Students Speaking Out
How We Keep Our Accreditation by: Paul Barans
Perhaps you have not thought much about college accreditation. If you are like most students, you know that Stark State is an accredited college, but you might not know what accreditation means for you. You might have a general idea that it means that the college is “good enough”, that is, it teaches students effectively. But accreditation does more than just indicate the teaching effectiveness of a college or university. Here are some of the other benefits:
To become accredited, a college must prove that it meets the Criteria for Accreditation, Core Components, and Assumed Practices defined by the Higher Learning Commission.
• Accreditation allows Stark State to offer financial aid to students. Government financial aid is provided only for accredited colleges and universities. • Accredited coursework is a prerequisite for many license exams (for example, for many health careers). • Transferring to another college or university is easier because your course credits transfer seamlessly.
Stark State uses a model called AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) to help provide evidence that it meets the Commission’s criteria. AQIP focuses on continuous improvement in the organization as a means to ensure the educational quality required for accreditation.
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Contents Pg 1 How We Keep Our Accredi tation/ Gamers Unite to Promote Creativity Pg 2 How We Keep Our Accreditation Continued/ Mega Street Bridge to be Completed Pg 3 What You Might Not Know About Degrees/ Phi Theta Kappa Pg 4 Letter From the Editor/ Phi Theta Kappa Pg 5 What is Safe Space?, LGBTS Gain Momentum Pg 6 The Truth About Purchasing Books Pg 7 “You Know Me”-Editorial Pg 8 Stark State College to Lead in Natural Gas Education
Gamers Unite to Promote Creativity by: Greg Gambone
The Video Game Club is for people who want to get together and play, design, and create video games. The club was formed so that people with a common interest in the gaming industry can get together and socialize with each other. The club plays games on every Thursday from 1 P.M to 3 P.M in room K112 with staff advisor Mike Geig.
plans for holding fundraisers or doing community services to help raise money to buy more monitors and televisions. Members are welcome to bring any type of gaming device (including televisions and monitors) to meetings. Also, members are allowed to bring any video game they want, as long as the staff advisor approves of it.
There are currently 15 members in the video game club, with five acting student officers. The officers of the club have been discussing if the Video Game Club should merge with another club known as the C3 Club, which promotes creativity and positive thinking through media of gaming, animation and artwork. Also, the officers are trying to make
Some members of the club have formed a group and are currently working on a modification for a game called The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Another group of members are in the process of designing a new video game. Some games the club has been playing include: Borderlands 2 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
How We Keep Our Accreditation Continued
The AQIP model requires a college or university to renew its accreditation every seven years. And it is no rubber stamp.
Dr. Lada Gibson-Shreve, Liberal Arts Dean, serves as Stark State’s Accreditation Liaison Officer. Over the last six years, Dr. GibsonShreve developed a process to ensure that we can prove Stark State meets the criteria for accreditation. Dr. Gibson-Shreve led the process to gather the evidence, identify possible gaps in the evidence, and take steps to close those gaps. Recently, an AQIP evaluation team paid a 2 ½-day visit to Stark State campus to perform a thorough review of the college. The
evaluation team checked the college’s compliance with the accreditation criteria, confirmed the accuracy of its records, and verified the college’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. The AQIP team not only examined the college’s programs and pro-
cesses, it also interviewed students, faculty, staff, administrators, the Board of Trustees, and employers in the community. According to Dean GibsonShreve, the AQIP review went very well. The AQIP team found that Stark State
uses “numerous best practices” in its programs and processes. Businesses that employ Stark State graduates report that the college’s graduates are “strong,” and that the college’s curriculum is “proactive to community needs.” Dean Gibson-Shreve is confident that Stark State’s accreditation will be formally reaffirmed by the end of 2012. We can all breathe a sigh of relief for that. For more information about accreditation criteria, refer to the following link: www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-Institutions/criteria-for-accreditation.html. For more information about AQIP, check out the following link: www.ncahlc. org/AQIP/AQIP-Home/.
Mega Street Bridge to be Completed by: Arin Riemenschneider
The Stark State College pedestrian walkway connecting the north student parking lot to the North Academic building of the campus is to be completed in November 2012.
660 space parking lot at the corner of Mega and Frank Avenue to the second floor of the North Academic building, also known as the K building.
With approximately 19,000 students Stark State conducted a study and estimated 2,000 crossings a day. The Mega Street Bridge connects the
Students say the addition of the bridge to the campus will safely allow students to cross the Mega Street NW, and avoid heavy traffic to enter the campus. Students will be able to access the walkway by stairs or elevator in the tower. Construction of the bridge began in March of 2012 and is the latest project at Stark State costing an estimated $1.6 million. Constructors said the 80
ton bridge was constructed on site and hoisted into place on July 2nd and 3rd. Measuring 160 feet long, and 3,500 square feet, it leads to the climate-controlled bridge containing a stairwell, elevator, and mechanical room. The bridge was designed by FMD Architects, who also designed the North Academic building completed in 2011. Constructing the bridge is contractor Jeff Carr Construction. Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing are overseen by Hilscher-Clarke, Roth Brothers, and Feinman respectively. With the Stark State community ever evolving—with expansions of academic buildings and parking—it is no wonder Stark State College has growns more by way of this bridge. 2
What You Might Not Know About Degrees by: Amber Keene
Stark State Offers 230+ associate degrees and one-year certificates in “business and entrepreneurial studies, education and human services, engineering, industrial, and emerging technologies, health sciences, information technology, liberal arts, mathematics and sciences” offered at Stark State. However, perhaps you did not know that if you are a technical communication’s student, that you are only 21 to 24 credit hours away from a dual major in communication? Or that if you are a graphic art design student that you’re only nine to 12 credit hours away from a photography option? As a
technical communication’s student, I have taken many classes in science, graphics, English, and communication, and through those classes have discovered from teachers the option of a dual degree. What I—as well as others I have spoken to—did not know was that Stark State changes degrees every year. As of summer of 2012, most of the degrees at Stark State were modified. Plus, starting Spring 2013, Stark State will be adding at least one new degree—an associate of science in chemistry degree. Something else most people do not know about Stark
State College is that most of their degrees have the same mandatory classes—College Composition, College Algebra, and two credits of science and social science. Most degrees are so similar that only 18 to 28 additional credits hours are needed to
U O Y D DI ? W O N K
Fun Facts About Stark State College by: Amber Keene
Stark State College—established in 1960—started as the Canton Area Technical School, and since then, it has undergone a few name changes. Between 1960 and 1972 it was changed to Stark County Technical Institute and then Stark State Technical Institute. Then it was Stark Technical College in 1972, Stark State College of Technology in 1996, and finally Stark State College in 2011. Stark State has an ‘open door’ policy; this allows any student who is in high school, has graduated, or is in possession of a GED/ equivalent to enroll. As of the official fall 2011 enrollment, 15,551 credit students and 4,000 non-credit students were enrolled at Stark State College. As of today, there are 43 active student organizations at Stark State College. For more information about Stark State College visit www.starkstate.edu/ content/about-stark-state.
graduate with two degrees. For more information about degrees offered at Stark State College, visit: http:// starkstate.edu/academics or contact your advisor.
Eric Frank Staff Writer Eric Frank iwill be completing his associate’s degree this December in technical communications. After graduation, he is pursuing both a job as a technical writer and starting his own production company. In 2007 he started his own business called Everything’s Ago for which he contracts and does general laborer. Since 1998, he has been the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and manager of his band. In the past year Eric has acted in such feature films as The Avengers, I Alex Cross, Promised Land, and Underdogs. Eric is a father of two boys Clayton (10) and Jace (5) and resides in Massillon, Ohio.
