By Julie Wiessner
Every year colleges and universities across the state must submit their annual report of accomplishments and challenges to the governor by Nov. 1. Reviewing Northland Pioneer College’s list of achievements and major issues and resolutions for 2012-13, it looks as though college officials have made many positive steps forward and have risen to meet the challenges set before them.
The report begins with a description and introduction of the college’s four campuses and five learning centers, along with many other special sites covering a 21,158-square mile area, spanning from Navajo and Apache counties. Almost 60 percent of NPC’s population is Native American, with coverage on the Navajo Nation, and Hopi and White Mountain Apache reservations.
There are 21 major accomplishments completed and listed on the report ranging from a Law Enforcement Reserve Academy operating in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to the creation of the mechatronics and construction trades programs. Also included is the construction of the 26,600-square-foot Skills Center in Holbrook for training in welding, construction technology, industrial maintenance and operations, and mechatronics.
Two other major accomplishments were the receipt of a nearly $2 million Get Into Energy Grant as part of the Arizona Sun Corridor Consortium for the development and delivery of curriculum for training potential energy employees for local enterprises, and the creation of an I-40 Corridor Coordinating Council with Mohave and Coconino community colleges to collaborate in academic instruction, curriculum development, data sharing, business functions, student services and other support services.
Some of the major issues faced by NPC were the need to continue funding soft capital purchases out of maintenance and operations resources, as well as completing plans for funding capital needs without bonding or dedicated capital funding sources.
NPC fulfilled a financial stability goal through the implementation of a cash reserve policy, and entered into an agreement with the Arizona Department of Administration to provide reports of college revenues and expenditures on the Arizona Open Books website for public access.
Issues coming up for the 2013-14 school year include a continued lack of funding predictability, along with a loss of major employers in Navajo County. There has been a continued decline in net assessed valuation on property and a declining high school pipeline population.
Other issues included in the report were an outflow of population from Navajo and Apache counties, and increasing restrictions on Pell Grant qualifications, which severely affect rural and part-time students, who make up 60 percent of NPC’s student body. The college is also serving increased job-ready needs with declining resources. With college students using multiple Internet capable devices, there has been a growing network/data demand by students and the communities, but aging technology infrastructure with which to meet those demands.
In the Facts At A Glance section of the report the following statistics are shown for fall 2012. There were 807, or 22 percent, full-time students and 2,911, or 78 percent, part-time students. Of that population, 2,221, or 60 percent, were female, while 1,497, or 40 percent, were male.
The Facts At A Glance continued by residency status for fall 2012, including 2,998, or 81 percent, who were residents of Navajo County and 700, or 19 percent, who were out-of-county residents. There were 77, or 38 percent, full-time instructors and 128, or 62 percent, part-time instructors.
District revenue sources, or all monies coming into the college for 2012-13, included: tuition and fees, $4,970,124; State Aid (including equalization), $7,059,800; primary/secondary tax levy, $13,180,294; and restricted grants, $5,018,111. No money came from bond proceeds, but $4,318,231 was listed in the “other” category. The total of NPC’s revenue sources came to $34,546,231.
The district expenditures for 2012-13, including all funds, included: general fund, $21,799,985; restricted fund, $5,064,270; auxiliary fund; $456,801 and unexpended plant fund, the amount used was $1,394,844; for a total of $28,715,900.
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By Julie Wiessner