What's New at WSCC for Fall 2012

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With the official leap over to semesters this fall, Washington State Community College (WSCC) is hitting a milestone in its academic history. Washington State Community College, along with several other colleges across Ohio, has switched to 16 academic week semesters. The transition has been mandated by the state for all community colleges, with one advantage being easier transfer of credits between community colleges and four-year institutions.  

Along with the change from the quarter system to semesters, there will be some new faces, programs, and classes at the college.

The revamped American Sign Language degree is accepting new applicants, according to Ben Rutherford, interim dean of arts & sciences. “The new Private Security academy also begins this fall semester.” The Private Security academy is certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and provides graduates with state certification in order to enter a variety of careers in the private security field, including: loss control specialists, security officers, armored car officers, and dignitary protection.

The Business, Engineering & Industrial Technologies department is offering multiple avenues for students interested in careers in the booming oil and natural gas industry. The Geosciences transfer program offers an associate of applied science degree, able to articulate into a bachelor of science degree program in geography, geology, environmental science, or other related fields. WSCC Geosciences graduates additionally earn a three-course Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate while in the program, making them excellent candidates for entry level positions in the oil and gas business. A second option, the Geotechnical Drafting program, offers a technical pathway to the shale exploration industry, an up-and-coming market in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Geotechnical Drafting associate of applied science degree blends design drafting with geosciences, preparing students for an array of jobs related to oil and natural gas.

Digital technology professor Esther Salem recently earned certification to teach Cisco Academy curriculum. “Cisco sets the industry standard for networking hardware. Through Cisco Academy, students learn how to construct networks, program routers, and switchers – effectively, they manage network traffic to keep networks secure and efficient,” says Salem.

Two semesters of the Academy will be taught, preparing students for the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) exam. “Esther worked hard over the summer to obtain certification – this is just one example of how WSCC’s faculty go above and beyond to provide students with the latest instruction in technology,” notes Brenda Kornmiller, dean of business, engineering & industrial technologies.

The Learning Center, an integral part of student support and success on the WSCC campus, has changed its name and look for the fall semester. Now the “Center for Student Success”, the center is still located on the first floor of the Arts & Sciences building and throughout the summer underwent several renovations to the inside, including the removal of a wall to provide more space, and painting. The Center for Student Success features free tutoring; computer, internet and printer access for students; disability services; as well as equipment loans of laptops and calculators.

With our move to semesters WSCC has updated its payment plan policy to include four payments instead of three. According to Doug Orr, business office controller, “Now students will owe just a fourth of their balance plus the setup fee ($25) as their first payment, and the remainder will be split up over an additional three payments.”

The WSCC campus is welcoming one new employee aboard this fall and transitioning four current employees.

Gary Graham starts August 27th as the Management Information Systems (MIS) Programmer. Graham is a Wirt County High School graduate and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer information systems from West Virginia University at Parkersburg. His previous experience includes four years with the Washington County Department of Jobs and Family Services as a MIS Specialist and five years as a Senior Systems Analyst with Medical Claims Service in Ravenswood, WV.

Ashley Lamaroui is transitioning within the American Sign Languages (ASL) department on August 13th. Her new faculty position follows her previous four years with WSCC as an ASL instructor and tutor. She received her associate’s degree in ASL interpretation from WSCC in 2009, along with a Certificate of Deaf Studies. She is currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in special education, sign language interpreting, with the University of Cincinnati and is expecting to graduate in 2014.

Michele Murphy has interned within the WSCC Marketing department for the past two years and this fall, transitions into the position of Graphic Designer and Web Programmer. Murphy holds an associate’s in web programming from WSCC, as well as a bachelor’s in art history/graphic design from Kent State University. Murphy’s previous experience includes work as a Graphic Designer with Richardson Printing and other freelance work.

According to Dee Standish, director of Educational Talent Search (ETS), Brandi Koscho is joining the department as an ETS advisor. “Brandi has served WSCC in the past as part time faculty in the Early Childhood department and we are happy to welcome her to Educational Talent Search,” notes Standish. Koscho earned a bachelor’s degree in speech, hearing, and language science from Ohio University, as well as a master of arts in education from Marietta College.

WSCC Chemistry/Biological Sciences Professor Ben Rutherford was recently named as interim Dean of Arts & Sciences. According to Dr. John Tigue, vice president for academic affairs, Rutherford was chosen due to his years of service as a faculty, as well as serving as Faculty Senate President and Department Chair of Liberal Arts. The College is currently in search of a new Dean of Arts & Sciences; however a start date has not yet been determined.

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