Tuesday, October 25, 2011

College e-text research group presents preliminary findings during symposium

Preliminary results of a two-year study show that, while use of e-texts may not yet be the first preference for all students, potential savings on the cost of traditional college textbooks would greatly influence their choices.

Dr. Michelle McCraney, at podium, introduces Daytona State's e-text
initiative panel of faculty and staff during this month's symposium.
A group of Daytona State College faculty, administrators, library personnel and instructional technology professionals shared these findings with more than 250 college and university officials from throughout Florida during an e-text symposium held this month in the Hosseini Center on the Daytona Beach Campus.
The study and the symposium are part of a research grant awarded to the college by the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. It is the first of its kind in the nation geared toward exploring student and faculty preferences for electronic textbooks, potential cost savings, and the most effective use of the technology with regard to teaching and learning.
Nine e-text publishers and device makers also attended the symposium to demonstrate the latest in e-text technology. Among them was keynote speaker Matt Drugan of CDW-G, a national provider of technology solutions for business and education, who stressed the importance of college administrators keeping up with the technology expectations of 21st century students.
“While 98 percent of administrators say that learning and mastering technology skills will improve students’ educational and career opportunities, just 22 percent say that improving the use of technology in the learning process is one of their top priorities,” he said. Drugan also pointed out that the percentage of high school students who use technology daily in class has increased from just 19 percent last year to 31 percent this year. Yet, no colleges and universities have adopted the e-text technology on an institution-wide basis.
Daytona State's study centers around a pilot program that was developed to compare four different textbook models in specific economics and English course sections - e-books, netbooks, traditional textbook rentals and a textbook rental program administered by students in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree program. It is a two-pronged study which focuses not only on technology, but also costs involved with college textbooks.
Each model was evaluated through surveys of participating students, focus groups, interviews with faculty and other key stakeholders, and through records of student outcomes.
While most Daytona State students favored the traditional textbook rental models, citing usability issues with some e-text devices, ease and efficiency of the traditional text rental process and confidence that books will be available, they also cited potential cost savings as being an influential factor across all models. Those students who favored the e-text models tended to be more technology savvy in the first place, according to the research, and Cheryl Kohen, emerging technologies librarian, said many issues students experienced with some of the e-text devices have been mitigated in new iterations.
The e-text study found that full-time two-year public college students pay on average $900 a year on textbooks and supplies. Moving toward e-texts can save students as much as 80 percent. The college’s BAS Club book rental program models a cooperative which can save students enrolled in the bachelor’s program as much as $2,200 over the course of their studies, according to Dr. Eileen Hamby, associate vice president of the College of Business Administration.
The e-text initiative will continue to move forward. Final results and evaluation of the research will be completed in May next year.  In the meantime, the e-text committee will continue to examine new devices and technologies, and train interested faculty on how to effectively use them.
“The game is always changing,” Kohen said, referring to the evolution of e-text technology. “We are keeping up with those changes and trying to bring that knowledge back to the students, as well as rethinking the pedagogy to determine the most effective ways to utilize this new way of teaching and learning.”
For more information on the e-text initiative, visit www.daytonastate.edu/etext/ or become a fan on Facebook.

L. Gale Lemerand shares insights with leadership group

Local entrepreneur and former member of the Daytona State College District Board of Trustees L. Gale Lemerand helped kick off this year’s Leadership Development Institute agenda by offering a few words of advice to current and incoming participants.

L. Gale Lemerand speaks to LDI participants.
“The most important aspect of leadership is to lead by example, to not ask any of your employees to do anything you wouldn’t do, and to be fair and honest in dealing with them and your customers,” he told the group of more than 50 participants in the college’s employee development program.
Lemerand answered questions posed by LDI participants on a wide swath of subjects that included current and past business ventures, how he got started as an entrepreneur and what motivates him.
“The key to the entire thing has been surrounding myself with great people,” he said. “If you do that, give them some direction, then get out of their way and let them do what they do best, you greatly increase your chances of success.”
Lemerand grew up in a working-class family in Michigan. After serving in the Korean War, he returned stateside and began a career at Williams Insulation in Chicago in 1968. At 40, he bought out his partner and renamed the business Gale Industries, moving the company to Daytona Beach in 1978. By 1990, the corporation was the largest insulation contractor in the nation, with more than 100 locations in 23 states. In 1995, he sold Gale Industries to the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp. and stayed on as CEO and president until 2000.
His business career has not, however, been without its share of setbacks, and Lemerand offered the LDI group advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of today’s business climate. In particular, he stressed the importance of a college education, something he never achieved.
“In my day, very few people had a formal education, so I was able to get by,” he said. “You can’t do that today, especially with all the technology used in business, these days. I think that instead of starting my business at 40, I could have started at 25 if I had a formal education. Experience is very important, but most important is education.”
He also encouraged group members to strive for a balance in their professional and personal lives.
Lemerand also is a co-founder and majority owner of Stonewood Grill & Tavern restaurants, and owns major interest in 29 restaurants which, in addition to Stonewood,  includes Peach Valley CafĂ©, Houligan's, Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery, The Dish and Ormond Wine Company. He also is the inventor of Sanidoor, a touch-free, germ-free restroom door system, and is the subject of “To Win in Business. . .  Bet on the Jockey,” a biography which focuses on his life as a businessman and entrepreneur.
As a philanthropist, he has donated to Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is one of the top donors at the University of Florida, and has served on numerous local community boards, including SunTrust Banks, WDSC TV 15 and Ormond Beach Memorial Hospital. He also supports a wide variety of local groups and charities, including Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, March of Dimes, the Volusia Council on Aging and the United Way.
LDI originally was conceived from a recognized need for succession planning and professional leadership development at the college. Its goal is to educate and prepare college employees for the institution’s leadership positions of tomorrow. Headed this year by Dr. Eileen Hamby, associate vice president of the College of Business Administration, LDI is structured as a three-year program where participants focus on individual development in year one, team dynamics in year two and an individual practicum to demonstrate excellence in year three.
In introducing Lemerand to the group, Daytona State President Carol Eaton urged LDI participants to reflect on the reasons why they are studying leadership and to understand that leaders are needed at every level of the college. “You shouldn’t be doing LDI because you want to be promoted. Maybe, yes, but there is a limited number of jobs,” she said. “I hope what you get out of this is the satisfaction of learning your own skills and abilities and where those skills and abilities will take you. What’s going to happen will be inside you, and that’s the best thing of all.”