A Letter From the Editor
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff: Thanks for reading Stark Voices. If you are an avid reader of the student newspaper, welcome back. If you are new reader, welcome! We hope you enjoy the new layout. Be sure to check out the paper in both print and online editions. Stark Voices is published each semester by the graduating technical communication students. Make sure to read the biographies to see who is working on the paper now. We are excited to be writing for you. Our goal is to write interesting, informative pieces that really touch on the pulse of the student body. The best way for us to know what you want to read about is for you to tell us! If you have something you want to know more about or an interesting idea for a topic, email me. Because this paper is for everyone, everyone should get to be a part of it. If you have written an interesting story, email it to me. If you have taken a great picture, drawn a relevant cartoon, or simply have a funny Stark State anecdote to share, we want to know. Not only will it improve the tapestry of Stark Voices, but you will see your work in print. And of course, your published piece can be used in your portfolio and resume. So help us make Stark Voices a paper you want to read. I look forward to sharing this paper with all of you. Josi Heinz Jheinz1220@starkstate.net
you become a member of Stark State’s Beta Gamma Epsilon chapter, which currently has about 340 members.
Phi Theta Kappa by: Paul Barans
Getting great grades? The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society welcomes students who achieve outstanding grades while working on a two-year degree. If you earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher, you will receive a letter inviting you to join Phi Theta Kappa. You can remain a member of the chapter as long as you maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. When you join Phi Theta Kappa at Stark State,
Listing Phi Theta Kappa on your résumé can give you a competitive edge in starting your career, marking you as outstanding in your field of study. But membership offers more than just recognition of scholastic achievement. You can participate in a number of activities and events sponsored by the Beta Gamma Epsilon chapter. Chapter members are encouraged to engage themselves in community activities, including fund-raising for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Members can attend Phi Theta Kappa conventions and other events at the regional (Ohio) level or at the international level (for those who love really big parties). For those students interested in continuing their education with a four-year degree (and beyond),
many colleges and universities actively recruit Phi Theta Kappa members, and some offer tempting scholarships to get members to transfer. Phi Theta Kappans can show their pride with a wide variety of ΦΘΚbranded accessories, including a number of eye-catching tee-shirts (available on the international Phi Theta Kappa Web site). And the state of Ohio offers a Phi Theta Kappa license plate (which, by the way, was designed by members of Beta Gamma Epsilon.) The society’s share of the proceeds from license plate sales goes to the Commit to Complete scholarship fund. To find out more about Phi Theta Kappa at Stark State, contact the society’s advisor, Cherie Barth, by phone at 330-494-6170, ext. 4237, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply stop by Room S302a. 4
What is Safe Space? by: Amber Keene
As most students, I’ve spent a decent amount of time in some of my teacher’s offices. However, recently I noticed a little rainbow triangle sticker on their door and wondered what it was. I found out that it means, in a nutshell, that the teacher whose office it is located on is an LGBT Ally. That when you step into that office, you are safe, welcomed, supported, and everything said within those walls is private and confidential. If you are an LGBT student facing problems you cannot tell family or friends, you know that the teacher you are talking to is a supportive and accepting person. Melanie Carr stated that after the rash of suicides of college age students, the faculty wanted to do something celebratory for LGBT to show support. As a result, Retention Counselor/Facilitator Melanie Carr proposed the Safe Space idea to Stark State College. The Safe Space program was created by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) as a way to give LGBT students a place in schools to talk about issues without fear of animosity. GLSEN
writes, “85% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed, 40% report being physically harassed because of their sexual orientation.” In order to become an LGBT Ally, faculty must go through training. GLSEN supplies a kit with a 42-page “Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students” that gives strategies for addressing issues LGBT students may face and ways for teachers to become more openminded to the LGBT community. The faculty member must pass the training at a certain level to be considered as an LGBT Ally at Stark State; this is to ensure that the faculty member is a supportive and understanding person towards the LGBT community. As of today, there are 64 teachers who have completed and passed the training to be considered a LGBT ally. A list is available at www.my.starkstate.edu. For more information on Safe Space and GLSEN, visit http:// www.glsen. com
LGBTS Gains Momentum by: Dan Smiley LGBTS (Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Straight) Global meets weekly on Thursdays at 5P.M.-7P.M. in K112 on the main campus. “We are proud to say that we are one of the very few clubs that maintain such a schedule,” said Paul Schwitzgebel, an advisor to the LGBTS Global. Stark State College allows many clubs and student events to be held on campus, and one such group is LGBTS Global. The groups focus is about personal experiences. A meeting may cover the history of the rainbow flag as the LGBT movement symbol; and next the group may discuss a person’s involvement in a gay marriage rally. LGBTS has also been involved in many fund-raising and service projects. Each year, panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt are displayed at Stark State. LGBTS Global officers had originally had the idea for the display. The Multicultural Student Affairs department has now taken the project under their wing. It is a student run organization. LGBTS Global stresses that they are open for the support of one another, and is simply a way to meet exciting and friendly new people. LGBTS does feel it is important to include the “S,” standing for “straight.” There are many people who, though they are not lesbian of gay themselves, support the movement and what they stand for. This is the reason the group is all-inclusive. All are welcome to come and see what LGBTS has to offer at the next meeting on November 1st.
