November 28, 2007


There's been some trouble with the college's voicemail system. Despite the vendor's assurances that no voicemail messages were lost, persons who left voicemail messages between Nov. 16 and Nov. 28 should leave new messages in order to ensure delivery.

From the college's electronic e-mail server, Infolist:
From: InfoList
Sent: Fri 11/16/07 2:49 PM
To: InfoList


The voicemail system has experienced a hardware failure and is in need of repair. The maintenance needed requires a two-hour down-time where voicemail will be unavailable for use. In an effort to minimize the impact of this situation, the voicemail system will be unavailable TODAY from 5:30 - 7:30PM.

11 days later ...

From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 11:09 AM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail down noon - 1 p.m. today

The voicemail system will be down due to technical difficulties from noon to 1 p.m. today.

From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 12:20 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail is back

Voicemail is operational again.

not quite ...
From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 4:24 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail system update

The campus voice mail system has experienced a hard drive failure which will require restoration from a previous backup. This will mean a loss of any voice mail messages received this week. In an effort to minimize the amount of loss, the restoration process will begin today at 5PM. Voice mail functionality is expected to return by 7PM this evening. Please contact Sandra Warner at ext 2552 with any questions or concerns.

and from today:
From: InfoList []
Sent: Wed 11/28/07 1:32 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail update

The voice mail system is currently stable and is being monitored closely. We received confirmation from the vendor this morning that no voice mails received prior to yesterday’s system restore at 5PM were lost. Meanwhile, we are working with our vendor partners to identify alternatives.

November 20, 2007

NEWS: Catching Fish

The One That Didn't Get Away
Community college leaders must lure freshmen with positive first semester experiences or watch their school swim away

by Miguel M. Morales

A new study might cause Johnson County Community College to change its motto “Learning Comes First” to “Learning Comes in the First.”

Anne Driscoll, senior research scientist at the School of Education, University of California - Davis, authored a new study examining the crucial role the first semester plays at community colleges.

According to the study, “Beyond Access: How the First Semester Matters for Community College Students’ Aspirations and Persistence,” a positive and successful first academic experience at a community college supports students’ goals to stay in school and help maintain their aspirations to transfer to a four-year institution. Conversely, a less successful academic experience decreases the likelihood students will persist towards that goal.

“This study suggests that devoting greater attention to first semester students in the forms of guidance and academic support including tutoring or resource centers could pay big dividends by increasing the proportion of students who remain in college and achieve their educational goals,” the report reads.

While JCCC has no such comparative survey of first semester students, another of its studies provides insight into how a positive semester can influence subsequent semesters.

According to a 1996 study, “Enrollment Management Research: Students Who Drop Out early in the Semester,” 20 percent of the students dropped classes in previous semesters.

The survey discounts late registration as a negative factor influencing the college’s attrition rate as fifty-two percent enrolled during early registration.

However, finances influenced 24 percent of the students’ decision to leave.

“Of those who said that financial concerns were a factor in dropping, 56 percent said they needed $500 or less additional money to stay in school,” the report states.

Twenty-three percent of the students said they did not plan to return to JCCC. Of those who planned to persist in their goal, 29 percent said it would not occur within the next two semesters.

This supports Driscoll’s study, which states that 25 percent of first semester community college students do not return the following semester.

Here are a few highlights from Driscoll’s report:
  • Six in ten young adult high school graduates who entered community college with the goal of transferring had either left school or reduced their aspirations after only one semester.
  • Students who failed to return to college for the second semester were the least likely to transfer to a four-year institution within six years.
  • The report also states it is crucial to develop and support policies and interventions that increase the chances of success for high school graduates, particularly Blacks and Latinos, who aspire to graduate from a four-year institution.

November 14, 2007

HEADLINE: Cavalier Charm

This homoerotic headline from The Newton Kansan intrigued me. I sadly discovered the article is about basketball.
Hesston men fall to Johnson County

November 13, 2007

TIME OUT: Conventional Wisdom

More from NAHJ:

American Society of Newspaper Editors
Postmark deadline: Dec. 14, 2007
Contact: Bobbi Bowman, ASNE Diversity Director,

ASNE is accepting applications from students for its 2008 convention newspaper, The ASNE Reporter.
The convention takes place in Washington DC, April 11 – 16, 2008. Organizers have invited the President Bush and the 2008 presidential candidates to speak.
ASNE encourages juniors, seniors or graduate students who work for their college newspapers and have experienced at least one internship at a daily to apply. Students experienced with multi-media preferred.
ASNE will cover travel and hotel expenses and provide students with a small stipend.

