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The Office Hours Initiative (OHI): Outreach, Support, and Success

Office hours at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (North Carolina) recently became an issue. Although some faculty members were not available during their advertised hours, many were available, yet students did not visit. While factors influencing students’ decisions to use office hours are largely beyond instructors’ control, instructors can play a role in encouraging students to take advantage of office hours (Weimer, 2015). The lack of students utilizing office hours at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College led to the creation of the Office Hour Initiative (OHI). By integrating digital platforms and resources and establishing new office hours expectations for English and math faculty (the two groups piloting the initiative), the OHI provides for office hours available at times “reasonable for faculty and students.” The flexibility and convenience of the new office hours allow students to meet with their instructors from home and avoid the costs associated with transportation, childcare, and hours of missed work. Since going digital, Dr. Billings and her colleagues at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College have seen huge improvements in student success, including increased retention. By learning about the OHI, it is our hope that others will consider implementing a similar model at their institutions.

Dr. Jenny Billings is the Chair of Study Skills and English at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Concord and Salisbury campuses and oversees the Office Hour Initiative (OHI) and Paideia Instruction. She is also a Faculty Partner for Cengage. Dr. Billings has taught English Composition, Developmental English, college student success, and all levels of developmental reading and English through course, curriculum, and master shell development. She helped roll out one of the first and largest all-inclusive e-Text initiatives at her institution in the fall of 2014. Through that project, Dr. Billings gained experience with a number of digital learning platforms and now shares her knowledge by training colleagues to become experts as well.

Melissa Reid is the Chair of Mathematics at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Concord and Salisbury campuses in North Carolina. Ms. Reid is also a Calculus, PreCalculus, and Developmental Math instructor. She is an Advisory Board Member for NC State’s Transfer Admissions. While at the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Ms. Reid has served as a Master Faculty Advisor, a Grant Coordinator, a full-time instructor, and a Coordinator for Pearson’s MyLabsPlus. She is also an OHI partner for the college.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pacific: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mountain: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Central: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Eastern: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm





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