October 6, 2015

Dear NGS Faculty:

This is my fourth monthly faculty letter to you and I continue to be amazed with our BSc, MS, DBA degree programs, certificates, but more importantly our faculty leaders and faculty. I have had the opportunity to get to know some of you quite well and your teaching, commitment to sharing your expertise, and ability to engage our adult learners is what makes our learners thrive. Your commitment to teaching is impressive and we are lucky to have such a dedicated, caring, and effective community of faculty members.

Last month, I received an excellent response to my "Did You Know" or the "DYK?"  section, so I will use this as a regular component of my letter.

DYK that...
  1. Orientations for our new Fall cohorts went extremely well and BSc and MS cohorts are starting this week with DBA starting October 22nd with their onsite residency in Arlington, VA. It was great to have Program Chairs write letters to students and MS/BSc Programs included first semester book lists. DBA faculty started monthly Monday night webinars last evening.
  2. We are running two online cohorts for each degree program-BSc and MS with our October launches. We hope to still run our face-to-face Falmouth cohort at the end of October.
  3. NGS is hosting an Alumni and Awards Reception in Washington D.C. On Thursday, October 22, 2015 6-7:30 pm at the Residence Inn Marriott located at 2850 South Potomac Avenue in Arlington, Virginia 22202. The reception and presentation will feature networking opportunities for NGS alumni, faculty, and friends from the D.C. area. The Executive Team of the NGS Alumni Association will be in attendance for those who wish to discuss future activities. NGS will provide light refreshments with a cash bar and is open to present, former, and any future NGS students. Seating is limited, so, be sure to RSVP to Dr. Gilmore at hgilmore@ngs.edu or Allan Wilson at awilson@ngs.edu as soon as possible for event planning purposes. 
  4. The NGSAA announces the launch of the new Mentoring Program headed by Dr. Lydell King and Dr. Rashaan Engrum. If you are interested in participating in the NGSAA Mentoring Program as a mentee or mentor, please contact Dr. King (lydellking@gmail.com) or Dr. Engrum ( rengrum@ngs.edu).  Thank you!
  5. NGS is reintroducing the online Black Belt Certificate Program (5 months, 4 course curriculum) starting October 22, 2015.  The Black Belt Six Sigma Program is designed for adult working professionals who aim to manage work-related projects, to achieve a skill set relevant to what is generally understood as "six sigma applications" and to apply the "best practices" of six sigma in actual projects. (Not available in MA) Please spread the word and Karen DiGloria can answer any questions (kdigloria@ngs.edu).
  6. The Faculty Curriculum Development Committees for all three degree programs (BSc, MS, DBA) have been hard at work strengthening courses, curriculum, and faculty resources. Jack Kovalcik, Dr. Pat Murrin and Dr. David Braga have risen above the call of duty and I am grateful for their continued work to update, improve, and strengthen our content. Dr. Pat Murrin has also been spending additional time on revising professional development and training slides for faculty.
  7. We have a Faculty Coaching/Mentoring Program in place. A Faculty Lead will be working with a faculty member who will assist with the parameters of the course including interacting with students, assisting with online discussion forums, providing feedback and working with the Lead faculty as needed. The Faculty Mentor and Mentee are each generating three short and long term goals prior to the start of the class, and these will be used as formative and summative assessment measures.
  8. The End of Course Evaluation and Course Handoff forms are being updated with CDC work.
  9. Allan Wilson, Director of Development, has been working hard to increase public awareness and improve donor recognition for NGS. He initiated a fund development effort which includes raising $10,000 for the NGS Fund for Excellence to support computer and back - up system upgrade, Library Services, Program and Alumni services promotion, and Scholarships by the end of October. To date over $4,000 has been raised. This coming Friday he arranged for NGS to host the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Good Morning Networking Event. Dr. Clint Miner, NGS leaders, faculty and staff will meet many people so we continue to build relationships. Thank you to all of our local faculty who are always there for us when called upon! Look for pictures on the website, Twitter and Facebook.
This is also a good time for me to remind you as faculty about contracts and administrative issues with grading and payment. We want to be sure you are paid on time for your teaching and this is important for us and you too. First, you are issued a contract for your teaching and often the contract is dependent upon numbers/enrollment. You are asked to sign the contract and send it back to the appropriate Academic Affairs contact. Second, you need to make note of the "Grade Posting and Compensation Disbursement" section in your contract. It reads:


Grades must be posted to NGS Portal by the course end date noted on the schedule.
Notification of your posting and date, not the actual grades, is to be e-mailed to the school Registrar registrar@ngs.edu  and you may include Academic Affairs at  academicaffairs@ngs.edu  for added support during this process.

Contact IT for support with this grading process, techsupport@ngs.edu .

Payment for course(s) will be issued within (30) THIRTY DAYS of grade posting.
Compensation will be held until grades are posted to NGS Portal and notification of posting is e-mailed to the Registrar.

If it is determined that an "Incomplete" grade is given to a student, Faculty is responsible to convert that Incomplete to a letter grade within a 30-60-day period, in accordance with the NGS Catalog and Student Handbook - Section 21.3."
If you have any questions about the faculty contract process, please email or call me as I would be happy to speak with you and clarify the procedures.
Two other details I would like to reinforce:
  1. The need to communicate with students in the NGS portal.
    • I suggest faculty create an Open Discussion Forum in your course where students can post questions and comments. All students can see the questions/comments/responses. This will also streamline answering the same questions about a topic, administrative details, or clarification of assignments. This creates an effective interactive forum with student-to-student, student-to-faculty, as well as faculty-to-student comments.
  2. The need for you and your students to use the NGS email account, as this is the required formal method of communication with the school.  Note that the students sign an NGS Learning Contract which defines that they are required to use NGS email as the formal means of communication.
If you cannot get into your email, please contact our amazing IT professional, Elaine Moore ( techsupport@ngs.edu) . She also put a link to faculty email in the Faculty Resource section in the portal. Another new resource in the portal is a PowerPoint she created on "How to Look at Class Statistics" that walks you through how to view student participation and other class statistics. If you have not had the opportunity to connect with Elaine, you will soon learn that she is always there to support our faculty, students, staff, and administrators. I am one of her best customers and can attest to her prompt attention to getting anything answered and fixed quickly. Thank you, Elaine.

Some reminders from Academic Affairs:
  • We have started to update the Faculty Handbook and the most recent version can be found in Faculty Resources in the portal.
  • Please be sure Academic Affairs has a recent/updated resume on file for you.
Finally, thank you for your dedication to teaching our NGS students. I am eager to hear your stories and to learn more about you and your work outside of NGS. If you are presenting at conferences, writing, or being recognized at work please be sure to let us know. Email Sara Fleck sfleck@ngs.edu so she can share all the great news. I also hope you can communicate with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (see my last Faculty Letter with all the social media information).

Remember that my electronic door is always open. I welcome your calls, emails, and visits to hear about your teaching and work with us at NGS. Enjoy teaching and Happy Fall to all. Here in New England the leaves are starting to change color and we are wearing our warmer sweaters and outdoor wear. Just gorgeous! If only it could stay like this and we don't have to deal with the white stuff (snow) in a month or so? Guess that's for the next letter. 

Eileen C. Sullivan, Ed.D.
Interim Dean, Academic Affairs
The National Graduate School of Quality Management
186 Jones Road  |  Falmouth, MA 02540
800.838.2580 ext. 121

Follow me on Twitter  @esullivan_ngs 
Celebrating  20 YEARS of Quality Education