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April 2019 Trustees Update

Submitted by on April 30, 2019 – 6:01 pm

Many students arrive at Northern Essex unsure of what they want to major in, and, the college now has a program especially for them.

Offered for the first time in the spring of 2019, The Exploratory Program at NECC provides a guided pathway for students who want to explore their academic and career options while taking introductory courses that can be applied to most majors.

At the April 3 meeting of the NECC Board of Trustees, Eldiane Elmeus, coordinator of the Exploratory Program, gave the educational report.

She said the Exploratory Program is open to full-time and part-time students of any age, including recent high school graduates and adult career changers.

Of the 39 students enrolled in the first semester, more than half were full time and 83 percent were under 21 years old.

Students in the Exploratory Program take a First Year Seminar course; have a faculty mentor; and explore career options including job outlooks and salaries.

As a final project, students are asked to do a career presentation that includes their short-term and long-term goals.

“First we start to ask questions, such as ‘do you have a particular interest’ and then we build on that creating an academic and career plan for each student,” said Elmeus. Students are required to declare a major after taking 29 credits.

To learn more visit the website.

Fall Fee Increase of $6

Based on a recommendation by the Audit and Finance Sub-Committee, trustees voted seven to one to increase the fees for both regular (from $181 to $187 per credit) and allied health (from $261 to $267 per credit) courses.

In objecting to the increase, Student Trustee Courtney Morin said “I’ve heard from numerous students concerned about the cost of education.”

President Lane Glenn thanked Morin for “advocating for students”.  According to Glenn, Northern Essex has one of the “lowest income populations in the state” with 2/3 of its student eligible for Pell grants, a federal need-based financial aid program.  The cost to attend Northern Essex, according to Glenn, will still be a few dollars less than a Pell Grant.  To offset the fee increases, the college has added $100,000 in institutional aid, to help students who are struggling financially.

Declining state funding is what has necessitated the increases, said Glenn.  “We are anticipating a one percent increase in our state budget this year, which is in fact a decrease.”

Report of the Administration

The Heights of Haverhill

The new home of NECC’s Culinary Arts & Hospitality Programs is taking shape at 192 Merrimack St in downtown Haverhill.

Two towers, housing the elevator shafts, have been constructed, and the glass encasings for each of the 10 floors are scheduled to be installed in May.  The project will be completed late this year.

George Moriarty, the college’s retired executive director of corporate and community education, continues to lead the advisory group overseeing this project and the college is looking to hire a new project manager.

Revolving Test Kitchen in Lawrence

Angie Jimenez of Bocaditos is the third tenant in the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) located in NECC’s 420 Common St. Building.

Now open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm (10 am on Saturday), Bocaditos features Latin-inspired dishes, appetizers and desserts, all made from scratch.

RTK is a private/public collaboration between Lupoli Companies, the city of Lawrence, the Lawrence Partnership, and NECC.  It provides food entrepreneurs with the opportunity to fulfill their dream of restaurant ownership by giving them access to the resources they may not have otherwise had.

Northern Vermont University is Leaving

For the past two years, Northern Vermont University (NVU) has been offering bachelor’s degree completion programs in computer information systems and graphic design on our Lawrence and Haverhill Campuses.

Unfortunately, enrollments have not been high enough to sustain these programs, and NVU has decided to discontinue the partnership.

NVU is committed to teaching out programs for currently enrolled NVU @ NECC students.  Also, Northern Essex is exploring options for transfer to other institutions such as Salem State University and UMass-Lowell.  Students who were interested in the NVU program will be encouraged to explore these and other options.

Two New Hires

Trustees unanimously approved two new hires: Carian Diaz, coordinator of student activities; and Erin Ringuette, staff assistant, Administration & Finance.