Spring 2020 Newsletter

  • Shirley A. Adams

    Letter From The Provost

    Shirley A. Adams, Ph.D.

    This semester is offering a number of challenges and a number of positives. I will start with the positives. Our enrollment is up while many colleges have had a decline in enrollment. We had a successful launch of our new graduate program in Health Care Administration. Our new graduate program in Health Informatics is on track to begin this fall. We have two concentrations moving their way through the state's approval process to become majors--Human Resources and Organizational Leadership. These majors should be approved for fall and students in the concentrations will be able to move over seamlessly.

    On the challenging side, we find that students continue to find new ways to plagiarize and cheat, thanks to the Internet. As a result, we are spending more time checking student work. Therefore, we are making our Student Code of Conduct more stringent. To preserve the integrity of the degrees that students earn without cheating, we need stricter penalties for those who do cheat. The IDS 101 course that all students take and the Plagiarism Policy available in all courses does not allow students to use the argument that they don't know what plagiarism is.

    We are also seeing a decline in writing skills. We will be making some changes in our courses to ensure that we graduate students who can write at a graduating senior level. This will mean some changes in the IDS 101 course, the introduction of a basic writing course for those who need more assistance, and a bigger emphasis on writing in each course by the faculty. The addition of tutor.com has helped, but some students are using it as an editor of their paper instead of using it as a tool to learn from.

    And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the coronavirus outbreak. The college has a plan in place to deal with it, which includes working with students and faculty who may become ill or who have family members who are ill. Our website will keep you up to date. Most of the protocols are the same we have used in other emergency situations.

    To end on a positive note, it is time to register for summer courses. Each course you take makes you one step closer to graduation. 

    RIHIMA Webinar on June 10, 2020, at 3:30 p.m.

    Presentation Title:  Social Determinants of Health

    Presentation Description:  At the same time as the growing recognition of social risk factors, health care systems are increasingly moving towards higher levels of provider accountability for the quality, outcomes, and cost of care.  Value-based payment models tie payment to the quality and efficiency of health care delivered.  These two concepts are not independent of each other.  Capturing and assessing SDOH are critical for improved care coordination and provider cooperation will be the highest utility to the most complex beneficiaries with the most care needs.

    Presenter:  Brooke Palkie, Ed.D., R.H.I.A., is the Program Director for the M.S. Health Care Administration and M.S. Health Informatics Programs at Charter Oak State College.  She has a teaching focus on classifications, vocabularies, clinical data standards, as well as assessing health quality and corporate compliance.  Dr. Palkie is an ICD-10-CM/PCS AHIMA-approved trainer and has been involved in several ICD-10 educational trainings and other grant-funded projects.  Prior to her higher education career, Dr. Palkie worked in leadership roles both within the hospital setting as well as for the State of Minnesota.

    Registered Participants will receive 1 (one) CEU for attending this webinar.  Click here to register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-social-determinants-of-health-tickets-101319495338

    Early Childhood Education

    The Early Childhood Education Program continues to grow and we are pleased to welcome so many new students this spring. We also thank our returning students for trusting us to support you as you achieve your educational goals. As we move forward with National Association for the Education of Young Childhood (NAEYC) accreditation, I'd like to mention our new Conceptual Framework. It is driven by five key areas that we must all commit to as faculty and students. Over the next few weeks, you will find the conceptual framework embedded into our blackboard course shells and, over time, you will see that we will focus on these key indicators of quality for teachers in all that we do.

    The conceptual framework positions faculty and students in our program to commit to developing positive dispositions in their work with young children, content mastery, reflection, diversity, and technology. We find each of these components to be extremely important for us as we learn and grow at an online college, where the writing required in courses supports us in strengthening our thinking skills as teachers. If you have not yet read the conceptual framework, please make sure to do so. It is a living document that we will continue to use as we strive for excellence in teaching in all of our Early Childhood Education courses.

