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February Trustees Update

Submitted by on February 14, 2017 – 8:16 pm

Northern Essex has adopted a new case management software designed to streamline tracking, intervention, and record-keeping of student behavioral concerns and interventions.

Tina Favara, dean of enrollment services, gave the educational report at the February meeting, sharing details on Symplicity Advocate GME (Advocate), which she says will provide a “holistic approach to student behavioral issues.”

With Advocate, faculty, staff, students and community partners can report areas of concern which might include behavioral problems, homelessness, and food insecurity, for example.  Reports will be filed through a secure site on the college’s web site.

Danny Malave, director of student life and student conduct administrator, or someone from his staff will follow up with every student who receives a report as well as the person who filed the concern.

“This will help us better understand our students in ways we haven’t been able to,” said Favara.

Advocate will also assist the college with federal mandated reporting for Title IX and the Clery Act by tracking incident locations, providing analytical data, and ensuring a comprehensive report of accurate statistics to assist with institutional compliance.

Report of the Administration

CBE Expansion

Northern Essex wants to expand its Competency Based Education (CBE) options and the college has petitioned the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc (NEASC) requesting a Substantive Change Request related to CBE.

CBE is a method of course delivery that addresses the needs of adult learners, allowing them to start and complete courses online on their own schedule. Last fall, Northern Essex was the first community college in Massachusetts to offer CBE when it launched a certificate in computer applications delivered online as CBE courses.

The college has applied for a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, in partnership with Middlesex Community College, to develop CBE courses in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Building Renovations

The Spurk Building Renovations are “on time and on budget”, according President Glenn, and the college is gearing up for renovation of the Dimitry Building in Lawrence, which will begin this summer.

“When completed, our two largest and most important classroom buildings will be in much better shape,” said Glenn.

College will Offer Certificate in Culinary Arts

Based on research, the college reactivated its Business Management Associate Degree in Hospitality last year.  Soon that program will be complemented by a certificate in Culinary Arts, which trustees unanimously approved.

The college has never offered a culinary arts certificate, according to President Glenn, who says the program will fill a need in the Merrimack Valley for trained culinary workers. The college plans to begin offering the program within the next two years.

Professor will Write Textbook During Sabbatical

Trustees unanimously approved a sabbatical for NECC Behavioral Sciences Professor Kristi Arford for the spring semester of 2018.

During her sabbatical, Arford will write a Cultural Anthropology textbook that she hopes will be available in print as well as online for free.

Arford, who has taught Cultural Anthropology at Northern Essex for 10 years, will begin by reviewing the latest literature available on the topic.  Her proposal is to develop “a Cultural Anthropology textbook that is engaging socially and politically relevant to the current world, and that addresses complex global social-cultural issues in a unique way.”

One of the college’s core academic skills is global awareness and the Cultural Anthropology course satisfies that requirement.

Five Full-time Position are Affirmed

Trustees voted unanimously to affirm five new positions that were previously approved by NECC President Lane Glenn during the winter intersession.

These positions include: Michelle Tremblay, controller/director of budgets; Douglass Leaffer, assistant professor, Engineering; Todd Higgins, director, Gallaudet University Regional Center; Shana Stratton, administrative assistant II, Human Resources; and Kyle White, carpenter I/Haverhill Campus. ​