November 2013 Trustees Report
President Lane Glenn opened the meeting with congratulations for Trustee Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, who was re-elected to the Haverhill City Council, and Trustee Dan Rivera, who was elected mayor of Lawrence in a very close race which is currently going through a re-count.
Ophthalmic Assistant Program Created in Partnership with Local Employer
Nancy Garcia, assistant dean of health professions, reported on the college’s Ophthalmic Assistant Program, which welcomed its first class of students this fall.
Offered through iHealth, most of the coursework in the 10-month program is delivered online. Students meet once a week for in-class meetings and lab sessions.
The program was created in close collaboration with area employers, including Tallman Eye Associates, a Lawrence-based eye practice with offices across the Merrimack Valley.
“Tallman Eye Associates had jobs open for two to three months that they couldn’t fill,” said Garcia. “We developed the program with their assistance.”
Ophthalmic assistants gather medical histories, conduct vision tests, coordinate patient schedules, and assist eye doctors with procedural and clerical duties.
Seventeen students started the program in the fall and 15 are expected to graduate.
Year-End Fundraising Report
Northern Essex’s Institutional Advancement team raised $3.5 million from private and public sources last year, including $2.8 million in public sector funds; $709,234 in private funds, and $26,532 in in-kind donations.
The college’s Campus Class 5K Road Race and Fun Run, held for the first time last spring, raised $10,502 and last fall’s annual fundraising event featuring comedian Loretta Laroche raised $27,369.
The Ibrahim El Hefni Health & Technology Center is on track for completion, according to President Glenn. Furniture will be moved in late November and classes will be offered in the new state-of-the-art health facility in January. A grand opening has been scheduled for March 21.
Four-twenty Common Street, which will house classrooms, a bank, a bookstore, a Sal’s restaurant, and space for four-year university partners is also moving forward. The new bookstore, which is twice the size of the current Lawrence bookstore, will open later this month.
Work on the parking and green space located on the site of the former Registry Building, which was torn down earlier this year, is scheduled to begin in November. When completed, this space will add 62 parking spaces.
NECC is Ahead Nationally with Retention Goals
Northern Essex’s Achieving the Dream coach Jim Tschectelin reported that Northern Essex’s fall to fall retention rates have improved by four percent in the seven years the college has been participating in Achieving the Dream, a national effort to close the gaps in student success, particularly among minority and low-income students.
“The good news is that NECC has a retention increase that is double that of other Achieving the Dream colleges. The bad news is that it’s still too low; we know can do better,” said Tschectelin.
Funding and support from Achieving the Dream has allowed Northern Essex to carefully review and measure current practices and develop new initiatives to help improve student outcomes such as retention and graduation rates.
As a result of its participation in Achieving the Dream, the college has created math tutoring centers in Haverhill and Lawrence; introduced supplemental instructors in challenging courses; developed a College Success skills course; expanded and improved academic advising services; and made several new policy changes with an eye toward student success.
According to President Glenn, the college measures five key indicators each year: fall to fall retention; overall course completion; the success of developmental math students who transition into college courses; the success of developmental writing students who transition into college courses; and overall degree and certificates awarded.
“We have seen gains in all areas,” said Glenn, “But not as much as we would like.”
Trustees voted unanimously to approve two new full-time appointments: Scott Weber, professor, Health Information Technology, and Cheryl Charest, instructor, Medical Assisting.