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December Trustees Notes

Submitted by on December 20, 2019 – 2:13 pm

Trustees Navigate App

The Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees recently received a lesson in the app Navigate, the college’s newest student success tool, from Audrey Ellis, assistant director Student Success Management Systems Academic and Student Affairs.

Ellis explained that the app was helping students stay on track while allowing NECC to stay in touch with them. To date more than 2,100 NECC students have downloaded the app. More than 58 percent of Northern Essex students are using it.

In addition to helping students keep track of their classes, grades, and deadlines, it gives NECC the opportunity to ask interactive questions like “Are you planning on registering for the next semester?” Or take a quick poll. For example, before the fall semester began they asked Navigate users if they had any last minute questions before the start of the semester. A total of 1,122 responded and of those 19% did indeed have questions.

Trustees were encouraged to download the app and Ellis gave them a tutorial on its features.

Annual Audit

The Board accepted the financial statements and annual audited completed by O’Connor and Drew, P.C. The audit confirmed that the college is in sound financial condition.

“I appreciate the work of O’Connor and Drew on this year’s audit, and am particularly grateful to Vice President Mike McCarthy, his staff, and all of the budget managers at the college who have ensured that, even during recent challenging times, NECC is taking responsible care of our resources, ” said President Lane Glenn.

New Employees

Three new full-time employees were appointed. Alexa Cefalo, was appointed a staff assistant for the Lawrence Partnership, Victor DeJesus was appointed staff assistant for Information Technology Services, and Darla Lamanna was appointed learning specialist for NECC’s Center for Adult Education.

Report of Administration

Kelly Saretsky, dean of institutional research, planning, and effectiveness, reported on how the NECHE 2020 accreditation Self-Study, for which NECC is currently preparing, and the 20205 NECC strategic plan are “inextricably linked and mutually beneficial”. The colleges standards have been examined and appraised to see they are meeting the “mission and purpose” of NECC.

Kim Burns, director of NECC’s Professional Development, reported on the NECC’s role in the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s “Equity Imperative Challenge.” Among other steps, NECC needs to take, she said the faculty and staff need more diversity. She said the college also needs to address the desires of the students and involve the families with onboarding.

YMCA of the North Shore: Haverhill YMCA

Northern Essex exploring a potential partnership with the Haverhill YMCA. The YMCA is planning to raise funds for a new facility, which they would like to locate on Northern Essex’s Haverhill Campus.

President Glenn updated the board on the “formal planning meeting” he, Allison Dolan-Wilson, vice president of institutional advancement, and Michael McCarthy, vice president of finance and administration, had with members of the Haverhill YMCA Board of Directors to discuss the possibility of constructing a “community center” on the Haverhill campus at 100 Elliott St. “We would provide the land, and the “Y” would provide funding for the building,” said Glenn.   “This would be a tremendous benefit for our students, and fits nicely with our efforts to raise funds for athletics through our LIFT campaign.”

A design consultant is looking at possible sites for the facility on the Haverhill campus.

Performing Arts Facility

Back in 2006, President Glenn told trustees, there had been a feasibility study launched on what to do with the vacant St. Anne’s Church in Lawrence. Plans for the church were tabled when the recession hit. Recently the Lawrence City Council and Senator Barry Finegold approached NECC about revisiting the possibility of turning the church into a performing arts facility. A 90-day feasibility study of the $18 million “facelift” of the building has begun.