NETC Named Pacesetter Of The Year By National Council Of Marketing And Public Relations

Northeastern Technical College’s (NETC) President, Dr. Kyle Wagner, was named Pacesetter of the Year by the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) District 2. The Pacesetter Award recognizes a community college president who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and support in college communications and marketing.

“This award was a complete surprise,” said Dr. Wagner. “Winning is great recognition, but being nominated for this award by your coworkers is an even greater honor.”
Four years ago, President Dr. Kyle Wagner breathed new life into NETC. In 2019, NETC received nearly $12.5 million in new grants to establish and support academic program initiatives. Dr. Wagner oversaw the development of new stackable certification programs for workforce development, assuring students received both financial aid and college credit. He also managed an initiative to reduce or eliminate textbooks’ costs for students, reducing the overall cost of attendance by $900 per year. As a first-generation student, Dr. Wagner is passionate about student success, the value of education, and increasing access.
“Communities have citizens that I refer to as the ‘invisible student.’ These are the people who did not graduate in the top 20% of their graduating class. The ‘invisible student’ is the unlocked resources that make the community…the community. It is time community colleges discover these invisible individuals and help them reach their full potential,” stated Wagner.
The college has seen increase in enrollment each semester under his presidency by engaging these invisible citizens, including a 13% increase in spring 2020 over the previous year. The college’s enrollment successes are due in part to its “college is for everyone” philosophy.
NETC has successfully expanded access to dual enrollment. The college is one of only 44 colleges in the country — and the only technical college in the state — to provide Pell Grant funding to high school students. As a result, more than 600 high school students took courses at NETC during the 2019-2020 academic year, expanding the impact of college access to all students with the dream of higher education and great paying jobs.
Recently, NETC developed a “Key Performance Indicator” program for employees to improve student success, enrollment, and retention. This year the program paid out more than $70,000 in bonuses to its employees. The program received the national 2020 HR Innovation Award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. This award recognizes innovative thinking in higher education human resources.
The college was also a finalist for the American Association of Community Colleges’ Awards of Excellence for outstanding college/corporate partnership with Schaeffler Group USA Inc. Through initiatives such as these, NETC has gained a reputation regionally and nationally as an innovator. “I challenge the NETC marketing team to create campaigns that reach students who traditionally don’t see themselves in college,” Wagner said. “This group, the ‘invisible student,’ will be the community’s next innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. This group consists of the people who will provide the funding to build a new community center in your city, help you out of bed when you are in the hospital, repair the internet service at your home, or install new tires on your car,” stated Wagner. Dr. Wagner reiterated, “Our growth at Northeastern Technical College, in part, is attributed to targeting these ‘invisible’ students.”
NCMPR is the leading professional development organization for two-year college communicators. Organized into seven districts, NCMPR provides regional and national conferences, webinars, relevant information on emerging marketing and PR trends, and connections to a network of more than 1,700 colleagues across the country. NETC is a part of NCMPR District 2 with other community colleges in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, and The Bahamas.
Northeastern Technical College prepares the workforce of Chesterfield, Marlboro, and Dillon counties through education and training. For more information about NETC’s Marketing and communication efforts, call (800) 921-7399 or visit www.netc.edu.