When not in the classroom, Northland Pioneer College faculty members are making presentations at national conferences, demonstrating artistic talents, judging county fair entries, and winning sporting events to name just a few of the activities included in a report to the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board during the September 18 regular monthly meeting in Holbrook.
“I’m excited to learn how my colleagues are involved in research and how they bring back to the college and back into the classroom for our students,” explained Magda Gluszek, art faculty and chair of the professional development committee that helps fund some of those outside activities. Gluszek supplemented a written summary prepared by NPC Faculty Association President Dr. Michael Solomonson outlining the recent activities of faculty members.
For the fourth year, Gluszek is coordinating the Empty Bowls Project, where community members handcraft ceramic bowls used to help raise awareness of food insecurity in our area. This year’s community event will be Friday, November 16, at NPC’s Show Low campus, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or whenever the soup runs out. For a $10 donation, individuals receive one of the handcrafted bowls, a portion of soup, donated by Persnikkity’s, and a portion of bread, donated by Karen’s Bake Shop, the daily meal for many in our community facing food insecurity, noted Gluszek. Past events raised over $5,000 for The Love Kitchen in Pinetop to aid the fight against hunger.
- Read more about faculty activities outside the classroom
Friends & Family
In other reports to the board, Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family, shared about “the most successful Pedal the Petrified ever.” A full field of 225 bicycle riders participated in the half and metric century tour ride on September 15. Wilson thanked the 60+ volunteers, “many of whom got up at 3 a.m. to help with the ride.” Sponsorship donations are still coming in, but Wilson anticipates over $30,000 will be raised for student scholarships through the ride.
Wilson is also leading scholarship workshops, along with Phi Theta Kappa Chapter President and NPC Nursing student Amanda Hatch. Wilson will assist any student applying for a scholarship by reviewing their letters and essays. Multiple Friends and Family scholarships for the spring semester will be accepting applications through November 15. For information, check out www.npc.edu/scholarships.
In action items, the board authorized the purchase of CampusLogic software, step one in the college’s plan to reduce the financial aid process from 6 weeks to 1 week ,while reducing administrative costs. As part of this effort, President Mark Vest also authorized restructuring of the financial aid staff, eliminating the director’s position, and assigned Jeremy Raisor, director of enrollment services, to oversee the revamping of the aid award process. The college will be returning to the board later this year with further steps in the financial improvement process for students.
The board also renewed the service contract for the infrastructure telecommunications equipment used and paid for by the federal grant funded TALON Project to deliver college classes to area high schools; adopted the 2019-20 strategic planning and budget development calendar; approved a state legislature-mandated policy on free expression on campus; renewed the dual enrollment agreement with Hopi Junior/Senior High School; and acknowledged the purchase of three new replacement vehicles for maintenance and information services using state contract pricing.
Strategic Planning & Accreditation
Rickey Jackson, interim vice president for learning and student services, outlined the four priorities identified by the enrollment management subcommittee. NPC will be initiating a texting program to inform students of non-emergency dates and events. The college will also be developing a consortium with area high schools to continue the very successful TALON Project which delivers college-level courses via technology into area schools. Improving the financial aid process and formally adopting a guided pathways approach for obtaining an associate degree round out the priorities. A long-term goal is to fully implement web-based registration and payment processes.
President Vest will be working with other community college presidents and NPC’s lobbyist on pushing for revisions to the state’s expenditure limitation formula during next spring’s legislative session. The community college presidents are also working on formalizing a long-standing “gentlemen’s agreement” regarding recruiting and offering services within another community college district.
With an accreditation visit scheduled for November 2019, Vest encouraged board members to consider attending the national Higher Learning Commission’s conference next April in Chicago to learn more about what is expected of board members during an accreditation visit.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, October 16, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda will be posted online, at least 24 hours in advance.
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