The president of the New Community College...


The president of the New Community College of Baltimore says the school is experiencing growing pains as administrators set a course for the future.

President James Tschechtelin has presented a report to the Maryland Higher Education Commission that includes an update the college's new programs and initiatives and the progress of building renovation work at the two campuses. The report also reveals that the college received $402,000 in private grants for academic improvements.

NCCB was operated by the city until last July, when the state took control of the college. MHEC ordered the takeover after determining that the college was not attracting enough students and was offering outdated programs.

Tschechtelin was put in charge of a three-year effort to improve the college's curriculum, faculty and supporting staff. The report said administrators are reviewing all positions at the college, a practice that has created an "attitude" problem among some employees.

"This will change the culture of the campus," Tschechtelin said of the overhaul. "The college has a history of combat and confrontation that led to fatigue and dropout. We have 350 people employed here and many have been with NCCB for a long time. Establishing a new order is never easy."

The legislature ordered the name to be changed from the Community College of Baltimore to the New Community College of Baltimore and promised to pump $2 million into the college's budget for building and academic enhancements.

But this year's state fiscal crisis forced the college to cut its budget. Some programs have been cut, 16 employees have been dismissed and a hiring freeze was put into effect.

Nevertheless, "the flowers are starting to bloom," Tschechtelin said.

The president's progress report states that NCCB has held tuition to $35 per credit hour and increased enrollment by 4 percent, or 202 students, over the 1990 enrollment. Retention of students is a primary goal along with sharpening academic programs to respond to the economic needs of city businesses.

The college also is working closely with city high schools so that students can attend college-preparation courses at NCCB.

The report also states that college administrators are investigating whether to lease some of the college's Inner Harbor real estate to a developer who would construct a multipurpose tower that would include classrooms for NCCB. Renovation of the college's buildings at the harbor and Liberty Road campuses is under way.

A formal blueprint for the organization and responsibilities of NCCB is to be presented by Tschechtelin to state legislators and MHEC on Oct. 31. That plan will expand on the college's new goals of offering community service programs and continuing education courses.

NCCB experiencing growing pains, its president says

College president outlines progress of overhaul under three-year plan.

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