The Truth About Purchasing Books by: Eric Frank
The prices of books can be a bit gouging, however, there are solutions in these hard economic times. Let’s review some of the advantages and disadvantages of renting, buying new, buying used, and purchasing online. Renting books can be a way to save you cash this upcoming semester, but be careful with your books. Just because they are rentals does not mean you can be careless with them, unless you want to pay a penalization fee. When buying your books you can make any notations you want. Also, if they are for a class that pertain to your degree, you can have them forever and use them as reference guides for your chosen career. For the general classes, there is also the option to rent
Josi Heinz Editor
books. You can save money buying used books, which for me, personally, it is the way to go. You can find most of your books on Amazon, EBay, or craigslist. Be aware of the books you are purchasing. Sometimes you may think you are buying a new edition, but getting the old. Getting an old edition is not a bad thing; just make sure you do not over pay for it. The cost for an old edition should be about one-third of the original price. Getting a used book may also come with the previous owner’s highlighting—this can be aggravating because it is a possibility that what your professor goes over may not be the same as what their professor went over. If you do not want to deal with researching the books information,
Josi Heinz (Editor) will graduate from Stark State with an associate’s degree in technical communication in December. Upon graduation, she will be working on a bachelor’s degree in applied communication at the Stark branch of Kent State. In addition to being a student, Josi is the founder and president of the nonprofit organi-
buying a new book will save you a headache you may come across. The Stark State bookstore is conveniently located on the school campus. At times, especially at the beginning of the year, lines are long and can be a bit grueling. The benefit is you will get one on one personal help. You can ask all the questions you need to know about your books for the upcoming semester. Use the online store stark.verbacompare.com as a tool to see what your book looks like and get all the necessary information, such as the ISBN number. You can see if there is a copy of your book new or used and pay for it right off the site. This could also be helpful if you decide to purchase from the bookstore so you can locate
the books yourself. Whether or not you order online, be sure to print off a copy towards a 25% discount at the college store www. starkstate.edu/collegestore. The hours of operation are Monday – Thursday 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. and Friday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. If you have any other questions feel free to call 330-966-5452 for their direct line. Purchasing your books ahead of time will save you long lines and possibly waiting for a back order. No matter what your decision is, you have many options when it comes to purchasing your books. The choices will help you get what you need in your economic estate.
zation Connect the Troops, vice president of MOM’s Club 44203, an Alpha Delta Pi (Beta Tau) alumnus, and active with the Canton Ad Federation. Josi’s husband, Matt, returned home after a year in Afghanistan in September. They have two children, Olivia (4 years) and Isaac (16 months). 6
Paul Barans Staff Writer Paul Barans was originally a student of mathematics, but has been a technical writer since 1982. He is currently completing coursework for an associate degree in technical communication. Stark State has been essential in helping him to update and expand his communication skills. Paul has an abiding interest in archaeology and has worked at several “dig” sites, including the 13,000-year-old Nobles Pond site near Canton, Ohio. He also enjoys reading and movies, especially non-Hollywood movies.