    As we look ahead to the month of April, I'd like to mention that we will celebrate Week of the Young Child while supporting Autism Awareness month and Child Abuse Prevention month. We will be kicking off a fall enrollment event and offering free applications during the month for any potential students who may apply. If you know of anyone who is interested in studying with us, please ask them to contact Maureen Hogan, Director, Early Childhood/Child Studies Majors at mhogan@charteroak.edu or 860-515-3882, or have them call our admissions team to ask any questions they may have about out program. We are grateful for your presence in our program and would appreciate your support in referring friends, family, or co-workers to us.

    Have a wonderful spring!

    Foundation Scholarship and Dinner Dance Fundraiser

    Foundation News:

    The Delores Bell Memorial Scholarship will be open for application from Wednesday, March 11–Sunday, April 19, 2020. This $1,000 Award is for current or incoming degree seeking students, for Summer 2020, who exemplify a can-do, can’t quit attitude while paying-it-forward to others.  Applications can be located in the ACORN Student Portal beginning March 11th

    BIG 80’s Dinner Dance and Fundraiser, Friday May 22, 2020, at the Farmington Club. The COSC Foundation invites you to celebrate with us as we honor The Best of Charter Oak, and raise funds to empower women through higher education degree completion.  Details can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/BIG80s.  Any changes to this date or event will be posted at http://www.CharterOak.edu/Foundation

    ARC Program Information Webinar on April 16th at 6 p.m.

    If you are interested in Early Childhood teacher certification through our Alternate Route to Certification program, please plan to attend the webinar on Thursday, April 16th at 6 p.m.

    • Alternate Route to Certification is specifically for people who already hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study and have decided to pursue a teaching career in early childhood education.  
    • This non-credit certification (endorsement 112) is the only Early Childhood (Birth-Kindergarten) teacher certification offered through an alternate route in Connecticut

    • Hybrid learning - Online and face-to-face classes with expert instructors.

    Join via WebEx:

    Meeting Link:  https://charteroak.webex.com/charteroak/j.php?MTID=mbf1d7e12b5f7c48c0f92a5ca74d3aac6

    Meeting Number:  645 273 280

    Password:  3WFtdjSem24

    RSVP to kgriffin2@charteroak.edu by April 15th.

    Prior Learning Assessment – Get Credit for What You Know!

    Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) can help you save time and money by reducing the cost of your education and your time to degree. You can use PLA to apply for credit instead of taking courses. Review the information at www.charteroak.edu/pla to learn more about getting credit for what you already know, then work with your Academic Counselor to make a PLA plan.

    The Charter Oak State College Foundation recognizes the benefits students receive by using the PLA programs to earn credit for what they already know. In the past five years, nearly $35,000 has been awarded for 158 PLA scholarships to support Charter Oak students using PLA to earn 866 college credits. See what some of our PLA scholarship recipients say:

    • "What a great program to offer to students!"
    • "I was relieved financially by utilizing the PLA scholarship."
    • "I think every Charter Oak student should use PLA."
    • "PLA is a great program!"
    • "The PLA Scholarship is a great way to earn and pay for credits for knowledge you have."
    • "My experience with the Charter Oak State College PLA Program can only be described as phenomenal - convenient, simple, fast and free!"
    • "I would urge all students to speak with their advisors to access this very valuable option."
    • "I could not be happier with my experience at Charter Oak and its PLA program."

    You can use the scholarship funds to help cover the costs for taking standardized examinations, requesting credit for credentials, or using the portfolio assessment process. We encourage you to discuss PLA and the PLA Scholarships with your Academic Counselor and apply when you're ready to take advantage of this opportunity. The PLA Scholarship Application form, with instructions, is available on the Student Portal, in the PLA section of Student Self-Service.

    Book Voucher Process for Financial Aid Students

    As you know, Charter Oak State College does not have a physical bookstore. However, financial aid students can order their textbooks and supplies from MBS Direct (Barnes & Noble College) via our book voucher process. Financial aid students must meet certain conditions in order to receive a book voucher and should refer to the Book Voucher Policy published in ACORN under the "Financial Aid" tab.