Download the application here.

November 12, 2007

NEWS: Tyree is no Retiree

Another Turn at Interim

Former JCCC Interim President Larry Tyree takes the helm of another Kansas community college

by Miguel M. Morales

The chance to help heal a campus community brought Larry Tyree back to Kansas.

Johnson County Community College's former interim president was one of four final candidates for the director of Arkansas' Department of Higher Education when Independence Community College President Terry Hetrick died suddenly of a heart attack Oct. 5.

Tyree withdrew from consideration Oct. 30 to assume the interim position ICC trustees offered. Tyree began serving as Interim President Nov. 12.

"He started work this morning and we already love him," said Lois Lessman, director of Human Resources and Public Relations for ICC.

"He speaks very well of Kansas and so I know that his experience at Johnson County must have been a good one for him as well," she added.

JCCC trustees hired Tyree in July 2006 after President Charles Carlsen abruptly resigned when the student newspaper, The Campus Ledger, published allegations that he sexually harassed an employee. Carlsen denied the allegations though an independent investigation uncovered other alleged victims.

Tyree served as JCCC interim president through May 2007.

After returning to his home in Sarasota, Fla, Tyree joined the Executive
Advisory Board of Campus Works, Inc.

Tyree said he will serve as ICC's interim president until June 2008 when trustees name and seat a permanent replacement.

"He’s so kind and yet I can already see that he has great strength," Lessman said. "I’m really thrilled that he was able to join us. "

ICC is located approximately two and a half hours south of JCCC in Montgomery County, Kan. near the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.

November 9, 2007

INFOLIST: Equipped for AQIP

This was posted on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist on Oct. 29.

A Message from Dr. Calaway about AQIP

The AQIP systems portfolio will be sent to the Higher Learning Commission today. I want to thank all of you for your help in the development of that document. The faculty and staff members on the committee spent many hours interviewing people across campus. Several of you also helped read a draft of the document earlier this month, and the committee was able to incorporate many of your suggestions.

Just to refresh your memory, the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) provides an alternative process through which an educational institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. JCCC is part of AQIP, which calls upon institutions to undergo a systems appraisal every four years. This allows us to get expert, objective, third-party feedback on our strengths and opportunities for improvement. In turn, what we learn from the systems appraisal will help us determine our next targets for advancing quality at JCCC through action projects and other plans.

The final portfolio submitted to AQIP will also be posted online, where it can serve as a reference for college students, faculty and staff and the community. In February, the college will receive feedback from AQIP appraisers regarding what they see as the college’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. That summary too will be posted online.

Thank you for your assistance with this important project.

Terry Calaway

Click here to access JCCC's AQIP PowerPoint presentation.

Click here to access JCCC's AQIP portfolio submitted Nov. 1

November 7, 2007

TIME OUT: Free Princeton Program

More from NAHJ:

Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

Princeton University will again offer it's all-expense paid summer journalism program for high school journalism students.

Now it it's seventh year, the 10-day program targets student journalists from unerresourced financial backgrounds. Eligible students must meet the following qualifications:
  • They must currently be sophomores or juniors in high school.
  • They must live in the continental United States.
  • They must have at least an unweighted 3.5 grade point average (out of 4.0).
  • They must have an interest in journalism.
  • The combined income of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000.
Note: If the combined income of the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, exceeds $45,000 and a student still wishes to apply, he or she may attach a letter explaining why his or her family qualifies as financially underresourced.

The Application
Students must fill download, fill out, and submit the application as a Microsoft Word attachment.
Upon completing the application, students must rename the document using the following format:
For example, if the student’s name is Maria Sanchez, the title of the renamed document will be:
Students should type their name and high school in the body of the e-mail. They must also put only the name of the Word document (e.g., Sanchez.Maria.doc) in the subject line of the e-mail. Students must e-mail the renamed MS Word application to (Note: this is a Gmail e-mail address, not a Princeton e-mail address).

Deadline for submitting the application is 11:59 p.m., Feb. 20, 2008.
Program directors will not grant extensions for any reason.

