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NECC Receives Funding for High School Dual Enrollment

Submitted by on March 9, 2011 – 6:00 pm

Fifty-three local high school students are taking courses at Northern Essex this semester, thanks to funding from the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program

Local high school students are benefitting from $24,000 in Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program (CDEP) funds which Northern Essex recently received from the state. As a result, 53 high school students from across the Merrimack Valley are taking courses at Northern Essex during the spring semester and receiving both high school and college credits.

According to Charles Diggs, Northern Essex’s assistant dean for enrollment services, students from 11 local high schools, including Amesbury, Bradford Christian Academy, Georgetown, Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Pentucket, Triton, and Whittier Vocational Technical High School, are taking courses which began January 24. Their tuition is paid for with the CDEP funding.

“Dual enrollment has many benefits for high school students,” according to Diggs. “While some want to take courses that aren’t available at their high school, others just want to experience college and get some college credits. It’s proven that dual enrollment students are better prepared for college level work when they graduate from high school and tend to be more successful in college.”

The Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program (CDEP) is the only state-funded dual enrollment program in Massachusetts. It provides funding for eligible high school students to take college-level courses free of charge at Massachusetts’ public higher education institutions and earn credit simultaneously toward a high school diploma and future college degree. Students may take college courses taught by college faculty on campus, on line and at their high schools.

In addition to offering individual high school students the opportunity to take college courses, Northern Essex also has several innovative dual enrollment partnerships with area high schools. Examples of these partnerships include:

  • Northern Essex is currently teaching American Sign Language at Northern Andover High School. Students who take the course receive foreign language credit from the high school and can elect to receive college credit as well.
  • Three classes of Methuen High School students are taking College Algebra on Northern Essex’s Haverhill Campus this semester. This program is designed to graduate high school seniors who are prepared to pursue more advanced level mathematics courses once they begin college.
  • Since the fall of 2009, the college has been partnering with Amesbury High School to offer an Early College Program for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students who participate in the program can graduate from high school with up to 45 college credits. Other Amesbury High School students take courses individually through the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment (CDE) program.

For more information, contact Charles Diggs, or 978 556-3608.