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May Trustee Report

Submitted by on June 5, 2018 – 12:56 pm

VP Shares Plans for Improving Student Experience

Northern Essex wants to retain more students, and Bill Heineman, vice president of academic and student affairs, has a plan for doing that, which he shared with trustees at the May meeting.

Right now, Northern Essex has a wealth of resources to help students succeed but the current systems need to be better aligned, according to Heineman.

“It’s like a bunch of life preservers in a river,” said Heineman. “We want to line up those support systems and help students get to the other side of the river.”

The college’s 2020 Strategic Plan is focused on creating an integrated student experience, one that increases a student’s sense of belonging, enhances the structure in the curriculum, and improves the integration of support and services for students, Heineman told trustees.

One of the strategies for achieving the integrated experience is to create five Meta Major Centers on campus focusing on Business, Health, Liberal Arts, Professional Studies, and STEM.  These centers will serve as a gathering place and permanent home for students and faculty interested in the same broad academic topics and careers.

The college piloted the Meta Major Center concept last fall with the opening of the Business and Accounting Center, which Business Professor Judy Ciampi oversees.

Since the center opened, it’s offered academic advising, registration, and a series of workshops on topics such as Excel for business, resume writing, interviewing, developing your brand, and networking.

“It’s all about connecting,” said Ciampi.  “We want to help students get to know faculty, employers, peers, and other areas of the college.”

While registrations are down this year at the college, registrations in business are up by 10 percent, according to NECC President Lane Glenn.   “I attribute this to the work that’s being done in the Business & Accounting Center.”

The college plans to open three more Meta Major Centers by September.

Board approves FY19 Budget

The board approved an FY19 College Operating Budget of $42.7 million, which is less than last year’s budget, $43.8 million, and the budget the year before that, $45 million, according to Marianne Paley Nadel, chair of the trustee budget committee.

The FY19 budget reflects $900,000 in overall reductions as well as a $4 increase in the regular college fee, which is “the lowest fee increase that we’ve asked for in several years”, said Paley Nadel.  The budget also anticipates a 5% decline in enrollments, since community college enrollments are trending downwards.

“It’s been a challenging year forming the budget,” said Paley Nadel.  “We want to be mindful of our students.”

As a result of a unanimous vote of the board, the college fee for regular courses increased $4 per credit from $177 to $181; college fee for allied health courses increased $4 per credit from $257 to $261; the facility fee increased $20; and the student activity fund fee increased $2 per credit from $6 to $8.

Report of the Administration

Dimitry Building Renovation is on Schedule

The Dimitry Building, located at 45 Franklin St in Lawrence, has been closed for renovations, according to President Lane Glenn.

The building is receiving a new exterior and, when completed, it will complement the color and style of the exterior of the El-Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center on Common St.

“We want this to look more like a unified campus,” said Glenn.  “State resources are helping us with the renovations.”

The renovations are scheduled to be completed by next March and the building will re-open for classes in the fall of 2019.

ValleyWorks Career Center Moves to Opportunity Works

The ValleyWorks Career Center, which Northern Essex manages, will soon move from the Behrakis Student Center on the Haverhill Campus to the lower level of the Opportunity Works Building adjacent to Northern Essex’s Haverhill Campus.

This move will make room for a new Student Success Center in the Behrakis Student Center and also co-locate the career center with Northern Essex’s Corporate & Community Education.

In 2019, when the college opens its Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center in downtown Haverhill, the career center will move there.