Success story: Police officers, pilots and more

September 20, 2023

NMC Police Academy graduates pose with Police Academy Director Gail Kurowski
Progress towards graduating more police officers and pilots. Faster class completion, degree achievement, and employment for students. More high impact experiential learning that engages students in their education.

NMC Next logoThose are among the highlights of the second year of NMC Next, the college’s strategic plan. More than 1,000 stakeholders provided input during the plan’s development in 2021, creating five strategic areas and dozens of objectives for our community, our college and our collective future.

“This is an important time in our strategic plan work. Any organization runs the risk of losing momentum or focus with a strategic plan when the new wears off, but that’s not what we’re seeing at NMC,” said Jason Slade, NMC vice president for strategic initiatives. “We’ve made some impressive progress and teams across the college remain committed to the plan’s success to the benefit of our students.”

Some of Year 2’s highlights:

Future-focused education: Accelerated course delivery, which means covering the same amount of content in about half the time, now is available for 26 courses. In addition, the entire Police Academy program has been consolidated to a single semester instead of two. The 17 students who enrolled this fall equals fall 2022 enrollment. But this year's class will graduate in December, making way for a brand-new class in January. That also meets the needs of law enforcement agencies eager to hire graduates.

“They are desperately in need of law enforcement personnel,” Police Academy director Gail Kurowski said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to increase enrollment.”

Accelerated courses have also been successful at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, where some were offered in 2022. Students were better able to manage the shorter sessions with their jobs and family commitments. That in turn means they’re less likely to drop out, and more likely to finish.

“It’s an easier way to stay on track for graduation,” Culinary Executive Director Les Eckert said.

Also in the area of future focused education, two-thirds of students have had an experiential learning opportunity, on track to meet the goal of 100 percent by Sept. 2024. This objective will empower learners for the future.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Led by Marcus Bennett in his new role as special assistant to the president for DEI, NMC Human Resources is incorporating new employee training on implicit bias and creating a culture of belonging. Members of NMC’s President Council are also taking the training. The creation of Bennett’s position was a strategic objective fulfilled in 2022.

Community Partnerships: Within NMC’s Extended Educational Services division, a new workforce development team reaches out to area employers, listens to their needs and design training. This summer, the team developed custom training for Sara Lee.

Distinctive Programs: NMC’s highly-regarded Aviation program is shifting into the execution phase of a planned expansion after securing funding. The larger hangar and additional planes will allow the program, which currently has a two-year wait list, to begin accepting more students. Aviation graduates have 100 percent employment.

The Great Lakes Water Studies Institute has become a key partner in the Freshwater Research and Innovation Center in Greilickville.

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