December 2012 Letter to Faculty & Staff

December 2012


The fall semester is almost over, and we eagerly anticipate time with family and friends. I know you are busy with end-of-semester grading and projects, but I hope you’ll take time to read updates on some of our Success Initiatives.

New Additions in the Learning Unit

It is exciting to announce the hiring of 18 faculty and staff in the Learning Unit since early August. Hiring takes the combined efforts of interview and hiring committees, front-line supervisors and administrators, credentialing experts, as well as many other folks. My thanks to all those involved!

New Hires

Position Title Employee's Name Department
Academic Advisor Duana Jones College & Career Readiness
Associate Dean William McDonald CCE
Course Management Specialist Christopher Patera Course Management
Course Management Specialist Catherine Thompson Course Management
Director, Distance Education Dev. & Delivery Elizabeth Forgione-Barkas Professional Development & eLearning
Division Director David Favre Transport Systems Technologies
Instructional Lab Facilitator, Biology Meagan Crowson Science
Instructor, Developmental Math Sheri Zehrung Mathematics
Instructor, Developmental Math Sydia Gayle-Fenner Mathematics
Instructor, Developmental Math Christie Williams Mathematics
Instructor, Electrical Engineering Carol Davis Engineering Technologies
Instructor, Mechanical Engineering Matt Warnke Engineering Technologies
Instructor, Mechatronics Engineering Frank Torres Engineering Technologies
Instructor, Mechatronics Engineering Michael Grohol Engineering Technologies
Librarian Melanie Wood Library Services
Program Coordinator, Senior Nadzeya Maisak College & Career Readiness
Program Coordinator/Recruiter Marcia Barnwell CCE
Program Developer (Intake Center) Michael Clough College & Career Readiness

Employees On The Move

Position Title Employee's Name Department
Box Office Coordinator Lorraine Sebold Performing Arts
Dean Chris Paynter STEM
Executive Director, Center for Sustainability Rose Mary Seymour STEM
Instructional Office Assistant Arlene Finklea Applied Technologies
Instructional Office Assistant Phetsakone Allen Behavioral & Social Sciences
Instructional Office Assistant Tina Browning Foreign Language & Academic ESL
Program Assistant Danielle White CCE
Special Projects Coordinator Geraldine Johnson Assistant to the VP for Learning's Office

SACS and QEP Updates

The SACS Reaffirmation and QEP teams are meeting regularly and addressing issues as the College approaches its SACS year of reaffirmation. The off-site review takes place during the spring of 2013, and the on-site visit will be September 24-26, 2013. Dr. Barry Goldstein, the SACSCOC vice president assigned to CPCC, made his advisory visit to campus on Monday, December 3, to review the reaffirmation process and the Commission’s expectations. He met with the College Cabinet, the Reaffirmation Team, and the QEP Development Committee. The reaffirmation report is due in early March of 2013. Visit the College’s accreditation website for more information about the reaffirmation process:

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

The QEP is a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused challenge related to student learning and/or the student learning environment. The QEP is a required component of the SACS reaffirmation process. This semester, the QEP Development Committee continued reviewing CPCC data, relevant literature, and best practices of similar colleges to develop learning outcomes that contribute to the success of first-year students. More information about the QEP can be found on the College's accreditation website.


The Learning Unit welcomes Elizabeth Forgione-Barkas as the new director of eLearning. Elizabeth and her team are working now on a strategic plan for distance education that will guide the College on how to expand course and program offerings while simultaneously improving the quality of online and hybrid courses.

Achieving the Dream!

CPCC is now in year three of Achieving the Dream (AtD). The focus continues on improving success rates of online and developmental math students. The original six strategy teams are reaching out across the institution to partner with areas impacted by the interventions. The Developmental Education Institute, a series of professional development workshops that address the psychological and sociological needs of developmental students, is going well. Fully online sections of CIS 110, PSY 150, and ENG 112 were identified to engage in the AtD work related to distance students. The student orientation for online classes was re-designed; faculty teaching the identified online sections completed professional development in the pedagogy of online teaching and the use of Blackboard Collaborate, a synchronous tool. These instructors also submitted their courses for a quality course review. Throughout this 2012-2013 academic year, AtD groups are working on assessing the interventions piloted in 2012 and defining how to scale these so they are sustainable across the College.

CPCC was recently selected as an AtD Leader College. Leader Colleges have demonstrated commitment to and made progress on the four principles of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement. Being an AtD Leader College will strengthen the College’s continued focus on student success and completion.

Completion by Design

Completion by Design (CbD), a Bill and Melinda Gates-funded state initiative, is in the process of redesigning community colleges to increase completion without sacrificing the quality of the educational experience for students or increasing college costs. This year CPCC is implementing changes in three key areas. The first is a re-design of the AA and AA degree programs to make them more prescriptive and better aligned with the demands of the local job market and transfer requirements. The second area is proactive advising, developing an intensive advising model to provide consistent support and continuity for students as they progress from entry to graduation or transfer. The third area is a continuous bridge program. This program will build a foundation to help accelerate students through developmental coursework, explore career options, and carry through to successful completion of curriculum level courses.

Math Emporium and CIP

CPCC is taking the lead to improve developmental math offerings in North Carolina. CPCC offers several options for students in developmental math. One option is an emporium-style environment for developmental math students. Another option is developmental math modules that focus more specifically on the particular skills students need to develop.

The College is also leading a state Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP) for math. The CIP will align all math courses from K-12 to community colleges to four-year schools. Within this effort, colleges hope to improve each student’s ability to move between schools without unnecessary duplication. The CIP will also work closely with industries to identify math-related needs. As a national leader in workforce development, CPCC is committed to defining learning tracks that lead to employment including needs relating to math.

Career and College Promise (CCP) Certificates/Diplomas

Career and College Promise is the dual enrollment program for high school students and includes Cato Middle College. In the fall 2012 semester, 528 students participated in the program accumulating over 3400 credit hours. New CCP certificates and diplomas being proposed include the following:

  • Automotive Technology Certificate with a Specialization in Brake and Alignment
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology Diploma
  • Construction Management with a Specialization in Energy Infrastructure Certificate
  • Electrical Systems Technology with a Specialization in Energy Production Certificate
  • Simulation and Game Development Diploma
  • Computer Integrated Machining Technology Diploma


For more information about Career and College Promise, go to this link:


The holidays give us an opportunity for reflection. As I think back on this year, I acknowledge the many opportunities we have at CPCC to serve our students and am grateful for the successes we are achieving together. I hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday!



Richard Zollinger
Vice President for Learning
Central Piedmont Community College