The Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Friday, April 24 in a virtual meeting, using Zoom technology as the College operates remotely due to COVID-19. As part of the meeting, the Board approved the College’s 2020-2023 strategic plan. The new plan succeeds the 2016-2020 plan, which is set to expire June 30, 2020.
NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson noted that the strategic planning committee has done extensive work to develop a new strategic plan, which includes representation from all College governance committees. As part of the process, an environmental scan was completed in the areas of demographics; political and social values; education and technology; and economics and labor markets to inform the creation of a new strategic plan.
Thomson noted, “Because of the strong work of our stakeholders, we have a very solid strategic plan. As we build our tactical plan, we will incorporate the impact of recent events into specific action steps that will serve our community well as we face the ‘new normal’ that lies ahead. NSCC is committed to listening to and serving the 77,000 families in Northwest Ohio to keep our communities strong.”
The next steps in the process are developing teams and activities to create and execute a tactical plan that will help the College realize these five strategic goals, which are represented by foundational pillars.
- Pillar One: Life Changing Education (high-quality, transformative and safe educational environments)
- Pillar Two: Learning for All (collaborative partnerships)
- Pillar Three: Organizational Excellence (for a sustainable and high-performing organization)
- Pillar Four: Empowered Team (sustained positive culture, fulfilling mission)
- Pillar Five: Engaged Community (continue to strengthen stakeholder and community relationships)
MAJOR EVENTS GOING ON AS SCHEDULED, IN A VIRTUAL WAY
Dr. Thomson also provided some updates on upcoming scheduled events at the College.
On commencement, Thomson noted, “We will celebrate the accomplishments of our learners on May 9, as scheduled. Instead of gathering personally, we will use the technological tools available to provide our learners with an experience that honors their hard work and achievements. I especially appreciate that ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner is speaking to us as we celebrate the 50th Commencement anniversary. We would ask the communities to help us celebrate our learner’s accomplishments as you learn more in the days ahead.”
Robbin Wilcox, NSCC executive foundation director, noted the date of the virtual scholarship awards event is not yet determined, adding, “Our community is dedicated to education and it is demonstrated through their continuous outpouring of financial support. A BIG thanks to our area businesses, donors, alumni, faculty and staff.” Wilcox confirmed that over $650,000 in scholarship dollars are set to be awarded to approximately 300 students during the 2020 NSCC event.
ENROLLMENT AND ACCREDITATION
Todd Hernandez, executive vice president at NSCC, shared an update with the Board regarding enrollment and accreditation. Hernandez said, “The College faculty, staff, and administration has performed wonderfully in regards to supporting our learners with advising, technology and flexibility during this crisis. In fact, the vast majority of our learners will complete classes this term and remain on their academic journey. The College is still projecting an enrollment increase this academic year.”
Hernandez also mentioned that the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Northwest State’s accrediting body, was scheduled to perform a comprehensive review as part of the College’s 10-year cycle in October 2020. Due to the College’s shifting mission in support of the public health crisis, the HLC approved a request to postpone the visit to February 2021.
In other Board action:
- Approved the promotion of Jennifer Thome to interim chief fiscal and administrative officer
- Approved the employment of Madline Fagan, assistant-financial aid; and Isaac Benner, resource counselor-financial aid
- Approved the application process for NSCC to join the “Achieving the Dream” Network through the College’s Graduation Pathways to Success Initiative, using funding by the College’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program Grant
- Approved miscellaneous employment contracts, as well as three resignations and one termination of employment