Stay Informed with ‘Think Green’ Blog

If you haven’t visited the Think Green blog lately, you’re missing out on some important information about the College’s sustainability efforts. The blog can be accessed at http://mc3green.wordpress.com and is updated weekly.

Click on the links below to read some recent posts.

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Energy Efficient Measure Generate Funds for Greener Campuses
Sept. 23, 2011

The College recently entered into a Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc., Blue Bell, for the implementation of a self-funding energy conservation project.

With the energy improvements, the College expects a total guaranteed savings over the next 15 years of approximately $6,383,434 or 19 percent in energy savings. The total cost of the construction and installation is $4,051,751, which will be paid by the annual energy savings generated. Read More

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New Containers Encourage Recycling on Campus
Sept. 6, 2011

To promote recycling efforts at the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, the Facilities Department — in coordination with the President’s Climate Council — purchased and installed new recycling and trash containers around campus.

The rationale behind the new system is that uniform and clearly-labeled containers will encourage recycling among the College’s students, faculty and staff. Read More

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Instructor Develops Economics of Sustainability Course with Library of Congress Grant
Aug. 14, 2011

The Library of Congress has awarded Montgomery County Community College and Economics Instructor Jill Beccaris-Pescatore a Teaching with Primary Sources grant in the amount of $7,500 to support the development and implementation of an Introduction to Environmental Economics course.

Students enrolled in the course will connect primary sources, available through the Library of Congress, to issues of scarcity and choice in the area of environmental and natural resource economics. Read More

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Compost Pile Yields First ‘Crop’ on Top Dressing
Aug. 8, 2011

For the first time since Grounds Supervisor Phil Capinski and his team created a compost pile for the College’s leaves, grass clippings other green waste, that compost will be used as top dressing around the Central Campus.

The College is working with Livezey Landscaping Inc. to process the contents of the pile through a screener, which separates and further refines usable compost from rocks and materials that have not yet sufficiently broken down. Read More

Updated ‘Montgomery County Economic Summary’ Now Available

The updated Montgomery County Economic Summary for July is now available online at www.mc3.edu/economic-summary.

To provide more relevant information, Montgomery County Community College, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, created the Montgomery County Economic Summary, a concise synopsis of the County’s overall economic state.

The Economic Summary provides information concerning various aspects of the County’s economy, including local unemployment rates, the housing market data and annual motor vehicle registration information and the state of the manufacturing and service sectors.

Designed, compiled and edited by Jill Beccaris-Pescatore, Instructor of Economics for the College, the Economic Summary is maintained and updated on a regular basis, as new information is made available through various surveys and studies.

Take Action: Monday, July 25 is ‘SAVE PELL’ Day

Join students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community across the country in encouraging legislatures to preserve Pell Grant funding for FY 2012. Monday, July 25 has been designated as the national “Save Pell” day.

To learn more, visit the “Save Pell” Website!

In addition to showing your support by signing Montgomery County Community College’s “Save the Pell Grant” Petition,” the “Save Pell” website encourages you to:

  •  Call the White House comment line at 1-888-245-0215 and tell President Obama to take Pell Grant funding off the negotiating table.
  • Tweet to @whitehouse or @barackobama and use the #SavePell hashtag.
  • Sign this national petition and have your message go straight to the President’s inbox.
  • Email this post to five friends and ask them to do the same.

We also encourage you to contact your legislators directly to let them why the Pell Grant program is important to you. Click here to find your Congressional representatives.

Emeritus Professor Curates William Trego Exhibit

Montgomery County Community College Emeritus Professor of History Joseph Eckhardt is the curator of the first-ever comprehensive exhibit of William T. Trego’s work, “So Bravely and So Well: The Life and Art of William T. Trego.” The exhibit is on display from now through Oct. 2 at the James A. Michener Museum, 138 S. Pine St. in Doylestown. Trego (1858-1909) is best known for his highly detailed battle scenes from the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first-ever full-length biography of the artist and a fully-illustrated online catalogue raisonné, both written and compiled by Eckhardt. The book can be purchased online, and will soon be available in the College’s campus bookstores.

Video: College Mentioned on ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’

Montgomery County Community College was mentioned on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” during a segment with Montgomery County Commissioner Chairman James Matthews and former Congressman Patrick Murphy on June 8. The trio discussed the role that education – and community colleges specifically – will play in providing occupational training necessary for economic recovery. Click on the image below to watch the clip!