Adult Education students blazing Career Pathways toward college

Yenny Salas, right, offered her audience examples of packaged foods
to become aware of specific ingredients during her team's presentation
on organic nutrition.
Sachiko Colombo, Yenny Salas and Sindy Poveda can teach you a thing or two about organic foods. They’ve done their research. So has Michelle Meade, a mother of six who can provide you all the necessary documentation on the dangers of the often abused prescription drug Oxycodone.

These students enrolled in Daytona State’s School of Adult Education are participating in a Career Pathways cohort that is preparing them to transition from secondary education to college. Last week, the students made presentations on their research topics before a full house of fellow adult high school and ESOL students, the culmination of five weeks of planning and inquiry on a topic related to allied health.

“These are alternative type students,” said Virginia Fitzpatrick, a learning specialist in the School of Adult Education who is a lead instructor in the Career Pathways program. “They are not typical by any means. With this program, we are trying to get them to understand how the transition to college works, and most of them are yearning to get to that point.”

Michelle Meade presents on the prescription drug Oxycodone.
Michelle, for example, hopes to become a paramedic or radiologist - and show her children that all things are possible if one is willing to put in the work. Yenny, from Colombia, also is interested in an allied health profession, as is fellow Colombian, Sindy, who wants to study biology in college. Sachiko, from Japan, is keeping all her options open. “I am curious about a lot of careers, but I want to master English first,” she said.

Career Pathways is funded through a one-time grant from the Florida Department of Education and US Department of Education with the intent of helping schools build systems for career exploration into their curriculum and mitigate many of the barriers students face in transitioning to college-level coursework. The program will continue to evolve and eventually become a permanent part of Daytona State’s Adult Education program.

Thus far, two Career Pathways cohorts have been developed since the program began this fall, one in cosmetology and this most recent one focusing on allied health careers, said College Transition Unit Manager Beth Hoodiman. “We are also developing a public safety cohort and another that focuses on career programs offered at the Advanced Technology College,” she said, adding that the division hopes to do at least six more cohorts this year, including several for students attending the college’s regional campuses.

Students who apply to participate in a Career Pathways cohort attend class two days a week for five weeks as a supplement to their Adult Education or ESOL studies. There, they work in groups and acquire a variety of skills and knowledge, from conflict resolution and negotiation, computer literacy and study skills to career exploration and the type of work responsibilities and ethics employers expect.  Each group is provided a syllabus, taken to the library to learn basic research skills and assigned a research project which they must present at the end of the cohort.

“We structure each cohort like a college class so students will know what to expect when they make the transition to college-level coursework, and they are having a lot of fun with it,” said Fitzpatrick. “They are learning how to see things from different perspectives, contextualizing the language and math skills they are learning in their Adult Education and ESOL programs and discovering that their career aspirations are, in fact, attainable by taking things one step at a time.”

Students who complete the Career Pathways cohort will be tracked upon transitioning to college-level programs, and while it is too early to measure the effectiveness of the first two groups, Hoodiman said the enthusiasm of the participating students is a good preliminary indicator.

“These students don’t fit the standard mold,” she said. “We try to match them with a career pathway in which they have an interest and the experience seems to significantly help build their confidence.”

Notables. . .

Les Potter
Les Potter, academic chair and associate professor of the College of Education, has co-authored the second edition of “Creating  a Culture for High-Performing Schools: A comprehensive approach to school reform, dropout prevention and bully behavior.” Published by Rowman & Littlefield and written for K-12 educators, the book covers best practices in improving student achievement, student and teacher morale and parental support by establishing a school culture where faculty and students trust and care about each other.

The book is co-authored by Clete Bulach, a former Ohio school superintendent and college professor, and Fred Lunenburg, a longtime teacher, principal and school superintendent who currently is the Jimmy N. Merchant Professor of Education and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Research and Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University.
Potter is the author of more than 80 educational publications and has been a school principal and professor of educational leadership at several universities. His work on the book took a practical approach stemming from his experience as a secondary school principal at seven schools in four states. He has been recognized in several of those states for his contributions to education.
The School of Emergency Medical Services has been reaccredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). In completing its recent on-site review, the committee commented on school’s highly motivated and exceptional faculty and staff.

“This is very exciting news,” said college
President Carol Eaton. “Daytona State has always had very high standards, and our students benefit from the good work our faculty and staff do. Congratulations to our EMS staff. This outside verification is evidence that our programs are at a high level.”

The School of Emergency Medical Services is headed by
Louie Mercer, chair; Patty Maher, assistant chair; Marti Driscoll, clinical coordinator; Dr. Winston Warren, Ken Moorhouse and Georgia Jenkins, faculty; and Beth Rafferty, senior staff assistant.