Letter to Faculty & Staff from Richard Zollinger


August 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back!  Summer weeks certainly pass quickly.  It seems like the summer began only a few weeks ago, but now we are preparing for the start of a new fall semester.  I am always glad for the start of a new academic year.  The energy and excitement of our students, as well as both our new and returning faculty, is truly contagious.   I hope that you enjoyed the Learning Forum on Tuesday, August 9th.  Our keynote speaker this year was Davis Jenkins, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center and co-author of Redesigning America’s Community Colleges.  Following our speaker, we offered an expanded selection of sessions and I hope you took this opportunity to learn more about what we are doing.

I have sometimes heard from you that we are all working hard on so many initiatives it can sometimes be difficult to follow up on the status of each one.  I invite you to learn “Where are they now?” about many of our recent initiatives.  Please click on the word search below.  The first 10 people to find all of the words and scan their completed word search to vpl.office@cpcc.edu will win a copy of Davis Jenkin’s book, Redesigning America’s Community Colleges

Click image to print


CPCC joined Achieving the Dream (ATD), a movement that seeks to improve community college student success using data-driven decisions, in 2010.  Since that time, ATD work groups, comprised of faculty and staff from all over the College, used data to address achievement gaps and other issues that created barriers to student success.  That work led to the development of a practice placement test, an orientation for online courses, and additional supports for minority male students, among other things.  The biggest legacy of CPCC’s ATD work, however, was the inclusion of data in the decision-making process at all levels throughout the College.  This shift in our institutional culture will continue to benefit our students, even though the College decided not to continue with ATD at the end of spring 2016.



I am very proud of the work-based learning opportunities offered to our students.  During the Fall 2016 and Spring 2016 terms, Workplace Learning had 560 students participate in work-based learning and co-op experiences, with an average 92% completion rate. Apprenticeship Charlotte had 45 apprentices, with 6 graduates in 2015- 2016. The newly launched pre-apprenticeship programs in the Construction Technologies division had 20 participants. Workplace Learning worked with over 200 employers each semester last year.



The NC-CBE Project—a partnership between Central Piedmont Community College, Wake Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, and Stanly Community College—is currently in the process of developing a curriculum framework that will help guide students through two tracks in Information Technology Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs (Computer Programming & Development and Network Management). The pilot for the NC-CBE Project will begin in Fall 2017, and efforts to address the needs of those associated with the Project within various college areas will continue throughout this academic year.



As many of you will recall, CPCC joined Completion by Design (CBD) in fall 2011.  A great deal of work has been accomplished since that time, most notably the creation of streamlined advising process for new students that builds a strong foundation for student success.  CPCC is now entering the final year of formal CBD work, which will further develop the mission and vision of this advising process with a strong emphasis on measurable outcomes.



The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) is an agreement between North Carolina community colleges and state universities that promotes the smooth transfer of students.  As a result of the most recent revision in 2014, the credits required for the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees was decreased from 64 credits to 60 credits.  In addition, certain courses were designated as part of the Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC).  These courses are guaranteed to transfer to any North Carolina university as a general education course.  Students who complete the AA or AS degree are guaranteed to transfer to a North Carolina university with junior status.  In addition to the AA or AS degree, CPCC offers four other degrees designed for transfer to a senior institution:

  • Associate in Engineering
  • Associate in Fine Arts in Music (new for Fall 2016)
  • Associate in Fine Arts in Theater (new for Fall 2016)
  • Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts (new for Fall 2016)

More information about the CAA can be found here.



Thank you to the many faculty who worked tirelessly last year on the Critical Core Initiative!  Last year the faculty-led group aligned CPCC’s General Education and Core4 goals under the umbrella of the Critical Core.  These goals, which will be assessed in both general education requirements and program-specific courses, require that individuals achieve proficiency in:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication (Written/Oral)
  • Personal Growth & Cultural Literacy
  • Information Technology & Quantitative Literacy

The work of this group will continue this year as each course is mapped to a specific goal and assessment plans are developed.  Ongoing information on the Critical Core Initiative can be found here.



Both developmental math and developmental reading and English have been completely redesigned within the past few years.  The redesigned courses have not only contributed to higher student success rates, but have also encouraged students to complete their developmental courses in their first term, which is an early indication that more students will progress and pass their college level English and math courses.  The percentage of students earning a passing grade in developmental math courses in fall 2015 (71.6%) represented almost an 8% increase over those who earned passing grades in developmental math in fall 2010 (63.9%).  In addition, 72% of students from the fall 2014 cohort enrolled in developmental math during their first term compared to 54% of students from the fall 2010 cohort.

The trend is similar in developmental reading and English.  The percentage of students earning a passing grade in developmental reading and English courses in fall 2015 (67.9%) represented nearly a 9% increase over those who earned passing grades in developmental reading and English in fall 2010 (59.45).  In addition, 78% of students from the fall 2014 cohort enrolled in developmental reading and English during their first term compared to 64% from the fall 2010 cohort.



eLearning is making great strides in moving the online strategic plan into action.  Current initiatives continue to support quality design and delivery through a number of new hands-on workshops coming soon.  If you have new faculty members joining your department or shifting to teach online, training is now offered in multiple formats.  Faculty can either attend class in two traditional classroom sessions (see LearnerWeb for dates and times) or via a self-paced, online course module.  This greater flexibility allows faculty to receive the training they need in a timely manner.