Montco Radio Featured in Spring ‘International News’

The College’s student-run Internet radio station, Montco Radio, was featured in the spring 2011 issue of International News, a quarterly publication of Community Colleges for International Development, Inc. Click here to read the article or download the entire newsletter here.

Call Center Named 2011 ‘Model of Efficiency’ by ‘University Business’ Magazine

The College’s Call Center, as a component of the overall Student Success Center, was one of only 11 “2011 Models of Efficiency” in the country as selected by University Business magazine. The “Models of Efficiency” program was launched last year to recognize campus administrative departments that are providing better service through streamlined business operations. Click here to read the announcement of the 2011 winners.

The Challenge:

The College recognized that a process improvement was necessary in many of its student services areas during peak registration time. Employees faced the challenge of balancing student inquiries made through multiple mediums—in person, on the phone and online—all at the same time.

During peak registration times, the areas of Admissions, Registration and Student Success received up to 800 calls per day, many of which were directed to the voicemail system because lines were busy. At other times, a caller could be transferred four to six times throughout the institution because each department could only answer questions relevant to its specific function. As a result, in-person student interaction also suffered, as telephone interruptions were common.

The Solution

To reduce the inefficiencies that result in frequent caller transfers, voicemails and time spent on hold or in line, the College established a call center. Centrally located, the center is staffed by three fully-trained operators who are able to answer most general student inquiries. If an operator cannot fully assist a caller, the call is transferred to an academic advisor or counselor from the appropriate area. Through the implementation and use of an integrated scheduling tool, the operator is able to see which advisors are available at that exact moment to assist the caller, thus preventing multiple transfers or the call going to voicemail.

With the call center in place, 87 percent of all incoming calls are answered in 30 seconds or less, even during peak registration times. In the event that all operators are busy, the system’s software routes the calls to the appropriate person in a supported area that has the expertise to assist the caller. Calls to the Vice President of Student Affairs from frustrated students in search of information have been virtually eliminated.

The Call Center implementation also improved student satisfaction with face-to-face interaction at the College’s campuses. Because frontline staff members are no longer pressured to answer telephone questions, they are able to more efficiently and effectively assist students in person, thereby improving the students’ experiences and reducing the duration during which students wait in the queue.

This spring, the College will add email and web support to the Call Center, transforming it into a state-of-the-art contact center.

Click to read a feature about the College’s Call Center in University Business.

Alternative Spring Break Recap, Photos, Video Available on Blog

Follow the students' journey in Michigan by reading their Alternative Spring Break blog. Click the image above to visit the blog.

Now that the Alternative Spring Break-ers  have safety returned to the College’s campuses, read about their experiences in Michigan with Habitat for Humanity on their Think Spring blog. There you will find student-written reflections, photos and videos about their experiences. The blog is available online at http://mc3springbreak.wordpress.com.

Stay Updated on Sustainability Initiative

Stay up-to-date on the latest efforts of the President’s Climate Council and the College’s Sustainability Initiative by visiting the Think Green’ Blog. This week’s entry, written by student Teresa Harris, looks at how Assistant Professor Tom Donlan’s “Intro to Public Relations” students get real-world experience while engaging the community in the College’s sustainability work. Also, don’t miss regular updates about the work of the College’s Facilities team in making our campuses greener. Click the image below to visit the blog!

Broadcast Journalist Matt O’Donnell Talks Communications with Dual Enrollment Students

by Alana J. Mauger

Prior to the close of the fall semester, “Action News Mornings” anchor Matt O’Donnell discussed the future of the news industry with dual enrollment Communications students in Gail Ramsey’s COM 100 and 160 classes at Perkiomen Valley High School.

“Someone will have to deliver the news and entertainment in the future, but how it will be done is anyone’s guess,” said O’Donnell, citing mobile technology, You-Tube and Twitter as recent examples. “The need for news won’t go away, but there won’t be a need for printing. We’ll be delivering news in a different way.”

After talking about his career path and taking questions from the students, O’Donnell asked each student to share his or her new year’s resolution, which he recorded via flip cam for use in his parenting blog. Watch the video here.

In 2009-2010, 1,736 students enrolled in dual-enrollment 8,000 credits. The program has grown by more than 386 percent since 2006-2007 and includes partnerships with 24 institutions.

Matt O'Donnell talks to dual enrollment students at Perk Valley High School on Dec. 20.