Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • Laura Schmidt, Director of Nursing Programs, moderated a webinar through the Organization of Associate Degree Nurses (OADN) entitled “Financial Aid: The Linchpin for Academic Progression Partnerships.” The webinar addressed ways to collaborate with other institutions to develop an academic progression process, and focused on the development of and reasons for a financial aid consortium agreement. Laura Schmidt also recently co- authored an article in the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing with Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, entitled “A Professional Development Educator Primer on Dual Admission Academic Progression.” The article focused on how community colleges play a critical role in educating entry-level nurses and how the dual admission/concurrent enrollment model is a way to promote a higher educated RN workforce. (IE1, IE2)
  • Two of NMC’s vocal students have been featured in lead roles in musical theater productions. Second-year student Miishen Willis sang the role of Medium Alison in the production of Fun Home at Old Town Playhouse. First-year student Abraham Stone sang the role of Sky in Mamma Mia! and will be singing the role of Tommy in the upcoming rock musical The Who’s Tommy. (IE1, IE2)
  • Four BSMT-Marine Technology students were awarded full conference scholarships (airfare, lodging, meals, and conference registration) to attend The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) US Hydro conference in Biloxi, MS in March. A total of six scholarships were awarded nationally. THSOA is committed to promoting education in hydrography, inshore surveying, inland waters surveying, offshore surveying, positioning and mapping/charting, including related earth sciences. This is the 6th consecutive conference where NMC Marine Technology has had students awarded scholarships and demonstrates the value NMC brings to the marine industry. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Renate Schmidt (BSMT-Marine Technology 2019) was selected for a prestigious internship with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency working as a bathymetrist in Virginia. Renate was one of 34 students selected from around the country and the only student from a community college. As part of her recruitment, Renate is completing a top secret clearance for the activities she will perform. (IE1, IE3)
  • On February 20, Leica Geosystems and the NMC Engineering Technology Surveying program hosted an open house at the Parsons-Stulen building in support of the Leica Geosystems International School for Surveying. Businesses from around the state attended and also participated in the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Conference at the Grand Traverse Resort. Hans Van Sumeren and Ed Bailey presented the NMC Engineering Technology Surveying program at the conference and hosted a booth showcasing our strengths in the marine, air, and land surveying and mapping specialties for both academic and professional training activities. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • The BSMT-Marine Technology major at NMC continues to have 100% job placement of all graduates immediately after, and often before, graduation. Collaborations with industry and a highly connected curriculum have led to an overwhelming request from businesses around the country seeking our graduates. Individual companies are seeking as many as 15 to 25 graduates during a single visit. Networks of former graduates are also further enhancing recruitment of these students. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • Earlier this month GLMA cadets began to sit for their Coast Guard license exams. Of the 50 cadets who we anticipate will graduate this spring, 34 sat for their exams earlier this month. The exams, originally scheduled in January, were delayed due to the partial shutdown of the federal government. Each exam consists of seven modules administered over a four day period. Of the 234 exam modules administered, 226 were passed (97%). Of the 12 engine cadets who tested, 11 passed all seven modules. On the deck side 14 cadets passed all seven modules. No cadet failed more than two. One cadet passed all seven modules in one day, six before lunch. Special thanks to Traverse City VFW Post 2780 who gave NMC/ GLMA full use of their rental hall, at no charge, to facilitate the testing process. (IE2)
  • NMC vocal students Miishen Willis, Allix Kranick, and Abe Stone were cast in the upcoming rock musical “The Who’s Tommy” at the Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City. Willis and Kranick currently take applied voice lessons with NMC instructor Diane Clark. Abe Stone is a full-time freshman music major. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • The Nursing Department was awarded $12,121.00 through the 2019 Nurse Professional Fund Grant. The funds will be used to purchase equipment to meet the student learning outcomes related to patient safety pertaining to medication administration. (IE2, IE4)
  • GLWSI and Technical Division hosted Deidre Sullivan, Director of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center, on March 5. MATE, in its 22nd year, is a national center of excellence supporting marine technology education. Deidre presented MATE’s global internship program that places students on research vessels working throughout the world. Having previously traveled to several universities throughout the United States, Ms. Sullivan commented that she had never been to a facility as comprehensive as NMC’s for preparation and training students for success in the marine industry. (IE1, IE2, IE3)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Vice President Todd Neibauer and I met with Kalkaska Public Schools Superintendent Terry Starr, who is interested in providing Kalkaska students opportunities for college credit and encouragement to attend college after graduation. We shared the design and scope of our current work with Kalkaska through the Commitment Program, Dual Enrollment, and Early College, and pledged to work with him to provide information about NMC, financial aid, and any other topics that would help them prepare students for a post-secondary education.
  • Nancy and I attended the opening reception for a new exhibit at the Dennos Museum Center. Israeli artist Orna Ben-Ami’s Entire Life in a Package will be on display through May 5.
  • Rebecca Teahen, Nancy and I visited NMC donors and alumni in Florida in early February. During our visit we had the opportunity to attend the first out of state NMC alumni reception in Punta Gorda, Florida. The event was well attended and plans are under way for future alumni receptions.
  • The GLMA Alumni Dinner and Mariners’ Ball was held on Saturday, February 16, at the Park Place Hotel. Thank you to NMC trustees Kennard Weaver, Ross Childs, and Michael Estes for attending the event with their spouses.
  • As I shared with you at the February Board meeting, I had the opportunity to attend a mini State of the State Address given by Governor Whitmer here in Traverse City on February 18. She is very committed to a goal of providing credentials to the 1.7 million Michigan residents who have had some higher education, but lack any credentials. Community colleges are in the position to be able to provide that service.
  • Marguerite Cotto and I attended the Alliance for Innovation & Transformation (AFIT) CEO & Reps Forum in Plano, TX, at the beginning of March. The conference included sessions with Kari Granger, Founder and CEO of The Granger Network, and Brent Frey, Director of Education Development and Professional Learning at Apple, Inc.

Legislative Issues

As you may have seen and heard, community colleges were a major focus in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address and budget recommendation to the state legislature. The Governor announced a goal to have 60% of Michigan residents with a postsecondary credential by the year 2030.

To achieve this goal, the Governor announced three pathways that would put significant state support behind college attendance. These pathways include:

  • Michigan Reconnect: Aimed at returning students, aged 25+ and would provide tuition free certificate or associate degree at a public community college, nonprofit institution with industry recognized certificate program or at a union apprenticeship program
  • MI Opportunity Scholarship Path I: Provides graduating high school students with two years of tuition-free postsecondary education at a community college
  • MI Opportunity Scholarship Path II: Provides graduating high school student with tuition assistance for the first two years at a public or private non-profit four-year institution.

The Governor’s staff met with the MCCA and other key community college stakeholders in February to discuss the details of these proposals. Gabe Schneider, NMC’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, attended this meeting on behalf of the college.

The following are the key portions of the FY20 Executive Budget Recommendation for NMC:

  • $9.7 million in additional community college operations funding (general fund), representing a 3% increase compared to fiscal year 2019, bringing the total to $332 million.
    • This is the largest percentage increase since fiscal year 2015 and will be distributed through the existing performance funding formula.
    • Receipt of the funding increase is contingent on colleges holding tuition increases below 3.2%, equal to projected inflation plus one percentage point, in order to limit tuition cost increases for students and families.
  • NMC would see a $270,200 increase in FY20 levels over FY19 operations funding levels.
  • $10 million for community college retirement obligations, bringing the total to $87 million.
    • The Governor’s recommended budget continues to provide state support for retirement contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS), providing fiscal stability to community colleges.
  • A total of $110 million is recommended for the new Michigan Reconnect Grant Program (funded from the Talent Investment Fund).
    • These funds are being recommended in a fiscal year 2019 supplemental and are expected to be sufficient to support the program through fiscal year 2021.
  • $135.1 million in continued funding for student financial aid programs, including $59.8 million for the Tuition Incentive Program, $38 million for Tuition Grants, and $32.4 million for Competitive Scholarships.
    • Beginning in fiscal year 2020, the Tuition Incentive Program awards will be limited to a tuition cap of three times the per-credit in-district community college tuition rate, restraining program cost growth.

The release of the Governor’s Budget is of course the first step in the process. The next step is for the legislature to begin deliberations and develop their own budget proposals. While budgets under the previous administration were completed annually by early June, it is expected that the FY20 budget process will be delayed further into the summer or early fall. The legislature has until October 1, 2019 to complete their FY20 budget.

With the budget process now underway, we will be looking to weigh in with our Northern Michigan lawmakers about our priorities. In addition to the funding/proposals outlined above, we will continue to be working with Rep. Inman and the Joint Capital Outlay Committee on funding for the Osterlin Student Learning Support Services Renovation Project. Rep. Inman has stated his intention of beginning to hold hearings of the Capital Outlay Committee as soon as next week and proceeding to invite colleges to testify on the merits of their projects. The committee meets Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. and we should be prepared to provide testimony at some point this spring.

Congress recently approved funding for the remaining federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, which had been impacted by a lapse in funding and the government shutdown. Of importance to NMC and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, the final appropriations bill for FY19 included significant funding for state maritime academies. This included $1 million dollars in direct grants for the GLMA. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to monitor the next cycle of federal appropriations for FY20 and the possibility of a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.


  • March 18—NMC Board of Trustees Dinner with Student Government Association (4:45 p.m.) and Regular Board Meeting (5:30 p.m.), Hagerty Center
  • April 3—NMC Retirement & Recognition Ceremony, 4:30 p.m., Hagerty Center
  • April 12—Taste of Success, 6:30 p.m., Hagerty Center
  • April 26—Legislative Roundtable, 10:00 a.m., Osterlin 204
  • May 3—Honors Convocation, 4:45 p.m., Milliken Auditorium
  • May 4—Commencement, 2:00 p.m., Traverse City Central High School