The Interview
Program Directors will interview students either in person or over the phone. Students must provide (via U.S. mail) printed copies of the following:
  • An official high school transcript
  • The first page of the 2006 income-tax return form (the 1040 or 1040EZ form) of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s), or a signed statement by their parent(s)/guardian(s) saying that their income is below the level at which they would be required to file income tax returns
  • A recommendation letter from a teacher
  • Clips from their high school newspaper or other publication (optional)
Questions may be sent to (Note this is a Princeton e-mail address) or to a voice message at (609) 258-8046.

Download the application here.

For more information about the summer program click here.

November 5, 2007

TIME OUT: Hispanic Link Fellowships

More from NAHJ:
The Hispanic Link Journalism Foundation and The Scripps Howard Foundation are offering three journalism fellowships for college students.
  • Fellowships are open to juniors and first-semester seniors with a demonstrated interest in pursuing careers in print or multimedia journalism One student will be selected for each semester.
  • Fellows receive a stipend of $2,500 plus free housing in Northwest Washington near the National Zoo.
  • Applicants will be judged on their analytical and English language writing skills and potential as journalists.
  • The selected fellows will be placed with the Washington, D.C.–based Hispanic Link News Service, which covers national affairs affecting 49 million U.S. Hispanics.
The news service publishes the national Hispanic Link Weekly Report and syndicates opinion, news analysis and feature columns to English- and Spanish-language media.

There is no application form. Simply mail send a letter of interest, resume and writing samples to:

Hispanic Link
1420 ‘N’ St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Indicate preferred semester for fellowship:

14 weeks
Jan. 14 – April 18
Postmark Dec. 3

12 weeks
June 9 – Aug. 15
Postmark Feb. 4

14 weeks
Sept. 8 – Dec. 12
Postmark March 14

For more information contact:

Alex Meneses Miyashita or Charlie Ericksen, editors
Hispanic Link
(202) 234­0280.


Jody Beck, director
Scripps Howard Foundation
(202) 408-2748

NEWS: Junking Gov't Jargon

Congress Pursues 'Plain Language Standard'
House and Senate bills push to eliminate jargon from governmnent documents

by Miguel M. Morales

Soon the thousands of documents including forms used for federal financial aid, income tax, and Social Security could be easier to understand.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced
S. 2291, a bill proposing to improve citizen access to government related information and services by establishing a "plain language" standard.

"Using plain language makes Government more transparent," Akaka said introducing the bill, Nov. 1. "The American people cannot hold their Government accountable if no one can understand the information that the Government provides about its actions and its requirements."

Akaka said the new standard would reduce citizen's complaints, confusion and need to retain professional advice for basic government forms and applications.

The bill would apply to new or substantially revised documents.
Government documents would include:
  • Federal tax forms
  • Veterans' benefit forms
  • Information for workers about Federal health, safety, overtime pay
  • Medical leave laws
  • Social Security and Medicare benefit forms
  • Federal college aid applications
"These documents help the American people obtain important Government benefits and improve their quality of life," Akaka said.

Sen. Clair McCaskill (D-MO) serves as a cosponsor of the bill.

"It is ridiculous that average Americans are having trouble understanding their tax forms and other government documents because they are written in complex legal jargon," McCaskill said. "This government is here to serve the people, so we need to start putting things in plain-language around here."

Rep. Bruce Braley (D- Iowa) introduced a similar bill, HR. 3548 (known as the Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007), to the House, Sept 17.

“Writing government documents in plain language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money," Braley said, Sept 20. "Plain, straightforward language makes it easy for taxpayers to understand what the federal government is doing and what services it is offering.
"I’m proud to introduce this bill to make it easier for Americans to work with and understand their government.”

The bill moved to the House Oversight and Reform's Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives on Oct. 1.

Related: The House and Senate are working on versions of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007.

November 1, 2007

NEWS: Sebelius Selects

Gov. Chooses JCCC Grad/Employee to Advocate for Deaf

Kathleen Sebelius selected Teresa Sturgeon, interpreter at Johnson County Community College and two others to serve as advocates on the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH),Oct 31.

The organization advocates for and facilitates equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing Kansans.

The other appointees are Kimberly Symansky and Kimberly Weidler.

TIME OUT: Free Tuition for J-Student Grads

More from NAHJ:

USC Annenberg School for Communication is starting a Masters of Arts Program in Arts Journalism.

The program will offer 10 students free tuition and $18,000 in living expenses. Students will take classes for nine months and at the end have a Master degree and a body of work.

Click here for more information