Dr. James Jansen speaks at an open forum, May 25, 2012 at Shoreline Community College as part of the hiring process for Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
James Jansen will be the next Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Shoreline Community College.
“I really look forward to working with President Lambert and the rest of the team. (Shoreline) is a comprehensive community college and does it all so well. I feel like it was just the right choice for me,” Jansen said Friday, June 22, 2012, after accepting the position. “This is coming home for us. We really have adopted the Pacific Northwest as home. I came east to acquire valuable education and experience, but the Northwest is our home.”
Jansen will take over the position from John Backes who is retiring June 30. Jansen’s first day on campus will be July 30 and college officials are considering options for covering the gap.
Jansen comes to Shoreline from Corning Community College, Corning, New York, where he is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Prior to that he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Delaware County Community College, in Media, Penn. Jansen also worked as staff and faculty at Portland Community College, in Oregon. He has taught high school English and communications classes in Oregon and California and held college teaching positions in Utah and Wyoming.
Jansen has earned a long list of academic credentials, including a PhD in Language and Literature from the University of Utah; an MS in Postsecondary Education, MA in English and Rhetoric and MS in Professional/Technical Writing all from Portland State University; a BA in English/ESL and BA in Russian from the University of Utah and a BA in German from Benedictine College, in Atchison, Kan.
“Along with significant personal academic achievements, Dr. Jansen brings experience and focus in the areas that will help Shoreline move into the future,” Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert said. “I believe Shoreline students will benefit from the experiences, values and commitment to the community college mission he brings as an educator.”
At Corning, Jansen was a founding member of the Online Western New York Learning Alliance (OWL), a consortium of colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system working to advance distance learning. “I was able to expand our outreach in terms of acquiring new student populations beyond the immediate area,” he wrote in his application materials.
Jansen also wrote and administered a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that funded the Collaborative Online International Learning Center (COIL) in New York City. The grant resulted in online classes provided in connection with colleges in Australia and Belize. Jansen wrote that the effort is a “springboard for becoming a globally diverse, culturally inclusive campus.”
Jansen said he has already worked to get Shoreline involved. “We are looking at partners in Finland, Ghana and around the Pacific Rim,” he said. “I have arranged that Shoreline can become part of the COIL project.”
Jansen said he likes Shoreline’s Virtual College initiative. “It makes perfect sense,” he said. “People are not able to come to the physical college. It points out a need for education to be more accessible than ever before.”
As does Shoreline, Corning uses the Blackboard learning management system. Jansen developed Corning’s plan for implementing a variety of technologies to enable and enhance distance learning. He appointed an online student-support specialist called the “online concierge” to help with online student services. “My goal is make education equitable and accessible to the greatest number of students in both our on-campus and online communities,” Jansen wrote.
Internationalization is another value in common with Shoreline, Jansen said.
“I wrote up an internationalization plan for Corning and we’re about to build residence dorms,” he said, adding that Corning had no housing before the project due to be completed about a year from now. “Another component of the plan is to have an exchange between students. The plan includes a faculty exchange component. I feel very strongly about real benefits of exchanges.”
At Corning, Jansen is working to expand online foreign language offerings, something he’d like to do at Shoreline, too.
As for his professional style, Jansen says he is “inclusive and participative.” He said he works within a shared governance environment and supports policies and procedures that ensure mutual respect and diversity. “My process of setting goals is highly participatory,” Jansen wrote.
Jansen also has demonstrated support for developmental education needs. At Portland Community College, he received a grant to support developmental students. Through his current efforts, Corning is working on a $1 million grant from Educause. That grant would support a transition program using online and hybrid approaches to assist federal aid-eligible high school graduates who need help getting ready for college-level classes.
Jansen said he was at Portland Community College when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gateway to College project and served as “chief trainer for other trainers to learn about the Gateway model. The national network was housed in my department.” Gateway to College is similar to Learning Center North, a partnership between Shoreline and King County aimed at helping re-engage young people ages 16-21 who have dropped out of high school.
The SUNY system, including Corning, is also working cooperatively with high schools to prepare students for the college placement test and reduce the need for precollege development classes, Jansen said. While SUNY uses Accuplacer and Shoreline uses COMPASS as a placement test, the concept is the same, he said.
“We cooperate with the high schools in the second semester of the junior year to provide faculty in math and English with Accuplacer test help,” Jansen said, adding that many students pass the test for college readiness at that point. “In the senior year, we infuse the developmental curriculum and then they can retake the test.
“For those who still need help, we offer developmental writing and math during the summer before they come to us. The chancellor at SUNY has stated she wants to end remediation in five years.”
On the personal side, Jansen said he and his wife, Ellen, are looking forward to the opportunities living near Seattle will bring. “Ellen is an artist, content developer and writer. We’re an education family and voracious readers,” he said. “We have a great interest in international things such as festivals and food. We particularly like indie films.”
Coming with Jansen will also be the couple’s two dogs, a Scottish Terrier and a West Highland White Terrier, but mostly he’ll be bringing his focus on the job.
“I am fully committed to the mission of the comprehensive community college,” Jansen wrote. “I am interested in … education as a catalyst in transforming students’ lives.”