Monthly Archives: April 2020

Experience #Starpower Award Showcase winners include employees from around the college

Announcing the winners of the 2019-2020 Awards Showcase! This year’s winners are:

  • President’s Award: Mark Cosgrove of Technical Careers
  • Provost’s Award – Teaching Faculty: Gregg Butts of Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Provost’s Award – Academic Professional: Judith Leventhal of Faculty Advising
  • Galaxy Award: Matt Lemon of Testing Services
  • Aurora Award: Tonya Bailey, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Shining Star Award: Kara Swanson of Health and Human Services
  • Superstar Award: Steve Kimball of Moving Services
  • Rockstar Award: Tenaya Henderson of Academic Success Coaching
  • Rising Star Award: Julianna Blain of the Business Community Institute
  • Eclipse Award: Steve Relyea of Police Academy
  • Giving Star Award: Robin Moore of the Library

Employees were nominated by you, their colleagues, for excellence and dedication to LCC. Keep an eye out for details to view a virtual event soon!

College offering expanded grading options for spring 2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the college has expanded its grading options for students for spring 2020. Please see below for options and crucial information. This is not new guidance or information, but it does seek to lay out all options in one place and answer common employee questions.
 
Standard grading: Students who have transitioned to all-online offerings will complete their courses, and faculty will assign a course grade as usual.

Pass/fail: Most courses will allow students concerned about their GPA at LCC to opt into pass/fail grading. However, students first must consult with an academic advisor to ensure this decision would not inadvertently impede their educational goals. Advisors are available by email, phone and live chat. Students enrolled in courses that result in licensure or certifications must also consult with their program advisor (lead faculty, director, associate dean, etc.) prior to making this decision to understand the possible implications of pass/fail on the ability to obtain such licenses or certifications. 

To receive a “pass” grade, the student must have received a grade of at least 2.0 in the course. Pass/fail grades are not calculated into students’ GPAs at LCC. However, the college cannot guarantee how other institutions will view a “pass” grade, or whether they will accept it for transfer. Please note that some courses at LCC are exempted from this pass/fail option specifically to help avoid negative outcomes. Courses for which pass/fail is not an option are listed on the college’s COVID-19 webpage.
 
Forms to request a pass/fail option will open on May 14, after final grades are available. All requests must be submitted by July 1, 2020.
 
Incomplete for non-paused spring 2020 courses: Students wishing an incomplete in non-paused courses must get approval from faculty prior to end of spring semester. When taking an incomplete, students do NOT need to register for the course again. Instead, they complete the remaining assignments for the course by themselves, without further instruction from their faculty. Students then submit the remaining assignments to their faculty, who will grade these assignments and give a final course grade. If these remaining assignments are not completed, the student will receive a course grade based on assignments submitted to date (i.e., missing the points of the lacking assignments). 

Students considering an incomplete should discuss the feasibility with their faculty.
 
Due to the COVID-19 situation, faculty may provide students with the option for an incomplete even if the course’s remaining work is greater than the usual “only a small portion…(for example, only 20% of the work…)” described in the college catalog. However, faculty should be aware that if the remaining assignments may require students to receive faculty input rather than minor consultation with the Learning Commons, an incomplete would not be conducive to student success and hence should NOT be offered.
 
Normally, when incompletes are given, instructors can specify the date that unfinished work must be completed by the student. However, due to the unusual circumstances, the deadline for completion of a spring 2020 incomplete for students not using VA benefits will be Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. For veteran students using VA benefits, the deadline will be May 10, 2021. Instructors should issue a grade change earlier if the work is completed before that date, but students have until the date specified above to complete the work.
 
Incomplete for paused spring 2020 courses: Many LCC courses with hands-on components had to be “paused” prior to completion, and are listed as “COVID19-Paused-Incomplete” on the college’s COVID-19 webpage. After much consideration of various options, the decision has been made to NOT extend the spring semester. Instead, faculty at the end of the semester will issue an incomplete grade to all students in a suspended/paused course, and the course will be restarted at a later time to be determined. 

Once dates for restart and completion for paused courses are determined, faculty will reach back out to their students with direction. In the meantime, students can wait for this contact. For veteran students using VA benefits, the final deadline for completion would be May 10, 2021.
 
Course withdrawal: The deadline for students to withdraw from a course via Self-Service Banner has been extended to May 9, 2020. Otherwise, the process for withdrawals has not changed. Students will not receive credit for a course from which they withdraw. The grade of W would appear on the transcript, and there would be no tuition refund. 

