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Good Evening, NECC Students, Faculty, and Staff—

We are halfway through NECC “Remote Teaching and Learning Prep Week” and more ready by the day for classes to resume again this Monday, March 30. Many thanks to the faculty and staff across the college who have been helping us make the shift to remote services and remote teaching. For more information, please see tonight’s updates below:

Students Invited to Virtual Town Hall on Friday

All face-to-face courses will transition to remote learning on Monday, and we know students have questions about this new way of teaching and learning. Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Bill Heineman and I will host a virtual town hall for students on Friday from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, where we will answer questions students have submitted. Learn more.

No Need to Come on Campus to Access Student Services

Meet with an academic or career advisor, get tutoring help, or accessing counseling services, all virtually. NECC has transitioned our services to online delivery. Find out how you can benefit.

Essential Staff Receive Sanitizing Kits

NECC is working with our janitorial company (CSI) to continually monitor and address issues and cleanliness related to the campus. All janitorial employees have received training on pandemic/outbreak disinfection and the college has increased staff and cleaning protocols.

Sanitizing kits are being provided to essential NECC employees.

Kudos and big thank you to Beth Donovan from Finance who has been delivering sanitizing kits to essential employees on campus. The kits include paper towels, disinfecting spray, hand sanitizers, and gloves.

Shout Out to Our International Students

This pandemic is especially hard for our international students who are often far from home and separated from family. International students are being asked to connect weekly with Maria Hernandez, international student advisor, or Analuz Garcia, assistant director of community & international relations, international@necc.mass.edu, 978 556-3726 or 978 971-1177.

Get Free or Discounted Internet/Data During COVID-19

The Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep America Connected” initiative pledges to suspend common penalties and expand internet access across the U.S. Several internet and telecom service providers are committed to offering free access to the internet (via WiFi hotspot), discounted internet service and/or increased data allowances to ensure people can get online during this unprecedented time. To learn more, review offerings from the service providers below.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Recognizing that higher education is vital both during and after this crisis, NECC’s congressional delegation, including Representative Lori Trahan and Representative Seth Moulton, have been in regular communication with college leaders across the region, seeking our feedback on what kind of federal assistance is needed by our students and campuses.

By the end of the week, Congress is expected to pass the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” which, while far from providing the $50 billion package recommended by the American Council on Education, will still begin to address some urgent needs, including:

  • Deferring student loan payments, principal, and interest for six months, through September 30, 2020, without penalty to borrowers for all federally owned loans.
  • Allowing colleges to transfer unused work-study funds towards supplemental grants for students; and to issue work-study payments to students who are unable to work due to college closures or reductions in staffing.
  • Extending “lifetime eligibility” for Pell Grants and subsidized loans for students forced to leave school as result of COVID -19.
  • Exempting students who leave school as a result of COVID -19 from requirements to return Pell Grants or student loans.
  • Allowing Title III, GEARUP, Title V, and TRIO Programs (like NECC’s PACE Program) to re-deploy grant resources and services to COVID-19 efforts.
  • Providing Gallaudet University, the federal chartered university for deaf and hard of hearing students, $7 million in direct support [NOTE: NECC hosts one of five Gallaudet University Regional Centers located around the country].
  • Allocating $15 billion for institutions of higher education to directly support students facing urgent needs related to COVID-19, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of coronavirus and school closures. The fund provides targeted formula funding to institutions of higher education, as well as funding for minority serving institutions (like NECC) and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

If you have questions specific to COVID-19 and the college’s response, please call 978 556-3700 or email expectmore@necc.mass.edu.

As we receive updates, our policies may change. We will share these updates through campus email. Higher level information will also be shared through the college’s Emergency Notification System and on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks, everyone—and please be well.

–Lane

Lane A. Glenn

President Northern Essex Community College

Check out “Running the Campus,” my blog featuring stories and perspectives on leadership, higher education, and going the extra mile: president.necc.mass.edu or connect with me on social media on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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