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NECC students will benefit from new state grant

Submitted by on September 7, 2011 – 12:09 pm

Dimitry Building, Lawrence Campus

Northern Essex Community College students will benefit from a new competitive grant program—the Performance Incentive Fund (PIF)— that was announced today by Governor Deval Patrick.

The college is one of 18 public colleges from across the state to receive one of the grants which are designed to spur innovative programs and reward campus efforts to improve educational outcomes.

Northern Essex will receive $135,053 this year to help fund a newly renovated Student Success Center (SSC) on the Lawrence Campus and provide retention programs along with an early alert system to identify struggling students and implement planned interventions.

Located in the Dimitry Building, the Student Success Center “will link students with the resources they need to be academically successful,” according to Dawna Perez, associate dean, access and community building.
At the Student Success Center, students can build college success skills such as time management and goal setting; explore careers; access tutoring; hone their academic plans; and much more.

Designed to improve course outcome and retention, the early alert system identifies students who are struggling and connects them with the services that will help them move toward academic success.  This year’s pilot program will include students who have assessed into three developmental courses but the plan is to introduce the early alert system to all students in the future.

“Students who enter college with compromised academic skills, financial and personal problems, and without the internal resources to deal with the rigors of academic life are often unsuccessful.  This grant allows us to address this, connecting underprepared or overwhelmed students with the many resources available to them,” said Lane A. Glenn, president of Northern Essex Community College.

Included in Governor Patrick’s fiscal year 2012 budget, the PIF is designed to support activity on Massachusetts public college and university campuses that will be used to support new and existing programs to improve college readiness and attendance of high school graduates, as well as college graduation and student success rates.  The funds will also be used to expand programs linked to the state’s future workforce needs by preparing students for jobs in high demand fields.

“The innovative strategies that will be advanced through these grants demonstrate our commitment to provide all students with access to a world-class education,” said Governor Patrick. “Today we are making an investment in our campuses that will increase opportunities for students and strengthen our workforce, leaving a better Commonwealth for generations to come.”

The PIF is a cornerstone of the Vision Project, the state’s master plan to establish the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education as a national leader in educating students to be productive workers and engaged citizens. The “vision” at the heart of the Vision Project is that Massachusetts needs the best educated citizenry and workforce in the nation and that it is the job of public higher education to achieve the result.