It is important to note that withdrawing from a course could cause negative financial aid implications, so students should consult with the Financial Aid department prior to making this decision.
 
For students worried about a grade, switching to pass/fail grading when the student has passed but with a grade lower than expected might allow a better outcome than withdrawal, because a pass grade (minimum 2.0) still allows students to receive credit for their course without impacting their GPA at LCC. Students weighing the merits of withdrawal versus pass/fail grading should consult with an academic advisor before making a decision. Students enrolled in courses that result in licensure or certifications must also consult with their program advisor (lead faculty, director, associate dean, etc.) prior to making this decision to understand the possible implications of pass/fail on the ability to obtain such licenses or certifications. Forms to request a pass/fail option will open on May 14, after final grades are available. All requests must be submitted by July 1, 2020.
 
Students who believe the option for course repeat or a tuition refund would be appropriate for a withdrawal due to the pandemic situation may submit a COVID-19 administrative appeal. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the student’s applicable circumstances.
 
As always, please also refer to the fuller FAQs on LCC’s COVID-19 webpage.

Three types of course offerings planned for fall 2020

Planning for the fall semester is underway, with registration opening May 18. The college expects fall course offerings to fit into three types.

  • Online (ON): Traditional, asynchronous online courses
  • Online Real-Time (ORT): Synchronous, virtual live class sessions, with scheduled days and times for lecture
  • Online hybrid hands-on lab courses: Some courses include hands-on components that cannot be completed in a virtual world. For these courses, the college is looking at two possibilities. The first is 16-week hybrid courses that begin online in August and move to face-to-face when possible. The second is 8- or 10-week accelerated, face-to-face courses that begin in October. If we cannot teach on campus this fall, these courses will be canceled.

A majority of the course offerings will fit in the first two categories. The third, hybrid category will be limited to select courses that require hands-on components, such as welding, aviation, heavy equipment and EMS/paramedic. 
 
Limits on the third type of offering are critical to ensure the college community can continue to maintain social distancing requirements even as we begin to offer face-to-face instruction. In addition, when employees and students are allowed back on campus, we need to prioritize finishing the 130 sections that were paused during the spring semester.
 
If we deem it safe for the health and welfare of our students and employees to come back to campus, we will adjust the fall schedule accordingly.

LCC selects new Technical Careers Dean and Human Resources Executive Director

Cathy Wilhm will become the next Dean of Technical Careers, and James Mitchell will become the next Executive Director of Human Resources. They will begin shadowing the retiring Mark Cosgrove and Ann Kroneman, respectively, effective May 4. Mark will stay on through May and Ann through June to allow time for a successful transition.

As James transitions to his new role, Lori Willett will serve as Interim Director of Labor and Employee Relations.

Biographies for Cathy, James and Lori follow. Please congratulate them on their new positions!

Cathy Wilhm began her career with LCC in 2001, when she was assigned to serve the college as the co-located partner with our workforce development partner, Capital Area Michigan Works! For more than 13 years, she provided valuable services to adults and at-risk youth with an assortment of options to assist with their educational needs. During that time, she also served as the Director for the Center for Workforce Development.

In 2015, Cathy became the Interim Director for Part-Time Faculty Services with the Technical Careers Division. She was then selected as the division’s associate dean in 2016. Of significant importance has been her work to address the opportunities that careers in the technical fields provide, especially for underrepresented populations.

Cathy is a proud Oklahoma State University graduate (Go Pokes!) with a Biology/Zoology degree and an Organizational Administration degree. She also has completed master’s level coursework in Public and Non-Profit Administration with Central Michigan University.

James A. Mitchell, Jr, has more than 40 years of experience as a human resources professional, consisting of assignments in the private and public sectors. James began his career as a labor relations representative for General Motors, including 11 years as the Personnel Director of the GM Lansing Stamping Plant (Plant 3). Currently, he serves as LCC’s Director of Labor and Employee Relations, a position he has held since 2008.

James is a member of the Michigan Public Employer Labor Relations Association Board of Directors and the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Lansing Alumni Chapter. He also serves as a mentor in the Faith Fellowship Baptist Church Eastside Community Action Center after-school program, and is a member, trustee and Sunday school teacher at the West Lansing Church of God.

James holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), and an MBA from Youngstown State University.

