CSCC President Dr. Carl Hite was the guest speaker at Thursday’s Cleveland Kiwanis Club luncheon, telling Kiwanians of ongoing changes at the college.
Kiwanis Club member and February program chairman Matthew Tolbert, who is also a CSCC faculty member, shared time with Hite at the podium.
Kiwanian Matt Ryerson was drafted into service by the two educators when he was asked to demonstrate how technology can be used to do a high-tech virtual dissection of a frog.
Hite began his talk by discussing the declining rate of state funding in education. He said students are now paying 60 percent of their tuition for higher education.
He said a big issue in education right now is the question of which state will be the first in the “Race to the Bottom.” This would be the state which is the first to require students to pay 100 percent of the cost of education.
“Tennessee’s tuition cost has increased 100 percent over the past two years, but we’re trying to fix that equation,” said the CSCC president.
“A lot of changes are taking place at Cleveland State,” Hite emphasized. He pointed out the renovations and upgrades to the new Johnson Heritage Center, and the fact CSCC will be host for this year’s Tennessee Board of Regents meeting.
The college has launched a “Bridging Cultures” program which is free to the public. One event has already taken place, called “Identifying the Cultural Gap in Trans-Atlantic Relations.”
Other programs scheduled are:
Feb. 21 — “Red Clay: It’s Historic Presence Through the Years”
Feb. 28 — “A Message of Peace and Reconciliation”
March 15 — “Ajami”
March 19 — “The Lost Boys of Sudan”
April 2 — “The Rabbit-Proof Fence”
April 10 — “The Pianist”
Hite said the college is going to learn more about the Germans. “They are coming,” he said of Wacker’s plans to invest $1.8 billion in a new industrial operation near Charleston. Wacker is partnering with CSCC for training of future employees.
Cleveland State’s president said the college will have a special weekend in May when country entertainer Larry Gatlin will be at the college to give the commencement address and a concert.
“Cleveland State is doing so many things,” Hite said as he moved into a discussion on how the college is planning to use “disruptive technology.”
“It will allow us to provide a better tool for students and staff,” the longtime college educator emphasized. “These are tools we did not have before. We’re offering a different way to teach math. We’ve figured out math.”
Hite and Tolbert provided information on the use of online learning management and how new technology will impact the educational environment.
“It provides an assessment of what students need to do,” Tolbert said.
They added there is a cost savings with paperless technology, and a time savings with students having everything online ... including study and research materials, quizzes, tests and test scores. They said there is also a savings in facilities utilization with students being online and not in the classroom.
“Instructors can read papers, grade them and provide feedback without coming into contact with individual students,” said Tolbert. “It makes us much more efficient in cost and time.”
“Due to the technology, we now can create new classes,” Tolbert continued. “Also we’re looking to use iPads in more departments. This is an easy way to maintain communication, I’m learning, and I’m enjoying this.”
Hite pointed out textbooks cost a students about $1,100 per year, with a $150 cost for a math book. With new technology, textbooks will not be needed. He added that many high schools across the nation are moving to eliminate textbooks.
The educators then got into the world of smart phone and tablet apps, or applications, and the amazing things that can be done with this technology. Ryerson was able to cut up a frog, a wind turbine moved when you blew into the speaker, and a group of little fishes scattered when you tapped the screen.
Hite said there continue to be challenges for CSCC, despite new technology. “We’ve spent $1 million to renovate our science labs,” he said, adding that the science program is very costly to maintain.
He said CSCC wants to expand dual enrollment and online courses.
“A study shows this generation spends more than seven hours each day plugged into something,” Hite said, adding that very little of that time is used for education. “Still, this technology will change K-through-12 education,” he said.
Hite said there are some big issues for Cleveland State regarding all this new technology. “We need to give our faculty time to learn all this,” he said.
To register for one of the “Bridging Cultures” programs, you can go to mycs.cc/bridgingcultures. For more information, call CSCC’s Special Programs Department at 473-2341.