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MIDTERM REFLECTION

Donna W. Carney
Georgia Southern University
EDLD8735

MIDTERM REFLECTION

2
Midterm Reflection

Printing & Graphics Department - Wiregrass Ga. Technical College

Practicum environment
I am doing my practicum at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in the Printing and
Graphics Department which is a part of the Department of Administrative Services. Wiregrass
Georgia Technical College (WGTC) is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia
(TCSG). WGTC serves eleven counties in south central Georgia. The counties included in its
service area are: Atkinson, Ben-Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier,
Lowndes, and Wilcox counties. Currently WGTC has approximately 3,750 students. My
practicum co-mentors are Keren Wynn and Deeanna Tolson. Ms. Wynn is the Vice President of
Administrative Services and Ms. Tolson is the Director of Accounting. Ms. Wynn is the
supervisor and is responsible for the Printing and Graphics (P&G) department. I am currently
working with Mary Donna Pippin who is the manager of P&G. Mary Donna is a joy to work
with and is very thankful for the assistance she has received with the administrative aspects of
managing her department. George Wynn is a part-time employee in the department and he runs
numerous printing machines. George is in charge of print jobs and the assembly of projects
produced in the department. George is a very nice and pleasant man. I am enjoying the work I
am doing for Administrative Services in P&G.
I did not have any problems getting oriented to my practicum responsibilities in the
department. The employees were happy to have my support so they could get their backlogged
work completed. I was able to fit right in with the employees. We all work well together and
enjoy the work environment. Changes were recently made in the department which involved

MIDTERM REFLECTION

moving the Digital Media Technology (DMT) instructor and her classroom from the P&G area;
therefore, DMT students are no longer allowed to assist with print jobs unless they are work
study students. Printing jobs, graphics designs jobs, and the administrative work in the office
became backlogged due to the lack of available personnel in the P&G area.
My work area is located at the front of the office in the reception area. By being at the
forefront of the office, I am able to see all the goings on in the office. I have a large L-shaped
desk which accommodates my paperwork while working. Outside customers are occasional
visitors to the department. I enjoy talking to customers and assisting with their needs. I also like
seeing the outstanding print orders completed by the department.
P&G produces print jobs for individuals and non-profit customers. P&G does not do
printing work for businesses that might take away printing work from other printing and graphics
businesses in our local area. Printing orders are done at very reasonable prices for outside
customers. The P&G department prints all documents needed for instructors at WGTC.
Instructors come by to pick up documents or to discuss graphics work with Mary Donna. WGTC
requires the instructors to use the services of P&G because it is much cheaper to have the jobs
printed there than to print documents on copy machines. The click cost for the Xerox copiers is
high compared to the cost of using P&G equipment.
I have the responsibility of billing print orders to customers. I have done an enormous
amount of billing since my practicum began. The P&G department was behind schedule on
billing dating back to July of 2015. The sooner invoices are issued the quicker WGTC receives
payment which is used for operational expenses of the college.

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Practicum rating
Overall I rate my practicum a 4 on a scale of 0-5 with 0=poor and 5=outstanding. Part of
my practicum goals has been to be able to assist the department in becoming profitable. I believe
I have been able to do that by relieving Ms. Pippin of the billing/invoice responsibilities so she
can focus on the work she does best. The bottleneck of work in the department has been
eliminated and our customers are very happy to be receiving their jobs quicker than expected. I
feel I have made a great contribution to the department and to the college since beginning my
practicum. My undergraduate degree is in Accounting and I have been able to put my knowledge
to good use for WGTC as well as the knowledge I have gained in my Masters program. I am a
fast worker and have accomplished much in my practicum environment.
I have been able to streamline the accounting procedures of the P&G department by
eliminating unnecessary steps in the accounting process. I have made corrections to Excel
spreadsheets so the spreadsheets are using accurate formulas and are generating the information
necessary to aid in creating invoices. I have made some simple redesigns to the accounting
software so invoices are more accurate and provide the information needed by customers.
Making accounting tasks easier will be very helpful to Ms. Pippin when my practicum is
completed. By simplifying the accounting process, Ms. Pippin will be spending less time on
administrative tasks and have more time to devote to her P&G work schedule. 10/10
Council for the Advancement of Standards
The important Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) that have been very
helpful to me in my practicum are:

