May 2011, Volume 5, Number 7


City of AustinWelcome to another edition of Hook'Em Up. May is a very exciting month for the NISOD staff. Preparations are finalized for the 2011 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. This year’s conference promises inspiring keynotes, engaging special sessions, a brand-new Community College Completion Challenge (C4) Summit, and practical strategies in breakout and roundtable sessions led by practitioners from across North America and around the world. We look forward to seeing and welcoming you to Austin!

The NISOD Staff

In This Issue

Sign the Community College Completion Commitment Pledge!

Challenge graphicIn an unprecedented and unified action, NISOD and five other national organizations representing the nation's 1,200 community colleges, their governing boards, faculty, staff, and 11.8 million students, pledged to increase student completion rates by 50% over the next decade—a challenge that President Obama set forth in February 2009.

NISOD’s unique role in the group of six organizations is that it is focused on the professional development of people—equipping and preparing faculty, staff, and administrators with the necessary skills to ensure that students succeed. NISOD’s goal is to show how to walk alongside students as they enter the open-door college and ensure that individuals who interact daily with students are prepared to help them complete a credential and/or transfer successfully to the university sector.

With this goal in mind, NISOD encourages community college faculty and staff to add their own voices and make their own commitments to this exciting and critical national movement by signing NISOD's Faculty and Staff Pledge today. Be one of the hundreds that have already signed it!

Online Summer Course Taught by Vincent Tinto

Syracuse University School of Education
HED 700—Enhancing Student Success in Higher Education

Syracuse UniversityOverview
Taught by the leading authority on student retention, the online course explores not only what we know about the forces shaping student completion in higher education, but more importantly what colleges are now doing to enhance student completion in both two- and four-year institutions of higher education. The course is intended for institutional administrators, faculty, staff, and advanced doctoral students interested in learning more about how institutions can more effectively promote the completion of the students they serve. Particular attention will be paid to the continuing challenge of addressing the needs of low-income students and those who enter higher education academically under-prepared. 

Goals of the course are threefold:

  1. provide an overview of what we know about the forces shaping student success in higher education,
  2. cover the range of programs that two- and four-year colleges are now employing to enhance student success, and
  3. explore in depth the implementation of a specific type of program in either a two- or four-year college or university.

Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, a student will have an introductory understanding of:

  • the forces shaping student success in higher education,
  • the forces shaping the success of low-income and academically under-prepared students,
  • the types of programs institutions are employing to enhance student success, and
  • the implementation strategies employed by institutions that have been successful in improving student success.

To enroll, visit The session is May 23-July 1, 2011.

For more information about the course, email Vincent Tinto. For more information about Syracuse University’s Summer Sessions, please call 315-443-9378.

Vincent TintoBe sure to attend Vincent Tinto’s special session focused on student success at 2:45-3:45 p.m., on May 30, at NISOD’s Conference.

Member Spotlight

Learn More About National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS)

NASAFunded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and in partnership with San Jacinto College System (TX) and Universities Space Research Association (USRA), National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) is an online, interactive learning experience highlighted by a three-day onsite internship at a NASA center. The program is an expansion of the highly successful Texas Community College Aerospace Scholars (CAS) which has reached more than 1,700 community college students since 2002. Eligible students must attend a community college within the United States and should have a strong interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

NCAS participants complete competitive web-based lessons that focus on mission-planning operations in preparation for the workshop at NASA. Once onsite, students participate in a team design project directed by NASA engineers; attend briefings from engineers, scientists, and astronauts; tour NASA facilities; and interact with students from across the United States.

Funding is provided for all student travel, lodging, meals, and project supplies during the workshop. Currently, NCAS events are held in both the spring and fall semesters, and are being held at multiple NASA centers.  

Last year, over 170 students took part in the three-day onsite experiences at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX, or Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. Several 2010 NCAS alumni have already begun returning to intern at NASA centers nationwide through additional NASA programs.

Partner Corner

Community College Week: Moving Towards Completion on Initial 2011 Projects

CCWNew3.jpgBeginning this spring, community college job searchers and recruiters are able to combine, or buy separately, print and online recruitment packages at Community College Week’s Career Connections. To complement our venerable Career Connections print version, we have revamped and launched our “Community College Jobs” board at The new jobsite optimizes functionality and benefits for our online and print readers. The new platform offers features not available in basic recruitment packages on other higher education jobsites. It allows community college job recruiters to buy and place both print and web advertising online at With an initial recruitment placement, job postings will continue to link directly to recruiter’s websites. In addition, ads will now be upgraded to keyword matching alongside editorial pages throughout The basic online ad features will continue to be free with each print ad placed in Community College Career Connections.

