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Dear NECC Students, Faculty, and Staff—

At the end of a week that seemed to many of us like a month or more, it seems like a good time to share some positive news to carry you into the weekend ahead:

Virtual Student “Town Hall”

“I had six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew: Their names were Where and What and When and Why and How and Who.”

–Rudyard Kipling

Led by NECC’s Assistant Director of Student Success Management Systems Audrey Ellis, with tremendous help from dozens of staff and faculty, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Bill Heineman and I held a virtual “Town Hall” for students today to field their questions about classes, commencement, summer and fall registration, financial aid, and a whole lot more.

Virtual Town Hall screen shot with a 'Thankyou' message on it from Lane Glenn and Bil Heineman. Pictured attendees: Lane, Bill, and Audrey Ellis.


Watch the Virtual Student “Town Hall” Meeting

The entire session was recorded and is available to watch here.

We’re All in it Together

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”

– H.E. Luccock

NECC is not the only college moving quickly to teach and provide services to students remotely.  As this piece from NPR’s Edify series explains, NECC, North Shore Community College, Mount Wachusett, and community colleges everywhere are making the radical shift: “Community Colleges Scramble To Move Online Amid Pandemic.”

Remote Teaching & Learning Prep Week

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

–James Baldwin

Despite the distances between us, it’s been a busy week at Northern Essex Community College.  More than 200 people participated in workshops about how to use Blackboard tools, Zoom teleconferencing software, Kaltura video recordings, and other remote teaching technology.  Dozens more are working one-on-one with coaches and colleagues, getting ready to “go live” this Monday, March 30.

“Going live” means different things for different classes.

About twenty-percent of NECC’s classes were already fully online, and more were offered in a “hybrid” (partly online, partly in a classroom) format.

For the next several weeks, even more classes will be converted into online formats and taught through Blackboard, while others may have “synchronous” meetings via Zoom.

For students who are unable to use technology, we have even revived a method of “remote learning” that I once participated in as a student a few decades ago: correspondence courses.

With tremendous gratitude to NECC Mailroom staff Steve DiLeo and Anne Eshbaugh, who will be making sure we have a 2-3 day turnaround on all correspondence mailed back and forth between students and instructors, “going live” can even mean putting pen to paper and a stamp on an envelope.

Center for Professional Development

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

–Herodotus, 450 B.C. (and the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service)

And speaking of putting a stamp on an envelope: Weather won’t stop your catalogs and Amazon packages from arriving in your mail box each day, and social distancing has only led the Center for Professional Development (CPD) to get even more creative with the many ways they support teaching, learning, leading, and wellness at NECC.

In the week ahead, the CPD will be offering Meditation Monday, Wellness Thursday, virtual coaching for faculty teaching remotely, workshops in “Running Effective Meetings with Zoom,” and even an opportunity to contribute a favorite pic to the NECC “Employee Pet Gallery”:

Employee pet gallery collage of 8 dogs at home. Two outside; by a river, and playing ball in a yard. 6 inside; under a desk, by a fireplace, by the stairs, in a corner, and two dressed up (one with ski mask).
Our pets are probably the happiest about us working from home. Furry co-workers pictured above starting from the top left: Mia Acevedo, Juney Hearn, Malcolm Ellis, Riley Tashjian, Cleatus Lancaster, Teddy Burns, Sully Sullivan and Shea Schade.

As if that weren’t enough, the CPD is even offering a Thirsty Thursday Remote Happy Hour on April 2 (BYOB: Bring Your Own Beverage).

Please be sure to read the regular emails from Dean of Professional Development and Academic Innovations, Dr. Kim Burns, and check out upcoming programs and remote events at

If you have questions specific to COVID-19 and the college’s response, please call 978 556-3700 or email

As we receive updates, our policies may change. We will share these updates through campus email. Higher level information will also be shared through the college’s Emergency Notification System and on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks, everyone—and please be well.


Lane A. Glenn


Northern Essex Community College

(978) 556-3855

Check out “Running the Campus,” my blog featuring stories and perspectives on leadership, higher education,

and going the extra mile: or connect with me on social media on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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