Professional Day

NECC Professional Day 2017 “Student Voices: Listening and Learning”

When: Friday, 3/31/17, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Where: Haverhill Campus, Hartleb Technology Center, Room TC 103

PLEASE REGISTER BY MARCH 22 (sooner if possible) 


Professional Day Schedule
Time Activity
8:30 am Arrival and breakfast (TC-103)
9:00 am Welcome and Keynote Student Panel
10:00 am Break and travel to session I
10:15 am Session I
11:15 am Break and travel to session II
11:30 am Session II
12:30 am Lunch
1:15 pm Travel to Assessment rooms
1:30 to 3:30 pm Assessment & Trifecta Challenge time for academic departments and programs


Keynote Student Panel

Our Keynote Student Panel will feature our own students who will discuss challenges they have faced, their perceptions of belonging, and highlight some of their most memorable learning experiences at NECC. In addition, they will share their insights on their own journey here as well as some suggestions for us to help them and other students succeed.

Concurrent Session I: 10:15 to 11:15 AM

I.1 It Takes a Village to Raise College Students: Part I

Participants dedicated to community building, civic engagement & education participate in sharing their ideas on student success by engaging in an interactive workshop on how the quality of education is ‘culturally relevant’. Students are asked to share experiences to contribute & guide the workshop, as the facilitators seek to listen & learn. Our goal is to gain insight about making our students’ learning experiences more relevant to them & their academic success.

Presenters: Lis Espinoza, Associate Professor of English, Daniel Malave, Director of Student Life and Student Conduct Administrator, and Steve Slaner, Associate Professor of Global Studies

I.2 Universal Design Part I:  Strategies to improve student outcomes and retention

Many students might never request a disability-related accommodation, but will nevertheless benefit from universally designed materials.  Participants will learn from faculty about what Universal Design strategies have worked to enhance their curriculum and improve student outcomes.  In addition, participants will learn from students regarding how they have benefited from Universal Design characteristics in their courses. Are you ready for the challenge to change just 10% of what you do to improve retention and student success? 

Presenters: Susan Martin, Director of Learning Accommodations Center; Melba Acevedo, Director of Instructional Technology and Online Learning; Lance Hidy, Art Faculty/Accessible Media Specialist; Minh Le, Media Specialist

I.3 Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum

In line with our commitment to Campus Compact, faculty presenters in this session will share ways to promote civic engagement across the curriculum in an effort to educate students for civic and social responsibility. A panel of NECC students with varying degrees of involvement in service-learning and community efforts will share their perspective on civic engagement on our campus, as well as their experience working in, and on behalf of, the community.

Presenters: Patricia Portanova, Assistant Professor of English; Meredith Gunning, Professor of Philosophy; Marc Mannheimer, Professor of Art; Theresa DeFranzo, Adjunct Faculty

I.4 Information Consumer-Creators: How Google, Social Media, and Digital Determinism Shape our Students

For most students the internet is a tool they don’t think of AS a tool, rather, as simply a part of their environment, yet it shapes their perceptions with every click. This session will discuss current issues with online information (filter bubbles, echo chambers, fake news, etc.) and explore methods to actively engage students in understanding and discerning their part in the information landscape. How aware are students of these phenomena, and how can we encourage critical reflection regarding how they use and contribute to their online environment?

Presenter: Jenny Fielding, Coordinator of Library Services, Lawrence Campus Library

I.5 How to achieve communication access with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the classroom and in general?

We will discuss effective approaches for educational inclusion and accessibility. We will share our students’ experiences and perspectives and give you an opportunity to share and ask questions.  Hope to see you there!

Presenters:  Deb McKinney, Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services; Dena Riccio-Enis, Accommodations Scheduler

I.6 Critical Quiet: Making Space for Introverts in an Engaged Classroom

An educational system that encourages brainstorming, group work, and active engagement often leaves introverted students feeling overwhelmed and left out, which can lead to burnout and withdrawal from class activities. This workshop will open discussion about recognizing and working with introverts (and extroverts) in the classroom, and will give practical strategies for creating a learning space where both personality types feel welcome to engage in the learning process in ways that best match their personality. 

Presenter: Kirsten Kortz, K-14 Education Development Director

I.7 WYAFIWYG (What you ask for is what you get) 

Students not engaged? Assignments not what you expect?  Are you pulling your hair out? Do you feel that the students tune you out? This session will offer some incredibly simple ideas to engage students and to receive assignments that meet your expectations thus giving students an opportunity for their voices (even in print) to be heard.

Presenters:  Kathy Holmes, Associate Professor of Sociology; Clare Thompson-Ostrander, Professor of Academic Preparation

I.8 Open Pedagogy and Authentic Assessment

Join us to learn how open pedagogy and authentic assessment can enhance learning and improve outcomes. By building unique student-teacher collaborations to co-create course content,  open pedagogy and authentic assessment can enhance student engagement and offer students real-life, resume-building skills.

Presenters: Sue Tashjian, Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Co-Chair of the NECC Textbook Taskforce; Rick Lizotte, Professor of ESL and Instructional Designer, CIT; Jody Carson, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education; Instructional Coach, CIT; and Co-Chair of the NECC Textbook Taskforce

Concurrent Session II: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

II.1 It Takes a Village to Raise College Students Part II 

An afternoon round table of the same invited guests from our morning session discuss their reflections on what we at the college can do to bridge gaps of academic success among the college students around our region – urban, rural and suburban. Students reflect on what ‘works’, as in engaging in collaborative mentorships with education advocates throughout their communities and utilizing multimodal educative resources. Students also may share obstacles necessary to circumvent to succeed at college.

