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NECC’s Student Success Center Recognized for Work with Latinos

Submitted by on September 22, 2015 – 1:57 pm
When Lawrence resident Jean Carlos Gomez was a student at NECC, he spent hours everyday in the Student Success Center (SSC). He credits the center for his success in earning an associate degree.

When Lawrence resident Jean Carlos Gomez was a student at NECC, he spent hours every day in the Student Success Center (SSC). He credits the center for his success in earning an associate degree. Now the SSC is one of 20 programs being recognized by “Excelencia in Education”.

Northern Essex Community College’s four-year old Student Success Center (SSC) located on the Lawrence campus has been recognized by “Excelencia in Education” for its work helping Latino students succeed in college.

This is the 10th year that this national initiative has identified and recognized America’s top programs that demonstrate through data and evidence that they improve Latino college success Over the past decade,    “Examples of Excelencia” has reviewed more than 1,300 program nominations and recognized over 150 programs across the nation.

The SSC, serves approximately 600 Northern Essex students a year; the majority are first generation Latino  students who have multiple and competing needs that can prevent them from completing their degree.

Statistics show that Latino students using SSC services had an 11.3{dbdcdbd9d21dd92b6e5474ca9c06ba420f21775250a3d5293989b42a2bce9b61} higher course completion rate and a 19{dbdcdbd9d21dd92b6e5474ca9c06ba420f21775250a3d5293989b42a2bce9b61} higher retention rate when compared with Latinos not using SSC services.

Northern Essex’s SSC is one of 20 programs recognized as “Examples of Excelencia,” the only national initiative to identify programs that boost Latino enrollment, performance, and graduation. This initiative was created by “Excelencia in Education” an organization that promotes Latinos in higher education.

“Examples of Excelencia,”which was started 10 years ago, announced the top programs that increase higher education achievement for Latino students, in Washington, D.C. this week.

Sarita Brown, President “Excelencia in Education” presents Gisela Ramirez Nash Director, Title V/of NECC’s Student Success Programs an “Examples of Excelencia” Award.

“As an Hispanic Serving Institution, NECC is committed to Latino student success, says Gisela Ramirez Nash, director of NECC’s Title V/Student Success Programs. “Northern Essex is continually exploring opportunities to advance their educational achievements. In four short years the Student Success Center has made a positive difference on the lives of many Latino students, helping to increase their academic performance, and retention.”

Jean Carlos Gomez of Lawrence was one of those students. He started visiting the SSC as soon as he enrolled at NECC fresh from Greater Lawrence Vocational High School. He visited the center every day, spending two or three hours completing his homework.

“The Student Success Center is a great place,” he says. “I like to joke that the staff adopted me.”

At the SSC, he says, he learned to ask questions, seek tutoring help, and develop strong study skills. His hard work resulted in making the dean’s list and earning an associate degree in criminal justice.

The SSC’s services include counseling, mentoring, and career exploration. Using a holistic approach, the staff helps the students balance their personal and academic life, set realistic goals, and connect to programs and services that will help them strengthen their academic skills, according to Ramirez Nash.

For additional information contact Ramirez Nash at 978-738-7413 or gnash@necc.mass.edu