    Recognizing that students who purchase their books and supplies have better academic outcomes, students are encouraged to complete their financial aid requirements before the start of classes.

    Below are some important guidelines related to the book voucher process:

    • Students are advised to check their Charter Oak email on a regular basis for timely information related to the processing of book vouchers.
    • Financial aid students must "opt-in" to accept the terms and conditions of their book voucher or "opt-out." Students only need to "opt-in" once during the academic year and do not have to initiate a new request during subsequent semesters.
    • A student must have excess financial aid funds credited to their student billing account for the Bursar's Office to authorize a book voucher.
    • Prior to purchasing books, we recommend that students review their required course materials to ensure that they are ordering correct textbooks.
    • Students are issued one book voucher per semester. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students register for their Term 1 and Term 2 classes at the same time.
    • It can take several days for the Bursar's Office to process a book voucher. Students will be notified by MBS Direct (Barnes & Noble College) through their Charter Oak email.

    Book Voucher Process for Office of Early Childhood (OEC) Students:

    Charter Oak State College cannot process book vouchers for OEC students. This is because funding for books comes directly from the Office of Early Childhood.

    For all OEC book voucher inquiries, please contact MBS Strategic Accounts at (888) 886-3072 or at strategicaccounts@bncservices.com.

    Alternatively, OEC students can contact their OEC counselor for book voucher assistance.

    Survey News

    Student Course Evaluations​

    The Office of Institutional Effectiveness would like to thank students for continuing to make the online course evaluation system a success. The purpose of course evaluation at our institution is to provide: ​

    • information for the individual faculty member to use in assessing his/her instruction​
    • data that may assist in making curricular and course content decisions​
    • data that will assist in improving the online delivery system​
    • the student body with a voice in developing and maintaining an effective faculty and curriculum

    84% of Fall 2018 students rated the overall effectiveness of their instructor as "High" or "Very High" ​

    85% of Fall 2018 students rated the overall effectiveness of their course as "High" or "Very High" ​

    Take Graduate-Level Courses as an Undergraduate Student

    Charter Oak State College Offers a unique opportunity to its undergraduate students in that you can take graduate-level courses to a maximum of six credits that can be applied to both your undergraduate degree requirements and your Charter Oak State College master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness & Leadership. Students need to meet the following criteria:

    • Senior status
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Successfully completed an undergraduate Statistics course or have taken a low-cost online Statistics review course offered by a Charter Oak State College preferred provider. 

    The benefits of taking advantage of this opportunity are:

    • A student taking advantage of this opportunity may save up to approximately $1,600 in tuition and fees in a program that is already one of the lowest cost programs in New England.
    • Shorten the time to complete your master’s degree. 

    Feel free to contact your undergraduate advisor with any questions you may have about the Master of Science in Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership degree or its Graduate Certificate programs.

    New Staff

    Laura Duquette is currently a Staff Associate in the Registrar's Office. Laura received a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University and a B.A. in English from Eastern Connecticut State University. She comes to us from Goodwin College with three years of experience in higher education.

    Iwona Szydlik recently joined the Bursar's office as an Assistant Bursar. She graduated from Goodwin University with a B.S. in Professional Studies and will graduate in May 2020 with a M.S. in Organizational Leadership. Her experience includes working as a Student Account Specialist where she processed payments, resolved student account issues, monitored checks not cashed, assisted financial aid students with verification documents, and audited student accounts to ensure that Title IV funds were disbursed accurately.  Iwona will be responding to student account inquiries from internal and external customers, managing daily deposits, and processing third party payments.

    Tyler Steinis recently joined the Systems Team as a Network Administrator.  He graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Network Information Technology.  He will be working with the Information Technology Department on server and network infrastructure.

    New Summer Courses

    5 Weeks (1 credit)

    COM1XX The Art & Joy of Communication

    FIN1XX Financial Literacy


    8 weeks (3 credits)

    SOC3XX Ethics in the Behavioral Sciences (OER-Open Education Resources)

    MGT3XX Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace