College Strategic Plan Seems to be Working!

Aug 18, 2014

Three Years into Strategic Plan, Eastern Maine Community College Continues Enrollment Growth and Adds Millions of Dollars in Economic Impact to Bangor Region

Eastern Maine Community College implemented a five-year strategic plan in the fall of 2011, with an end goal of increasing enrollment to 5,000 students by 2016.

As of July 15, 2014, the college had increased its unduplicated headcount by 29.42%: from 3,316 students in 2011 to 4,228 in 2014, an increase of nearly 1,000 new students.

“What these numbers show is that the strategic plan is working,” says Dan Crocker, dean of enrollment. “There are many facets of the college’s five-year strategy, such as greater focus on retention, new program development, expansion of existing programs, and strengthening external relationships, that are already being felt and making a real impact on not only EMCC’s enrollment numbers, but the campus and community as a whole.”

Eight new associate degree programs have been added to EMCC’s academic offerings over the last three years, and the number of full-time faculty has increased from 54 to 68. There has also been effort among faculty and administration to reenergize academic programs’ advisory committees, establishing closer ties with business and industry to enhance curriculum and job-placement rates.

As a result, the college has seen increased job-placement rates and strong passage rates for national certification exams.

Examples include 100% job placement for fine woodworking graduates; 96% job placement for nursing graduates; and 83% placement for HVAC graduates. In addition, 100% of 2014 radiography graduates passed their national certification exam, and the 2014 class of nursing students earned the highest first-time NCLEX passage rate in the state of Maine at 95.8%.

“These achievements are no coincidence,” says Lawrence Barrett, Ed.D., president of EMCC. “We have aggressively focused the campus around student success, and have bolstered the availability and frequency of student services such as academic advising, mentoring, tutoring, and developmental courses. This student-centric approach has already begun to impact retention positively. But more importantly, it has fostered a higher quality institution for our students.”

The hub for these free support services is the Student Success Center, which opened in the fall of 2013. It was just one of many of the $3 million worth of facility upgrades the campus completed over the last four years. In its first year, the center logged over 4,500 hours of academic support services.

In addition, an economic impact study commissioned by the college in 2012-13 revealed that EMCC generates $47.9 million in added income each year for the local community from the increased productivity of its workers, due to the accumulation of past and present EMCC skills. The college also contributes a total of $13.5 million in income to its service area each year due to EMCC operations and the spending of non-local students.

“Our five-year strategic plan challenges EMCC with building on its success and expanding on areas of opportunity to help us emerge as the best institute of higher learning possible,” says President Barrett. “Three years into the strategic plan, our successes indicate the college is on the right path.”


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