What happened to Program Review?  It has evolved into the new Healthy Program Reporting process!  We encourage all faculty to go to LearnerWeb for the online training so you will fully understand your role in this vital process.  Enhancements have been made to streamline the process and allow for more flexibility and autonomy of each program.  This is still a two year cycle and this year is the data review year.  Get trained and get involved today!


Last spring ART-111 Art Appreciation was selected as the first course at the College to undergo the Intentional Course Design process. Led by a team of both full- and part-time faculty and assisted by a supplemental support group of assessment, eLearning, technology, and developmental reading specialists, the ART-111 team has worked through the summer to develop pedagogical strategies that evaluate student reading level and select appropriate resources, leverage technology in identifying course materials, and strengthen classroom engagement.  Using a backward design approach, the team has designed the course based on learning outcomes and not on a single resource or textbook.



We will soon be entering into year three of STAR.  STAR: Success Through Academic Reporting, is our college-wide student success initiative relying on progress reports and strategic communication.  All eight-week or longer class instructors (not including DRE) will again be submitting both initial and midterm progress reports through the Online Student Profile (OSP).  The reporting calendar as well as other STAR resources can be found on our STAR website www.cpcc.edu/star.  Reminder emails will also be sent to faculty during the weeks they should be submitting.



The College has set a student success goal of increasing the percentage of students who transfer, complete credentials, or remain continuously. enrolled from a six-year CPCC baseline of 36% for the Fall 2005 cohort to a six-year success rate of 60% for the Fall 2014 cohort.  The cohort is comprised of students who enter in the fall, are credential-seeking (program code A, D, C), and enrolled in curriculum courses for the first time.  Based on the Fall 2009 cohort, the College is at 40.4%.  We are excited to see the future impact of initiatives such as Completion by Design, the Quality Enhancement Plan – STAR, and multiple measure on student success.


Faculty committees, directors, and deans have done an outstanding job of recruiting and hiring over the past weeks.  We are impressed with the enthusiasm the new hires bring to the Learning Unit.  Many of the new hires started work last spring and have already become familiar faces.  I am including in the list below all new hires since January 1, 2016:

Position Title Employee's Name Department
Academic Advisor Chaundra Washington College and Career Readiness
Administrative Assistant II Danielle Young
Administrative Assistant III Treasa Green Merancas Campus
Adminstrative Assistant I Ivalda Durkee Health Sciences
Assistant Director Mark Coltrain Library Services
Associate Dean Marianne Lyall-Knusel College and Career Readiness
Audio Specialist Stephen Lancaster Performance Facilities
Coordinator Audra Begg Workplace Learning
Corporate Training Advisor Hayne Paul Bridges CCE
Course Management Specialist Caprice Wimberley Instructional Course Management
Dean Kelly Trainor Harper Campus
Dean George Henderson Cato Campus
Division Director Lisa List Health Sciences
Housekeeping Attendant Patricia Davis Performance Facilities
Instructional Developer II Theresa Steinberg Professional Development & eLearning
Instructional Developer II Karen Moss Professional Development & eLearning
Instructional Developer II Joy Scott Professional Development & eLearning
Instructional Lab Coordinator Jennifer Hutchison Sciences
Instructional Lab Facilitator Amber Dobbins Applied Technologies
Instructional Lab Facilitator Alejandro Arango College and Career Readiness
Instructional Office Assistant Roula Habbal Engineering Technologies
Instructional Office Assistant Maria Ale Palafox-Lyall College and Career Readiness
Instructor, Accounting Suzette Pounds Accounting
Instructor, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Nathaniel Carr Construction Technologies
Instructor, Automotive Systems Technology Jesse Dubrinski Transport Systems Technologies
Instructor, Automotive Systems Technology Casey Smith Transport Systems Technologies
Instructor, Business Administration Shawn Allison Business & Accounting
Instructor, Chemistry Clara Adams Sciences
Instructor, Early Childhood Education Susan Butler-Staub Early Childhood Education
Instructor, Electrical Systems Technology Matthew Alexander Construction Technologies
Instructor, Engineering Technology Jacob Garbini Engineering Technologies
Instructor, English Max Everhart English, Reading & Humanities
Instructor, English Kimberly Saunders ACA, English & Humanities
Instructor, Health Information Technology Marcia Moore Health Sciences
Instructor, Math Justine Bonanno Mathematics
Instructor, Mechatronics Engineering Technology Bingqi "Thomas" Zhang Engineering Technologies
Instructor, Medical Assisting Karen Piette Medical Careers & Cosmetology
Instructor, Medical Assisting Connie Liles Medical Careers & Cosmetology
Instructor, Nursing Hannah Hogg Nursing Education
Instructor, Nursing Kara Hammack Nursing Education
Instructor, Occupational Therapy Assistant Jackie Mayo Health Sciences
Instructor, Physical Therapist  Assistant Michelle Johnson Health Sciences
Instructor, Psychology Elisha Collins Behaviorial & Social Sciences
Librarian (Archivist) Erin Allsop Library Services
Multimedia Design Specialist Asya Dimitrova Professional Development & eLearning
Program Assistant Karen Cruz CCE
Program Assistant Jasmyne Brandon CCE
Program Assistant Shauna Burger CCE
Program Coordinator Susan Schneider College and Career Readiness
Program Coordinator Sondra Hines College and Career Readiness
Program Coordinator, Sr. Nicole Ashton College and Career Readiness
Program Developer Debbi McCloud CCE
Records Management Specialist Adria Alexander CCE
Recruitment Coordinator Sakiyna Ragland College and Career Readiness

Richard Zollinger

Vice President for Learning & Workforce Development
Central Piedmont Community College