2010-2011 Participants

Christine DeRosa, Administrative Assistant II, Professional Development
Sharon McDermot, Staff Associate, Academic Affairs

Growing Professional Development for Support Staff

The focus of our Leadership Academy project was to explore what professional development opportunities currently exist for support staff and identify ways in which resources and training might be expanded. Compared to other groups on campus, support staff have fewer opportunities for training and development. We developed a survey of interests and needs and invited all AFSCME support staff to complete the survey. Our survey completion rate was 50%. We also tried to determine why staff may not be engaging in current offerings and the best days and times for future programs. The data we collected will provide useful information to the Office of Faculty & Staff Development in determining the direction for growing sustainable opportunities for professional development for support staff on campus.
We are planning the first annual convocation meeting for AFSCME academic support staff in the fall 2011 semester with a long-term objective of offering similar workshops to all members of support staff. We would like to develop similar staff professional development projects that exist presently for faculty. Some of these projects might include a support staff professional day conference or support staff open forum meetings like collegial conversations, and perhaps host a support staff in community project similar to Teaching in Community. It is our ultimate hope that, through the work of this project, the professional development of support staff will be woven into the fabric of NECC’s college community.

George Medelinskas, Professor, Computer Science and Yoga

College of Older Learners (CoOL)

We are a group of learners 50+ years of age. We are a member driven, bottom up group, led by a 5 member Council. We offer seminars each semester led by our members. Seminars generally meet for 2 hours per week over 6 weeks. Our motto is “Learning for the Joy of Learning”. We advocate the stretching of our brains by encouraging the learning of new things. Seminars involve active learning and discussion. Ideas for seminars come from our members. We recognize the importance of community amongst our members. The concept for CoOL was developed during my Sabbatical of 2009-2010.

Marie Burchell, Accountant II
Tracy Fitzgerald, Accountant IV, Payroll Office

Payroll Manual: Basic Instructions for Completing the Bi-Weekly Payroll

Payroll encompasses more than just getting people paid. While insuring employees’ needs are met regarding their payroll is vital to the organization, the process behind payroll is a very involved and complicated one. Currently, the two of us serve as payroll coordinators and manage the payroll function within the human resources department. In an effort to create a back-up system within the office, our project focused on the creation of a payroll manual. The manual will be a continuously evolving guide that will incorporate updates and changes to the policies and procedures involved with the processing of payroll.
The main objective of our project is to help other staff in human resources, whose role is not primarily payroll, to be able to perform the duties necessary to execute a bi-weekly payroll system if needed. The manual provides detailed instructions on tasks such as entering hours, balancing payrolls and entering different information into the HRCMS payroll system. It also includes appropriate flow charts, check lists and job aid materials as well as contact information for state agencies should further assistance be needed. It is our ultimate goal, as payroll professionals, to insure that employees will be served in a manner where they can rely on the payroll function of human resources to pay them on time and accurately so that they can live their lives without interruptions.

Margaret Pothier, Acting Coordinator of the Writing Center
Clare Thompson Ostrander, Assistant Professor, Developmental Education

A Comparison of Centralized Versus Decentralized Models of Tutoring Writing in Developmental Education

Northern Essex Community College has a centralized developmental education program located in the Department of Academic Preparation, with professional tutoring support services in Math, Reading, Writing and ESL. Our leadership project focuses on developmental writing programs, with an emphasis on how the writing center functions inside centralized and decentralized models. We compared our centralized developmental writing program with other centralized and decentralized developmental writing programs in the Massachusetts community college system.
While comparing our center to other centralized and decentralized models, we asked: How are these models different? How are they similar? What can we learn from these other models? How can we improve our own model? From our research, we have generated a set of observations and recommendations that may improve the services we offer our students in the developmental writing program. We have also examined implications of potential changes that could be made to our current method of delivering support services to writing students in the developmental writing program.
Our project’s goal is to critically examine our current model, compare it to other models, and to suggest improvements that we hope will ensure the ongoing success of future developmental writing students at NECC.

Judith Ciampi, Professor and Coordinator, Paralegal Program

Paralegal Coordinator Handbook

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, Coordinators and Department Chairs are responsible for a multitude of administrative duties necessary to run their programs or departments. However, until now, there was no listing of all the specific tasks that must be accomplished. For my leadership project, I created a Paralegal Coordinator Handbook. This manual consists of a monthly listing of the administrative tasks that the Paralegal Coordinator must accomplish separated into four different categories (American Bar Association, Faculty, Students-Graduates, and Other). The handbook also contains an Exhibits Section which provides copies of the documents (or NECC website links) required to accomplish each task.
The goal of this project is to provide the Coordinator with a reminder system of important tasks as well as a planning tool for monthly activities. This handbook is available in paper (3 ring binder) and in electronic form. It is hoped that other Program Coordinators and Department Chairs will be able to adapt this manual for their own use.

Paul Marshall, Instructor, Natural Sciences

Lawrence Family Development Charter School 5th and 6th Grade College Experience

Over the course of the 2010-2011 academic school year, in coordination with staff and administration at both the charter school and Northern Essex Community College, I have helped 5th and 6th grade students participate in science activities and 6 th graders experience learning on our college campus. To make this possible requires teamwork and coordination of many people and materials. It is hoped that students participating in this program will be inspired to graduate high school and achieve a higher education.

Linda Comeau, Associate Director, Enrollment Services (Lawrence)

Improving the Enrollment Flow at the Lawrence Campus

As a long term employee at Northern Essex Community College I have been able to see the progress made in providing Enrollment Services. In my leadership project I will take you through the history of the Enrollment Process at Northern Essex Community College. Then I will discuss the recent changes we are making at the Lawrence Campus to improve the Enrollment Flow and where we are headed for the future when we move into a newly renovated building.
The Enrollment Process is changing ongoing as factors influence our process. As we identify an area of concern, we create a solution. With a full team effort success is insured.

Habib Maagoul, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Using Cumulative Assessment to Impact Students’ Attitudes, Learning and Retention

My discussion begins with several questions designed to help promote a deeper level of thought towards cumulative assessments.

  • Do cumulative assessments impact students in entry college courses? If so, in what ways does it affect them?
  • Do they foster a positive attitude toward the course or the assessments?
  • Do they cultivate an enriched learning environment?
  • Do they ultimately impact retention?

I will address these questions by sharing the outcomes from an on-going research project that began in 2009 on the use of cumulative assessment that was designed to address the effects on attitudes, learning and retention. The result from attitudinal surveys, grade analysis, student enrollment, and student interviews will be shared.
Two key aspects of the project were that the assessment carried a greater weight and that the materials on the assessments were cumulative. Finally, I will discuss the use of cumulative assessments on both pedagogy and student-teacher interaction.


Photos and Comments

Fall 2010 Retreat Photos
Shown (back row, left to right): Marie Burchell, Tracy Fitzgerald, Christine DeRosa, George Medelinskas, Margaret Pothier, Clare Thompson Ostrander and Linda Comeau Shown (front row, left to right): Paul Marshall, Habib Maagoul and Linda Comeau
From left to right: Margaret Pothier, Marie Burchell, Sharon M., Christine DeRosa, Linda Comeau and George Medelinskas
From left to right: Tracy Fitzgerald, Mary Chatigny, Clare Thompson Ostrander, Margaret Pothier and Christine DeRosa
From left to right: Tracy Fitzgerald, Judy Ciampi, Paul Marshall, Clare Thompson Ostrander and Habib Maagoul
Paul Marshall
Margaret Pothier
Marie Burchell
Habib Maagoul