OCTC Faculty Selected to Present at National FYE Conference

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OWENSBORO, KY (02/09/2018) Shawn Payne, Kaye Brown, Tonya Northenor, Dr. Meredith Skaggs and Susan Swanson will represent Owensboro Community & Technical College at the 37th Annual National FYE (First Year Experience) Conference February 10-13, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

"It is an honor for us to have our faculty present to a national audience and be recognized for their exemplary work" added Dr. Scott Williams, OCTC President.

Brown and Northernor are both faculty teaching in the Humanities division, and co-chair the Common Reading committee for OCTC. OCTC's Common Read has been nationally recognized as one of the most academically challenging programs in higher education. They will be co-presenting with David Randall, Director of Communications at the National Association of Scholars (NAS) based in New York City, and Marcy Glassford, Director First-Year Experience & Student Retention at Utah Valley University. The group will present "Pushing the Boundaries: Successful Variations on Common Reading Programs".

Nothernor added, "There are a lot of OCTC colleagues who come together to make the OCTC Common Reading program successful. We feel it's a valuable opportunity for students to be exposed to a variety of themes, authors, styles of writing, and important subjects. During our presentation we will be focusing on how OCTC rotates authors from across the country with those who are associated with Kentucky or our region. OCTC has been able to host Kentucky authors of note such as Wendell Berry, Frank X Walker, and Bobbie Ann Mason."

Skaggs and Swanson are also faculty in the Humanities teaching Communications and English, respectively along with an FYE course. Payne teaches multiple courses in the Advanced Manufacturing arena and works with GO FAME students. Brown and Skaggs are presenting "A Framework for Engagement Across the Curriculum, highlights how leveraging excellent curriculum enhances a student's college experience." Payne and Swanson are providing insights into how the FYE classes, supported by programs such as Global Studies, GO Fame, and the Common Reading, enhance the learning experience for all students at OCTC. Swanson also teaches online courses and relates how those students gain from these programs.

Skaggs is being recognized as an Honor Roll member at the conference, as a First-Year Student success advocate. She commented, "When looking at what OCTC had to offer students and comparing against all of the research for 'best practices' all we lacked was a first-year experience course. Collaborating with successful programs such as the Common Reading, GO FAME, TRiO, and other support services has been a game changer. Just under 75% of our FYE100 students persist to the next term."

For more information please contact bernie.hale@kctcs.edu or call 270.686.4506.


Owensboro Community & Technical College is one of the sixteen community and technical colleges that make up the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. OCTC serves the KY counties of Daviess, Hancock, Ohio and McLean. OCTC has three campuses in Daviess County and a Center and Annex in Hancock County. OCTC strives to serve the communities in the service area by providing associate degree education for transfer, state of the art technical education for students focusing on entering the workforce, customized business and industry solutions through the Workforce Solutions division, and adult education and business and industry testing through the SkillTrain unit.


The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is the Commonwealth's largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses. We also are Kentucky's largest provider of workforce training and online education. Through partnerships with business and industry, we align our programs to meet the needs of local employers. We help students fulfill their dreams of creating a better life through programs that lead directly to jobs or help them transfer to one of our four-year partners.

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