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December 2012 Trustees Report

Submitted by on December 19, 2012 – 11:35 am

Educational Report Focuses On Experiential Learning

Sue Grolnic described the scope of her new role as the college’s dean of experiential learning during the trustees’ educational report.

Bill Heineman, vice president of academic affairs, introduced Grolnic and explained how the new position evolved.   “During the college’s strategic planning process, we learned we needed to do a better job of preparing students for careers,” he said.  “At the state and local level, it is all about getting students ready for the real world.”

In her new position, Grolnic is responsible for creating a structure for community-based learning at the college, including internships, mentoring, co-op jobs, shadowing, service learning, externships, travel abroad, and more.

“Our goal is to make our students better prepared to assume the role of employee—and to make their classroom learning ‘real’,” she said.

Grolnic spent the first two months in her new position listening to people within Northern Essex and exploring best practices at other colleges.  As a result, she is suggesting that Northern Essex develop a highly interactive website that would connect the college with the business community.  She is also exploring the feasibility of creating a Center for Community-based Learning, where the website would be housed and employers could contact the college.

Both concepts will be explored more fully by the team pursuing Goal Four of the College Strategic Plan, which is to improve career preparation for students.

President Shares National Data Report

President Lane Glenn shared highlights from the National Center for Education Statistics 2012 IPEDs Data Feedback Report which compares Northern Essex to comparable institutions in a number of key areas.

Here are some highlights from the report:

•    NECC has more women (62%) than comparison institutions (57%)

•    NECC has more Hispanics (30%) than comparison institutions (10%)

•    NECC awards fewer associate degrees (640 as compared to 800) than comparison institutions and more certificates (408 as compared to 53)

•    NECC is less expensive ($3528 per a year) than comparison institutions ($3639)

•    NECC has a lower graduation rate (14% as compared to 18%) but more students transfer before graduating (24% as compared to 17%)

•    More NECC students receive Pell Grants (46% as compared to 33%)

•    NECC’s average faculty salary is lower than comparison institutions ($57,388 as compared to $63,190)

NECC’s comparison colleges included Atlantic Cape Community College (Mays Landing, NJ) Broome Community College (Binghamton, NY), Community College of Vermont (Winooski, VT), Delaware Technical Community College- Terry (Dover, DE), Dutchess Community College (Poughkeepsie, NY), Massasoit Community College (Brockton, MA), Mercer County Community College (West Windsor, NJ)< Mohawk Valley Community College, (Utica, NY), Norwalk Community College (Norwalk< CT), and Orange County Community College (Middleton, NY).

Trustees Approve Two New Programs

Trustees voted unanimously to approve two new programs, an Associate of Arts in Music and a certificate program that will be available only to Raytheon employees.  Both will be effective in the fall of 2013.

The Associate of Arts in Music is basically a name change, designed to more accurately reflect the program’s mission and purpose.  The program’s old title was Associate of Arts in General Studies: Music Option.

“It was recommended as the result of a recent program review,” said President Glenn.  “We determined that the name of the program should better reflect the program’s emphasis on music.”

Faculty consulted with the two most popular transfer schools for music majors—UMass Lowell and UMass Amherst—before suggesting the name change.

The 15-month Raytheon Test B certificate program in Electronic Equipment Technology is designed to prepare current Raytheon employees for promotions to Test B positions.  The 29-credit program is a custom program, offered only to Raytheon employees and not to the public.  It is based on
Northern Essex’s current Electronic Equipment Technology Certificate Program with the exception of two courses.  Students can continue on for an associate degree in Electronic Equipment Technology after completing the certificate program.

“This formalizes a program that we’ve been offering at Raytheon for the past two years,” said Glenn.  “We hope this program will serve as a model for other local companies.”

Two Join College Staff

Trustees voted unanimously to approve two full-time personnel actions: Mark Mitchell, assistant vice president for finance, Administration & Finance, and Jayme Haddad, enrollment/academic counselor, Admissions & Recruitment.