We’ll close out May, in Austin, at NISOD’s Conference where we will meet the winner of the 2011 (third annual) Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest and host a session of interest to all community college stakeholders.

Our session at NISOD, on May 30, affords attendees an opportunity to hear about and discuss two of the most popular and provocative editions published by Community College Week every year—the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers and the Fastest Growing Community Colleges. We’ll explore the data we report—but we’ll also remind our readers not to mistake it for the kind of qualitative rankings found in U.S. News & World Report. Attendees will meet Victor Borden from Indiana University, and Paul Bradley, CCWeek editor, to learn how Community College Week uses IPEDs as the foundation for these reports. Dr. Borden will develop content from his 2010-2011 analysis of enrollment and degree completion. Together, Borden and Bradley will provide some useful context. We’ll also share some tips on how to handle press inquiries that pour in after CCWeek’s Top 100 and Fastest-Growing Reports are published.

Look for the final Top 100 Associate Degree Producers Special Report on June 13, and go to BLOG on our home page at to let us know what you think.

LCCC and Invite the Lehigh Valley Community to Celebrate High School Student Success

Monster logoLehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) (PA), in partnership with, celebrated the achievements of 38 Allentown School District students who completed inaugural CareerLinking Academy pilot programs at Allen and Dieruff High Schools on April 11th. The accelerated career preparation programs aimed to give area high school students the skills and motivation to realize their goals.

Working toward high school graduation requirements, while preparing post-secondary and career plans, these remarkable students have devoted the past two months to an intensive career exploration program, showing their dedication to attaining future success. Meeting and networking with local business executives, collecting information for graduation projects, working with eMentors through’s career exploration curriculum, and attending’s Making Your Future Count workshops have prepared these students to engage fully in their current academic achievement and to pursue their future post-secondary and career trajectories seriously.

On April 11, 2011, these students, along with their parents, continued their work to reach their full potential at’s Making Your Future Count workshops. LCCC and invited the business community to join in the celebration and to meet these dedicated students.

“Monster is very excited about how well the students are engaging with the iSucceed program in the Lehigh Valley, and how the community is coming together to support their explorations. We look forward to expanding the program and making it a sustained offering into the future,” said Andy Vaughan, Director, Strategic Programs, Monster PSE. “By bringing together the offerings of Monster and, we’re able to amplify the efforts of LCCC and the WIB to create a life-changing program for these students.”

This was an excellent opportunity for all of Lehigh Valley’s employers to learn more about how we all can support our local young people to ensure their success in life—as college students, future employees, and as members of our community. LCCC and are working to expand the program to serve many more students beginning this September.

“This program has opened the doors to more opportunities for students to be exposed to activities at the College. For example, the College hosted a ‘Brain Awareness Week’ and gave a more in-depth view of psychology, and these students would have not had that opportunity without this program,” said Suzy Welliver, director of literacy and job training at LCCC.

‘Making Your Future Count’ is brought to the Allentown School District through a grant from the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. and is a collaborative effort of the Leadership and Workforce Development Center of LCCC,, and

Early Intervention System Empowers Students While Freeing Up High-Touch Staff Resources

SunGard logoIt is accepted gospel that early intervention improves retention. But how early is early? Metropolitan Community College (MCC) (NE) is piloting a software solution to determine whether a student is at risk of failing or withdrawing from a course as early as the second week of the semester or quarter. The solution pulls data from the college’s student information system and learning management system (LMS) into a predictive model that is driven by an algorithm specific to the courses in which it is used. Based on that data, it displays a signal—red for a high likelihood of failing, yellow for a potential problem, and green for a high likelihood of success. Students view the signal within the institution’s LMS and also receive e-mail notification, which may suggest resources and recommend actions. In a pilot of the system conducted at Purdue University (IN), 78% of students who were “red-lighted” improved their efforts and grades. 

“We have many students who have demographics that indicate they might be at risk early on,” said Tuesday Stanley, Ph.D., vice chancellor of administrative services and student development at MCC. “Other solutions only consider grades when identifying at-risk students. The inclusion of demographics, as well as effort, is a critical piece of the equation in helping these students succeed. Also, this software makes it easier for faculty to reach out to students who need extra support. Other solutions require faculty to do considerable upfront work to set it up and are cumbersome to execute.”

The solution, Course Signals, is available from SunGard Higher Education. Its predictive model was developed at Purdue University.

