Monthly Archives: August 2018

Faculty: Bring your 2018-19 course reserves to the Library!

Want to help your students alleviate the financial burden of textbooks and course materials? Here’s how:

  1. Fill out the course reserve form on the Library webpage.
  2. Bring one or two copies of the textbook(s) you are using in your class(es) to the Library checkout desk.

It is that easy!

When placing a textbook on reserve, we recommend you choose to reserve it for a two-hour increment so more students can access the book and make copies. Even better, place two copies of the textbook on reserve so one can be checked out for 48 hours or one week.

Please contact Robin Moore at x9616 or Kelcie Hausner at x9710 for more information.

Please verify your course is using updated D2L tool names

In reviewing summer semester 2018 courses, the eLearning Department has seen many courses that still refer to D2L tools by old tool names and not the updated tool names. Specifically, instructors need to be aware the Dropbox tool was renamed to Assignments as of May 10.

Instructors need to review the following items in their D2L courses to ensure Assignments is being used instead of Dropbox in order to avoid any potential student confusion:

  • Course Materials (including files, pages and descriptions in Content)
  • Assignment Instructions
  • Assignment Folders
  • Grade Book Items

For assistance with revising D2L courses after the May 2018 updates, please refer to the May 2018 D2L Update Instructor Course Checklist found in the D2L Updates section of the eLearning Instructor Resource Site. As always, you may also contact the eLearning Department at any time for D2L assistance.

A round of Applause! for Tech Careers’ Marlys Longanbach

This week, we’re applauding Marlys Longanbach of Technical Careers.

“Marlys gave me an amazing tour when I stopped by LCC West unannounced and she answered all of my questions very thoroughly with a positive attitude,” wrote Emileigh Stoll of Perry High School. “I learned so much from her! She is a great representative of LCC.”

This regular “Applause!” column features the good work you and your colleagues do around the college. It’s powered by Applause! Awards, an LCC-wide program designed to recognize you for providing excellent customer service. Know someone who deserves to be featured here? Everyone is eligible!

Revised enrollment and withdrawal procedures for fall 2018

A letter from the provost:

Welcome to the fall semester! Some of you never left, and others have taken an extended break – either way, we are happy to begin another academic year with you.

First, let me apologize for the “last minute” nature of this letter clarifying the revised enrollment and withdrawal procedures for students this year. Details and decisions were still being made in collaboration with the Registrar’s office, Financial Aid, and Academic Affairs, and we are getting the information to you as soon as everything has been approved. Here is an overview of the changes.

Beginning with the fall semester, the college is revamping the processes to add students to or withdraw them from courses. This move is part of our embedded academic support initiative, designed to help all students succeed in college-level work.

The old add/drop form will be replaced with two separate processes.

Late Add Process
Students are no longer permitted to enroll after a class has begun. College data show students who enrolled after the start of a course consistently underperform their peers who have been in class from day one. This change was implemented summer 2018.

In the case of extenuating circumstances, students can fill out an online late enrollment form requesting to be added to a class. From that point:

1.   The request will come to the appropriate faculty member’s email. Faculty have the option to allow the student’s request to proceed or deny the late enrollment.

2.   If approved, the request will come to the division to check the student’s prerequisites and all other requirements for the class.

3.   Final approval on the student’s late enrollment must come from the dean. Students should not sit in classes for which they are not registered.

Please note, since this request will come to your LCC email, it is critical to check and respond with approval or denial of the student’s request.

Withdrawal Process
1.  Enrollment verification in the first two weeks of the class is 100 percent mandatory. This is not a new policy, but a reiteration. Your participation is critical to keeping the college in line with federal financial aid requirements, and I appreciate your cooperation.

2.  Other than through the enrollment verification process, faculty are not to unilaterally initiate a student withdrawal other than for the exceptions noted below. LCC is not officially designated as an attendance-taking institution by the Department of Education. If we drop students for failing to attend class, it gives the impression that we are an “attendance-taking institution.” If we give that impression, then we are obligated to follow the federal requirements for an attendance-taking institution.

Exceptions:
Faculty in programs with licensure/accreditation requirements that mandate attendance-taking must still initiate a withdrawal. Faculty in those classes must drop students within 14 days of non-participation and should continue to use the current drop form. Please speak with your administrative supervisor if you have questions.

