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NECC Recertified as a Leader College by Achieving the Dream

Submitted by on September 26, 2014 – 3:58 pm

Achieving the Dream announced today the recertification of Northern Essex Community College as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.

Leader Colleges have demonstrated how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities and the nation as a whole.

Northern Essex was one of 16 community colleges recognized during the recertification process, which institutions must undergo every three years. Northern Essex has been active in Achieving the Dream since 2007 and was first named a Leader College in 2011.

Funding and support from Achieving the Dream has allowed Northern Essex to carefully review and measure current practices and develop new initiatives to help improve student outcomes such as retention and graduation rates.

As a result of its participation in Achieving the Dream, the college has created math tutoring centers in Haverhill and Lawrence; introduced supplemental instructors in challenging courses; developed a College Success seminar; expanded and improved academic advising services; and made several new policy changes with an eye toward student success.

“The work of improving student success is critically important to our education and economy,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream senior vice president. “These 16 institutions have demonstrated that better student outcomes are possible when institutions focus on policies and practices that help students learn at high levels and overcome challenges life throws at them. These colleges are working hard to move the needle for whole cohorts of students, and deserve recognition for their relentless efforts and promising achievements.”

The others are: Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass.; Community College of Beaver County in Monaca, Pa.; Community College of Philadelphia; College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas; Delaware County Community College in Media, Pa.; Galveston College, Texas; Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington; Lee College in Baytown, Texas; Montgomery County Community College in Bluebell, Pa.; Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas in Helena-West Helena, Ark.; Renton Technical College, Renton, Washington; Roxbury Community College in Roxbury Crossing, Mass.; San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas; Tacoma Community College, Washington; Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, Pa.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. More than 7,400 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 6,700 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at