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NECC Signs Historic Agreement with the Dominican Republic’s Public University

Submitted by on August 13, 2015 – 8:18 pm
Lane Glenn, NECC president, and Clara Benedicto, USAD director of cooperation and international relations, sign agreement, watched by Noemi Custodia-Lora, NECC (left in photo) and Julio Sepulveda, USAD (right in photo).

Lane Glenn, NECC president, and Clara Benedicto, USAD director of cooperation and international relations, sign agreement, watched by Noemi Custodia-Lora, NECC (left in photo) and Julio Sepulveda, USAD (right in photo).

On Wednesday, August 12, Northern Essex Community College (NECC), with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, MA, signed a historic agreement with the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), the public university system of the Dominican Republic at a ceremony held at 420 Common St., Lawrence.

In addition to creating faculty, staff, and student exchanges, the agreement includes transfer agreements between the two colleges, allowing local residents with credits from the university to seamlessly transfer those credits to Northern Essex and graduates of Northern Essex to transfer to the university.

“This agreement has the potential to improve a lot of lives,” said NECC President Lane Glenn.

According to Glenn, 38 percent of Northern Essex’s student population is Hispanic and the great majority is of Dominican descent.

“Many local residents carry credits with them from the university,” said Glenn. “Those credits will now have the potential to transfer into certificates and associate degrees at Northern Essex.”

Established in 1538, the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo is the oldest university in America. With 17 campuses and 200,000 students, it offers 119 undergraduate programs, 73 master degree programs, and PhD programs. With 2 campuses and close to 7,000 credit students, Northern Essex was founded in 1962 and has 70 certificate and associate degree programs

This will be the first agreement between the UASD and a Massachusetts college, and the first collaboration in the United States to include articulation and transfer.

Representing the university at the signing was Dr. Clara Benedicto, director cooperation and international relations. “There are many Dominicans in Massachusetts who want to continue careers, careers they abandoned because they immigrated, primarily for economic reasons. They know education is the way to progress and grow.”

State Representative Marcos Devers, who graduated from UASD with a civil engineering degree in 1978 and has also taken courses at Northern Essex, spoke on behalf of the many local residents who are UASD alumni. “I’m twice proud. As an alumnus, I feel joy seeing this dream come true.”

State Senator Barbara L’Italien who serves on the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Higher Ed Committee, said “It’s wonderful that people who have invested in higher ed will not be losing credits. I’m very interested in finding ways for people to access higher ed.”

For additional information on the agreement, contact Noemi Custodia-Lora, director of the Lawrence Campus and community relations, ncustodialora@necc.mass.edu or 978 738-7401.

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 7,000 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.

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