Meet the Institutional Effectiveness Team!

 In IE Blog

Welcome to our brand new Institutional Effectiveness (IE) blog!

Our mission is to support institutional improvement towards the college mission with a particular focus on student success. We provide support to all units of the college with making data informed decisions through a collaborative, ongoing, and systematic process of identifying and measuring outcomes, using quantitative and qualitative data. We also manage our Strategic Planning process, provide project planning expertise, and run our Data Governance initiative.

Our team was conceptualized in the summer of 2021, so we are relatively new to NECC as a group, though our individual experience at the college ranges from 10 years to 5 months.

Our work includes that of the formerly known Institutional Research and Planning (IRP) team, as well as many of the college’s Student Success Management initiatives (Navigate, Student Ambassadors, and our Chatbot – Squire, to name a few). We value having these Student focused initiatives within our office because they help us to center the student experience in our analysis and day-to-day work.

Purpose of our Blog
Our team spends all day and every day exploring, analyzing, and making meaning out of the numbers at NECC… but sometimes it can be challenging for us to share our findings with the broader institution. Through this blog, we hope to make these data and insights more accessible to the college community, and we strive to add richness and complexity to the data through qualitative insights that are difficult to capture in a dashboard.

We will use this platform to share important and timely findings with the college, which could include anything from a deep dive into a specific statistic, an interview with a student, to an announcement about our Data Governance initiative. We hope you’ll tune in!

IE Team (Left to Right: Audrey Ellis, Stella Vlahakis, Mike Swiniarski, and Andrew Nguyen)
IE Team (Left to Right: Audrey Ellis, Stella Vlahakis, Mike Swiniarski, and Andrew Nguyen)

Get to know us:
Before we introduce ourselves, let us first announce that we are located in the Library (A-337) on the Haverhill Campus and invite you to stop by any time! (We have snacks!)

Audrey Ellis: Director of Institutional Effectiveness

I am so lucky to lead a team of thoughtful, passionate, and wildly smart individuals. Personally, I am most motivated and passionate about student success, social justice, and access to education. Reflecting daily on our students’ tenacity, complex identities, and varying experiences keeps me focused and driven.
In my free time, I love to be outdoors, especially skiing, walking, and hiking with my dogs. I love coffee, books, and seafood.
I’ll write about all sorts of topics in this blog, and I’ll be helping to curate the content behind the scenes. If you have ideas or suggestions, please reach out!

Mike Swiniarski: Research and Compliance Analyst

I am in charge of reporting for compliance.
Simply put I enjoy work for and with the people on campus, helping to make NECC better for our students.
I enjoy the outdoors whether it’s on the water in the kayak, hiking in the woods, or just doing yard work.
I’m planning to write about trends I’ve learned about from reporting. It could be related to achievement gaps, benefits of Early College, or trends in enrollments or success models.

Andrew Nguyen: Business Analyst

I work with other areas of the college to help improve our dashboarding, reporting, and data analysis capabilities with the ultimate goal of helping the college make more effective decisions to best serve our students. Something that I am passionate about is equity and social justice, and I am grateful to be able to effect positive change here in that regard at NECC.
Outside of work, I’m interested in fitness, sports, gaming, and spending time with my loved ones.
In the future, you may see me write about how the initiatives that we’re involved with and how we leverage data to inform these projects!

Stella Vlahakis: Research and Information Specialist

At NECC, I serve as the lead survey administrator and I am also the Application Administrator for Navigate. Additionally, I co-advise the Student Ambassador program . I am passionate about helping students unlock their full potential and utilizing data to inform decisions, particularly surrounding access and equity.
Outside of work, you can find me looking for hidden gems within music, film, or places, on the tennis court, or trying out a new recipe.
In this blog, I’d like to write about the various conversations I have with the NECC community. Too often, they got lost in the numbers.

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