December Trustee Notes
iHealth is Off to a Great Start
Since opening in September, Northern Essex’s newest health initiative— iHealth@NECC—has attracted 64 students, according to Jackie Long Goding, dean of health professions, who reported on iHealth to trustees at the December 8 meeting. There have been four programs offered to date: phlebotomy, medical billing, health care technician, and general studies.
“We had an exciting fall semester,” said Long Goding. “In mid-October, we opened the new iHealth building, just across the street from the college’s Dimitry Building in Lawrence.” The center features state-of-the-art classrooms and health care labs.
iHealth is designed to complement the college’s already existing health care programs, of which there are 19. Designed for working students with little time to spare, iHealth offers most coursework online and students are only required to be in a classroom one day or evening a week. “It’s a unique blend of online and face to face.” said Long-Goding. “It allows our adult learners to keep their lives intact.”
Additional iHealth programs will begin in January and in March and Long Goding anticipates having 100 students enrolled by the spring.
Casino Profits will Benefit Community Colleges
Trustee Chair Joseph Edwards reported that the Casino Bill signed by Governor Patrick last month should provide some financial benefits for Northern Essex and other community colleges.
“Casinos are expected to bring in $260 million and, according to the bill, 17% will go to higher ed,” said Edwards. “We can expect that some of this will filter down to us.”
NECC Pledges Support for Lawrence School System
Richard Freeland, Massachusetts commissioner of higher education, has asked Northern Essex to provide names for stakeholder groups being formed in light of the recent announcement that the state would be taking over Lawrence Public Schools.
“We’re ready to help,” said President Glenn.
Trustee Dan Rivera, a Lawrence city councilor, said he would recommend that Northern Essex be well represented.
Any day the state is expected to announce a receiver who will be running the schools.
Five join the college staff
Trustees voted unanimously to fund the following new full-time state appointments: Laurie Dimitrov, director of recruitment/admissions, Courtney Struble, financial aid counselor, and Alicia Bain, staff assistant. Maria Gonzalez, enrollment/academic counselor/student success center and Martha Bixby senior special programs coordinator were appointed to non-state appropriated positions.