FON Meeting Summaries
At the Spring quarterly meeting of the Friends of Nighthawks, Dr. Garcia, NLC President, provided a few college updates to include the college’s ability to award Veteran benefits and the receipt of two performance excellence awards. Additionally, the results of a recent environmental scan were presented to the group. Results included a jobs forecast, employer training needs, partnership opportunities, and more. Based on the environmental scan and programs already offered at other Alamo Colleges, NLC’s four areas of focus movingforward are health sciences, manufacturing, information technology, and STEM fields. The group will participate in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis at the group’s next meeting on August 1.
Dr. Garcia provided the group with a college update to include the Department of Education approval for Title 4 Programs, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approval to certify chapter benefits through Northeast Lakeview College (official notice coming soon), and the development of two new technical programs (Associate of Applied Science - Information Assurance & Cybersecurity; Associate of Applied Science -Network Administrator). Additionally, attendees participated in focus group sessions to gather feedback on branding, perception, and future programming that Northeast Lakeview College can use in its continuous improvement and Strategic Planning process. On a planned cycle, Northeast Lakeview College engages with its external stakeholders to identify institutional strengths and weaknesses and determine college needs.
The September meeting once again included a combined session with the Friends of the Nighthawks members as well as the Lower Valley School (LVS) committee members. The discussion began with an update on action items on the LVS restoration project assigned at the July meeting. After contact with several historical preservation groups, relocating the schoolhouse to them was not going to be an option, and a review of the cost of a second restoration proposal was shared. Northeast Lakeview College is now working with the City of Schertz, The Chamber (Schertz-Cibolo-Selma area), and Schertz – Cibolo -Universal City ISD to finalize plans to relocate the contents from the schoolhouse to the organizations in the communities where the Lower Valley Schoolhouse has original roots, and NLC agreed to create a tribute space in the library to commemorate LVS. The intent is to continue the legacy of the schoolhouse through exhibit of the contents. At the conclusion of the meeting, members were reminded of two upcoming 10th anniversary activities to include the 5K Race Around the Lake & Celebrate 10 Outdoor Festival happening on September 30 and the President’s Gala on November 9. Both events are raising funds for college scholarships.
Update: The Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees approved at the December 12, 2017 meeting to transfer the contents of the LVS original building to Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD. Dr. Garcia met with the members of the Lower Valley Schoolhouse on December 14 to finalize and closeout the remaining aspects of this project and to thank them for their years of service. All donors who previously provided monetary support to this restoration project will be contacted and given the option of receiving the unused portion (65% of their gift) returned or re-designating the unused funds to scholarships for students in NLC’s service area. The Lower Valley Schoolhouse legacy will continue in the communities where the school began and the former students and their families now live.
Members of the Friends of Nighthawks held their Summer meeting on July 26. This meeting included a combined session with the Friends of Nighthawks, President’s Advisory Group, and the members of the Lower Valley Schoolhouse restoration project committee. The meeting began with college updates provided by Dr. Garcia to include the recent college milestone that Northeast Lakeview College can now offer federal financial aid to its students. Additionally, the group engaged in a lengthy discussion on college fundraising, as one of the charges to this group is to assist the President’s Office with projects that benefit students, and provide advice on projects as they relate to the overall growth of the institution and student success. In addition to providing details on the upcoming 10th Anniversary events to raise funds for student scholarships, the group engaged in conversations on the status of the fundraising for the Lower Valley Schoolhouse Restoration Project. Members were reminded about the history of the project, project expenses, and monies raised to date. The group discussed next steps to include the overall viability of the project given the cost estimate to renovate the building compared to the balance in the account. A task list was generated to include options on relocating the museum to other historical sites, requesting a second restoration proposal, and ensuring there is a comprehensive list of inventoried items. The project will be brought back for discussion at the Friends of Nighthawks next meeting in September where a final decision on the project will be determined. 8 of the 10 members from the Lower Valley School Restoration Committee attended this meeting.
Dr. Veronica Garcia, President, hosted a Meet & Greet session with the Friends of Nighthawks members on May 31. This was the first time that Dr. Garcia, who assumed the position as president in March 2017, had led the group in a discussion. She learned about each member and the constituent group(s) they represent. She also provided members with college updates and highlights to include an accreditation status report and a preliminary overview and timeline of the new building that NLC will receive as a result of the recent Alamo Colleges District bond that was passed. Garcia then engaged the group in a discussion about current workforce trends and in-demand programs. Dr. Garcia will be looking for input from these members and their community constituents as NLC grows and expands program offerings.