Menu button
Home » Campus & Community, Mobile

Board of Trustees Update: September 2023

Submitted by on September 7, 2023 – 3:36 pm

Haverhill, MA (September 6, 2023) – The Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees gathered for their first meeting of the ’23-’24 academic year on Tuesday evening on the Haverhill Campus. Chairwoman Jennifer Borislow and NECC President Lane Glenn began the meeting by welcoming new student trustee, psychology major Zeke Vasquez. Vasquez shared that he is eager to get to work and to ensure that student voices are well-represented. “I believe through collaboration and shared commitment we can create an environment where students can thrive,” he told the board.

students seen walking toward the student center building

Students on the Haverhill Campus for the start of the fall semester

Enrollment Update
Provost Paul Beaudin shared an update on enrollment. Compared to last fall semester, enrollment is up across the board, with considerable gains in new students (5.8%), continuing students (7.8%), students returning after a break (16.9%), and transfer students (18.4%). These numbers could change up until the withdrawal deadline next week. Beaudin praised the efforts of enrollment and financial aid staff, particularly with the recent rollout of the MassReconnect program, which provides free community college to adults 25+ who don’t already have a college degree.

Sabbatical Report
Jenny Fielding, Coordinator of Library Services, Lawrence Campus, spent her recent sabbatical leave researching digital and critical information literacy. She shared how, over her 15 years as a librarian, there has been a huge shift in how students research and find information. She aims to help students and faculty navigate through the new digital landscape.

“Fifteen years ago, we relied on librarians to shepherd students through the research process. Now it’s different. We have to talk about how sources are created.” Fielding has developed several new initiatives, including a module that faculty can incorporate into their courses to help students recognize misinformation and think like fact-checkers.

Food Resources Through the Center for Social Justice and Equity
A new face at Northern Essex is helping spearhead efforts to increase access to food resources for students and their families. Randall Correa is the new Food Access Outreach Coordinator. He and Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Francellis Quiñones have looked closely at utilization rates for the NECC Mobile Markets and food pantries, which have declined significantly in recent years. Their goal is to serve more students by connecting them with additional resources within the surrounding communities that are convenient and offer more products they can utilize.

“Not only will we be able to provide a meal at that moment, but we will also give students the tools for continuing resources. They need to be prepared to have those resources when they move on from NECC,” said Correa.

Efforts will include more education around SNAP benefits and the creation of a student advisory board. Board members will receive a stipend for their participation.

“Student voice and say in this process is critical to its success,” noted Quiñones.

Those who wish to learn more about food resources at NECC can visit the Center for Social Justice and Equity homepage.