By Julie Wiessner
Members of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board reviewed the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council’s annual report at their Dec. 17 meeting. The report was sent to the governor’s office in November.
Board President Ginny Handorf expressed her observation that Northland Pioneer College’s demographic concerning the Native American population was a far greater percentage than any other of the 10 community colleges in the state.
Navajo and Apache counties’ Native American population attending community college was 33 percent of their total student population for fall 2012, while the number for Coconino County was the next highest at 23 percent.
Cochise County’s Native population was one percent; Graham County, eight percent; Pinal County, 4.8 percent; Maricopa County, three percent; Mohave, Pima and Yavapai counties, two percent each; and Yuma and La Paz counties, one percent each.
The board also heard a review of a community survey taken earlier this year. The questions focused on public awareness and public perceptions of the college. None of those surveyed were current students. About 100 residents in each of several towns in NPC’s service area were included in the survey.
Overall, the survey showed positive results, although a couple of response sets showed areas in need of refining the public messaging.
For the most part, perceptions of the college campuses were quite positive; even during the economic hardships of the times, the college was considered an important area partner and community contributor.
The board also reviewed the revised 2014-17 strategic plan. It is always a three-year plan and is revised every year.
The strategic plan is the major planning document for the college, showing the “what” and “why” of the college’s goals; helping in budget planning; and explaining how to reach those goals.
Following the meeting, NPC President Dr. Jeanne Swarthout was asked what has changed this year from last year’s strategic plan.
“Since the strategic plan remains closely tied to accreditation, board members will begin to see agenda items tied to the strategic plan and to accreditation,” she replied.
According to Swarthout, other things that have changed are that some of the items were very aspirational and very visionary, but not attainable in the short term.
“These items have been parked for the time being,” said Swarthout.
Another change was that some of the detailed parts of the prior plan were moved into an operational plan for the next couple of years.
Board member Prescott Winslow noted that he would like to see an opportunity for governing board members to interact more in the strategic plan and, under pillar five, take a stronger position on a new position for grants management.
In other action, the board:
* Approved modifications in the Industrial Maintenance and Operations and Computer Information Systems programs.
* Approved intergovernmental agreements with the Heber-Overgaard and Window Rock school districts for dual enrollment.
* Approved the 2014-15 budget development assumptions as presented by Vice President for Administrative Services Blaine Hatch.
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By Julie Wiessner