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July 30, 2015

ESL Afterschool Communities wins $1.2 million grants

photo of children

The Ohio Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program recently announced two grants totaling $1.2 million over three years for Columbus State’s ESL Afterschool program.

The ODE 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide opportunities for children who come from economically disadvantaged families and attend low-performing schools to receive academic support. School districts, schools, community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and city or county government agencies are eligible for the 21st Century Learning Center grants. Seventy-five grants were awarded through the program out of more than 240 proposals. 

Florence Plagenz, supervisor of Columbus State’s ESL Afterschool Communities noted that in the first year of the grant her program will receive $400,000 to develop two new afterschool sites. Both of the new sites will be supported for three years, totaling $1.2 million.

The North Linden Elementary site will serve 50 second- through fifth-grade Nepali youth in partnership with Columbus City Schools and the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The Stiles Elementary site will serve 50 second- through fourth-grade Latino and Somali youth in partnership with South-Western City Schools and the Southwest Public Libraries. 


Delaware Campus workshop on First-Gen students offered Aug. 5


The Generation One Trailblazers (GOT) will host a professional development workshop titled “Supporting the Success of First Generation Students” at the Delaware Campus on Wednesday, August 5, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Moeller Hall 112.  All faculty and staff are invited to attend.

The goals of the workshop are to investigate the obstacles inherent in being the first in one’s family to attend college, discuss data collected by GOT, and share ways in which faculty and staff can help support first-gen students in the classroom and beyond. Please email with any questions you may have about the workshop. 


First Wednesday to be held Aug. 5

The monthly meeting First Wednesday will be held on Wednesday, August 5, starting at 8:15 a.m. in the Conference Center Ballroom, WD fourth floor A live stream will also be available at: by logging in with the password cougars.


Save the date for success showcase Sept. 11

Starfish Early Alert…

ALEKS Placement Boot Camp...

Speed Diversity Dialogue…


You’ve probably heard these terms.  But do you know what they mean?  “Showcasing Student Success" is your chance to find out! Come to hear about the dozens of new and innovative student-success projects currently underway at the college. 

The presentation will be held Friday, September 11, in the Columbus State Conference Center, fourth floor WD.  More information and registration is coming soon.   


ALEKS delivers success in math placement

equation graphicStudents have recently been able to improve their mathematics placement thanks to focused support from faculty and ALEKS PPL software. 

Results from pilot sessions of a Mathematics Placement Improvement Boot Camp this summer have been extremely positive. Eligible students committed to attending six sessions over three weeks. Their initial Compass placement score was compared to a baseline assessment through ALEKS PPL. The results of the initial ALEKS assessment led to the creation of an individualized “pie” of topics to learn, and students were able to work at their own pace within those three weeks to resolve as many portions of that pie as possible. After completing at least ten hours of online work both in the lab sessions and at home, students could then retest through ALEKS PPL and compare the results of their concerted efforts. 

Not only has student feedback been positive, but so has the improvement of scores.  Five of 17 students that had placed into DEV 0114 by Compass were able to raise their placement to MATH 1050 on the first day, without any remediation.  On average, students’ placement scores improved by nearly 11 percentage points, which means that many students are now able to enroll in a higher-level course than what their initial test would have allowed. 

One student moved up her placement score by 39 percentage points, and many improved by five points or more. Because the ALEKS PPL software allows students to continue working on their skills for up to six months, some participants have asked to continue to do work and assess again with the hopes of greater success. 


Find C.A.R.E.S. advocates online

As the start of Autumn Semester approaches, coordinators of the Columbus State C.A.R.E.S. program would like you to know that there are more than 200 C.A.R.E.S “advocates” on the Columbus and Delaware Campuses, and Regional Learning Centers. The acronym stands for “Caring Advocates Responding to Extraordinary Situations.” Advocates are trained and equipped to assist students who may have unique challenges that impact their ability to be successful in college. Columbus State C.A.R.E.S. is made up of faculty, staff, administrators and students working together to support students facing these extraordinary situations. If you know a student who may benefit from this assistance, you can find the list of trained advocates online here.



book cover

‘What Best Teachers Do’ resources available in Library

Education scholar Ken Bain, in his book What the Best College Teachers Do, reports that the best “have at least an intuitive understanding of human learning akin to the ideas…emerging from research in the learning sciences.”

In recent years, researchers have translated that science into books of principles and methods educators can apply. A collection of these resources is being assembled in our Library that will be the basis for future workshops, Library Guides, and our own investigations into “what works.”  

You can view a guide to current book titles and journals available through the Library. Want to add a title or offer a review? Contact Rich James.




Fee waiver deadline is Aug. 12

The deadline for Employee and Dependent Fee Waivers for Autumn Semester is Tuesday, August 12.  A Request for a Fee Waiver form must be turned into Human Resources, SX 131, by 4:30 p.m., on August 12 to guarantee that fee waivers will be processed before late fees are assessed.

You may also pay your fees first and be reimbursed within 30 days from the start of the term by completing the Request for Fee Waiver form and submitting an official payment receipt to Human Resources by Friday, September 24.  If you have any questions about fee waivers, please contact Darrylene Mason at ext. 2406. 








Submit your news to Update

Do you have news or an announcement for the employees of Columbus State? Send your news to Update, the Columbus State newsletter exclusively for employees. Update is published every Monday and Thursday during the semester, and on Mondays during semester breaks. Send your news to by Friday at noon for inclusion in the Monday edition, and Wednesday at noon for the Thursday edition. Update editors reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, brevity and editorial style.

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Are you hosting a special event for students, starting a new class next semester, offering a workshop or seminar of interest, or would you like to share a special student success story? Send your news to Campus Life, the weekly online publication for Columbus State students. Send student news to by Tuesday at noon for inclusion in the Wednesday edition of Campus Life. Campus Life headlines are sent to students via email each Wednesday during the semester.