Lori Willett joined the LCC Human Resources team in June 2009. Since that time, she has worked with all of LCC’s unions as well as non-union employees. She is a member of the LCC/MAHE bargaining team for the current negotiations and has participated in bargaining for the previous two contracts. She is also the Employee Title IX Coordinator. During her tenure at LCC, Lori developed Starboard (new administrator orientation) and Thrive (administrator development program) as well as led the college’s transition to the current Learning Management System.

Lori has more than 25 years of experience in both labor and employee relations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and also earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources certificate from the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society of Human Resources Professionals.

Presidential search narrowed to four candidates

The presidential search committee has narrowed the field of candidates to four to advance to the Board of Trustees.

  • Elaine Collins, President of Northern Vermont University
  • Dale K. Nesbary, President of Muskegon Community College
  • Steve Robinson, President of Owens Community College
  • Lisa Webb Sharpe, Executive Vice President of Lansing Community College

Visit the presidential search website for more information on the finalists and the search timeline.

Supervisors of student employees: Employment eligibility

In order to provide sufficient time for planning, please note the important enrollment start/end dates for student employment eligibility. Supervisors are responsible for communicating these dates and ensuring their student staff are aware and adhere to them accordingly.
 
In an effort to clarify and remind supervisors of the current enrollment eligibility requirements, please share the following information with your respective student employees as needed. Our intent is to provide students and hiring departments sufficient time to plan accordingly.
 
Summer semester enrollment requirement

  • Must be enrolled and attending a minimum of 3.0 credit hours over a minimum period of 8 weeks during summer semester. [Example: Student is registered for 3.0 credits during the 8-week part of term that begins June 5 and ends Aug. 2. This student would be eligible to be a student employee.]

Spring semester – student employees who will not meet the summer semester enrollment requirement

  • The student’s last day of working must be on or before May 16.

Spring semester – student employees who will meet the summer semester enrollment requirement

  • The student is eligible to work during the break between their spring course end date and summer course start date. 

New student employees for summer semester

  • A student who meets the summer semester enrollment requirement, but not the spring semester enrollment requirement, may begin working as early as May 18, assuming the hired/rehired student has been approved to work and has attended New Employee Orientation (NEO).

Summer semester payroll deductions

  • Students will remain eligible for the FICA exemption during the time after spring semester ends, from May 12-16, as long as the summer enrollment requirements are met.
  • Students with a first date worked prior to July 2, 2018, registered for at least 6.0 credits in summer semester, will not be required to pay into MPSERS during the timeframe that the student is enrolled and actively attending class.
  • Students with a first date worked on or after July 2, 2018, are not eligible to participate in MPSERS.
  • Credit requirements for spring and summer semester must be met in order to maintain exemption from FICA and MPSERS. Failure to do so will result in automatic enrollment and payroll withholdings.

Questions and/or requests for additional information may be directed to either the Payroll Department at FS-Payroll@star.lcc.edu or 517-483-1799, or the Financial Aid Student Employment Coordinator at FS-FA-Student-Employment@star.lcc.edu or 517-483-1176.

How to properly dispose of materials

Last week’s article explained how you can determine if your materials are eligible for disposal. Today’s article explains the disposal options available at LCC for paper materials and digital or magnetic materials. These two types of materials have different disposal processes, so they are explained separately below.
 
Paper Materials
There are three options for disposing of paper materials: shred, recycle or toss.
 
Shred
If the materials contain private or confidential information, they need to be shredded. Materials can be shredded in-house with the appropriate type of shredder, or they can be sent to LCC’s contracted vendor for off-site secure shredding.

  • In-house: Always use a cross-cut shredder to shred sensitive materials. Straight cut shredders do not meet the security requirements of LCC’s Information Security Policy. Once sufficiently shredded, the materials can be recycled.
  • Vendor: LCC’s contracted vendor for shredding is Rapid Shred. Shredding by this vendor is coordinated through Moving Services. Once you have accumulated a number of boxes, have your Divisional Operations (Div Ops) personnel complete an online work request through the 5Star Service Center to have them picked up by Moving Services. There are also eight locked bins you can use at various locations on the Downtown and West campuses. When the bins are full, Moving Services is alerted and Rapid Shred is called to schedule a pickup.

Recycle
If the materials DO NOT contain private or confidential information, they are considered public records and can be recycled. LCC has a contract with Granger for recycling services. There are blue recycling bins located in almost every office suite on campus. The custodial staff collects the materials from these bins and moves them to the large containers outside.
 