Faculty can initiate a withdrawal on behalf of a student in extenuating circumstances – such as illness, accident, or incarceration – where the student is unable to complete the drop process. In these cases the faculty should use the new administrative drop form. Please speak with your administrative supervisor if you have questions.

3.  Faculty should also not initiate the administrative withdrawal process for behavioral reasons. If there are concerns about obstacles to a student’s academic success, please encourage the student to get in touch with LCC Counseling Services or their academic success coach, or submit a success coach referral form at lcc.edu/successteam. If there are concerns about a student’s behavior or the student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, please submit a Behavior Intervention Team or Student Conduct Report. If you have immediate safety concerns, contact Police and Public Safety.

4.  Even though faculty will not be initiating withdrawals, “last date of participation” in an academically related activity must be tracked in D2L. Important: Faculty will be required to provide supporting documentation of the last day of participation for students who completely withdraw and/or fail their classes. Thus, it is critical that faculty keep accurate records in D2L and check their email frequently. Examples of this supporting documentation might be a gradebook entry for an assignment, a discussion post or an email exchange regarding course material. Again, your help with this particular matter assists both the student and college in granting financial aid.

NOTE: The student self-withdrawal process is not changing. Students should be encouraged to complete the withdrawal process via Banner Self-Service.

As these new processes come into place, please do not use the old/add drop forms any longer. The Registrar’s office cannot accept them.

Thank you, as always, for your assistance as we create better procedures that promote student success. If you have any questions, please talk with your administrative supervisor or contact me directly.

Take care,
Elaine Pogoncheff
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Three tips for creating accessible Excel documents

1. Properly format tables to be more easily understood when using screen reading technologies.

  • Highlight the cells you want to include in your table.
  • Click on the “Insert” tab and select “Table.”
  • Check the box “My table has headers” and click OK.
  • Stay away from nested tables, as these are not accessible.

2. Create alternative text for charts or other graphical information.

  • Right click on the chart.
  • Select “Format Chart Area.”
  • Click on the “Size & Properties” icon and select the “Alt Text” dropdown.
  • Add a short explanation in the Description field, but do not put anything in the Title field.

3. Be conscious of your use of color. Color should not be the only characteristic used to convey information. Bolding and italicizing provide better options for signifying emphasis. In addition, keep an eye on color contrast. Black and white is always the most accessible, but many other color combinations can meet accessibility standards. Use an online color contrast checker to be sure a color combination is readable.

Be sure to submit your tuition waiver requests for dependents prior to deadline

During the summer semester, the revised Tuition Waiver Benefit (TWB) Procedure for credit classes was successfully implemented. Many thanks to TWB recipients and the employees who implemented this change.

Looking forward, please be reminded the deadlines for use of this benefit for fall 2018 classes are as follows:

  • The deadline for designating dependents authorized to use this benefit is Friday, Sept. 7.
  • The deadline for submitting Tuition Waiver Request forms is Friday, Sept. 7, or two weeks before the start of class(es), whichever is later.

The full procedure, college forms and a Frequently Asked Questions list is available at internal.lcc.edu/hr/employee_benefits/.

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding:

  • The required forms and eligibility to use the benefit, please contact a member of our Benefits Staff at x1870.
  • Financial obligations related to use of the benefit, please contact our Student Finance Staff at x1272.

Welcome Week festivities begin today

Welcome back! LCC is kicking off the year with a week of activities, food and additional support for students. Welcome Week begins today and runs until Friday, Aug. 31. Every day is packed with events and giveaways for students, including this year’s marquee events:

  • Party with the Prez, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, on the Mall. President Brent Knight will be on hand for the fun in the middle of campus. Participants can enjoy a giant bounce house obstacle course, basketball, cornhole, putt putt golf, giant Jenga, sidewalk chalk, live music, giveaways and food, and of course, games with President Knight.
  • Campus Resource and Student Organization Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, on the Mall. More than 40 areas from around the college will be attend to help students discover clubs, organizations and resources to enhance their LCC experience.

The Welcome Week fun isn’t limited to the Downtown Campus. West Campus, LCC East, the Livingston County Center and the Aviation Center will all offer snacks and social events.

As a reminder, please note Welcome Week freebies and food are primarily to give our students a great start to the year. While employees are welcome to participate in events and snag a snack or two along the way, please be mindful supplies can run out and students hurrying to get between classes do not always have time to wait in a long line of employees to get some food.