MCC is a big proponent of taking a “high-tech, high-touch” approach to student success. “We continually build out the high-tech end of enrollment management to empower students to take care of themselves, while alleviating the workload of our staff who provide the quality high-touch interaction that is so important to retention,” said Stanley.

Top Ten Finalist of the Community College Week–NISOD Student Essay Contest

CCWNew3.jpgCongratulations to Kristina Parker, a student at Columbia Basin College (CBC) (WA), for writing one of the top ten essays for the Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest. Kristina’s essay describes a most rewarding experience with Joe Montgomery, Dean for Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Planning & Assessment at Columbia Basin College. NISOD is proud to feature all of the Top Ten essays in upcoming editions of Hook’Em Up. For the month of May, please enjoy Kristina’s masterpiece!

Joe Montgomery—My Civilian Hero
My story starts years ago with a trip to an Army Recruiters office, where every red-blooded, 20-something American goes to start her rifle-toting, fatigue-wearing career. I loved it and thrived in the world of absolute organization, discipline, and hard work until one fateful day in the blistering winter of Fort Drum, NY. My world was painfully mangled, and it would be years before I would be awarded my disability rating.

Ten years, two surgeries, countless physical therapy sessions, and years of forging through government paper trails finally won me the right to bear the title, Disabled Veteran. After years of consistent determination, I received the news I had waited too long to hear; I had been accepted into the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program and would be attending CBC as a full-time student. But, there was a catch.

I was given a questionnaire that required me to obtain information and statistics regarding the fields I was contemplating entering. The answers to these questions were going to need to be answered by someone within CBC. I emailed, called, and waited in lines; all to no avail. With the final days of registration approaching, I spun into a panic. Fearing governmental timelines and protocol, I decided to utilize the CBC search engine and entered two words, “research” and “statistics.” This search yielded a name and a title: Joe Montgomery, Dean for Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Planning and Assessment. I was elated and a bit nervous, but determined. I picked up the phone and dialed the number provided.

Mr. Montgomery was superb. He was receptive to my questions, informative in his answers, and unwavering in his determination to find the answers to questions he didn’t have on hand. Prior to ending our conversation, Mr. Montgomery thanked me for my service and offered future assistance with any issues that may arise. I never imagined that I would have to take him up on that offer, but thanked him and graciously hung up.

Fast forward to the Thursday before classes were scheduled to begin. I once again found myself in an unimaginable bind and not knowing where to turn, called on Mr. Montgomery and asked for his assistance. Again, he expressed gratitude towards me for my service and dove right into the Mr. Fix-it mode I had come to associate with his name. Within just a few hours, the unimaginable became a thing of the past, and I was, for the first time in too many years to admit, a full-time student!

Mr. Montgomery is my civilian hero, and there are no words to express my gratitude and appreciation of him, and his service to me. I am grateful beyond measure, and will never forget the support and respect he bestowed on this Veteran. Mr. Montgomery is one half of my twin pillars and deserves recognition for his devotion to Veterans and students alike.

Friends of NISOD

Governors State University: A Pioneer in Distance Education

Governor's State University The Division of Digital Learning and Media Design at Governors State University (GSU) has been a pioneer in distance education for nearly 30 years. During that time, Emmy award-winning producers and directors have expanded the frontiers of educational media. GSU’s production teams traveled the world to construct video documentaries of events and phenomena, interview experts renowned in their fields, and edit features on important issues from beyond the classroom. GSU was recently one of the first upper-division universities to produce its educational courseware in High Definition video. Artists and educators in the Division have created award-winning national teleconferences, public affairs shows, and multimedia courseware. Partners include the American Psychological AssociationThe Child Welfare League of AmericaThe Ringing Rocks FoundationAllyn & Bacon Publishers, and many others. 

GSU supports the National University Technology NETWORK (NUTN) and encourages you to stop by the website to learn more about the organization, corporate sponsorships, and register for this year’s must-attend conference for leaders in Distance Learning in Fort Worth, TX, September 26-28, 2011. 

To learn more about GSU Digital Learning and our impressive line-up of multimedia, online, streaming library and media courses, as well as to review licensing rights, or to request a course preview copy, visit our website or email us. Be sure to stop by Booth #208 at this year’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence for a free demo, media kit, and/or just to chat.

Publications Corner

Innovation AbstractsInnovation Abstracts

Visit NISOD’s fully searchable online archives containing all of our archived Innovation Abstracts published over the past 30 years. Innovation Abstracts is a password-protected resource for NISOD members only. Members who do not have a password can complete a password request form.

