Lawrence HS Freshmen Hone Career Goals in Partnership with NECC
For the past year, freshmen from the Lawrence Health and Human Services High School have been exploring career options as part of a new partnership between the Lawrence Public Schools and Northern Essex Community College, made possible by donations from the Eastern Bank Foundation and the General Mills Foundation.
The new partnership was recently celebrated at a Health Careers Showcase at Northern Essex’s El-Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center, 414 Common St, Lawrence. Over 300 people attended, including the more than 100 Lawrence Health and Human Services High School students who received certificates for completing the program, along with their families and community leaders.
The goal of the partnership is to help students narrow their goals early in their high school career, so that when they graduate they have the skills needed to succeed in college, said Ed Warnshuis of Lawrence High School. “Northern Essex was a natural partner for this initiative. In this wonderful building, they teach 13 different health care careers.”
Students took a health care survey course taught by high school and college faculty, in which they received an overview of health care fields as well as details on the skills needed to succeed in those fields. “After completing the course, students should have a clear understanding of their career goals including pathways to certificate, associate degree, and baccalaureate programs of study,” said Lori Weir, NECC director of PK-12 partnerships.
The event included a program with remarks from high school, college, and city representatives as well as a showcase in which students shared research on a number of health topics from addiction to asthma to peanut allergies.
Freshman Aboud Kassari, who would like to become a pediatrician and shared his presentation on the cardiovascular system, says the program helped “a lot.” “We learned in detail about health care career options, and that there are endless things to be, not just a doctor or a nurse.”
Next year this same group of students will continue to explore career options. A survey course will be offered and students will be encouraged to take college courses concurrently such as medical terminology, English Composition, and possibly Anatomy and Physiology, said Weir.
Jeff Riley, Lawrence superintendent of schools, said “This partnership between the Lawrence Public Schools and Northern Essex is amazing. More colleges across the country should do it.”
For more information, contact Weir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.necc.mass.edu.