Presenters: Lis Espinoza, Associate Professor of English, Daniel Malave, Director of Student Life and Student Conduct Administrator, and Steve Slaner, Associate Professor of Global Studies

II.2 Universal Design Part II: Tweak Your Materials in a Hands-on Workshop using Microsoft Office

This second session is a hands-on workshop that explains how universal design principles can make course materials and other documents more accessible. You will learn first-hand that applying some familiar, quick and easy tweaks to text-based files, such as your syllabus, can immediately go a long way toward accessibility. You will also hear testimonials from faculty about their own journeys into Universal Course Design and Accessibility to benefit all students.

Presenters: Lance Hidy, Art Faculty/Accessible Media Specialist; Minh Le, Media Specialist, CIT; Alisa Bucchiere, Adjunct Music Faculty; Rick Lizotte, CIT and ESL

II.3 Meet the NECC African Student Club 

Our African students are a rapidly growing subset of NECC students. Most are highly motivated and well educated. They represent large communities of Africans in the Boston area.  There will be a panel of students from the African Students Club who will make brief statements regarding their paths to NECC, obstacles they face, their ambitions and dreams.

Presenters: Peter Flynn, Professor and Sheila Pierre, Professor, and Student Panel

II.4 Handling/Encouraging Hot Topics 

Discuss strategies for navigating and encouraging difficult dialogue with students.  Learn techniques for keeping students engaged in dialogue with active listening skills.  Invite your students to take on difficult issues in a neutral space that gives everyone a chance to grapple with conflict using a problem solving approach.

Presenters: Steve Russell, Professor of History and Government; Kathleen Bartolini, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and First Year Seminar, Adjunct Faculty Fellow

II.5 Institutional Assessment: Closing the Loop

For the past 3 years, Northern Essex has participated in a ground-breaking assessment project which allows our students’ performance in writing, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning to be compared with the performance of students at colleges in 12 other states. We now have some results! If you’re interested in seeing how independent raters evaluated our students, and in discussing how we should address their needs going forward, please join us.

Presenters: Suzanne Van Wert, Professor of English; Judy Zubrow, Ph.D., Dean, Liberal Arts; Co-chairs of the Assessment of Student Learning Committee

II.6 Using Storytelling to Encourage Student Self-Reflection

Participate in this modified version of a workshop designed for students, that is geared towards goal setting, self-reflection and learning to own personal stories using biographical mapping. The life map activity has helped students reflect on their educational journeys, self-identities as well as identifying barriers and pathways towards their educational success. This workshop model can be adjusted to fit classroom or facilitator needs but should always give students agency in their educational stories and leave room for further reflection and dialogue.

Presenter:  Lorena Holguin, Academic Success/Career Coach

II.7 But . . . but . . . I treat everybody equally! 

We all do it.  People categorize people.  Do these categorizations influence how we see our students?  Probably.  In order for us to appreciate fully our students and interact honestly, we need to see them for who they are not who we think they are.  Learn about any hidden biases you may have through taking an online inventory.  By uncovering your “implicit biases” you may learn something about yourself and how you can interact better with your students.

Presenters:  Kathleen Holmes, Associate Professor of Sociology; Brianne McDonough, Program Manager for Guided Pathways to Success in STEM; Maria Medina, College and Career Navigator

II.8 Journey to the Dominican Republic: Partnerships in our Global Community

A panel of NECC faculty will reflect on their recent opportunity to experience the Dominican Republic. Their meetings, organized by Noemi Custodia-Lora, with the distinguished faculty and administrators of Universidad Autonoma de Santa Domingo and Instituto Tecnico Superior Comunitario de San Luis has led to a myriad of potential partnership projects between our campuses.  Since this experience, we are able to better connect to our students’ lives and families because we have a better understanding of their country of origin. It is a rich culture, and we often see the pride in our students’ faces when they speak about their country and its people.   Join us for this discussion including why professional development is an integral part of NECC faculty, staff’s and students’ lives.

Presenters:  Noemí Custodia-Lora, Ph.D. Executive Director of Lawrence Campus & Community Relations; Barbara Stachniewicz, Professor of English, One Geographic Region Faculty Fellow; Paula Richards Faculty, Academic Prep/ESL and English, Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Coordinator; Sheila Muller Adjunct faculty, Adjunct Faculty Fellow, TAPSS-Business Dept., Scott Lancaster, Program Coordinator Paramedic Technology and EMS Programs

II.9 Listening and Learning from Students with Disabilities: Learning Accommodation Center 101 Refresher

Serving students with disabilities requires an individualized student centered approach, based on the nature of the student’s disability, their ability to understand how their disability impacts them in school and to request what they need for equal access.  Listening to their voices allows us to determine how effective their accommodations are, and if they had difficulty in a course, what would have helped them to do better.  Most importantly students learn what accommodations are effective, what their learning styles are and how to be good self-advocates.  They are prepared when they leave NECC with a toolbox of strategies and accommodations that help ensure their success!

Presenters:  Susan Martin, Director Learning Accommodations Center, Deborah Regan, Associate Director Learning Accommodations Center

PLEASE REGISTER BY MARCH 22 (sooner if possible)

Professional Day Committee

Melba Acevedo, Kathleen Bartolini, Kelly Boylan, Kim Burns, Lizzie Linn Casanave, Katie Mara, Susan Martin, Sharon McDermot, Sharon McManus, Sheila Muller, Theresa Mullin, Myrna Percibal, Patricia Portanova, Trish Schade, Michele Simon

Proposal Review Committee

Melba Acevedo, Kim Burns, Lizzie Linn Casanave, Sharon McManus, Patricia Portanova