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At Northern Essex students receive a rigorous, high-quality education. We’re proud to offer cutting-edge and industry-leading programs.


Honors Program

Commonwealth Honors programStudents who study in honors courses have opportunities for experiential learning and to present their research at statewide and regional conferences. Those students who complete at least three honors courses with a GPA higher than 3.2 are eligible to eligible to participate in the Commonwealth Honors Program. Successful completion of the program guarantees admittance to the Commonwealth Honors Program at any of Massachusetts’ state universities. It also adds significantly to application credentials for private four-year schools.

A Global Community

Northern Essex faculty have partnered with faculty around the world to bring an international experience into the classroom. International Virtual Exchange (IVE) allows students to work collaboratively with students in partner colleges in universities while saving on travel and transportation costs.

Additionally, Northern Essex students are encouraged to pursue individual study abroad opportunities. Recently, a student was selected for a prestigious summer program in The Hague, Netherlands. Her experience was supported by the NECC Fund.

Excellence in Athletics

NATYCAA logoNorthern Essex students are routinely honored for their accomplishments on and off the field. For the ‘22/23 academic year, seven students were named NJCAA All-Academic Scholars. To be eligible for NJCAA All-Academic honors, students must have successfully completed 24 credits in the academic year and earned at least a 3.6 GPA for the year. Many students credit a strong support system, including the Academic Coaching team, with helping them find a balance between school, life, and sports.

Recently, strong showings from Northern Essex Community College athletic teams earned the program its first-ever top 30 ranking from the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA). NECC was the only New England community college to finish among the top 30 programs.

Competency-Based Education

Northern Essex made national news when it became the first public college or university to offer a degree in Early Childhood Education using entirely Competency-Based Education (CBE) classes. These classes are taught entirely online and allow students to progress at their own pace, which is ideal for students who may already have professional knowledge in that subject. Several of the courses within the major are General Education classes, and they are open to any NECC student, regardless of major. Plans are in the works to offer more majors using the CBE model.

Northeast Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence

ODNI sealA partnership between Northern Essex Community College and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) provides pathways for NECC students who wish to pursue a career in intelligence or security. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently designated UNH as a national Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) and established the Northeast Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (NICCAE).

The consortium also includes Howard University, College of Mount Saint Vincent, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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