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.
- The Academic & Career Advising Center collaborated with University Center partners including Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, and Spring Arbor University to offer Transfer Tuesdays throughout spring semester. During these days, held at locations across campus, advisors from the universities assisted NMC students with academic transfer plans in cooperation with NMC Advising Center advisors. With positive feedback from students and University Center partners, Transfer Tuesdays will continue in Fall 2019. (IE2, IE3)
- The initial feedback that we received from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in a draft Comprehensive Quality Review report is positive. The HLC Peer Review team is recommending that NMC has “met” all criteria for accreditation and that we be eligible to choose our next pathway, open vs. standard. The team’s recommendation will be made to the Institutional Actions Council, an HLC decision-making body, who has the ultimate responsibility to determine our accreditation status. The final decision is expected to be delivered to us no later than August 2019. The team provided that “NMC has enjoyed success as an AQIP institution and there is a culture of continuous quality improvement evident at the college.” (IE5)
- The Associate Nursing Program and Practical Nursing programs were granted re- accreditation for the full eight years through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). A great job was accomplished by all! (IE1, IE4)
- The Student Life Office held/sponsored four events on NMC campuses during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness month. The events included a student/staff panel and discussion, Take Back the Night March, and evenings with two national speakers. 241 NMC students attended these events held April 8-11. (IE2, IE 3, IE4)
Activities of Note: Tim
- I attended the AFIT Think Tank at the end of April. The meeting included a preview of the 2019 Summer Institute, which will take place in Plano, Texas, July 31-August 3, 2019. We are currently determining who will comprise the NMC team participating in the Summer Institute.
- Thank you to the trustees, faculty, and staff who participated in Commencement activities during the first weekend in May. Honors Convocation, Commencement, and the GLMA Graduation Dinner were among the many weekend events that took place May 3 and 4. Terry Beia, Frank Dituri, and Dr. Marie Socha were honored as Outstanding Alumni this year.
Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Awards went to Nicole Speelman and Cathy Warner. Congratulations NMC Class of 2019!
- On May 9-10, I attended the MCCA President’s Meeting in Lansing. As chair of the MCCA Legislative Committee, I provided the legislative update, which included discussions regarding the FY 2019-2020 Appropriations Process, MI Reconnect, MI Opportunity, and Campus Free
- Thank you to everyone who came out for the 64th annual NMC BBQ! This year’s Picnic Under the Pines had a few spring showers, but everyone still had a great time. NMC is fortunate to have such a long running event connecting us to the community we serve. Thank you for your help in making it all possible.
The state budget process continues to move forward this week, with the full Senate approving the Community College budget and the House Appropriations Committee reporting out a Community College budget for Fiscal Year 2020. As you may recall, the key elements of the Governor’s Budget Recommendation were a 3% overall increase in community college operations (2.7% for NMC), fully funding MPSERS payments, and imposing a cap in increases in tuition and fees to no more than 3.2%.
The Senate budget included a 1.5% increase in community college operations (2.4% for NMC), fully funding MPSERS payments, and removing the tuition cap language. However, the Senate also adopted a floor substitution that would fully fund Native American Tuition Waivers to reflect changes in student case load that have shifted since that line item was rolled into each college’s base funding. Unfortunately, that funding would not be new money but would instead come out of the proposed 1.5% operations increase.
The House budget included a 1% increase in community college operations funding, which would be 0.9% for NMC, using a different/modified version of the performance funding formula that would give extra weight to the six colleges with the lowest taxable values. The House budget also included MPSERS funding and included the Governor’s tuition cap language.
Once the full House acts on the House Appropriations Committee budget, the House and Senate must reconcile their differences.
As you may recall, a 1% increase in operations funding equals approximately $100,000 for Northwestern Michigan College.
FY20 Capital Outlay
Since my last update, NMC was invited to testify before the Joint Capital Outlay Committee on our FY20 Capital Outlay project, the Student Learning Support Services Project. Vicki Cook, myself, and Gabe Schneider attended and provided the attached testimony and power point presentation on NMC and our project. This presentation was well received and while I am not confident that a Capital Outlay bill will pass this session, it was a great opportunity to promote the many great things we are doing here at NMC to legislators from around the state.
As you know, Governor Whitmer has proposed a postsecondary attainment goal of 60% by 2030. To achieve this goal, she also proposed two scholarship programs: the Michigan Reconnect and Michigan Opportunity programs. Recently, bills were introduced in both the House and Senate to make these proposals law. All four bills were referred to their respective Appropriations Committee.
Republicans are sponsoring the Michigan Reconnect program through HB 4456 (Frederick) and SB 0268 (Horn). The $53 million program takes care of the costs of those 25 and older looking to get a community college degree or industry certificate in a “high-demand field.”
As you may recall, the Michigan Reconnect program would offer Michiganders who are at least 25 and have not earned a college degree, last-dollar state funding for tuition at any public community college. Reconnect enrollees are held to the same accountability standards as their younger counterparts, except that they are only required to enroll half-time given work and family responsibilities. This program, which was pioneered in Tennessee, provides Michiganders who need more education or skills to rise in their current workplace or to find better jobs in different fields, tuition-free access to those opportunities. The estimated cost is $30-$40 million year one; $53 million year two.
Democrats are sponsoring the MI Opportunity program through HB 4464 (Kennedy) and SB 0267 (Ananich). The bills have a community college and four-year degree component. To qualify for a free community college scholarship, a student must complete a degree in three years and take 20 credits each school year.
As you may recall, the MI Opportunity Community College program provides last-dollar state funding to cover tuition and mandatory fees at any public community college for any graduating high school senior who agrees to meet the following accountability conditions:
- Earn good grades that maintain the student in good academic standing
- Earn at least 20 credits each school year, and complete in no more than 3 years
- Do not stop before completion, except for extenuating circumstances
The estimated cost is $46 million year one; $77 million year two, with two cohorts. Given that students would not begin attending community college under MI Opportunity CC until the fall of 2020, the initial request for funding will come in the FY21 budget.
To date, the statewide groups endorsing these proposals are:
- Michigan State Chamber of Commerce
- Michigan Community College Association
- Business Leaders for Michigan
- Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators
- Small Business Association of Michigan
- Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
- Michigan Association of Secondary Principals
- Detroit Chamber of Commerce
- United Way of Southeast Michigan
- Michigan College Access Network
- Promise Zone Association
We continue to monitor the federal FY20 appropriations process. In early May, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY20 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, which includes an $11.7 billion increase over FY19 enacted funding levels. Discretionary programs under the Department of Education were provided a cumulative increase of $4.4 billion over FY19 enacted levels. The committee also released the report for the bill, which provides additional detail on programmatic funding levels. Among other priorities, the bill includes a $150 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award, bringing the maximum to $6,345. An amendment also increased funding for state grants under Perkins Career and Technical Education by $10 million and Adult Basic Education by $7 million. The House may consider the committee-passed LHHS-ED bill on the floor as early as June.
- June 3—Fellows Dinner, Hagerty Center
- June 5 & 6—Budget Update Forums