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November Trustees Report

Submitted by on November 16, 2012 – 3:33 pm

The November 7 meeting of the Northern Essex Community College’s board of trustees included an end of the year fundraising report, an educational report on the TAA grant, and revisions to the Deaf Studies Program.  Trustees also voted unanimously to approve a revised $40.9 million budget for the college and to accept the college’s audited financial statements.

NECC brings in $3.5 million in private and public funds

Jean Poth, vice president of institutional advancement, reported that the college raised $3.5 million in private and public funds from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

“We had a fabulous year,” she said.

According to Poth, the college raised $574,064 in private sector funds including Lawrence Building Funds ($182,275), private programs/grants funded ($140,979), endowed funds ($61,557), the NECC Fund ($46,339); annual scholarships ($43,065), and more.

Leading the public sector funds—which totaled $2.9 million—were: U.S. Department of Education’s Title V grant ($499,964), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Second Education’s Perkins Postsecondary allocation ($394,614), and the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services grant ($365,960).

Deaf Studies Program revisions are approved

A new partnership between NECC and Framingham State University is in the works and, if approved by FSU and the Department of Higher Education, it will be the first of its kind in Massachusetts, according to President Lane Glenn.

NECC’s trustees voted to approve a revised Associate in Arts Degree in Deaf Studies: Interpreting Transfer and a Certificate Program in Deaf Studies, both of which will begin in the fall of 2013.

NECC and FSU are working on 2+2 associate to bachelor’s degree articulation agreement that would allow NECC students in deaf studies to continue their education and become professional interpreters.

“There is a shortage of certified interpreters both in Massachusetts and nationwide,” says Luce Aubry, coordinator of NECC’s deaf studies program.  “This agreement will benefit our students and address a need for certified interpreters.”

A bachelor’s degree is becoming the mandated minimum educational level for all individuals seeking to be nationally certified through the Registry of Interpreters, she says.

If the new agreement is approved, students who finish their associate degree at NECC can take junior and senior courses online and at NECC’s Haverhill Campus and complete their bachelor’s degrees without leaving the Merrimack Valley. 

With the revisions voted on at the November meeting of the NECC Trustees, students would focus on learning American Sign Language at NECC and then move on to study interpreting during their junior and senior years in the Framingham program.  In the past, interpreting was part of NECC’s curriculum in both the associate degree and certificate programs.

Grant helps unemployed workers

College Dean Chuck Phair reported on progress with a grant which the college received last fall to prepare unemployed workers for jobs.

Northern Essex received $875,000 as part of the three-year grant, which was part of a $20 million grant awarded by the Department of Labor to the Massachusetts Community College System.

As a result of the grant, Northern Essex launched accelerated certificate programs in help desk and computer applications this fall.  In January, medical coding, medical billing, and healthcare technician certificates will be added to the offerings.

Thirty unemployed workers are currently enrolled in the program and the college is planning on enrolling 60 students by January, according to Phair.

Designed to improve program completion rates for unemployed workers re-entering the workforce, students in the program can take advantage of a college and career navigator who will assist them with the college process and facilitate access to services including financial aid, tutoring, and advising.

Certificates can be completed in as little as eight months, and the curriculum will be strongly focused on the workplace, including an internship.

Four new positions are approved

Trustees voted unanimously to appoint the following individuals to full-time positions at the college: Fiona Edwards, enrollment/academic counselor, Lori Weir, director of pre-K through 12 partnerships; Luis Caceres, HVAC Mechanic I; and Matthew Deschuytner, maintainer I/groundskeeper.