Two NECC Initiatives are Recognized Nationally
Two Northern Essex Community College initiatives have been nominated for 2018 Bellwether Awards which recognize outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges.
The college’s Civic Action Plan, created under the leadership of Janel D’Agata-Lynch, civic engagement and service-learning coordinator, and the Massachusetts Community Colleges Go Open Project, led by Jody Carson, Early Childhood Education, and Sue Tashjian, Academic Technology, were both nominated.
Northern Essex created its first Civic Action Plan in the spring of 2017. The new civic action plan, which aligns with the college’s strategic plan and includes campus-wide input, was written by D’Agata-Lynch and Professors Steve Russell and Paula Richards.
It outlines four outcomes with clear goals on how to get there. The outcomes focus on encouraging faculty to adopt civic learning and service learning; insuring students receive civic education and practice leadership/civic engagement skills; building awareness of community service opportunities among faculty, students, staff, and alumni; and contribution to the economic, social, environmental, education and political well-being of our communities. The full civic action plan is available online.
“Northern Essex Community College strives to create an environment that supports and encourages civic engagement among our students, faculty, staff, and as an institution,” said D’Agata-Lynch. “NECC’s Civic Action plan will guide these efforts over the next three years, keeping the college accountable to both itself and the community at large.”
The Massachusetts Community Colleges Go Open project was launched in 2016 to address the cost of college textbooks. Carson and Tashjian built the statewide initiative based on the Northern Essex’s successful Adopt Open initiative, which has already helped NECC students save over $1 million in textbook costs.
“The average college student spends $1,200 a year on textbooks,” said Carson. “This program encourages faculty to use free, open educational resources (OER) in place of expensive textbooks.”
In its first year, 115 faculty have been involved in the statewide initiative, helping close to 9,000 students save over $1.2 million.
The Massachusetts Community Colleges Go Open project was launched in 2016 to address the rising cost of college textbooks. Carson and Tashjian built the statewide initiative based on Northern Essex’s successful Adopt Open project, which has already helped NECC students save over $1 million in textbook costs.
“The average college student spends $1,200 a year on textbooks,” said Carson. “This program encourages faculty to use free, open educational resources (OER) in place of expensive commercial textbooks.” With OER, students have day one access to course materials and can retain access once the course ends.
In its first year, 9000 students will save $1.2 million dollars in textbook costs through the work of more than 115 faculty from across the state. “Students frequently choose not to purchase course materials due to the cost; lowering the overall cost of higher education removes barriers and promotes student success.” said Tashjian.
Finalists and winners will be announced at the Community Colleges Future Assembly held in January in Orlando, Florida.
With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Nearly 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 3,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus and at the Opportunity Works building at 671 Kenoza St., located next to the Haverhill campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu.