordinate with the instructors so that
our instruction is geared towards a particular assignment that they may be
having in their class and so we have to have learning spaces you know for
classes we have to have learning spaces for these groups that need to work
together on assignments and then of course we have students that want to
work individually or just study on their own so the library space has to
accommodate all of these types of studying and learning situations as well
as different size of groups of students so you know even though we don’t need as
much space for books as we used to have because so much is online now we still
have to have the physical space for all these other learning and studying
activities and the library is also supporting the online classes through
this offer through the distance learning and we do that through providing online
tutorials that’s available on our web page that these are created by our
librarians and they will show students how to search our library catalog how to
search our databases to find articles that they’re looking for and then we
also have research guides that our librarians have also compiled so that
students that are working on an assignment for a particular class can go
to the research guide for that class or for that particular subject and find all
the resources that they need in one location and they just simplifies things
for them and helps them find the information they’re looking for and then
of course we’re partnering more and more with the faculty and other departments
to provide access to the resources for their students and one of our recent
collaborations was with some of the anatomy and physiology instructors and
they had some 3d models in their classroom and students wanted to have an
opportunity to access these outside of class and so one of the instructors
approached me about putting some of these models on reserve in the library
so that students could come by and check it out use it in one of the study rooms
and learn all the different parts of the body whatever they’re having to learn
and just to give students more access to those types of information resources [R.V.] Wow
well certainly this 21st century library isn’t what I grew up with that’s
that’s a wonderful thing what’s happening today with our library well
Central Carolina Community College has been fortunate to have received library
services and technology at grants how is the college benefiting from last year’s
grant [Tara] Yes so last year we received two grants and these LSTA grants are federal
funds that’s made available through the institution Institute of Museum and
Library Services and they’re administered through the State Library
of North Carolina and so one of the grants we got last year was to enhance
our study rooms with computer technologies so we were able to
able to purchase 40 inch flat screen computers that are also touch screens
better have internet access as well as Microsoft Office and they have a
high-definition webcam attached so if students need to do video conferencing
with students at another campus or even another college they have the ability to
do that as well as to video record themselves for presentations they may
have to give in their classes for assignments and then all the study rooms
also have a dryer a large dry-erase whiteboard for collaboration and
brainstorming that sort of thing so the students can reserve study rooms online
through our website and they stay booked constantly that we’ve had to start a
waiting list sometimes when all the rooms are full and we have students
waiting to get into the study rooms but since we since we put the new
technologies in the study rooms our usage of the study rooms has increased
by three hundred and fifty three percent so they’re definitely very popular space
on campus to be to work on group assignments and then the other grant
that we got was a planning grant and for this grant we hired a consultant to come
in and to evaluate our library space here at the main campus and also in our
Lillington campus because you know these buildings are older and we’ve been in
them a long time and the college has grown significantly over the years and
of course library use has changed over the years as we’ve already discussed so
we looked at how libraries are being used today in other academic settings
such as other universities and community colleges and we we also surveyed
students and faculty and we got some input through some focus groups on what
they wanted to see in changes for the library in the library space so
essentially we’re providing a lot of the services that the colleges and other
university libraries are already providing just on a smaller scale but we
really need more space for more computers more study rooms larger study
rings that can accommodate larger study groups and things of that nature [R.V.] Well
the college received another LSTA grant for this year how is that grant being
put into use by the college [Tara] right so the grant we received this year was for our
lillington campus the library there does not have up until this point has not had
a computer lab for teaching library instruction classes the instructor or
the librarian has had to go into the classroom to teach those classes and it
can be kind of if he was trying to use laptops or netbooks and you know if the
Wi-Fi is spotty then it can be very frustrating to teach a class so with
this grant we have been able to set set up a computer lab with 20 computers and
an instructor’s computer so that we can teach library classes in the library and
then this lab will also serve as an open computer lab for students whenever they
need to work on assignments between classes and in the other portion of the
grant is supporting our students at the Harnett Health Sciences center previously
before the Health Sciences Center opened all of the students that are now there
used to be in the Etheridge building with the library so they were constantly
coming in and using the library and doing a lot of printing and when they
moved into the Health Sciences Center our printing receipts dropped by half
and we knew that there was a need for library access to the students there but
until we did the focus groups with the planning grant we didn’t know how dire
that need was so we included in our grant for this year getting six
computers to put in the Health Sciences Center study suite on the second floor
so that our nursing and allied health students now have access to library
resources online in the study suite there [R.V.] Well the short
time we have left I wanted to talk about the rich history of Central Carolina
Community College how is the college library working toward archiving that
history [Tara] Right so we have a lot of materials that have been stored in the
library for many years and until a couple years ago no one has had the
chance to organize those so that they can be made accessible for other people
to use them now a few years ago when we celebrate at the college’s 50 year
anniversary we digitized some of our yearbooks for the college in partnership
with the North Carolina digital Heritage Center at unc-chapel Hill so those are
now online and we have here books from 1967 through 1985 as well as some vet
med departmental yearbooks that are available you can find those on our
website and browse through those on your own now and we’re currently working on
organizing about over 15,000 photographs throughout the history of the college
from the 70s up to the present and it’s taken some time to get those organized
and they’re still being processed in catalogs and hopefully in the fall we
will be able to send those to the digital Heritage Center and have those
digitized and made available online as [R.V.] Well that’s really exciting well we
look forward to it and obviously you can go online to look for the library under
www.cccc.edu thank you thank you we appreciate to your service to Central Carolina
Community College and we thank all of our viewers for being with us today on
4C Visions you

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