Practical competence
Knowledge acquisition, integration, construction, and application

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I believe I have gained a great amount of practical competence during my time at Georgia
Southern University. I have been able to demonstrate professionalism as I have been working on
my practicum in P&G. Professionalism is very important when dealing with the business aspects
of an organization. By working with customers, I have shown them that we appreciate their
business and interest in WGTC. The WGTC administration believes in the importance of
showing our customers and students we appreciate them.
I believe I have gleaned knowledge and have integrated knowledge into my practicum at
WGTC. My educational journey at GSU has made me a stronger and more patient person. I
have more patience with students and fellow co-workers than I did before I started in the
Masters program. As an employee of a state educational institution, I feel the public places us in
a higher position of respect and we must show mutual respect to others. As an employee of
WGTC, I am constantly learning new information. I am able to take this information and build
upon my past experiences. I believe these learning experiences have helped me in my practicum
by staying focused and completing the tasks I have agreed to do. 10/10
Eye Opener
The biggest eye-opener I have had is I am shocked the Office of Administrative
Services let the P&G billing and administrative duties get so far behind. As an accountant, I
know the importance of properly recording transactions so an entity can collect the money that is
owed to it. I consider it is an embarrassment to let billing be so deficient. I would be humiliated
if I was in charge of the P&G office if someone called asking me why I was so late sending them
an invoice. P&G had several large stacks of billing that needed to be done at the beginning of
my practicum. I have gotten all the billing up-to-date and I am able to keep all invoices current
since I began working with P&G.

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The Office of Administrative Services is always trying to catch up with it tasks and the
issues in P&G are just a small part of the problem. The biggest problem that leads to all the
work being behind is lack of manpower. WGTCs budget does not allow for the hire of
additional employees, so we continue to do more work with fewer resources. I know an
institution cannot hire employees if the resources are not there to pay them but management
needs to realize that we cannot continue to allow work to fall behind. I learned from talking to
Ms. Pippin that when WGTCs President, Dr. Anderson, found out how slammed the P&G
department was, additional work study positions were authorized (almost immediately) and filled
to assist in completing the ever growing piles of printing and graphics work that needed to be
done. One of the greatest benefits of my practicum has been, that if a person really wants
something to get done at my institution, then one needs to make sure the President finds out
about it and knows the importance of the item being asked for. 10/10
Administrative Philosophy
My administrative philosophy and my co-mentors philosophy are undeniably different.
I believe in asking for assistance and if additional employees are needed I believe the correct
thing to do is to ask to add more employees to a department. My co-mentors have worked at
WGTC so long they try to do too many tasks themselves and never ask for assistance. My comentors work too many hours trying to complete their work. They would not have to work so
many long hours if they would delegate responsibilities to others.
My co-mentors do not stand behind their employees. When WGTC went through a
reduction-in-force (RIF) three years ago, one of my mentors would not stand up for our
Purchasing agent to let the administration know important he was to the college. The Purchasing
Agent was reduced to part-time and lost all of his benefits. He didnt have any of his

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responsibilities taken away either but ultimately paid a tremendous price because Ms. Wynn
selected him as the person to be reduced in her department when she should have chosen
someone else. I believe in being there for my workers and co-workers and if I was in Ms.
Wynns positon things would be different at WGTC.
I believe in the importance of having trust in working relationships. I let my co-workers
know if I trust them and I will assign tasks to co-workers if I need assistance. My co-mentors
will not share much (if any) of their work because they are too concerned about control and do
not want others to learn how to do their jobs. Oftentimes a person has to ask for help and if
employees are not trusted a person will never be able to share duties with others. Peace of mind
is very important to me and I like to be able to sleep at night. I do not like being swamped with
work when there are others I can share work with and one person will not be so
stressed trying to do all the work. 10/10

Weak areas
I wish I understood the governance process better in the TCSG system. I have an overall
understanding but these are areas I still struggle with. I would like to understand more about the
budget process and how positions are being added when there is no money for additional hires in
the budget. It seems as if the ones who are the closest to the President always get what they
want. There are many departments at my institution that need more employees or more
manpower but the departments never get any assistance and end up getting more and more
responsibilities dumped on them. 9/10
49/50