Thank you to our LCC employee volunteers who will be on hand in orange T-shirts to help students find parking and locate classrooms. Additionally, thank you to those unable to volunteer because you will spend the week teaching or otherwise helping students. The start of the semester could not go smoothly without you!

Check out the full schedule of events at lcc.edu/welcomeweek.

Updates on summer changes around campus

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the fall semester! Whether you’ve been teaching this summer or not, I hope you found some time to relax, unwind and recharge for a new academic year. I want to take a moment to update you on some of the happenings around the college this summer. Hopefully some of this is old news for you, but if not, consider this a quick primer on the LCC news from the past few months.

I look forward to another successful year helping our students learn and succeed, and I look forward to working with everyone.

Sincerely,
Brent Knight
President

 

College’s work on redesigning developmental education and embedding academic supports seeing early progress

LCC is overhauling how we approach developmental education and use embedded academic supports to help students succeed in college-level coursework.

The goal is to help students while they are enrolled in college-level courses, rather than preparing students through non-college-level courses. The old model pushed more than two-thirds of our students through some sort of developmental education coursework, which provided no credits toward their intended degree or certificate and cost them time and money. Instead, LCC aims to get students into college-level coursework as soon as possible, and then provide extra support to help them succeed.

These supports will be specific to the program and the student, but can include co-required classes, required tutoring, required peer groups, additional meetings with academic success coaches, or other creative options. The key is making the supports a requirement for students.

The college will still offer some developmental education classes for students who need additional help to get college-ready. However, these courses will be greatly reduced in favor of placing students into college-level work with support.

While many components of this vision are in the planning stages, some work has already been implemented. For more information, see the sidebar articles.

Moving into the fall and beyond, the college is focused on four key next steps:

  • Charge the program areas with determining appropriate embedded academic supports for their gateway, or entry-level, courses. Depending on the area, implementation of these supports could begin as soon as spring 2019, with the goal of being fully integrated across the college by fall 2020.
  • Develop a comprehensive system for determining which students need what level of support by fully integrating information contained in Banner, DegreeWorks and our upcoming CRM system.
  • Focus the web refresh on updating the student self-help pages for easier navigation and better usability. This has been largely done for the public-facing sites, but still needs to be accomplished in the second phase of the web refresh for the pages used by current students and employees.
  • Develop wide-ranging professional development for all employees – and especially faculty – focused on how to work with and best utilize the embedded academic supports to further student success.

To accomplish this work, the college convened an embedded academic support team after the Board of Trustees in January passed a developmental education resolution. The team includes nearly 30 individuals representing diverse areas of the college involved in student success.

In addition, program and support areas are being pulled into the work as necessary to create an inclusive, representative process that will serve our students well. The team has also sought input from the Academic Senate, a student panel, leaders of the academic divisions, and all employees through collegewide open forums.

 

All incoming students assigned to success coach

Beginning this fall, every new student is being assigned to an academic success coach. Assignments are based on the student’s declared career community.

Students receive an introductory letter from their new coach in their LCC admissions packet, followed by a welcome phone call to provide students with information and guidance on next steps. The welcome call includes an abbreviated intake to identify needs and assist the college in proactively providing necessary resources.

For more information, contact academic success coach director Carrie Gregg at 517-483-1028 or copelanc@lcc.edu.

 

College introduces streamlined 8-step process to get new students ready for classes

This summer, the college rolled out a new, eight-step intake process to welcome students to LCC, ensure they are placed into the correct starting courses, and surround them with customized support that will help them succeed.

The eight steps are a mix of old and new processes. They are:
1. Apply to the college.

2. Activate account online to access all LCC content.

3. Receive a welcome call from an academic success coach.

4. Submit assessment documentation to the college. In place of required placement tests in reading, writing and math, students can upload their high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores or AP test scores to determine their starting classes. They can still take placement tests if preferred or if they do not have other documentation.

5. Take a career assessment. The college has contracted with Career Coach to give students an additional tool in choosing their academic direction.

6. Participate in Academic Advisor Connect online through WebEx. Students will meet real-time with academic advisors in groups of 20 to ask questions and get ready for orientation and registration.

7. Attend STARientation student orientation to get information about advising, student life, financial aid and more.

8. Register for classes. Students can complete this step at STARientation, by visiting the StarZone or on their own in Banner.