An Editorial from the Editor “You Know Me” by: Josi Heinz
You know me. I am in your class; maybe not me specifically, but someone like me. A student who sits near the front and answers when the professors asks, “How is everyone?” Someone who is engaged in class discussion, asks questions, stays after, and goes to office hours. You probably think I am a suck up. That is okay. Ten years ago, I would have thought I was a suck up, too.
may sound like a lot of work, but you know what? It is working.
This is my second round of college. After being laid off several times, I am back in the classroom, older and wiser. The first time around I was a classroom wallflower- I sat by my friends or in the back. I packed up my bag five minutes before lecture was let out. Most of my teachers, and certainly my advisor, could not have picked me out of a crowd of students. My focus was my social life and activities. I thought teachers were out to get students, deliberately making tests difficult, assigning busy work. I imagined them fiendishly wringing their hands and cackling in their offices thinking about how many students would fail their classes.
At the prompting of one mentor I went to a networking event with the Canton Ad Federation. The next week I was emailed about a job position. After the second networking event I met the president of Junior Achievement, who offered me an amazing paid internship where I got a lot of experience and items to put in my portfolio. I was not answering phones and getting coffee; I was utilizing my knowledge.
This time, I took a different approach. I see my professors as—gasp—people. I answer when they ask the class how there weekend was because no one wants to ask a question to be greeted with silence. I engage in classroom discussions because, let’s be honest- I am paying for this so I better get my money’s worth. My professors all know me by name, they can probably tell you my email address without having to look it up. I go to office hours and activities they suggest. It
I have actual relationships with my professors. I have mentors, potential future colleagues, even friends. These people are not trying to fail us; they are trying to help us succeed. But teachers cannot make us succeed; we have to be a part of it.
I could fill the newspaper with stories like this—how a couple of conversations helped me shape my future goals, find out my interests, provided me with contacts, benefited me in a number of ways. And so could any student. Just find a teacher you click with and ask them a question. Listen when they make suggestions about activities, read the bulletin boards, ask your advisor’s advice—they are not just hear to mold your schedule. Treat your professors like people and be a part of their class. If there is one thing I learned from my two colleges experiences it is that opportunities are out there. But even opportunity will not knock if no one is home. 7
Amber Keene Assistant Editor Amber will be graduating in December with her associate of applied science in technical communication. However, halfway through her technical communication degree, she found she had an unexpected aptitude and love of chemistry. She figured this out by picking up on assignments as soon as they were given and acing every exam. Amber anxiously awaits returning to Stark State next semester for her associate of science in chemistry degree, before continuing to pursue bachelor’s and maste’r degrees in Chemistry. She has been described as: exceptional, quirky, openminded, conversational and organized. She loves writing poetry, reading lengthy novels, playing video games and doing science experiments.
Student Submission! Stark State College to Lead in Natural Gas Education by: Caleb Pieplow
As part of a nation-wide initiative to further education on the emerging natural gas industry, Stark State College has been awarded more than over three million dollars of grants by the Department of Labor and the Timken Foundation. The grants are to be used in the development of new associate degrees and certificates. They will also fund the creation and supplying of gas and oil related labs for the Energy Innovation Center, part of Stark State’s planned Downtown Satellite Center. The Center is slated for completion in 2015. Some of the training opportunities these labs will provide include: oil and gas instrumentation and electronics, geographic information systems, drilling, production and welding. “These generous awards position Stark State College to become a
national model for curriculum development in the shale oil and gas industry,” said Para M Jones, president of the college. She is excited about the implications of both the grants and the expanded training which Stark State will soon be able to offer. “These DOL awards are highly competitive, and the funds will benefit our local economy through a better-trained workforce ready to work for oil and gas companies,” Jones said. Working with such industry leaders as Chesapeake, Envervest, The Timken Company and Dominion, Stark State is leading the way toward a well-trained and credentialed workforce, ready to pursue the many opportunities that will be offered as the industry grows.
The portion of the awards Stark State recieved is part of the $500 million being distributed to two-year technical colleges and universities across America by the Department of Labor. The money will promote skills development and employment opportunities, in a variety of fields, through innovative training programs.
Photography and Layout by: Victoria Wendt Graphic Arts Major
Stark Voices is the Stark State College student newspaper.