Letter to Faculty & Staff from Richard Zollinger

January 2014

Dear colleagues in the Learning & Workforce Development Unit,

Welcome back to a new semester, a new year, new students, some new colleagues, and new opportunities to collaborate with others for student success!  I want to share some results of our student success initiatives.

Achieving the Dream (AtD)
This year CPCC became a leader college for the AtD initiative. We are serving as a mentor college for Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and Stanley Community College as they begin their AtD work.

Here are some results from one of CPCC’s AtD projects:
Initial success date for the African American (AA) Male Strategies subgroup:


  • Increased the number of African American Males in the dual enrollment program by 50% from Fall 2012 to Fall 2013


  • Increased the number of students in the AA male learning community of ACA 111 and ACA 120 by over 50% from Fall 2012 to Fall 2013


  • More than doubled the number of AA males in the MAN UP academy from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013


  • All AA males

Increase of 6.1% from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012

  • New AA males

Increase of 3.3% from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012

The onsite SACSCOC review team enthusiastically endorsed CPCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan entitled “Success Through Academic Reporting (STAR).” A fall 2013 pilot in 40 ENG 111 sections provided qualitative results.

Several questions were asked about changes that will occur due to the implementation of the STAR process:

  • The initial report within the first three weeks of class is new; currently, instructors submit reports during the mid-term in 16-week and 8-week classes. How did submitting the new initial report within the first three weeks of the semester impact your class?
    • Summary of faculty feedback: Though the initial reports are given early in the semester, perhaps before the first major assignment is due, the ability to send feedback was limited; however, students who received the reports were able to utilize them as a “wake-up” call early enough to improve their bad habits or withdraw from the class.
    • Summary of student feedback: Students’ responses ranged from surprise that they needed to improve their in-class performance to appreciation of the opportunity to find out that their instructor was paying attention and interested in their progress.
  • Currently, instructors enter “MID” for mid-term reports. With STAR, faculty use the Online Student Profile to indicate specific academic and/or behavioral issues that may hinder student success in class. Was the new process user-friendly?
    • Summary of faculty feedback: Though log-in was not intuitive, it was easier to use and allowed for more specific feedback to students than the current system. It was also helpful to know that advisors could use the information to aid students, too. Reminders to submit the reports and step-by-step handouts were also valuable tools.
    • Summary of student feedback:  Students noted that they were more likely to read the STAR email because it was sent specifically to them. Several students noted that they had never received a mid-term report or had not noticed it before.
  • What concerns do you have for implementing STAR across the College that we can work to improve before Fall 2014?
    • Summary of faculty feedback: Classes that are eight weeks or less in duration, supporting faculty – especially part-time faculty, in using the OSP, and integrating these reports with other College reports were among the leading challenges noted.
    • Summary of student feedback: Students want to be sure that all of their instructors will use the reporting process.


    SACSCOC Reaffirmation
    During our recent SACSCOC reaffirmation visit, the College received recommendations on two principles. We have until early March to address the concerns of the onsite review committee, and have taken the following steps to bring the College into compliance:

    • Core Requirement 2.7.2 Program Content

    In order to address this recommendation, we gathered data and studied our Associate in General Education (AGE) degree. As a result of the finding, no new students will be allowed to declare this program as of December, 2013, though all students who are presently in the degree code will be allowed to finish. The terminating of the AGE will not impact any student’s registration for spring, 2014, and all AGE degree students will be allowed to complete degree requirements as long as they are continuously enrolled. CPCC advisors and counselors are working with students in the AGE degree to create an educational plan.

    • Comprehensive Standard Institutional Effectiveness: Educational Programs

    We have taken the following steps to address this principle which deals with program reviews and learning outcomes:

      • Developed a new streamlined program review template which focuses more on identification and assessment of student learning outcomes
      • Revised the review cycle to every two years instead of every five years
      • Pulled data from previous reviews and transferred to the new template
      • Contacted programs with missing data in order to complete the reviews

    Curriculum by Design (CbD)
    In its third year, the CbD ‘s Re-engineering Team used several criteria to determine the new pathway requirements for the AA and AS degrees:

    • Transferability of courses to four-year institutions
    • Career and College Promise Pathways
    • Core courses currently required by the state
    • Core versus elective courses
    • UNCC transferability of core courses

    In addition, 969 incoming fall semester AA and AS students have been seen by counselors and advisors through the new CbD advising process.

    Developmental Math Modules
    Student Success:

    • Piloted resulted in student success rates of 77% (Levine Campus – 2012SP through 2013SP)
    • The first semester of full implementation has seen success rates of 74% (All campuses – 2013FA – 1st four-week session)


    • Pilot resulted in within-semester retention rates of 97%

    Overall Enrollment:

    • Pilot resulted in 2502 unique registrations from 804 students (Levine Campus – 2012SP thru 2013SP)
    • The first semester of full implementation has seen 2083 unique registrations from 2083 students (All campuses – 2013FA – 1st four-week session)


    Fully-online programs:


    Associate in Science

    Business Administration: Business Management

    Business Administration: Business Operations

    Business Administration: Human Resources Generalist

    Business Administration: International Business- Logistics

    Computer Technology Integration: Advanced Digital Forensics

    Computer Technology Integration: Cisco Administration

    Computer Technology Integration: Cyber Crime & Digital Forensics

    Computer Technology Integration: Cyber Crime & Information Systems Security

    Computer Technology Integration: Cyber Crime and Digital Forensics

    Computer Technology Integration: Integration Foundations

    Computer Technology Integration: Microsoft Systems Administration

    Computer Technology Integration: Technical Systems

    Computer Technology Integration: Network Administration

    Computer Technology Integration: Network Infrastructure

    Construction Management Technology: Entry Level Construction Supervision

    Criminal Justice Technology- Essentials of the Criminal Justice System

    Criminal Justice Technology: Basics of Criminal Justice

    Criminal Justice Technology: Courts & the Law

    Fire Protection Technology (AAS)

    Fire Protection Technology- Basics in Fire Protection

    Fire Protection Technology: Fire Management

    Health Information Technology (AAS)

    Office Administration Specialist


    Jumbo online classes:

    We piloted large format classes in summer 2013 and fall 2013. Large format classes are online classes with enrollments between 85 and 100. Faculty volunteered to teach these classes with help from an instructor assistant. Success rates of the students in these classes are comparable to the success rates of students in smaller online classes. The pilots have been in Biology, Health, History, and Music.

    Competency-Based Education:
    CPCC is partnering with the North Carolina Community College System to determine initial steps in reviewing the efficacy of competency-base education at both the college and system levels.

    Meanwhile, SACSCOC has just approved a policy to guide schools in submitting information about programs with competency-based, direct assessment components. This policy will be published on the Commission website in January, 2014.

    Campus Conversations
    I began meeting with different groups across the Learning Unit in the fall. So far, I have held four campus conversations with 168 faculty and staff in attendance. These conversations give us a chance to discuss trends on the educational horizon and the implications for our work at the College. I’ll continue the conversations in the spring. To read more about the student success initiatives, go to this website: https://www.cpcc.edu/learning/featured-updates/campus-conversations

    Great things are happening in the Learning Unit and at CPCC. We can only accomplish great things by working together!  I look forward to 2014 and our joint efforts in the continued success of all of our students.
    Happy New Year!


    Richard Zollinger

    Vice President for Learning & Workforce Development
    Central Piedmont Community College