For more information, visit lcc.edu/getstarted or contact the Center for Academic & Career Pathways.

 

Students no longer able to register after class has begun

Continuing the policy introduced in the summer, LCC does not allow students to register after a class has begun. Data consistently showed students who joined a class after it began had lower success rates, and so the college made the decision to push students toward late-start classes rather than allowing them to sign up for classes already in progress.

If a student does request a late addition to your class, you will receive an email or call and have the option of accepting or denying their request. Final approval needs to come from the division dean. Students should not attend class without being registered.

 

College offering numerous resources to help in accessibility projects

LCC is continuing its massive project to ensure all of our courses, documents, forms and materials are accessible.

Ensuring our current students and employees have the materials they need to succeed, and our future students and employees have the information they need to join us, is the right thing to do and in line with our mission as an institution. In addition, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, LCC must provide access to all, regardless of disability.

Accessibility can mean many different things for many different kinds of resources, but at a broad stroke, consider this:

  • Word documents, PowerPoints and PDFs need to be readable by a screen reader or other assistive technology.
  • Images need alt-text to describe the picture to visually impaired individuals or those with another disability that requires a screen reader, or another alternative that allows them to gain the information needed.
  • Videos need to be captioned to provide hearing impaired individuals with a text version of the audio.
  • Third-party software used in the classroom, like MyMathLab or Quizlet, needs to be accessible.
  • Online forms need to be navigable using just a keyboard.

To help you through this process, eLearning and the Center for Teaching Excellence have developed websites to house resources that walk you through how to make different types of materials accessible. Both are also running numerous trainings and drop-in opportunities to help faculty. Visit their websites at elearning.openlcc.net and internal.lcc.edu/cte and keep an eye on The Star employee newsletter for more information. The Center for Student Access, at internal.lcc.edu/accessibility, is also a wonderful resource.

As a reminder, all college employees are required to take a Human Resources’ “Accessibility at LCC” training. Access it in myLCC by selecting the “Work” tab and then “Talent Management System (LMS).” Staff had to complete this training during the summer, but faculty have until Oct. 26 to complete.

The college has established a July 31, 2019, deadline for this accessibility project. Employees with concerns or questions about meeting this goal should promptly confer with their administrative supervisor. Thank you for your help to make our campus inviting and available to all our learners and employees!

 

New lcc.edu launched in July

LCC’s new public website launched at the beginning of July.

Our previous website remains in place as the internal site, and should serve as the home base for all employees and current students. You can access it at lcc.edu/employee or internal.lcc.edu.

The external web refresh site – lcc.edu – is designed to serve prospective students, prospective employees, business partners and the community. It outlines basic information about our programs and resources. It’s primary function is as a marketing tool to bring people into the college community. Therefore, you will see less detailed information on the new external site than you are used to seeing at lcc.edu.

The search feature is independent on these two sites. The external search function prioritizes information needed by prospective students and employees, and the internal search function works exactly as before the refresh launch. This means some results available through the internal search simply are not available through the external site or search.
 

Arts & Sciences Building renumbered
The Arts & Sciences Building was renumbered between the spring and summer semesters to make it easier to find classrooms and meeting spaces.

This change follows the Gannon Building’s renumbering last year, and helps ensure our campus’ design is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Each room has a four-digit number. The first number denotes the floor of the room – 0 for the basement, 1 for first floor, and so on. The next three numbers progress from north to south through the building, with the 1100s (and 2100s, etc.) indicating the northernmost rooms, 1200s the middle of the building, and 1300s the southernmost rooms.

You can find new maps and a crosswalk mapping old numbers to new in the O drive, in the LCC-Facility-Renumbering-Public folder.
 

Remember to complete enrollment verification by the end of the second week

As always, please remember to complete your enrollment verification for every section of every class by the end of the second week of classes. All instructors are required to determine if a student has participated in an academically related activity within that time.

For assistance in completing your enrollment verification, contact the Center for Teaching Excellence at 517-483-1680 or cte@lcc.edu.

 

Be sure to submit your tuition waiver requests for your dependents prior to deadline

During the summer semester, the revised Tuition Waiver Benefit (TWB) Procedure for credit classes was successfully implemented. Many thanks to TWB recipients and the employees who implemented this change.