Recent articles include:

Publish Your Good Ideas in Innovation Abstracts!
Are you an administrator or instructor who has successful practices, innovations, programs, or initiatives that work for you, your college, and your students? Consider sharing them with NISOD readers in an upcoming issue of Innovation Abstracts. Find out how!

The fully searchable online archives contain all articles published over the past 30 years. Innovation Abstracts issues are password-protected for NISOD members only. Members who do not have a password may complete a password request form.

Partner Voice

Partner VoicePresidents, Provosts (and Blackboard) Explore Best Practices in Data-Driven Decision Making” reviews a recent face-to-face opportunity for presidents and provosts to explore best practices in improving the educational experience and data collection and utilization. What participants wanted from collecting and analyzing data was a hot topic for discussion. The group focused on the following: that executive leadership is key, that simple data are easier to understand and therefore easier to use, and that efforts to analyze academic program profitability and test current assumptions should be ongoing.

Conference Corner

NISOD conference imageNISOD’s 33nd annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence is almost here! From May 29-June 1, 2011, teachers and leaders from around the globe will meet in Austin, Texas, to share innovative ideas and engage in professional development opportunities. If you haven’t already registered for the conference, you will want to do so ASAP.

Attention: New NISOD Conference Participants
Attend Orientation on Sunday, May 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m., on Level 4. This optional session will help you plan your time at the conference! We will walk you through the conference program. You will learn about what’s ahead and how to navigate around the building.

Presenters: If you have been to NISOD’s Conference before, are new to presenting at NISOD’s Conference, and only need to hear about some trouble-shooting strategies related to computer and technology questions from our Tech Team, attend the last 15 minutes of the session (11:15-11:30 a.m.).

Attention: Long-Time NISOD Conference Participants
Please review the changes that will take place at the upcoming conference.

Plan Your Conference Experience at Home
Don’t wait until you arrive in Austin to begin planning your conference experience. The 2011 NISOD Conference program is online—complete the personal planner for your must-attend sessions before you leave home. We have so many enriching and fun-filled learning events: keynote presentations, preconference seminars, special sessions, and Community College Completion Challenge (C4) Summit. We hope you arrive a day early to see Austin’s attractions!

CCCSE Workshop
On Tuesday, May 31, during the NISOD Conference, the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) will host its annual Workshop at the Four Seasons Hotel. Pre-registration on the CCCSE website is required for this daylong workshop.

Attention 2011 Excellence Awards Recipients!
Become familiar with the events we have planned especially for you! Also learn which events family and friends can attend. We will be selling Excellence Awards t-shirts, ties, and scarves—so make sure to stop by the NISOD Store in the Exhibit Hall to pick up one of your very own.

NISOD Liaison Reception
NISOD Liaisons play important roles as ambassadors between their colleges and NISOD. As a token of our appreciation, NISOD Liaisons are invited to a reception in their honor on Tuesday, May 31, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., at the Marriott Courtyard. If you haven’t sent in your RSVP, please do so ASAP.

Austin Convention Center
The Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (ACVB) will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall to answer all Austin-related questions. The ACVB has an interactive Downtown Austin map available online.

Tickets to Special Events
We have tickets for preconference seminars, Austin Duck Adventures Tour, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Tour, and guest tickets for the Tuesday Luncheon and General Session. If you have already registered and would like to add a ticket to your registration, please contact Sheryl Powell.

Exhibit Hall
Visit Exhibit Hall 5 on Level 1 of the Austin Convention Center. Check out the Exhibit Hall events that you will not want to miss!

Conference FAQs
What does the registration fee include? What is considered appropriate dress for the conference? What meals are included in the registration fee? All of the answers to these questions and more can be found on our Conference FAQs.

Hook'Em Up Crossword Puzzle

Crossword puzzleTest your knowledge of NISOD trivia by completing our May Hook’Em Up Crossword Puzzle. Print the crossword puzzle, complete it on the hard copy, and compare your answers with the answer key. Good luck!

The Learning Edge

This month, bloggers discuss student success courses. Join the conversation.

Coral M. Noonan-Terry, Editor-in-Chief
Hook’Em Up is published monthly by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, 1 University Station, D5600, Austin, Texas 78712-0378, (512) 471-7545.

© The University of Texas at Austin, 2011, All rights reserved.


National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)
College of Education | The University of Texas at Austin
1912 Speedway, Stop D5600 | Austin, TX 78712-1607
Ph: (512) 471-7545 | Fax: (512) 471-9426 |
Email |