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January 4, 2018


Staff Employee of the Month
Academic advisor works with high schools and employers to help students succeed


Nichole Braun, an academic advisor in the Business, Engineering, and Technologies division, works with Columbus State faculty, staff, local high schools and employers to ensure students have the information and skills they need to achieve their goals. She takes relationship building “to a whole new level” according to Marcy Leeds, academic and support officer in Business, Engineering, and Technologies. 

“For the past four years, Dr. Braun has worked with a Columbus State team and industry partners such as Honda and Abbot Industries to develop and implement the Modern Manufacturing Work Study program,” she said, adding that Braun also meets with high school students and their parents to educate them about opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

Dick Bickerstaff, recently retired chair of Engineering and Transportation Technologies, also praised Braun for her dedication to the Modern Manufacturing program. “Her passion, innovation, and commitment to this program has been relentless. She has presented on the national and regional state, and is adored by these students,” he said. “She also successfully carries out her day job as the on-site completion advisor for two significant-sized departments with a wide range of degrees and certificates.”


Columbus State’s Early Childhood program earns high-level certification

The Council for Professional Recognition has awarded Columbus State’s Early Childhood Program a coveted CDA Gold Standard. It was awarded after an on-site visit and thorough review of the college’s Childhood Development Associate (CDA) program.

The Gold Standard is part of the Council’s early childhood education effort. It’s designed to help students find the high-quality training they need to prepare for the CDA exam and a career in early childhood education working with children who are infants through five years old.

“This means that we are one of only a handful of organizations or companies that are recognized by the Council for Professional Recognition as providing the highest level of education for our CDA curriculum and certificate,” said Human Services Chair Kirk Dickerson. “It will help us market our program and will be a benefit when we apply for funding, grants, and scholarships.”

Human Services Coordinator Stacey Raymond and instructor Charvella McKaye were both instrumental in preparing the College for the review. During the process, Columbus State demonstrated that its training is based on the Council’s three industry-leading principles: Alignment with the CDA formal education coursework, sound business policies and practices and quality student services that meet educational and professional needs.


Light Up A Life brings holiday cheer to more than 125 attendees

group photo at event

The Student Engagement and Leadership department would like to thank everyone who helped make Light Up A Life a successful event by donating baskets, volunteering or participating in the Reader’s Theatre performance of “The Polar Express.” With your help, Light Up A Life shared 45 gift baskets and served more than 125 attendees, including student parents and their families! 


Food service hours and closures

Subway is currently closed and will resume normal hours on Monday, January 8.

Sips is currently closed and will also reopen on Monday, January 8. The hours at Sips next week are 7:30 a.m.-noon.

All food service operations, including the food court, will open for normal service hours beginning on Tuesday, January 16.


New mileage rate for 2018

Please be aware that beginning on January 1, 2018, the IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • $0.545 cents for every mile of business travel driven.
  • Reimbursement submissions received for miles driven in 2017 will remain at $0.535 cents per mile.

Please use the updated 2018 forms found on the intranet for:

  • Travel Request
  • Travel Expense
  • Mileage-Meals Reimbursement Request




Need help completing your myPLAN self-review or manager review of employees?

If you need assistance completing the self-review or manager review, take advantage of upcoming support sessions. If you are new to the performance progress review, we recommend attending the Self Review class on Friday, January 5. If you can’t make it, choose one of six drop-in help labs between January 9 and 19. Log in to Cornerstone and open the “Events Calendar” under the “Learning” tab. Click the session on your chosen day to register (PDF guide to registering). The class and labs are also relevant for Manager Reviews.

myPLAN Progress Review tips:

  • Use this “Ready – Set – Review” guide to prepare for the progress review. Make sure all your 2017 work is documented before starting the self-review.
  • Not seeing 2017 goals? Make sure you are viewing 2017 items and not 2018. Goals that are unapproved will not be visible to managers and not updatable by employees. Approve all 2017 items.
  • Writing Goals and Key Responsibilities retroactively? Remember you can copy or advance already-made items. Just update the start and end dates appropriately. (See page 3 of this guide.)
  • Changed job or manager? Your current manager should review the “Adding Co-Planners” guide.
  • Start 2018 right: create at least one goal reflecting your current work in each review category: Key Responsibility (core routine job duties), Operational Goal (projects, one-time deliverables, new processes, etc.), Professional Development (any learning that improves your work knowledge and skills) and Service (supporting the College outside of normal job duties). See the goal writing guide. Remember, you can copy or advance 2017 items if appropriate.

General myPLAN questions can be sent to



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.

Submit your news to students in Campus Life

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.