Looking forward, please be reminded that the deadlines for use of this benefit for fall 2018 classes are as follows:

  • The deadline for designating dependents authorized to use this benefit is Friday, Sept. 7.
  • The deadline for submitting Tuition Waiver Request forms is Friday, Sept. 7, or two weeks before the start of class(es), whichever is later.

The full procedure, college forms and a Frequently Asked Questions list is available at internal.lcc.edu/hr/employee_benefits/.

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding:

  • The required forms and eligibility to use the benefit, please contact a member of our Benefits Staff at 517-483-1870.
  • Financial obligations related to use of the benefit, please contact our Student Finance Staff at 517-483-1272.

 

Update your contact info in Banner

Make sure you’re getting information from the college! Verify and update your addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, emergency contacts and more by viewing your personal information in the Employee Dashboard.

To access:

  1. Log in to myLCC.
  2. Go to the Work tab.
  3. Click on Employee Dashboard in the Employment Details section.
  4. Click on My Profile.
  5. To edit your resident address, phone number or emergency contact, click on More Personal Information and the respective edit buttons.
  6. To update your campus address or phone number, send a request to the LCC Help Desk and HR will update for you.

 

Comings and Goings

More than 50 new employees joined LCC during the summer semester. Please welcome them to the Stars community! In particular, here are a few employee moves you should know about.

Tarence Lauchie’ serving as interim chief diversity officer
Business and Community Institute trainer, adjunct faculty and Small Business Development Center senior business consultant Tarence Lauchie’ is serving as LCC’s interim chief diversity officer following the departure of Dr. Paul Hernandez.

Lauchie’ has been with LCC for more than 25 years, serving in multiple roles. He also frequently works as the facilitator for collegewide events. He is founder and CEO of T. Lauchie’ & Associates, a professional training and development firm, and The Growth Center, a faith-based non-profit.

As interim chief diversity officer, Lauchie’ oversees LUCERO, the Centre for Engaged Inclusion and the Faculty Institute. Student Life reports to Student Affairs, the Learning Commons reports to Academic Affairs, and the success coaches report to the Center for Academic & Career Pathways.

Megan Lin announced as new Center for Teaching Excellence director
Megan Lin has been selected to fill the Center for Teaching Excellence director position. Lin has been a professor at LCC since 2009, teaching Reading and Writing courses.

Prior to her appointment, she served as the Integrated Read/Write Program faculty co-chair, the Reading Program faculty chair and the INRW course coordinator. She has been an active participant in several institutional committees, including Academic Senate, Gateways to Completion, Guided Pathways, Student Advisory Committee and the Embedded Academic Support Team.

We thank Leslie Johnson for her four years of devoted service to faculty development as the CTE director. She returned to her teaching duties along with special assignments that will keep her involved with CTE projects.
 

Ronda Miller working as interim dean of Student Affairs
Health and Human Services associate dean Ronda Miller is serving as interim Student Affairs dean following Chris Lewis’ departure.

Miller has served as the HHS associate dean for three years. Prior to coming to LCC, she worked at Olivet College for more than seven years, serving as the associate dean for Academic Affairs and director of the Gruen and Speare Student Resource Center. She also spent more than 11 years working with at-risk students in the Lansing School District.

Three tips for writing alternative text for images

1. Alt text should describe the idea of your image as concisely as possible. That is, it should convey in a few words the information you want the reader to gain by looking at your image.

If the information contained in your image is already present in the body text or image caption, you don’t need to rewrite full alt text. If you need long alt text to describe the information conveyed by your image, it is better to describe it in the body text and then provide short alt text.

If the knowledge your image conveys is inherently visual, consider contacting the Center for Student Access. They can create tactile versions of graphics to help express spatial relationships or other concepts impractical to explain in words.

2. You don’t need to start your alt text with “photo of” or “image of” because the screen reader already communicates that information.

3. If an image is simply decorative and is not meant to express information, the best practice is to use null, or empty, alt text.

If you are using HTML to add your alt text, this is rendered as alt=” ” within your <img> tag. Since the alt attribute is present, but empty, a screen reader will skip over the image entirely. If no alt attribute is present, the screen reader will read the image file name instead, which can be long and distracting.

In Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat, there isn’t an easy way to indicate null alt text. Instead, you can just write “decorative” as your alt text to communicate that the image provides no meaningful information.

Get a handy list of how to add alternative text to various Microsoft programs from Microsoft’s website.