Northampton County Community College President Mark Erickson presented the year’s achievements and asked for an unusual budget at the Pen Argyl School Board meeting Tuesday evening.
Erickson began the presentation with a profile of the college. “We are a college of the community,” he said. “That’s not just our middle name, but is really the heart of what we do.”
Northampton Community College maintains an annual budget of $68.8 million and receives contributions from sponsor schools including Pen Argyl, Bangor Area School District, Bethlehem Area School District, Easton Area School District, Nazareth Area School District, Northampton Area School District, Saucon Valley School District and Wilson Area School District.
Erickson showed the board a chart of the proposed donations from sponsoring schools, “We’re asking for your continued support with an unusual request. This year we’re asking for less money.”
NCC asked Pen Argyl for $83 less than last year, which the board approved unanimously later in the meeting. Last year, NCC served 258 Pen Argyl graduates in either for-credit or non-credit courses.
Erickson used the rest of his time to justify the funds that the college receives by providing data on their successes. They received the 2012 Community Service Leadership Award from the YWCA, the PRESS Completion grant from Wal-Mart, and was one of five colleges nationwide to receive the Benefits Access of College Achievement Award.
Of their 2012 graduating class, 88 percent are employed or continuing their education. Erickson was particularly proud to announce that the graduation rates of Hispanic students are equivalent to those of white students. Students who chose to complete their education at four year institutions were able to transfer their NCC credits to schools like East Stroudsburg University, Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Bloomsburg University, New York University and Dickinson College, among others.
A member of the school board inquired as to the status of the upcoming Monroe campus of NCC and Erickson assured the board that the campus will open in the spring of 2014 and feature state of the art facilities based on the needs expressed by that community and the local public school districts.
Erickson came to the presidency of NCC in July after being employed at Lehigh University before he was president of Wittenberg College.
The school board also used this meeting to present five Wind Gap Middle School students with Principal Achievement awards and thanked the families for their support of those high achieving students.