Jane Fletcher is the Project Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and New Hampshire Transfer at Granite State College. As the Director of two dissimilar projects that are ‘external’ to GSC, her responsibilities cover a broad territory. ‘External’ programs are considered to be those that are not part of the “core business” of GSC. They may be contracts with government agencies or other institutions; grant, or endowment funded projects or even alumni related projects. When asked about her role as Project Director of OLLI and NH Transfer at GSC, Jane remarks, “it makes for fascinating, fast paced weeks. I provide vision and leadership, supervise staff, manage work flow, budget, and program resources and facilitate program planning and policy development.”
Jane earned a BA in sociology from New England College, where she was honored with the Alumni Achievement Award in 2009, and an MSW from the University of Connecticut. She currently is a member of the National Network for Social Work Managers, the NH Association of Volunteer Administrators, and serves on the Advisory Board for the UNH Department of Social Work. In the past she had supervised MSW interns who were concentrating on community and administrative practice and looks forward to mentoring interns at GSC as the program begins to develop here.
Some of Jane’s personal interests include golf and gardening. She’s played in a Ladies League at Canterbury Woods Country Club for 3 years (she remarked, “yet I don’t seem to be improving!”) She enjoys flower and herb gardening while her husband enjoys growing vegetables (she noted, “much more than he likes to eat them.”) During the winter months she is inclined to find an indoor project to work on, read a book or watch the Boston Celtics on TV. Aside from that, she loves spending time with her two daughters, who now live in Keene and Boston respectively, her husband of 33 years, and her black lab Manny who’s always in the mood to take her for a walk anywhere on their 35-rural-acres. Lastly, music has always played a part in what motivates her, being a fan of blues, reggae, funk, world music, jazz and classical. Jane sang in a Concord Community Music School women’s group called Song Weavers for five years and really enjoyed learning vocal arrangements in foreign languages.
|Jane reflects, “GSC has afforded me the knowledge and support that have made it abundantly clear that the sky (the cloud?) is the limit! The tools and training that the college can provide represent endless possibilities for the successful transfer of learning.”|
OLLI is member led, a life-long learning-for-the-fun-of -it program for adults 50 years+. It was established at GSC ten years ago with a one million dollar endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The Foundation has funded 117 similar programs at colleges and universities across the country.
OLLI at GSC is continually growing and has recently exceeded the 1000 member mark. Programing is offered in the greater Concord, Conway, Manchester and Seacoast areas. Members may select from over 300 courses and trips per year ranging from topics from economics, art, and current events to science, films, history and yes, computer technology! Day trips to nearby cultural, institutions, social events and tours of local attractions are an added value.
OLLI’s web site offers, among many resources, the ability to apply and renew memberships on-line. Volunteer presenters may also submit course proposals on-line and members may register for classes on-line. All of these recent technological enhancements have been implemented not only to streamline the work for staff but also to advance technological literacy for seniors. Recently, OLLI held its first on-line auction fundraiser. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Seniors participated in the bidding and seem to be much more comfortable with the on-line payment process. The age of OLLI members ranges from 50-93 years old and less than 10% of members do not use email. Any sense of trepidation that staff might have felt as recently as a year ago that technology and OLLI were not a good fit, is long gone. On-line courses may just be the next step for OLLI!
Jane encourages faculty to take advantage of all of the resources available to them here at GSC. She would like to share OLLI’s list of Classes that are offered, the Registration Instruction page and Forms page.
Jane remarks, “Having admitted that my skills lie in relationship and team building, I can also admit that I have come to believe in the power of educational technology to improve the quality of higher education, continuing education and communication.”
|“What better way to relate to the student experience than to become one yourself?”|
|“Never too old to learn something new!”
Readers may find it interesting to know that Jane’s background is in social work as opposed to education. She holds a post graduate certification in social work management and it has prepared her well in competency areas that are transferable between professional fields. Her chosen concentrations in Community Organization and Group Work have been essential in building relationships and enhancing the resources required to support both of the projects she manages.
NH Transfer is the other external project that Jane manages. NH Transfer was initiated to assist NH Community College students with the transfer process while simultaneously encouraging them to apply to the five University System of New Hampshire (USNH) institutions (GSC, KSC, PSU, UNH and UNH Manchester) and stay in state. Since then, Franklin Pierce University, Southern NH University, New England College and Colby Sawyer College have become participating institutions.
NH Community College students may use the web site to find a plethora of useful transfer information, a simplified application that may be used to transfer to any of the USNH institutions, advisor contact information for all of the participating institutions and also to discover the pathway to the transfer equivalency database.
|“It is truly a pleasure to enlighten students about the potential cost savings they can achieve by maximizing this web based resource!”
||Jane often finds herself at community college fairs demonstrating the usefulness of the NH Transfer website and database to students who may not know about it or how to use it.|
Her primary role is to facilitate the NH Transfer Members Group meetings, assist with problem solving, and communication between the two and four year institutions, perform the final review for data base updates, and promote web site accessibility.
The two year institutions are responsible for inputting new courses in the database a sending them to the four year institutions to evaluate for transfer credit. The four year intuitions are responsible for evaluating each course to determine whether it transfers as an exact equivalency, Gen ed, elective or not at all. The four year institutions are also responsible for updating ‘recommended transfer programs’ (RTPs) for students to view and consider while planning which courses to take while at the Community College.
To contact Jane, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.