A list of items that can and cannot be recycled is included in the “LCC Information Disposal Guide” which can be found in both the Records Disposal Guidelines and Records Disposal Eligibility 5Star Knowledge Base articles.
 
Toss
If the materials DO NOT contain private or confidential information, but they cannot be recycled, they can be thrown away. For large amounts of materials, please have your Div Ops personnel complete a 5Star Moving Services Request to have them picked up by Moving Services in Physical Plant.
 
What if you’re not sure if the information in your materials is private or confidential? When in doubt … shred. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
 
Digital or Magnetic Materials
For digital or magnetic media, there are two aspects to take into account: the digital component (the file/data) and the physical component (the container).
 
Digital component
Individual files and folders on hard drives and USB devices can be “shredded” using Spirion (formerly Identity Finder). The Spirion/Identity Finder software provides a better option than simply clicking delete because it uses multiple levels of deletion so files cannot be recovered.
 
Use the following steps to “shred” digital materials when they’re eligible for disposal:

  1. Open Spirion/Identity Finder – click Start, then All Programs. If it doesn’t show up in the menu, search for it using the search box at the bottom of the start menu.
  2. Click the Tools tab (along the top).
  3. Click File Shredder.
  4. Add the files you want to “shred” and then click Shred.

Physical component
Disposing of physical media such as USB devices, CD/DVD discs or floppy disks means destroying the item so that it can no longer be read or used. There are several suggested destruction options in the “LCC Information Disposal Guide,” which can be found in both the Records Disposal Guidelines and Records Disposal Eligibility 5Star Knowledge Base articles.
 
Once your physical media has been made unreadable, have your Div Ops personnel complete a 5Star Moving Services Request to have the materials picked up by Moving Services.
 
Note: Whenever possible, delete the digital materials from the disc or device before disposing of the physical component. This will provide the necessary assurance that materials are declassified and destroyed beyond recognition and reconstruction, in compliance with LCC’s Information Security Policy.
 
If you have questions or for more information about Records & Information Management at LCC, contact Records Information Specialist Linnea Knapp at LCC-RIM@lcc.edu.

What about benefits? Free wellbeing courses available in LMS

Most faculty and staff are working remotely as we continue to serve our students and each other during this pandemic. To promote personal wellbeing in this uncertain time, our Talent Management System partner, Cornerstone, has provided more than 200 courses in our LMS system at no cost to the college. Check out the list of courses, including topics such as yoga, body alignment, motivation, self-awareness and more. 
 
To access these courses, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your myLCC portal.
  2. Find your “Employee Tools” on the Work tab.
  3. Select the “Talent Management System (LMS)” link. 
  4. On the right side of the LMS welcome screen, find the “Browse by Subject” box (below the “Browse for Training” icon). Select the “Cornerstone Cares” link. You will then see a list of the 200 courses available for you. 
  5. Find the course you want to take, and select it. Then select “Request.”
  6. Your transcript will appear. Launch your course and enjoy!

If you have trouble, please contact the LCC Help Desk at 517-483-5221.

A round of Applause! for Mike Tulle, Nick Myers and Angela Gregor

This week, we’re applauding eLearning’s Mike Tulle.

“Quite often, it is difficult to remain calm when we face situations which we cannot influence or control,” Magnus Campbell wrote in the award. “The coronavirus crisis has been a major disruption to our lives in many ways. However, during this time, there are many people who continue to provide help and support either in the background or at the forefront. Mike Tulle provided several faculty members and I with WebEx and other online assistance needed to transition from the face-to-face format to the online format. Mike’s excellent knowledge, experience, patience and professionalism were beyond description. It is my pleasure to recommend Mike Tulle for an Applause Award.”

Applause also goes to Web Developer Nick Myers and Business Analyst Angela Gregor.

“When the college moved virtual, I needed to create a new way for selective admission applicants to apply to their desired health programs,” Kara Swanson wrote in the award. “Angela Gregor and Nick Myers were extremely helpful in aiding me to create an online payment system and make the needed web updates. They acted quickly and efficiently and, more importantly, were always willing to help. Due to their gracious assistance, students experienced little to no disruption in the application process. Now the process is working better than it ever has. Thanks Nick and Angela!”

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? All awards are given by employees, to employees, and everyone is eligible.